Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 17
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

EASING THE PAIN: “Acupuncture can help everything from migraines to infertility. It frees the flow of energy, resulting in better circulation and balance.” Mimi Vassilev-Baker, C.A., M.O.M., Dipl. Ac., owner and manager of Princeton Day Spa on State Road, is enthusiastic about the spa’s focus on wellness, including acupuncture and other treatments to help restore good health.

Princeton Day Spa, Formerly Beauty Dreams, Combines Wellness Center and Spa Services

Beauty Dreams, the popular European Day Spa at 812 State Road, which opened in 1982, has been a place for transformation. One could spend an hour or more and leave feeling and looking like a million dollars. A change of hair style or color, a revitalizing facial, relaxing massage, or energizing body treatment could be the gateway for a new you!

Now, Beauty Dreams itself has been transformed. While still offering its traditional spa services, including special manicures, pedicures, and waxing, it has a new focus and new name. As Princeton Day Spa, with its adjoining Wellness Center, it offers the benefits of additional treatments and services, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, therapeutic massage (including Chinese fertility massage), and yoga.

Elena and Nick Vassilev, original owners of Beauty Dreams, have been very pleased that their daughter Mimi Vassilev-Baker, C.A., M.O.M., Dipl. Ac., has become owner and manager of Princeton Day Spa. Having opened the Wellness Center in 2002, which focused on acupuncture, among other alternative treatments, Ms. Baker is committed to helping clients achieve well-being in a healing and restful atmosphere.

“I have tried to create a very relaxing environment,” she notes. “Some people say that when they come here, it is the only time they have to relax. That is very important in our high tech, rushed society.”

Certified Acupuncturist

A certified acupuncturist and member of the New Jersey Acupuncture Examining Board, Ms. Baker is also certified as a diplomate in acupuncture by the National Board. She has been appointed by the governor of New Jersey to be one of nine members of the state’s Acupuncture Examining Board.

As an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, she studied biology and nutrition. After experiencing first hand the positive results of acupuncture for a torn knee ligament, she enrolled as a graduate student for four years of study at the National College of Oriental Medicine in Orlando, Florida, where she earned a Master of Oriental Medicine degree, and a second bachelor’s degree in Professional Health Studies.

Traveling to China, where she interned at the Shandong University of Integrative Medicine, Ms. Baker witnessed the often amazing benefits of combining traditional Chinese medicine with 21st Century health care. “I do support Western medical treatment,” she adds, “and I always consult with a client’s physician.”

For people who want to look into a different approach, without drugs, however, acupuncture is an option. Ms. Baker has treated individuals with a variety of conditions, ranging from head and back pain and sinus infections to intestinal and infertility problems. She is particularly dedicated to treating women’s health disorders, including infertility, painful menstruation, PMS and related migraines, and menopausal symptoms. Ms. Baker works closely with many patients from various in vitro fertilization (IVF) centers throughout New Jersey. She is currently getting ready to release her statistics from the past two years of work with various IVF and ART (artificial reproductive techniques) patients.

“I love to see the children of women I have helped who had fertility problems,” she notes, with a big smile.

Energy Flow

The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture has been known for 3,000 years. According to traditional Chinese medicine theory, illness or injury is the result of an unbalanced or blocked flow of energy (qi) or blood in the body’s organ-related pathways or meridians, explains Ms. Baker.

“Acupuncture points are specifically chosen, and gently needled (using needles the diameter of a human hair) in order to balance and restore blood and energy flow, creating a general feeling of relaxation. It is painless. Only pre-sterilized needles are used, and then discarded.”

Ms. Baker’s clients are all ages, typically 26 to 82, but they also include children. For kids who may be hesitant about needles, there is a non-needle method available.

“A lot of clients are women 30 to 40, often experiencing fertility problems,” explains Ms. Baker. A review of seven clinical trials of acupuncture given with embryo transfer in women undergoing IFV suggests that acupuncture may improve rates of pregnancy, according to the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines.

Acupuncture sessions are typically one hour, with needles in place for 20 to 30 minutes. Ms. Baker spends time with each client to determine their situation and progress. The first treatment and evaluation is $120. Follow-up treatments are $65, with special savings available for multi-treatment packages.

“Patients usually experience relief after three to five sessions, and sometimes sooner,” says Ms. Baker. “Even if people don’t have a problem later, it’s good to come in every change of season for maintenance — a tune-up! Prevention is so important. Sometimes, I still have to convince people that acupuncture really works. But then, I’ll have skeptics who come in and become the biggest believers!”

Fertility Massage

In addition to acupuncture, Chinese fertility massage is available. It’s goal is to restore harmony in the reproductive system, explains Ms. Baker. Acupuncture, Chinese herbal remedies, and aromatherapy may be combined with fertility massage to maximize the benefit of the treatments.

Other massage treatments include digestive, Reiki, energy healing/balancing, and infant colic massage.

A homeopathic consultant is also available at the spa. Believed to boost an individual’s general health, both physically and emotionally, homeopathy is tailored to each person’s needs. “Homeopathy uses remedies that are substances from nature and plants,” points out Ms. Baker. “My belief is that your body is basically able to heal itself with proper food, exercise, and a healthy immune system. Homeopathy seeks to stimulate the body’s defense mechanisms and processes so that it can prevent or treat illness.

“I hope eventually to have a real wellness co-op here, with different areas of help available to people. That is my goal. I feel I am really helping people to get better and making a difference in their life. I enjoy it so much that I don’t even feel as if I am working!”

Spa hours are Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. (609) 924-4910. Acupuncture hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9 to 7 and by appointment. (609) 937-9341. Website:

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