Botanica Founder, Women’s Health Specialist, Licensed Acupuncturist & Herbalist
Debra Gerson, L. Ac., Dipl. OM, FABORM
Debra Gerson, L. Ac., Dipl. OM, FABORM
Debra Kuhn Gerson, L. Ac., Dipl. OM, FABORM, is a leading authority in women’s wellness, natural beauty, and fertility. As the founder of one of Colorado’s largest holistic medical spas, Botanica Wellness Sanctuary, she has counseled thousands of women on how to lead healthier, empowered, and more fulfilling lives.
Debra is board-certified in Oriental Reproductive Medicine, a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and a well-known integrative provider. Debra Gerson graduated Magna Cum Laude from New York University before training in both Eastern and Western Medicine at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She moved to Colorado in 2007 and opened her thriving wellness sanctuary shortly after. Debra commonly works with most of the Denver Metro Area Fertility and OBGYN clinics. In addition, she was one of the first acupuncturists in the country to complete a preceptorship under a Reproductive Endocrinologist, and her own three-year personal fertility struggle years later provided invaluable knowledge to the level of pain, confusion, and devastation so many women and couples face.
Licensed Acupuncturist & Herbalist
Theresa Ugalde, L.Ac, Dipl. O.M
Theresa Ugalde, LAC
Theresa Ugalde received her Master’s of Science degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. This four- year program consists of 3,045 hours of education including 1,140 hours of clinical practice. She was certified as a Diplomate in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) in August 2010. This includes certification in Clean Needle Technique and Chinese Herbology.
Theresa has taken course work in functional medicine and brain chemistry with Dr. Kharrazian. She completed a 5 year internship in cancer support, auto-immune illnesses, infertility, pain and Japanese acupuncture techniques, known for its gentle approach. In Addition, she has extensive training in anti-aging protocols through the use of acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, supplements and skin care regimens.
Theresa is fluent in Spanish and very passionate about educating others about the benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She believes strongly in the optimum benefits achieved when integrating eastern and western medical approaches.
Our Team of Experienced, Licensed Aestheticians
Jennifer Alvord – Lead Licensed Aesthetician
Jennifer has been working in the Spa & Wellness industry since 2002, gaining experience in Hotel/Resort Spas such as Charleston Place Hotel and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. In 2014 she became a licensed esthetician, quenching her thirst for knowledge of product ingredients and how they work together to remedy skin issues. Blending modern technology with ancient wisdom to create personalized services is her philosophy for skin health.
Jennifer loves engaging with clients from all over the world, learning about new products, and sharing her passion for skincare are things Jennifer loves about her position at Botanica.
Alana Nuñez – Licensed Aesthetician
A graduate of Aveda’s prestigious esthetics program, Alana’s passion for skincare started in her teens when she learned the benefits of a solid at-home regiment coupled with regular professional treatments. Alana feels strongly that helping others achieve beauty from within is her life’s calling. Her philosophy on skincare is that it does not need to be complicated to be effective! She takes pride in helping her clients feel comfortable during their sessions with her and confident in their skincare routines at home.
Originally from San Diego, CA, Alana found her way to Denver by way of New Orleans, LA! She was drawn to Colorado’s incredible outdoors and friendly vibes. Her simultaneously outgoing and warm personality has helped her make friends wherever she goes, and she is looking forward to spending lots of time with new friends in the mountains during her first Colorado winter.
Michelle Bray – Licensed Aesthetician
Michelle joins Botanica as a dual-licensed Massage Therapist and Aesthetician. She began her wellness and beauty journey in 2003 when she completed Massage Therapy training from The Crestone Healing Arts Center. After practicing massage for years and working in a variety of spas and clinics, she realized she had a true passion for Skin Care as well. Michelle then attended The Aveda Institute of Denver for Esthetics and loves to combine her knowledge of body-work and skin care together.
Michelle often combines a variety of modalities throughout her treatments to customize each massage for her clients. Her strong, yet gentle and effective techniques help to bring even the most sore, stressed, and over worked bodies back into balance and harmony. Trained in various styles of massage, she specializes in Deep Tissue, Relaxing Swedish, Hot/Cold Stones, Ashiatsu, Pre-Natal, Passive Stretching, and Reflexology.
During Aesthetic Treatments, Michelle’s love for skin care shows in her therapeutic, results and detail oriented facials. She believes in using high quality, natural products in conjunction with anti-aging and clarifying treatments to achieve optimum skin health. Some of her favorite services include Facials, Epidermal Leveling, Chemical Peels, and Brow Services.
Originally from New Jersey, Michelle moved to Colorado in 2000 and lived in Breckenridge before moving to Denver in 2015. She loves spending time with her family, husband, and dog doing anything outdoors. In her free time, she will most likely be out hiking, snowboarding, gardening, camping, or traveling.
Ashlee Daigle – Botanica Esthetician & Lash Artist
Ashlee, a native to New Orleans, Louisiana, moved to Colorado after graduating from LSU in 2011 to pursue her true passion in the beauty industry. After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Ashlee realized that the business world was not where she would thrive and enrolled in the School of Botanical & Medical Aesthetics in Denver. Upon completing the Aesthetics program and struggling with adult acne for many years, Ashlee took an interest in holistic, plant-based skincare as a means to treat problematic skin, and found a love for Eminence Organics. The love for Eminence Organics would take Ashlee to many spas including The Ritz-Carlton, Denver, and Blue Sage Spa in Breckenridge.
After many years in the skincare sector of esthetics, Ashlee shifted her focus to eyelash extensions. Ashlee has been trained by some of the most well-known names in the lash industry such as Minkys, Bella Lash and, most recently, received her Mega Volume certification from LashBoxLA in 2019. Ashlee has been successfully building and maintaining a loyal lash clientele since 2015 and specializes in Russian Volume, as well as Hybrid and Classic Lash Extensions, and her style can be best identified as “soft glam”.
In her spare time, Ashlee loves hanging out with her cat Aspen & enjoying everything the Colorado outdoors has to offer including hiking, camping, paddle-boarding, and trail running.