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.
Jenelle Girard, L.Ac
Jenelle Girard, LAC
Jenelle Girard received her training at Yo San University of Chinese Medicine in Los Angeles. During her graduate studies she had the opportunity to complete externships at Being Alive, an HIV outreach acupuncture treatment center in West Hollywood, as well as at Venice Family Pain Clinic, the nation’s largest free clinic specializing in chronic pain conditions. Jenelle attainted a Masters of Science degree in Oriental Medicine in 2010, shortly there after becoming California and nationally licensed. Aside from working on a cruise ship as the onboard acupuncturist in 2011 and then living and working in Mexico from 2011-12, Jenelle moved to Nashville in 2013 where she worked for 8 years at Encircle Acupuncture, one of the country’s biggest and busiest community acupuncture clinics. She has treated thousands of patients with a wide range of ailments including emotional stress, reproductive and gynecological conditions, autoimmune and immune compromised disorders, specific and generalized pain, arthritis, allergies, and more. Jenelle absolutely loves her job assisting people on their personal journeys toward healing and wellness. She recently moved to Denver with her beautiful daughter, Coralie, and is loving life in Colorado. She is honored to be a part of the team at Botanica Wellness Sanctuary.
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 began her journey into the Wellness and Spa Industry in 2003 when she completed her training as a Massage Therapist. After practicing massage for years, she shifted her focus to Skin Care and obtained her Esthetician License from the Aveda Institute of Denver.
During Michelle’s Aesthetic treatments, her passion for skin care shows in her therapeutic, results and detailed oriented facials. She believes in using high quality, natural products in conjunction with anti-aging and clarifying treatments to achieve optimum skin health. Michelle’s specialty areas include custom designed facials, dermaplaning & microdermabrasion treatments, as well as brow services and hydra-facials. She loves providing her clients with knowledge and an individualized skin care regimen to help them reach their skin care goals.
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.
Lindsay Wilson – Aesthetic Nurse Injector
Lindsay Wilson has recently joined Botanica after eight years of experience in cosmetic injections. Her experience began working in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery offices before expanding to Med Spas across Colorado. Lindsay attended Metropolitan State University of Denver with a BS in Human Performance and Sport before going to nursing school at the Denver School of Nursing in 2008, where she earned her BSN.
After a few years of nursing, Lindsay started a job as an aesthetic nurse and feels blessed to have gained the experience that started her injection career. She loves the art of injecting and helping to enhance each patient’s unique and individual needs. Through consistent training and seminars through the years, Lindsay is always expanding her knowledge and can confidently address a wide variety of aesthetic concerns. She demonstrates a warm and welcoming demeanor that will make you feel confident and trustworthy. Patient education and understanding is the most important factor in the final outcome and Lindsay will help you achieve your goals. In her free time Lindsay stays busy with her 2 year old daughter Evelyn and 4 year old son James, enjoys spending time outdoors and staying physically active through group fitness classes and running.
Morgan Riss- Licensed Aesthetician
Morgan’s love for Esthetics began years ago during her own struggles with adult acne. Over the course of the last several years, as she received facial treatments, Morgan developed a curiosity and passion for skin care. After overcoming her own skin challenges, Morgan decided she wanted to help others. She is focused on results-driven skin care and helping people to feel confident and beautiful in their own skin. She loves how the Cosmetics Industry can have such a positive effect on the way people feel about themselves and is fascinated with the technology that is available today in the industry. Morgan carefully selects all products and treatments to address her clients’ skin and concerns.
When not performing Esthetics, Morgan enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, the outdoors, exploring restaurants and food venues, and spending time with her fiancé and dog.
Our Team of Certified Massage Therapists
Lily Kutzuba – Certified Massage Therapist / Lead Massage Therapist
Lily is originally from New York where she began her professional life in the fashion industry. Her inspiration to become a Massage Therapist began after a move to California. She graduated from Massage School in Santa Barbara and shortly after, moved to the small town of Ojai, CA.
Lily worked for eight years at the prestigious Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. She felt a calling to Denver after a few visits, and she moved with her dog in June of 2019. She has been exploring the mountains and meeting lots of new friends since then.
Lily believes that the most important step to giving a great customized treatment is simply listening. She also believes in providing thorough follow up care for continued repair and maintenance of body, mind, and spirit.
Robert Rewkowski – Certified Massage Therapist
The “Gentle Giant,” Robert Rewkowski has joined Botanica after his move from sunny Florida. He was inspired to become a Massage Therapist after he saw firsthand how therapeutic massage can change one’s life during his own recovery from low back surgery. He completed an 800-hour course from Sarasota School for Massage Therapy and has a passion for helping his clients have a better quality of life through massage. Rob eases into a massage to make sure his clients receive the proper pressure during their sessions with him. He incorporates a mixture of Swedish, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point Work, and stretching into his sessions.
Robert loves to travel the world and experience different cultures, especially culinary delicacies. He also enjoys hiking, concerts, spending time with friends and family, and just about anything that makes a good story to tell in the future.
David Joyner – Certified Massage Therapist
Originally from Newport News, Virginia, David graduated from the Massage Therapy Institute of Colorado in 2013 and was originally inspired at a young age to aid people in a natural way. At the start of 2018 he had entered the spa industry looking to work with as many people as feasible. Then in 2020, in an effort to further refine his skillset, he joined Botanica.
David maintains a strong focus on Swedish though he integrates several modalities including deep tissue, myofascial, sports massage and joint manipulations. Quality of life is of the utmost importance to him; being able to positively affect quality of life is his favorite part of massage therapy and continually learning how to do so better is a constant drive.
David appreciates a nuts and bolts approach as he works within parameters set by clients while adhering to the principal that pain isn’t therapeutic. Knowing that there’s a difference between service and hospitality, he strives to excel at both.
David’s hobbies and passions include producing music, sewing and learning about sciences pertaining to biology and engineering.
Julie Monahan – Certified Massage Therapist
Julie believes our bodies are blueprints of experiences and emotions and she is constantly amazed that we as humans can facilitate healing. Julie has been a full-time highly sought after massage therapist since graduating from Chicago School of Massage in 2003. Her healing experience includes luxury spa settings, special needs children, alternative health clinics, chiropractic offices and marathon training groups. Julie fuses together a variety of nurturing techniques to individualize each session to your unique needs. Her intuitive skills and training include myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, reiki, reflexology, cupping, zero balance, swedish and deep tissue massage. When not working you can find Julie strolling around Denver petting other people’s dogs.