Family health

Family health findings prompt mom to open Deluge Health spa

SPRINGFIELD, VA — After Fiona Duncan spent about 20 years as a practicing pharmacist, health reasons led her to explore a new path.

Her daughter had digestive and intestinal problems, as well as rashes, which led to visits to the emergency room. Duncan found no results to help her daughter, and she even had to transfer her daughter to another high school due to a mold allergy.

Then a friend introduced her to functional nutrition. This concept examines the origin of health problems rather than the disease or diagnosis itself. Personalized plans use food and other lifestyle functions like sleep, exercise, and stress relief.

When Duncan’s daughter entered a 12-week functional nutrition program, her skin had cleared up and her bowel issues were improving after three months. But after the program was discontinued, her daughter’s problems began to return.

That’s why Duncan decided to learn functional nutrition so she could care for her daughter herself. On top of that, Duncan also experienced fatigue from a demanding job, but didn’t have a clinical diagnosis. She has seen the results of Functional Nutrition herself, as well as her family members.

“Seeing the results with my family members, my daughter and myself, it was no choice,” Duncan said. “It was like, you have to share this.”

With her daughter’s health in mind and Duncan’s deteriorating health from a demanding job, Deluge Health Spa was born. The business opened in January 2019 at 8336 Traford Lane in West Springfield.

The company offers two main services: the 12-week functional nutrition program guided by Duncan and therapeutic infrared sauna sessions. Duncan is also preparing to launch a metabolic reset program in early 2022 after leading a 14-person test group starting on Thanksgiving. The metabolic reset program focuses on weight loss by addressing the needs of mind, body, and spirit.

Courtesy of Fiona Duncan

Although the Functional Nutrition Program can be conducted virtually, sauna therapy is the only component clients can obtain at the Deluge Health Spa physical location. Infrared sauna therapy is designed to help de-stress, improve cardiovascular health, reduce pain and more. The company has four private sauna suites for 20 or 40 minute sauna sessions.


Courtesy of Fiona Duncan

As the COVID-19 pandemic began just over a year after Deluge Health Spa opened, the business, like others, has seen some suspend or cancel their memberships. But the company began to see increased appointments for sauna sessions a few months into the pandemic, as COVID-19 restrictions closed the gyms they would normally go to.

On the health side, Duncan said the pandemic has highlighted health disparities and the need for better nutrition and health care.

For example, she noted that African Americans tend to have low vitamin D levels, and sufficient levels of vitamin D may be linked to less severe COVID-19 symptoms, studies show. With the functional nutrition approach, she believes that having a disease under control or being diagnosed with medication does not mean that you are not yet susceptible to other diseases. She sees that nutrition-based care, lifestyle changes and supplements will have the biggest impact on chronic disease.

“If you don’t look at the underlying cause, you’ll still have this challenge,” Duncan said.

Duncan admitted that her business has struggled during the pandemic, although she has seen new customers. She took a contract job for six months and continued to balance a few clients for the Functional Nutrition Program. She also obtained a grant through Fairfax County’s COVID-19 Grant Program for Businesses.

Déluge Health Spa is a member of the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, which provides tools to help Black-owned businesses succeed. Duncan was previously with the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and was unaware there was a darkroom in Northern Virginia. She decided to change her perspective and says it can help small businesses that normally don’t have the resources for advertising and media relations. Duncan is looking forward to getting involved with chamber programs later, her focus for now is on launching Deluge Health Spa’s new metabolic reset program.

Duncan’s goals for Deluge Health Spa focus on service growth. She wants to bolster online course offerings for those who may not be ready for a bigger commitment like the Functional Nutrition program. For example, a potential course could focus on improving sleep. Duncan is also interested in training pharmacists in functional nutrition and lifestyle medicine.

In the short term, Duncan wants to recruit people to try a five pound weight loss challenge in the new year. Adding foot traffic to the physical location for sauna sessions and attracting a more diverse clientele will be other priorities.

In the long term, Duncan hopes her program can grow into a larger program she calls a self-help institute.

“I imagine having a pretty big place where it’s all-inclusive education on how to be healthy,” Duncan said. “It’s a course that you take where you learn what functional nutrition is.”

For more information on Deluge Health Spa, visit delugespa.com.