Synergy Spa of the Guyer Institute

Synergy Spa’s Healing Garden Is a Beautiful, Best Kept Secret in Indy

Writer / Jon Shoulders

Photographer / Amy Payne

It’s not uncommon for spas and aesthetic treatment facilities to feature soothing surroundings to help clients feel comfortable and welcome. Nevertheless, Synergy Spa on East 86th Street takes such a concept to a unique extent with what the staff refers to as an outdoor healing garden.

Fifteen years ago Dr. Dale Guyer, owner of Indy’s Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine, acted on his interest in rare and unique plants seldom seen in Indiana and decided to build out a garden on the grounds of the Spa, which is located at the Institute. Dr. Guyer felt a garden would not only add striking visuals to the spa setting, but also create a tranquil healing environment conducive to a positive patient visit.

The result is a colorful outdoor array of flowers and plants that Synergy Spa CEO Denise Kaler says ties into her staff’s mission of providing comprehensive treatment.

“It creates a sense of peace and inspiration that is supportive of the healing experience,” Kaler says of the garden, which includes a pond, bridge and small waterfall. “It adds to the concept of a holistic model of healing. Many will come to visit just to see the garden and often bring their friends.”

Those strolling through the garden will find a large collection of rare conifers, Japanese maples and various perennials and shrubs, some of which are 50 years old and the rarest of which were acquired from various collectors around the country including Oregon. Vibrant purple, red, white and green plantings pervade the space, which also features swings and a picnic table.

“We’ve even had people ask to come back to do a family photo shoot at the garden,” Kaler says. “People will come early for their appointment because they want to just walk through the garden or stay after just to relax. I think they like that it’s somewhat hidden and secluded. It’s kind of Indy’s little secret.”

Kaler says a small number of rare plants spread throughout the garden have continued to thrive despite not being native to Indiana soil and climate, and the staff continually monitors plant health, occasionally wrapping plants that need protection during particularly harsh winters.

“It’s prettiest in summer with all the colors, but in the winter when there’s snow on the trees it’s also so pretty out there,” Kaler adds. “You immediately see the bridge, pond and swings, and you see this beautiful garden.”

Synergy Spa offers a range of non-surgical services including vitamin infusion therapy, platelet-rich-plasma and stem cell therapy for skin and hair, CoolSculpting fat reduction and more, and Kaler says the facility’s cutting-edge techniques, with the healing garden as a backdrop, make for a client experience not found in other spa centers.

“It is more of a medical spa, which makes us unique,” Kaler says. “It’s all about restorative things that don’t require surgery.”

Kaler says those visiting the garden during a treatment visit are exposed to a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

“Health is more than just taking pills,” she says. “It is an amalgam of all interrelated experiences. Nutrition, genetics, attitude and nature to name a few. The healing garden is part of that complete picture.”

Synergy Spa is located at 836 East 86th Street in Indianapolis. For more information call 317580-1SPA or visit

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