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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

Acupuncture for Whole-Body Beauty

When you step into Flipp Salon and Apothecary in Providence, you know you’re in a special place. Fuzzy pillows in the waiting area, retro furnishings and a smiling staff all exude a friendly, funky vibe. To be expected, Flipp offers a full range of haircuts, colors, styling and services for men and women. But the 7-year-old salon goes a step further than many of its counterparts, with holistic services and products that feed the body and soul, including acupuncture three days a week.

Salon owner JoAnna Cassino, also a reflexologist and herbalist, says Flipp is “more than a spa. It’s about overall health, wellness and beauty that comes from within.” To expand Flipp’s offerings—plant-based, natural skin and hair products, teas and more—Cassino brought acupuncturist Maria Vanson on board last year.

Vanson, a licensed acupuncturist for six years, moved to Rhode Island after living and practicing acupuncture in Hawaii. “It’s been really grounding,” she says. “The original intrigue I had coming into a salon, but particularly Flipp, was that it has a different energy than a lot of places. It’s small, personable and everyone is really caring. There’s an underlying culture when you step into a salon or barbershop, where people talk and share. People come in here and they feel like they can release without being judged. It’s a really positive community.”

Vanson is a graduate of Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia Institute) with a graduate certificate and master’s degree in Oriental medicine. Her clients seek relief from varied symptoms, including physical injuries, chronic degenerative illnesses, smoking cessation and emotional challenges.

She says, “Many people are struggling with issues of ‘too much’ and ‘too little’, and we help them find their balance. Symptoms serve as a guide to understanding each person’s unique gifts and suffering, and we create a treatment plan around helping them process what’s going on for them and help get them where they want to be. We access the body’s wisdom on a deeper level to understand ourselves and our connection to the world more deeply.”

As part of Cassino’s whole-health philosophy, she regularly hosts community events at Flipp, such as wellness workshops and classes, free talks, acoustic music nights and more. She says, “Through all we do here, we want to be a part of something meaningful, make a difference in people’s lives and create a safe space.”

Flipp Salon and Apothecary is located at 38 Transit St., Providence. For services and event information, call 401-274-1981 or visit or its Facebook pages: Flipp Salon-Apothecary and Flipp Apothecary.