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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

A New Chapter in Wellness

Begins in Sandy Springs

Sue Pepka, I-ACT, and Korey Gotoo, I-ACT, co-owners of Clear Path Wellness Center, in Sandy Springs, bought the Star Wellness Center in 2008 and made it their own. Both are certified with the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy. Now undergoing an expansion of facilities and services, the path seems clear indeed for their continuing success.

The expansion includes a new massage/reflexology room, a shower area for the convenience of people using the far-infrared sauna or receiving planned body scrubs and wraps, an additional colon hydrotherapy room and a dedicated area for footbaths. Group classes, including meditation, are on the horizon too.

Pepka grew up in Detroit as the middle child of five. She says, “I’ve always been interested in science and health. When I was a kid, my favorite game was Operation, and I remember finding a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest, trying to save it. Those kinds of things have stayed with me.”

She moved to North Carolina in the 1980s, raised children and went back to school to earn degrees in X-ray technology and nuclear medicine. After working for 12 years in conventional health care, Pepka encountered a health problem in the 1990s that doctors couldn’t solve. Looking for answers, she discovered alternative medicine, and homeopathy in particular. Using her newfound knowledge to fix the condition, she started studying the new modality—at first, casually.

Pepka became less comfortable working in an allopathic environment, saying, “I really had to ask myself where could I do the most good.” In 1999, her husband’s career moved them to Atlanta and she decided to study homeopathy full-time. In 2001, she was about a third of the way through the distance-learning classical homeopathic curricula of the renowned School of Homeopathy, in Devon, England, when her husband died of cancer and everything changed.

Then on her own, Pepka took what she already knew and also had learned at Brenda Cobb’s Atlanta Living Foods Institute to a job in the vitamin department at Life Grocery, in Marietta, where she worked for a couple of years; then at the Whole Foods Market in Marietta for four years, where she counseled people about vitamins and supplements.

She then wanted to take better care of her own body and started taking colonics. Pepka explains, “One thing led to another, and I apprenticed with Mary Coté, who owned what was the Star Wellness Center at the time, and became a colon hydrotherapist.” Gotoo grew up in the small town of Chahuites, in Mexico. Struck by pneumonia or bronchitis at just 3 years of age, she was sent to live with her grandparents in Oaxaca, which is on the Pacific Ocean in the south, where it is warmer, until she was 10 years old. Gotoo ate organic food from the farm and says, “My grandmother, a beautiful Indian-Spanish women, believed in natural remedies and regularly gave us colonics. She would also give us teas and herbs to kill the parasites in our bellies, and we would fast.”

She came to the U.S. and married a Mexican diplomat in Washington, D.C., and forgot about those lessons, adding more carbs to her American diet and developing a milk allergy. There, she fell in love with arts and today makes pottery in her own studio. Gotoo had a serious bicycle accident that caused her overall health to go into decline in 2006. Frustrated, she wanted to heal faster and went to Sevenanda to learn about nutrition, and that’s when “the light bulb went on” for her about detoxing and healthy cleansing practices.

She met Coté, who offered to help, and visited the Star Wellness Center. Gotoo was hired as the office manager, and then studied and became a therapist herself. Several years later, she and Pepka purchased the business when Coté retired.

Clear Path specializes in cleansing and detoxification of the body. Pepka explains, “A therapist stays with the client during the closed-system session and is constantly available for questions, explanations, information and instruction, and generally works to make the client comfortable in order to have the most productive session.

Proactive people that eat right and are regular in their elimination may well think that they don’t need cleansing, but as Pepka advises, “That might be true if we all grew our own food and we worked out in the fields and we exercised a lot and the air was clean and the water was clean and we lived in a peaceful, harmonious environment and all of our relationships were great. But we don’t. We are all bombarded with toxins everywhere we go.” She asserts that our bodies need as much help as we can give them, such as colon cleansing, fasting, ion cleanse foot baths, reflexology and using the far-infrared sauna or Clear Path’s new HealthScope service to stay as healthy as they can be.

In the future, Gotoo says she would like to create satellite clinics or franchises, with a central location that offers multiple holistic modalities and practitioners.

The Clear Path Wellness Center is located in the Sandy Springs Professional Building, 275 Carpenter Dr. Ste. 202, in Sandy Springs. For more information, call 404-497-9268 or visit

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