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Physician and Balanced Health and Wellness founder Dr. Mary Alavi may not be a mapmaker, but she does understand that knowing where you are is the first step toward getting to where you want to be. She created the center after years of watching her patients suffer from premature aging and degenerative diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, knowing full well that many cases could have been preventable had her patients merely stopped to examine the signs. Her whole-person approach to health care includes a detailed exploration of each patient's history, lifestyle, and genetic factors. This road map to wellness might include medical screening or lab testing, nutrition plans or fitness protocols led by a certified personal trainer. Dr. Alavi's balanced approach to wellness also inspired her to make changes in her own life and she continues to share her own personal successes and failures to encourage her patients to stay on track.
The patient-centered philosophy at Balanced Health and Wellness is evident in the lobby. Staffers present clients with tea or flavored water before directing them to sessions with a massage therapist or an aesthetician, or to a consultation with the office's certified laser technician who will discuss hair removal, spider veins, fine lines, and age spots.
Wildcat Golf Club's two pristine courses take golfers on a competitive expedition through an emerald labyrinth of rolling Texas Hill Country. Players can prepare for the courses' manifold hazards and heckling sand-trap rakes with 10 one-hour clinics from Wildcat's golf school, where classes of 10 pupils or fewer learn the finer points of the game at the feet of seasoned instructors. Players will need to call upon all of their golfing gumption to conquer the 7,016-yard Lakes course, which begins at a breathtaking elevation of 100 feet before descending into a valley populated by vast lakes that come into play on seven holes. Knee-high native grasses, ever-deepening ravines, and mounded terrain supply the bulk of the difficulty on the 6,954-yard Highlands course, where the distinct, links-style terrain of Scotland meets the sun-kissed weather and roaming linebackers of Texas. Standing on the immaculate Bermuda grasses that define both courses, players can enjoy sweeping panoramas of Houston's downtown skyline, the Galleria, and Reliant Stadium.
The year was 1975, and Sam Sann crept alongside his grandmother and sister through the untamed countryside of Cambodia. He and his family were fleeing political insurgents on foot, barely subsisting on snakes and any other sustenance they could find. After four years of wandering, the Sann clan finally made it to Houston, where Sam excelled in cross-country and track. From his post as a staffer at a gym in high school, Sam ascended to personal trainer after graduation and eventually opened Iron Sports Indoor Obstacle Course with the help of his wife, Gabby. Well-known for having a spirit more generous than the secret lovechild of Santa and a fairy godmother, Sam eagerly welcomes up to 60 visitors at a time into his unique two-story obstacle course fitness studio. Exercisers of all skill levels tether themselves to a rope belay system to surmount potholed walls with climbing pegs and then scurry through tunnels at the top of ladders. From ramps for running to monkey bars for swinging, the course offers a unique approach to wellness with fun built in.
The gym also houses traditional cardio and weight machines from Precor and two First Degree Fitness Fluid Cycles XT, which are akin to a bike for the upper body. Instructors, including American Ninja Warrior veteran Drew Drechsel, have backgrounds in sports medicine and fitness, and incorporate the facility's obstacle course and gym equipment into classes such as a year-round boot camp, Kids Fit sessions, and Zumba.
Camp Gladiator founder Ally Davidson’s childhood obsession with the outdoors and sports led her to pursue a degree in exercise physiology. After her 2008 win on the TV show American Gladiators, Ally decided to share her love of fitness with the world at large. Camp Gladiator reflects Ally's passion for fitness in its mission, which espouses their desire
"to positively impact the physical fitness and ultimately the lives of as many people as possible." During Camp Gladiator Total Transformation, participants lose weight and gain energy in a friendly, positive environment. Over four-weeks, trainers focus on accountability, competition, motivation, and fun at multiple locations. Results are tracked during fitness assessments, body composition tests, and a fitness calendar, while nutrition counseling helps to maximize those results. Click here to view before and after images.
Davidson also leads boot camps in 13 U.S. cities, with each hosting multiple training locales. The upbeat staff of certified trainers lead patrons of all ages and fitness levels through four-week outdoor boot camps, earning Camp Gladiator a Hot Spot title from Women's Health magazine's Fitness Awards in 2013, Best Boot Camp from Rare magazine in 2010, Best of Big D 2010–2013 from D magazine, and Best Outdoor Boot Camp 2012 from Austin Fit magazine.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
Dahn Yoga integrates Korean Taoist philosophies and holistic Korean Oriental medicine into a form of yoga that strives to forge stronger connections between mind and body. The certified instructors at Dahn Yoga adhere to these ancient practices and help students of all ages and fitness levels develop core strength, which, according to Dahn philosophy, is the basis of physical, mental, and spiritual health. Through classes, private lessons, and workshops, students learn to link postures with breath control, ultimately developing greater bodily awareness. Besides improving flexibility, strength, and posture, instructors also emphasize the brain's role in overall well-being. They lead brain exercises that challenge and sharpen the mind to develop more productive habits and levitate pennies out of mall fountains.
Dahn Yoga's founder, Ilchi Lee, also built a comprehensive brain-development program—called Brain Education—from the principles upon which Dahn Yoga is founded. Combining physical, emotional, and cognitive exercises with guided imagery and games, Dahn Yoga's instructors develop emotional control, improve communication between the brain's hemispheres, and inspire guests take decisive action. This program has five progressive steps that can be applied to a dedicated yoga practice as well as everyday life.
Dr. Marc Sanders is something of a pioneer in ophthalmology. One of the first to perform all-laser LASIK in the nation, he prides himself on staying at the forefront of medical advances in his field. This dedication and passion, earned him the Top Doctor award from an H-Texas Magazine survey nine times. With the help of his partners Dr. Aric Welton and Dr. Stephanie McMillen, Dr. Sanders continues using advancing technology to remedy his patients' vision as quickly and painlessly as possible.
The teams services center around preventative examinations to ensure the healthy functioning of the eye, pupil, and eye muscles. However, the team doesn't shy away from corrective procedures. As a laser vision center, the eye surgeons repair near or farsightedness and astigmatisms with blade-free LASIK treatments, and correct cataracts with stitch-free, ultrasonic procedures. Once vision is corrected, the doctors can remove surprise wrinkles with FDA-approved Botox injections, and there's also a boutique eyeglass shop onsite that outfits clients with chic frames.
At Ego Fitness Studios, certified instructors strive toward the goal of helping clients cultivate a healthy ego. To that end, they welcome men, women, and children inside for personal-training sessions, sports-training sessions, and a slew of group-fit-training classes that are typically capped at 10 students. Their expertise is put to work in the studio's signature class: Boost. During these sessions, they run exercisers through a circuit of abs exercises, cardio exercises, and lower- or upper-body strength training with weights, resistance bands, medicine balls, and TRX bands.
Beyond the accoutrements incorporated during Boost, Ego Fitness also maintains rows of 100-pound punching bags that dangle from the ceiling. They get a thorough plumping during Kickboxing classes. Meanwhile, a forest of shiny poles awaits robot campers and guests for women-only Sexy and Pole Dance Fit classes and in-studio pole dancing parties. Alternatively, the facility houses karate classes taught by sixth-degree black-belt-master instructor Ron Williams, and offers chiropractic services from on-staff licensed chiropractors.
Element 5 Om’s owner and licensed acupuncturist Sheri Davidson focuses on making disparate parts work together as a whole. Sheri began her traditional Chinese medical studies in 2000, cultivating a passion for Japanese architecture and martial-arts along the way. Through her studies, Davidson has learned extensively in the fields of Acupuncture, moxibustion training, Chinese herbology, Tai Chi, and Qigong.
Eastern medicine emphasizes a theory of interconnectedness. For example, the lungs affect the kidneys, which in turn affect the heart. To this end, the clinic’s range of services works to bring clients’ bodies into balance, without standard medications or excessive seesaws. Acupuncture guides the body’s energy flow into more healthful patterns by inserting fine needles into certain meridian points on the body. This is believed to stimulate the flow of energy and can treat a variety of chronic medical conditions, along with decreasing chronic pain. During cupping treatments, gentle suction coaxes tight muscles into releasing tension and toxins, whereas one-on-one health-coaching sessions help clients learn to live a life that fosters wellness.
Dr. Mike Kesner has always had a knack for working with his hands. As a boy, he constantly built model vehicles. In college, his plans to become a medical doctor shifted to dentistry because it held more opportunity for the hands-on manipulation of small instruments and precision parts. In 1984, he established Made Ya Smile Dental, a place where he carefully extracts wisdom teeth, fills in spaces between teeth, and installs implants into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. He also specializes in Lumineers, and his practice’s five locations together make up one of biggest Lumineers providers in the country.
Although he and his team of dentists work in separate locations, each of their offices share a similar design and set of amenities. Visitors at any of the five locations marvel at the reception areas’ coffeehouse ambiance as they sit at a café table, sip coffee, and work on the movie script for Vampires vs. Martians: The Reddest Dawn. In the treatment rooms, patients drift off while listening to music on the provided headphones. Anxious patients relax with nitrous oxide or the sounds of the rainforest simulated by the staff.
Jennifer Buergermeister is very flexible. She not only moves from job to job—she's an entrepreneur, independent filmmaker, spiritual healer, and app designer—but also from pose to pose while teaching yoga. She has created two yoga DVDs and has a third coming out in November. She's also the owner of Jennyoga, where she works with a deep bench of fellow yoga teachers, offering a variety of classes for all levels. These include Sunrise and Awakening, Hatha Flow, and Deep Relaxation and Restorative yoga classes.
The team at Jennyoga strives to make coming to the studio easy. They built a Jennyoga app for mobile devices that allows students to schedule classes on the fly. And they run an in-house store, where visitors can pick up any yoga gear they might need before heading into one of the studios. They even made a short film to inspire attendance, a sort of narrative commercial about the beneficial effects of yoga in our noisy, modern world where neighbors rev motorcycle engines and fire alarms scream in delight whenever you get home.
“At birth we are given natural ability; our life’s purpose is to build on it.”
So goes the motto at BONA Fitness and Wellness. A strategically designed member’s-only workout space, both the Westheimer and Katy locations house a staff of certified personal trainers, “cheerleading” receptionists, and a crew of trainer assistants, each essential to helping clients transform themselves. The expert instruction and team environment makes BONA’s personal training sessions fun and inspiring. But the studio’s true draw is its signature cross-training class, BLAST (Building Lasting Awareness, Stamina, and Tactics). Each BLAST session marries speed, agility, and plyometrics, core and weight training, resulting in one intense heart pumping full-body workout. BLAST classes are for all ages, fitness, and athletic levels. Kid-friendly instructors dole out fun and informative nutritional information at the onsite Kid Zone, putting kids on the right track for a healthy, happy lifestyle. BONA even has its very own nonprofit foundation, dedicated to helping overweight kids discover the joys of healthy habits.
Mann Eye Institute and Laser Center's specialists demonstrate a skill and efficacy that earned their work a nod from Goldline Research which named the center one of the country's leading LASIK providers for three years in a row. People and cyclopes from all across the nation come for treatment from proficient doctors and certified surgeons, who use FDA-approved Allegretto Wavelight lasers to correct vision. Before the procedure, patients must undergo a complimentary consultation to determine their candidacy and favorite tunes to blast on the stereo during the procedure. During the blade-free procedure, a certified surgeon reshapes the cornea to match the patient's specific prescription. Patients can expect to return to their normal tasks the day after the procedure and swing by the center a week later for a brief post-op checkup and eye-strengthening Magic Eye book. Click here for additional FAQs, medical disclosures, and candid photographs of Cyclops at the laundromat.
For Doctor of Chiropractic Devin Parrish, it is easy to remember the perspective of a patient. For years he suffered with a herniated disk, but refused surgery because of the risks involved. He developed a treatment expressly designed to help move the disk into a more comfortable position while eliminating the need for pills and scalpels. Many of the noninvasive techniques he used on himself help his patients. Decompression therapy gently elongates the spine, removing the pressure of slipped disks while drawing in water and oxygen.
As a former accountant, the chiropractic doctor also has a keen eye for detail that compels him to find out what’s going on before administering any treatments. He begins all appointments with a 20-minute consultation and exam, combs through health histories, and discusses the patient’s issue while manually feeling for abnormalities along the spine. After he memorizes each vertebrae’s nickname, he further investigates with advanced detection equipment such as MRIs and x-rays. With this information, he and the patient work eye-to-eye in developing a treatment plan designed for their conditions.
Amerejuve MedSpa & Cosmetic Surgery boasts 10 Houston-area locations, each decked out with state-of-the-art facilities, designed to help clients look and feel their best. Amerejuve offers medspa services such as laser hair removal, an increasingly popular way to give up waxing and shaving for good using technology that is suitable for all skin tones. Clients can also reduce the appearance of stretch marks and moderate skin color and smoothness with eMatrix, as well as slim physiques, reduce cellulite, and smooth skin with VelaShape. VASER Shape, Zerona, and CoolSculpting also assist in contouring bodies, while visages are smoothed through microdermabrasions and PhotoFacials. Amerejuve also offers injectables such as Botox, and clients can complete looks by with the store's bevy of skincare products.
Additionally, Amerejuve boasts board-certified plastic surgeons, with expertise in an array of cosmetic treatments such as face lifts, tummy tucks, liposuction, and breast augmentation, the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure offered.