Like any good teacher, style director and salon owner Shelley Hutchinson believes you are never done learning. Her 14 years as a cosmetologist have led her to oversee a staff of hairstylists, aestheticians, and massage therapists, all of whom continue to hone their skills through educational seminars. As they absorb new techniques, they graduate on a track from apprentice to senior stylist, having chosen a major in either scissor biology or beehive keeping. Shelley herself attends international trade shows to keep up with the world's aesthetic tastes, adapting her knowledge of cuts and colors to make the most of the salon's partnership with Goldwell.
Inside Shelley's beautification venue, sunlight illuminates fixtures inspired by the natural world. Potted trees, floral arrangements, and bamboo window shades complement the earth-toned walls of private spa and public styling areas. The services also draw from nature: guests can warm their feet during the Tranquil Earth pedicure featuring hot rocks, or they can nourish their features with an enzyme peel's pineapple and papaya extracts.
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Bethlehem Massage's practitioners blend western massage techniques with eastern practices to promote balance and harmony in their clients. First visits typically begin with a consultation, during which a licensed therapist takes the time to understand individuals' medical histories and motivations for visiting. They draw from a buffet of services such as Swedish massage and hyper-specific doctor's-orders massage, before lavishing clients with focused bodywork that rewards the muscles for automatically flexing when photographed by traffic cameras. The facility's in-house acupuncturist also stands ready to target afflictions with a 4,000-year-old Chinese practice.
Presumably tired of standing, sore of foot and back, Dustin Campbell first found his way into a massage chair at a concert. Fifteen minutes later, he knew he wanted to be a massage therapist. With barely a backward glance, he plunged into a 1,020-hour massage-therapy certification program that covered four modalities, basic sciences, medical skills, and business practices. He came out the other end Dustin Campbell, Licensed Massage Therapist, and started his own business, The Bears Massage. Today, he continues to explore and study the world of natural healing as he plies his trade on Albany's sore backs.
Kyle Lynn Felton, a licensed massage therapist, cossets clients with an array of sinew-softening modalities. During Swedish-massage sessions, Kyle combines long and gentle strokes, vibration, tapping, and kneading to detangle muscles that are tightly wound around swallowed happy-meal toys. Sports massage methods tenderize tense muscles to alleviate and prevent athletic injuries, and deep-tissue sessions feature more focused pressure to realign buried connective tissues and discipline sources of chronic pain. Kyle uses precise finger and palm pressures to combat emotional and physical tension during each shiatsu massage, and recites lines from her favorite House, M.D. episodes during medical massages.
The licensed massage therapist at A True North Massage mollycoddles muscle fibers in a one-hour massage designed to release tension and pent-up stress. A deep-tissue massage delves deep into the sinews to flush out toxins and work out muscle knots before rearranging them into animal origami, while a Swedish massage uses long, smooth strokes to stimulate the nervous system and promote relaxation. The massage therapist can knead athletic flesh in a specific area, such as a runner's tight hamstring or a bowler's sore thumb, providing specialized attention with a sports massage, while moms-to-be can enjoy a gentle pregnancy massage targeting aching muscles. Although not included in the Groupon, other services are available for an additional fee.