Behind the gables and pebbledash walls of the renovated Belvedere building, a beautifying crew prettifies and relaxes physiques among displays of local artwork. Originally built in 1905 for Asheville luminary Captain Thomas D. Johnston, the historic structure is now home to luxurious treatments ranging from hot-stone massages and customized facials to airbrush tanning and waxing services.
White Sage's Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist Jessica Hedrick, tailors massages with various techniques to restore frazzled bodies to a calm respite. During each 60- or 75-minute session, a therapist lithely dances all ten fingers across backs, deploying the long strokes of a Swedish massage and the diving plunges of a deep-tissue rubdown. An arsenal of myofascial methods soothes injured soft tissue, and cranial-sacral therapy indulges necks. After the tissue tenderizing treatment, patients can revel in a relaxed state, free from the effects of physical and emotional stresses such as hectic work schedules or piggyback carpools.
The roster of high-quality salon and beauty products used at Adorn Salon and Boutique includes Schwarzkopf Professional Products, Punky Colour, Bröö Craft Beer Body & Haircare, and Mineral Fusion Cosmetics. The lineup of stylists, nail technicians, and aestheticians is equally impressive. They include aesthetician Holly Morrison, who was named the best aesthetician in the Mountain Xpress Best of WNC 2012 reader's poll. Typical salon services, such as cuts, coloring, and nail care, are offered alongside more unique treatments including dreadlock maintenance, custom facials, and brow and lash tinting.
As visitors to Spa Theology slip into plush robes and slippers and nibble organic treats in the relaxation lounge, stress falls away—so does the rest of the outside world. Evoking a secluded country farmhouse perpetually filled with warm, late-afternoon light and truckloads of all-organic crops, the spa spirits guests away to a realm of rough brick walls, creamy curtains, and recessed nooks glowing with tea lights. Once pamperees have reached at least a level eight on the ahhmeter, they're ushered into a treatment room to be plied with only botanically-based, paraben-free salves. Treatments can also be tweaked to include soul-relaxing Polynesian rituals or Reiki energy healing.
The licensed massage therapists at Asheville Massage and Natural Therapeutics promote full-body well-being with proficiencies in numerous types of bodywork and energy-healing methods. Their treatments, like putting jeans in the dryer while still wearing them, can help stimulate circulation and make the stresses of the outside world seem all the more distant. They excel in multiple modalities, from deep-tissue and hot-stone treatments to holistic reflexology sessions. On top of offering therapeutic massages, the center, which is located in a historic flatiron building, helps promote healing with craniosacral, polarity, and chakra therapies.
A graduate of the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration, Mark Read-Smith continues the work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf, a biochemist whose research led her to believe that the body functions best when properly aligned. During his sessions, Mark studies each client’s alignment, considering the origins of each imbalance. Impeded mobility in the arms, for example, might originate in fascia tightness in the lower back, leading to compression in the shoulders that in turn dulls nerve communication to the arms. Sessions can be done individually or as part of The Basic 10 Series, a treatment program developed by Dr. Rolf for the complete restoration of bodily alignment. An FAQ page answers common questions such as, “How is it different than massage?” and, “I’m a caveman who just unthawed—is Rolfing right for me?” Click here for a video of Mark Read-Smith explaining the benefits of rolfing.
Holistic Renaissance woman Vicky J. Oxner is a massage therapist, bodywork professional with energy-healing experience, and a yoga teacher. This medley of skills fits Oxner's philosophy: a blend of ancient knowledge and contemporary medicine can help prevent illness. Her prevention-based approach is especially evident in the meditation, prayer, and conscious-breathing sessions she leads. Not only does Vicky offer massages, yoga training, and chakra-adjusting treatments, but she also organizes wellness trips, such as women's retreats to the Blue Ridge Mountains.