When Michelle Paris moved from Ohio to San Francisco, it was like entering a new world. A student of both opera and business, she saw the move as a chance to break out of her comfort zone. There, according to her website, she "hugged a tree and bought granola . . . and went to visit a chiropractor." Four visits later, her chronic migraines were gone. When it dawned on her that it had been months since she'd taken the pain-relief pills she was so accustomed to swallowing, she decided to go to medical school.
While volunteering at a hospital, Michelle noticed that prescription drugs were thrown at nearly every ailment, but she didn't want to foist drugs on people if there was another, more natural solution. So she enrolled at Life Chiropractic College West, where she graduated at the top of her class. Since then, this doctor of chiropractic has not only helped more than 3,500 patients back to healthy lifestyles, she's also stayed abreast of the latest healing techniques. For instance, she's become certified in the Graston technique—a method of rehabilitation that helps soft tissue heal after injuries caused by traumatic accidents or time spent operating a rickshaw for sumo wrestlers.
Aesthetician Annette Chavez removes unwanted body and facial hair with warm wax and a sugaring blend. She uses natural and organic products during facials that alleviate acne and sop up excess oil. Some of her facial add-ons include hot herbal towels and an organic lip treatment crafted from fruit enzymes, shea butter, avocado oil, and sunflower-seed oil.
For nearly two decades, Sara Illig explored psychology, bodywork, and energy manipulation before finally encountering quantum medicine, which can act as a bridge between physical biology and the metaphysical experience. As a licensed massage therapist, she addresses physical ailments with traditional techniques such as Swedish massage, myofascial release, and cupping. But these days, she also probes the cognitive depths with emotional-freedom techniques, which soothe acupuncture points with light tapping motions in lieu of fine needles or finely whittled cocktail swords. By addressing both the body and the mind, Sara helps assuage headaches, posttraumatic stress disorder, and grief as her clients discover overall balance.
At Turtle Dragon Health Services, four licensed practitioners apply their healing hands to guests while administering traditional Chinese medicine. In addition to providing acupuncture, the clinic also sells tea, feng shui supplies, and Asian antiquities. Turtle Dragon also stocks a veritable bounty of Chinese medicine, such as 600 types of raw herbs, 300 kinds of patented herbal formulas, and three boxes full of the sound of one hand clapping.
It begins with a thorough consultation. Each visitor to Amity Green Room first sits with one of the massage therapists, discussing any aches, pains, injuries, or persistent ailments. Based on findings, the therapist then selects from six modalities to address issues such as stress and sports-related injuries. The office also offers scrubs of the back or feet, as well as aromatherapy.
AllWell Alliance's fleet of facilities pampers visitors with a cornucopia of services that includes holistic wellness sessions, fitness classes, and beautifying treatments. Though pricing varies depending on location, guests can ditch shaggy locks or parched skin with various salon and spa services ($8–$300) or begin working on their realistic hourglass costume for next Halloween with body-contouring sessions ($50–$350). Personal training and fitness classes ($15–$300)—such as yoga, boot camp, kickboxing, and Zumba—help ignite calorie bonfires that are then doused by muscle-rewarding massages ($40–$150). In addition, All Well Alliance directs torsos toward chiropractors ($25–$60/visit), acupuncturists ($25–$60/visit) and mental-health professionals for counseling or hypnosis ($50+/visit).