Specialists at Northwest Anti-Aging & Wellness Center administer holistic health care and careful aesthetic treatments within a suite of four pristine treatment rooms. Twenty units of Botox smooth out wrinkles through a sequence of muscle-firming injections that counteract the effects of loose skin and over-long Brian Dennehy-impersonations. Alternatively, the painless VI-Peel treatment softens lines and wrinkles with a carefully concocted chemical solution, improving skin tone and texture. Each treatment takes roughly 20 minutes, during which the caring staff will put you at ease by answering any questions that arise or by playfully tickling you with a wisp of raccoon fur.
UV rays gently warm skin, which is already luxuriously saturated in products from Hempz or Black Orchid. Music plays softly in the background as cooling fans send a soft chill into Sunshine-brand or quick-bronzing tanning beds. Clients emerge from their 15- to 20-minute beach-like vacation slightly darker than when they went in, ready to refresh themselves in front of a mirror using complimentary deodorant and wipes. Aside from indoor UV tanning, clients at the salon can increase their circulation and detoxify their bodies inside a far-infrared sauna or continue to decorate their skin with rockabilly jewelry from Box Wine Betty.
In a private treatment room at The Spa at 22 Changes—a 5,000 square-foot salon and spa retreat—a massage therapist kneads, rolls, and taps bamboo sticks across a client's back during a bamboo massage, relieving tension and checking to see which parts of the spine work best as a xylophone. Among other soothing services, infrared-sauna treatments help guests detoxify, ease stress and pain, and boost circulation. The aestheticians on staff perform waxing and facials, while manicures, pedicures, and hair services are also available.
Pale skin tones enter Bronze Betty Tanning, only to re-emerge as glowing and beach-ready after putting in time with a King Bravo tanning bed. The salon pairs guests with a board-certified tanning consultant, who walks them through the experience, and together they decide what level of tanning would be appropriate. Airbrush tanning is also an option. In addition to imparting glowing copper skin, the salon helps guests perspire away toxins in the far-infrared sauna that uses heat to spike metabolisms and flush away impurities during a session that takes 30 minutes, like dream-world high school. Bronze Betty Tanning also offers teeth-whitening sessions where clients can make their smile brighter in as little as 15 minutes.
As an aesthetician with more than 20 years of experience and a former chemist with Christian Dior, Helene Lawless knows a thing or two about skincare. The French native opened Be Smooth after growing tired of lengthy spa visits that left a dent in her own wallet. She decided to offer affordable treatments with products and equipment that she has found to be effective over her years as an aesthetician and spa-goer. As a result, she and her team nourish skin using the with organic plant extracts in the Pevonia Botanica line, natural Nuxe products, and Shea Terra Organics with fair-trade shea butters and argan oils. Lawless has also tracked down innovative aesthetic techniques such as VIP Complex's infrared and microcurrent treatments, IPL photofacials with light heat energy (LHE), and hair removal with the gel-based Depilar System.
Lawless prides herself not only on the budget-friendliness of her services, but also on the unintimidating “non-spa” ambience of her beauty haven. Guests relax at a white-on-white facial bar for a deep cleansing, and a boutique area offers European-style gifts such as fragrant Aquiesse soy candles and jewelry by Miravidi and Caracol. According to a 2011 article in the Oregonian, "even the music that can be heard from the front door is French." Just as charming is Lawless' French accent, which, like a lullaby sung by a lemur, is both soothing and exotic.
Owner Dr. Ryan Minarik is just one of three naturopathic physicians at Elixia Wellness Group, and one of four licensed acupuncturists. As if that wasn't enough expertise, his staff also includes practitioners of Chinese medicine, a chiropractic doctor and yoga teacher, massage therapists, and even a skin technician. With such healers backing him up, Dr. Minarik tackles maladies of all shapes and sizes using a holistic approach that revolves around the individual. Each treatment takes the patient's history into account, as well as factors such as genetics, before tracking down the root cause of issues instead of just medicating symptoms. Once the practitioners have pinpointed the problem, they can assemble a plan of attack using their multiple fields of expertise.
Although Elixia Wellness Group's treatment philosophy stretches back centuries, it keeps an eye on the ever-changing landscape of healing technology. Recently, Dr. Minarik has begun stimulating postinjury healing with platelet-rich-plasma injections. The contemporary method separates platelets—treasure troves of potential regeneration—from the patient’s own blood before returning them to the circulatory stream at the point where torn tendons or arthritis cause pain.