After earning the 2008 S. Roger Horchow Jefferson Award for public service, Edward Jagen opened Michaela's Grotto to provide holistic interventions that help visitors take responsibility for their health and emotional well-being. Jagen's resume reads like the definition of "Renaissance man": holder of a PhD in theology, a master magician, and a former Major Crimes Special Investigator for the Washington D.C. Police. While combating organized crime against mailboxes on the force, Jagen honed his abilities to read people, a skill he combines with a mode of communication called neuro-linguistic reasoning to help his patients recognize patterns in their thoughts and actions. The center is co-owned by massage therapist and medical intuitive Sophia West, who prefers to work in conjunction with her clients' physicians to pick up where Western medicine has proved ineffective. A nutritionist and a hypnotherapist round out the staff and reinforce the center's emphasis on the interconnectedness of mental and physical health.
The heart of the center is an outdoor labyrinth built to channel a positive energy through passageways that burst forth with flowering plants and choruses of Muppets in the summer. Meditation gardens stretch out beyond the labyrinth in a loose network of tranquil pools, sunlit walks, and a gazebo overlooking the center's medieval-castle-style architecture. Inside, a 375-foot sweat lodge and a warm mineral pool soothe visitors with heat, and a shop filled with aromatherapy products and crystals enables them to take home healing tokens of their journey.
For more than 18 years, the technicians of Elegant Nails Hair and Skincare have invited customers to relax and become guests within a tranquil, soothing environment. Customers can bask in silence, peaceful music, or an orchestra of cicadas, as technicians use hot oil, paraffin wax, or gel polishes to pamper hands, toes, and nails. Facial treatments refresh faces with deep cleanses and mineral masks, and waxing and threading services remove unwanted hair. Other services available include henna art, body wraps, and ionic footbaths.
An oasis is a retreat from the everyday, a safe haven from stress and negativity. The therapists at Enomis Oasis Spa strive to cultivate a similarly serene environment and invite their clients to enjoy pampering treatments in a state of complete relaxation. Detoxification services, such as colonics, ionic footbaths, and steam baths, work to deport impurities from this republic of respite, whereas acupuncture, reiki, and reflexology help keep energy levels balanced.
For nearly a decade, certified aesthetician Grisel Peguero has turned to the bottom of the ocean to foster healthy, glowing complexions. But rather than relying on the skin-sloughing properties of suckerfish, she looks to seaweed and mud: two ingredients that make an appearance during her restorative facials and detoxifying body wraps. Grisel also employs hot paraffin wax to naturally hydrate the skin, as well as essential oils—derived from Mother Nature's personal garden—to ease tension and aches during aromatherapy massages.
Angel’s Touch Skincare and Wellness's multidisciplinary team of aestheticians rejuvenate weary bodies with a full menu of customized organic facials, massage therapies, and herbal body wraps. The aesthetic services employ organic skincare products made in small batches from handpicked fruits, vegetables, and herbs, vivifying the skin with natural nutrients. The staff also offers alternative wellness services such as reflexology, acupuncture, and ear candling, which bring repose to the mind and the insides of ears. To give newly minted auras of beauty a firmer foundation, daily Zumba dance-fitness sessions strengthen core muscles and burn calories in fun, yet intense, one-hour spurts.