In some ways, Melanie Dowell is still living out the effects of the car accident she was in when she was 11 years old. When pain from the accident persisted, her parents took her to a holistic health center, where she was able to experience the healing benefits of massage firsthand—thus cementing her faith in bodywork. At Melanie's Barefoot Bodyworks, she gives her clients the same experience; her massages alleviate the pain and tension that result from accidents, sports injuries, or pushing nerds into broom closets. She also performs body treatments that use herbs and flowers to treat skin. For instance, the lavender body treatment combines lavender, cornmeal, and essential oils of ginger and eucalyptus to regenerate cells and relax respiratory tightness, and the Hot Toddy for the Body warms skin with a cornmeal scrub, cloves, and cinnamon before a massage with orange oil reduces tension.
A graduate of the Body Therapy Institute, Body Balance Spa owner and certified massage therapist Carrie Boucher recalibrates bodies and relieves raw muscles with a range of targeted massage services. A treatment designed to promote overall wellness and a lifelong love of gravlax, the lighter-touch Swedish massage concentrates on calming the muscle system, improving circulation, and promoting relaxation to a middle-management rank. Athletes can lengthen long jumps and lower limbo poles by keeping individual muscles working more efficiently thanks to a myofascial––or deep-tissue––massage. A slower paced massage, this technique spotlights the connective tissues surrounding the muscles, releasing tension, eliminating adhesions between muscle groups, and disseminating deep feelings of relaxation. Helpful for clients suffering from hypertension, anxiety, insomnia, or muscle pain, integrative reflexology massage works by stimulating reflex areas in the hands and feet, which correspond to every part of the body, including the organs, glands, and the brain's staff of daydream writers. This type of massage also boosts lymphatic, nerve, and blood circulation and whittles away muscular tension in the neck, shoulders, elbows, hip, sciatic area, and back.
Certified massage therapist Kirsten J. Mills employs a myriad of massage modalities to help sooth both physical and emotional tension. 60- and 90-minute sessions integrate Swedish, deep-tissue, and shiatsu styles to help soothe tightly wound muscles and prepare backs for future careers supporting human pyramids. Kirsten employs a variety of massage techniques, from basic strokes to rocking movements to applying pressure on specific parts of the body. The massage helps muscle-mendees experience improved circulation, joint flexibility, and stress and fatigue relief.
Massage therapists Thea Vincenti and Toné Dancy believe happiness is integrally related to physical health, and so they have dedicated their lives to fine-tuning their clients' bodies. To this end, each is versed a type of holistic exercise that augments knowledge of anatomy and physiology learned through massage.
Vincenti graduated from Blue Ridge School of Massage and Yoga in 2004, following up her degree with 200 hours of yoga-teacher training in Ashtanga and Hatha styles. Dancy studied at the Ancestral Mountain Tuina School in Floyd, Virginia, to specialize in bodywork influenced by classical Chinese medicine. This practice works in tandem with his continuous study of qi gong and martial arts, which emphasize self-reflection and directing energy flows, as well as mastering challenging choreography from Beyoncé videos.
Tucked in the New River Valley away from the stresses of everyday life, Yellow Sulphur Springs Healing Spa offers an oasis where beleaguered bodies and weary minds can be refreshed and rejuvenated. A licensed team performs an array of healing services, including acupuncture, massage, facials, and private yoga instruction. After treatments, visitors are encouraged to stick around and stroll the grounds, meander along the winding creek, or pause at the pond to recite Shakespearean sonnets to swimming goldfish.
At Body Wrap 360, clients emerge not only more relaxed, but also feeling sleeker and slimmer. They lie on massage tables as their skin absorbs the minerals from an all-natural solution, while warm blankets help the solution penetrate pores better than asking the client to chant "open sesame" during sessions. Massages also usher clients toward relaxation, and infrared-sauna sessions help with the reduction of cellulite and toxins in systems.