Ani Miryala started learning ancient-Indian skincare techniques at an age when most people think "acne" is the misspelling of a Road-Runner plot. Surrounded by uncles who were practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine, Miryala immersed herself in the noninvasive organic methods taught at the family beauty school, eventually opening a spa with her three sisters. As Kate Hamilton of Skin Inc. magazine reported in 2008, Miryala now owns one of the largest female-operated companies in southern India and has brought time-honored Indian traditions to the United States at Anoo's Herbal Day Spa and a dozen other locations worldwide.
The aesthetician and published author has amassed a team of licensed specialists that rejuvenates minds and bodies with chemical-free treatments. Hair-removal technicians refine 80–120 eyebrows per day with signature threading services, leaving behind more clearly defined arches than a freshly poured sidewalk. Pesticide-free fruits and vegetables nourish skin during Indian facials, and natural peels and herbal-microdermabrasion techniques leave faces smooth and glowing. To combat stress, the crew massages muscles with an ancient herbal-wheat-dough method that turns muscles into soft, buttery loaves of relaxation.
Owner and experienced massage therapist Michael Church organizes his business around the belief that the difference between giving a good massage and a great massage is “asking the right questions and customizing [the massage] to the customer’s needs.” His therapists begin each new-client relationship with a review of the client’s grievances, lifestyle habits, and professional wrestling history, and then they check in with their patients throughout each treatment to better understand where to focus pressure.
Each massage style is priced the same, freeing people to mix and match modalities such as deep tissue, Swedish, and trigger point within single sessions. The therapists also add hot stones to massages, and the team plans to grow its repertoire of treatments that utilize healing laser and light therapies.
Upon arrival at the cozy studio, which resembles a living room with antique furniture and a painting that represents the four elements, patrons can snack on a complimentary chocolate or mints from the front desk. Soothing instrumental music is piped throughout the space, although patrons can control the volume from their individual rooms.
At Giggles Kids Salon, pint-sized clients ease into barber's chairs shaped like airplanes, trains, and cars. Nearby, other kids sit on bright orange couches and footstools that resemble building blocks, waiting to be summoned by their stylists. The kindergarten-like milieu was designed by owners John Tsapakas, a roofer, and his wife, Stefanie, a teacher, to be a welcoming, stress-free setting for both boys and girls.
Walk-in customers select from a menu of services as comprehensive as an adult spa salon’s. The kindly stylists can perform daring feats of hairstyling (often it's a first haircut), spangle appendages with mani-pedis, or pierce ears before distributing candy, stickers, and balloons. Also like adult spas, Giggles also offers themed-party packages that pair celebration with beauty pampering.
The aroma of jasmine, lavender, and tea rose essential oils fills the air at Nadege Nails & Salon as technicians buff nails and push back cuticles with their gleaming tools. In addition to crowning digits with acrylic and gel nails, technicians smooth rough skin with banana oil and coconut scrubs during deluxe manicures and pedicures. Orange and white fabric draped between pedicure chairs, bright vases of gerbera daisies, and butterfly wall accents complement the colorful polishes and bright scents wafting through the salon. Facial- and body-waxing services are also packed with aroma enhancements, such as milk chocolate, brazilian nut, and espresso, which leave skin soft and encourage nibbles from wild Keebler elves.
Dr. Armando Pineda-Velez, the medical spa's captain, uses his 30-plus years of experience to help men and women combat Father Time with an assortment of anti-aging and weight-loss services. Dr. Pineda-Velez has trotted across the globe, learning and practicing numerous types of medicine including nuclear, internal, cosmetic, oncological, and naturopathic. Dr. Pineda-Velez's certified medical staff can speak English, Spanish, and Portuguese, which helps them better explain the benefits of Changing Time Medical Spa's brand-name products and why the sky is blue.
Varicose and spider veins quake in fear when they see board-certified physician Dr. Steven Schaeffer approach with a syringe full of sclerosant and a take-no-prisoners attitude. Beforehand, patients undergo a free consultation to determine if their appendages are good candidates for the treatments and to check if veins are severe enough to warrant the ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. Varicose and spider veins are a chronic, recurring condition that can only be cured by sliding down a giant waterspout, so the doctor does his best to attack them as they arise.