Brenda Hayes honed her healing skills at Mississippi School of Therapeutic Massage before earning a massage therapy license in 2006. Ever since, she's been known for her deep-tissue massages—restorative treatments that target built-up muscle tension and chronic pain. But visitors to Magnificent Hands can also benefit from Hayes's other specialties: soothing hot-stone and relaxation massages designed to dissipate both physical and mental stress.
Instructor Paula Eure discovered Zumba for the first time on a chance trip to Atlanta with her friends. Infatuated after her first workout, Paula set to work earning her certification in the lively, Latin-inspired dance classes. Paula now leads up-tempo dance parties several days a week, and is certified to teach Zumba’s sub-styles that emphasize muscle toning and classes specifically designed for children and older participants.
It's quiet in Aqua the Day Spa. No cell phones or pagers are allowed to remain active in either of the two locations, so all you hear is your pulse slowing to a steady, soothing beat and the tiny noises made as expert hands open bottles of designer beauty products. Open since 1998, owners Susan and Ralph Barnette struck the right, Enya-like chord in 2003, when they first earned the title of Best Day Spa in the Jackson Free Press's annual "Best Of" roundup. The team of aestheticians and massage therapists have swept that title every year since, deflating the competition in proportion to lifting spirits. Paraben-free Skin Authority and scented Tokyomilk tonics nourish skin with vitamin-rich Moroccan clay and soothing mango, or exfoliate dead cells with bamboo salves scented with ylang-ylang. The staff's nimble hands blend these into custom treatments, including those to combat aging and the strange shadows creeping over men's skin, and work aromatherapeutic elixirs into muscles with nine different massage modalities. OPI and Shellac nail polish transform hands and feet into fashion accessories, a project helped along by smoothing wax.
• For $99, you get 20 units of Botox, which is usually enough to treat lines around the eyes and the frown line between the eyebrows (a $240 value). • For $50, you get an On-The-Go facial with microdermabrasion (a $100 value).
Licensed massage therapist LaTrisha Bailey oversees a team of relaxation experts that alleviates achiness with a suite of relaxing massage techniques. The Swedish massage unites friction-reducing oils with gentle strokes to help dexterous hands stimulate circulation, knead away stress, and search for tracking devices left by nosey neighbors. The deep-tissue massage relies on stronger strokes to untie the body’s deeply embedded knots. A variety of add-ons spice up massage sessions, stimulating noses with aromatherapy ($5 extra) or using hot stones to warm bodies after long hugs from attention-starved snowmen ($10 extra).
An usui reiki healer, locally trained and licensed therapist Adrienne Anthony restores inner and outer balance to the body. Deep-tissue and relaxation massages soothe stormy exterior muscles, and reiki sessions promote stress reduction and relaxation through the restoration of the body's energy flow. Adrienne also treats the energy escaping from meridian points of hand and feet through reflexology, applying direct pressure on specific points to spur change in specifically connected body areas. Almond and jojoba massage oils nourish and enliven skin during each session, turning blocked energy pathways into slip 'n' slides.