A 13-year military veteran who then became a police officer and, after that, retail and corporate security, Darryl Griffith should be entitled to a lifetime of massages. But instead of lying on the table and reaping his reward, he took up the craft and began treating others. For the last ten years, Just the Right Touch's master massage therapist has been doling out Swedish, deep-tissue, and oncology massages with the same commitment to serving others that he upheld in his previous careers. Darryl's mission is to help improve the quality of his clients' lives by administering massages accompanied by Aromaplex oils, which guide his trained hands as he soothes tense muscles and helps bring relief to those suffering from sickness or injury. As a massage educator, he also teaches the craft to aspiring bodyworkers, and further fosters healthy living by offering wellness consultations.
At Find Your Escape Massage, clients are ushered into a relaxing state of mind as aches and pains are removed from their bodies during 30-, 45-, 60-, and 90-minute massage sessions. The long, flowing strokes of a Swedish massage target joint stiffness and painful areas, such as achy backs and arms that have braided themselves together. Deep-tissue sessions apply firmer pressure to the body, aiming to release knots deep within the underlying muscles. Hot stones can also be incorporated into a massage treatment, allowing tension to fade away as the heat penetrates the muscles and relaxes clients who can’t leave the house without taking their prized anvil along.
The bodywork experts at Sahm Massage & Lashes are trained not only in classic Swedish techniques, but also in four-handed massage, Thai massage, and warm oil massage. They also hone in on specific body parts with add-on scalp massages and exfoliating back scrubs or pamper mothers-to-be with prenatal massages. Meanwhile, the lash artists on staff adorn lids with professional NovaLash extensions or temporary strips, adding length and drama to every wink, blink, or glimpse through a telescope.
Wielding years of practice and an arsenal of Pureology products, Breathe Salon’s quartet of stylists transforms men’s and women’s hair into chic coiffures. After a brief consultation, the shampoo-and-style pampering package begins with a sudsy shampooing to clear locks of dirt, oil, and discarded gum. Stylists seal in new fashions by running flat irons through manes or by aiming yawning blow-dryers at them. Alternatively, scissors snip away overgrowth during a men’s or women’s haircut that begins with a consultation to discuss style preferences. After washing tresses, mane maestros orchestrate strands into a style that harmonizes with clients' personality like a mockingbird harmonizes with a referee's whistle.
For the past decade, A Better U Massage has been extracting stress from tense shoulders through a relaxing array of services. Soak away the worries that have lodged themselves in the nooks of your joints and the crooks of your connective tissues with a Swedish massage ($30 for 30 minutes, $60 for 60 minutes). Or dig further into back caverns with the therapeutic massage (add $10), which delivers deep pressure to de-stiff necks, backs, and shoulders. Top a Swedish massage with aromatherapy (add $10), which delivers a bouquet of soothing, therapeutic scents. A Better U also bestows softness on mitts with a paraffin-wax hand treatment that exfoliates and moisturizes ($15), cleanses feet with sea salt and clay ($20), and unfurrows brows with a cleansing facial massage ($30).
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.