Melisa Gibbs became a massage therapist in 2010 to help people achieve wellness through natural methods, rather than by endlessly popping painkillers. "I'd like to help relieve [pain], rather than covering it up with medicine," she says. When her clients arrive at New Beginnings Massage Therapy, she ushers them into a private space for soothing relaxation massages, also known as Swedish massages, which help them de-stress after putting up with a cranky boss at work or a malfunctioning cuckoo clock at home. Melisa says clients who've been having issues often experience a greater range of motion after her deep-tissue massages, which are aimed at banishing chronic aches. She's also able to aid those with medical issues including carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches.
Plush leather couches and chairs placed amid comforting earth tones characterize the lodge-like environment at Signature Male, a spa designed for men of all ages. Complimentary servings of beer and wine flow into glasses as men enjoy barbershop services from experienced stylists and massages from skilled therapists. In teaming up with Dr. Robert Reese, a physician certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, the staff uses various treatments to help clients combat hair loss.
Unlike most spas, there are usually at least three people in the room during massages at Achieving Inner Peace. This is because owner and massage therapist Karmen Buchhop specializes in prenatal and postnatal massages, couples massages, and extra indulgent four-hands massages. During each couples massage, Buchhop and a fellow massage therapist simultaneously work on clients, who can chat, hold hands, or see who has the most believable sleeping face as they sink deep into a relaxed state. Alternatively, two therapists can devote all their time and healing kneads to one person during a four-handed massage, which is designed for those who find it hard to relax during bodywork sessions. Finally, during the prenatal massage, Buchhop can help relieve the fatigue, stress, and aches of pregnancy with gentler strokes that keep both mother and child healthy and comfortable. But no matter what technique Buchhop employs, she always discusses lotion, oil, and cream preferences during premassage consultations, so every massage is tailored to a client's needs and desires.
Tucked right off of Hickman Road, Kreative Styles stands ready to welcome locks and their owners. Led by a stylist with over a decade of experience, the salon's team creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, chatting amiably as they rifle through mirror-side cabinets stocked with professional-grade products and hopeful scissor understudies. They imbue locks with rich color and eye-catching highlights, tame flyaways with smoothing treatments, and rid the skin of unwanted hairs in quick waxing sessions.
Ames Racquet & Fitness Center helps shrink beer bellies and wine waists with a convoy of cardio machines, strength-training equipment, expert trainers, and group classes. Bright, open reception areas welcome doomed calories, which cower in fear of the lineup of treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes, and noodle-like biceps morph into bulging bastions of brawn on free-weight systems. The one-month membership also gives fitnessmongers access to a full-length pool at the North location, which accommodates fat-banishing underwater three-legged races, as well as tennis courts at the South location. Additionally, patrons get access to more than 90 weekly group classes. Brightly lit, mirrored studios play host during the calming yoga-Pilates fusion Group Centergy, while Power Aqua breaks sweats without aggravating joints in the pool.
Cindy Larson, the massage therapist behind Total Relaxation, has relieved aching bodies with a variety of hands-on techniques since 1997, including at the Special Olympics in 2006 and at Iowa State University's dance marathon in 2009. At her practice, she discusses the ins and outs of different massage modalities with clients before sessions, helping them choose the most beneficial one for them. Relaxing Swedish massages alleviate tension with light pressure, whereas trigger-point and muscle-release techniques work to unclench tense muscles and constricted fascia. Cindy specializes in relieving hip, back, and shoulder pain, as well as headaches and pain associated with plantar fasciitis.