As a native of Trinidad, Marcia M. Speer lives and breathes the serenity of the islands. Her grandfather made a living as a healer there, and he eventually passed down his gift for touch. Marcia called on this gift again and again while attending the Southeastern School of Neuromuscular & Massage Therapy and finally opening My Island Touch, where she draws on her family traditions—as well as her experience as a nursing assistant and an EMT—to nurture her clients' minds, bodies, and souls with massage. She employs Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone techniques to help boost circulation and soften overused muscles. She also calls on marjoram to soothe headaches, lavender to ease anxiety, and romantic comedies to loosen tense tear ducts.
Tina Sewell, the licensed massage and bodywork therapist who helms Spa Bliss, channels the relaxing vibe of Hawaii with soothing strokes from around the world. After graduating from the Atlanta School of Massage, she honed her skills in a chiropractor's office in Maui. Here, she developed expertise in lomilomi, a Hawaiian massage technique that involves manipulating sore muscles with the hands and forearms. Like many of her services, lomilomi can ease physical tension while dissolving emotional stress and undigested fudgesicles. Tina also specializes in neuromuscular therapy, a blend of deep-tissue massage, trigger-point therapy, and Japanese shiatsu techniques that can decrease the chronic pain and stiffness caused by musculoskeletal disorders, tennis elbow, carpal-tunnel syndrome, and TMJ.
Garo Megherian—owner of Balance By Touch Massage & Rehabilitation—along with eight other massage therapists, assesses posture and pain before beginning any treatment. The knowledge gleaned from their analysis allows them to craft custom massages that address each client's unique ailments and goals. White molding and pictures of various muscle groups accent the basil-green walls of the private and couples' massage rooms, which conceal their simple massage tables with blue blankets. As therapists kneads tense muscles, they employ modalities such as Swedish massage, neuromuscular therapy, and reiki. The treatments can curb anxiety and improve sleep, unlike portraits of clowns with eyes that follow one around the room.
True to their name, the folks at Bambù Organic Massage use 100% organic oils and lotions, which are free of parabens and propylene glycol, to guide each and every one of their relaxing and therapeutic massages. Jeffrey Paul Schafer and the six other nationally certified massage therapists specialize in their own brand of bodywork, including time-tested standbys such as Swedish and deep-tissue, but all share a desire to work out stress and muscle kinks and can combine modalities to induce mind-body harmony. The versatile menu of massages also goes beyond the basics to include exotic treatments such as reiki and bamboo massage, which augments deep muscular work with warm bamboo stalks to soothe tense muscles and lure away any pandas sitting on the spine.
Mounted over the repurposed home's entrance, a large American flag patriotically waves above a vibrant floral bed and pillared porch. However, after walking through the bright-red front door, guests discover a European-inspired spa staffed by skilled and licensed stylists, aestheticians, massage therapists, and nail technicians. Using exclusive skin- and haircare products—by brands including Pevonia Botanica and Bumble and bumble—Carmel Day Spa & Salon's specialists pamper guests with services ranging from haircuts to facials to massages. Sleek monochrome furniture and fixtures populate the salon area and treatment rooms, whose walls feature various pieces of art used to conceal wall safes filled with Monopoly money.
At Day Break Massage & Wellness, therapists and aestheticians hope that time spent in their center is like hitting the pause button on a hectic day for clients. They start that process by talking to their clients and understanding their skin and body concerns before any procedure begins. At massage visits, personal goals may including stress reduction, muscle recovery, or improving flexibility. Aestheticians are also on hand to provide restorative spa services that include deep-cleansing facials, hydrating skin treatments, and body wraps that exfoliate better than falling asleep on the beach.