A good spa will transport its guests to a time and place where everyday stresses are forgotten. American Image Salon & Spa can take you to a rainforest waterfall, for example—its monsoon massage sends the gentle mist of a Vichy shower cascading onto backs and shoulders. If you'd prefer a steamier setting, opt for the hot-stone massage, during which a therapist banishes tension with kneads and strategically placed lava rocks. There are also packages that provide even longer, more luxurious escapes, such as the 6.5-hour Day of Beauty: a Clarisonic facial, massage, mani-pedi, shampoo, makeup application, and lunch.
Sometimes, however, a visit to the spa or salon is a quick reward in the middle of the day. That's why the staff here administers most of the standard treatments for the hair, nails, and body. Stylists trim new 'dos and flatten frizz with Chi Enviro smoothing formulas, or nourish the skin with specialized facials. Manicures might feature add-ons from a seaweed mask to a layer of eco-paraffin, a more environmentally friendly way to soften the hands than by wrapping them in live ferrets. Gentlemen are hardly neglected, either. Their services include haircuts as well as mustache- and beard-tinting.
In 2004, Rhonda Larkins underwent a lumbar laminectomy to fix a herniated disc, an injury she obtained while working as a package handler. Even after the surgery, she was left with pain and a lingering numbness in her left leg. Though physical therapy helped, she noticed that she felt particularly good after getting a massage. This observation led her to study Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy?a type of massage in which the practitioner uses bare feet to deliver flowing, effleurage strokes?under the practice?s founder, Ruthie Piper Hardee. Rhonda is currently on the mastery level of this modality.
At Prolong Symmetry, Rhonda and her team of licensed massage therapists specialize in more than 10 types of massage. Services range from more traditional Swedish and deep-tissue massages to Hawaiian lomi-lomi, an ancient healing practice during which therapists stimulate the body?s pressure points with their thumbs, elbows, and thoughts on early Dada filmmaking.
Todd Beckman founded MassageLuXe with the notion that five-star service should not be limited to pricey hotels. Today, the spa's team of massage therapists and aestheticians continues to realize and build upon Todd's initial aspirations. A spa day at MassageLuXe includes all the perks one might expect from a vacation resort, from facials and massages to full-body waxing and baths in warm, effervescent champagne. The company's services tend to exceed expectations in other ways, too; along with standard massages such as Swedish and deep tissue, therapists are proficient in specialty modalities such as bio-mat, reflexology, and aromatherapy.
Bella Gente Salon hosts an eclectic staff of hairstylists, nail technicians, aestheticians, and massage therapists. These beauty experts transform bodies from the ground up, crafting new haircuts, adding flair to tresses with color treatments, shrinking pores, and relaxing tense muscles. While the experts are plying their trade, clients can relax in color rooms with luxurious Italian furnishings or listen to the soothing sound of silence in muffled aesthetic and massage rooms.
As a personal trainer, qi gong and yoga instructor, and physical-therapist assistant, Ken has developed a broad and intuitive understanding of the human body. He brings all this knowledge—plus more than 15 years of massage experience—to bear during soothing sessions at STL Massage and Health. There, Ken and his team of qualified massage therapists tackle muscular knots with a wide variety of modalities, including Swedish and deep-tissue massages.
Like a professor knowledgeable on tulip mania, alien black oil, and a myriad of seemingly esoteric subjects, Massage Envy's licensed body therapists ably converse with the gamut of muscle ailments. They'll unravel tense coils of accumulated inner-stress through a perfectly catered treatment for individual clients' needs that may include various styles and techniques. Swedish massages offer gentle rubbing for muscular soothing and improved circulation, while deep tissue focuses specifically on untying the body's Gordian knots and releasing chronic tension. A prenatal massage is ideal for expecting mothers who could use a little relief from carrying another person inside them, and a sports massage provides tension relief and injury prevention for an athlete's body.