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.
The staff at Colonic & Spa help to expel the toxins that aggregate in, and stubbornly cling to, bodily systems. During colon-hydrotherapy treatments, which take place in a private room, the client reclines on a comfortable, FDA-approved LIBBE machine as a pencil-size tube flushes the colon with warm, filtered water. The solution ushers out dietary debris and toxins, and a ventilation system ensures an odor-free experience. Clients who prefer to multitask are invited to read, work on crossword puzzles, or use a speech-recognition system to write a romance novel.
The spa is also home to massage therapists, who tailor sessions to address clients' specific ailments. Treatments may rely on the expansive and ebbing strokes of Swedish massage to boost detoxification, the more intense pressures of deep-tissue work to release chronic pain, or the lesser-known high-five modality to generate a sense of camaraderie and coolness.
Under the supervision of physician and skin care specialist Dr. Eyad Alsabbagh, Dania Medical Esthetique?s skilled staff helps clients achieve aesthetic goals with a diverse palette of cosmetic and medical services. Waxing services, and injections of Botox help bolster appearances for the short-term, while laser hair removal and permanent makeup can last a lifetime, or until donning irreversible gorilla suits.
Helmed by ambidextrous hairdresser Ben De Cordova, who garnered a first-place Green Award at the 2010 International Fantasy Hair Competition, Salon De Cordova soothes strands and shoulders with passionate attention to artistry and detail. Wig whisperers wield well-sharpened scissors to tame overgrown dos (a $40 value), releasing bad dreams that have been trapped in there for months. After blowing bristles smooth and dry, a soothing shiatsu massage (a $35 value) squeezes stress from the client's scalp and neck, as well as squeezes rainwater from their shoulder pads. Heads depart Salon de Cordova silkier, slightly lighter, and accentuated with a relaxed smile.
Swedish and deep-tissue massage are two bodywork approaches that render very different benefits. Read our guide to choose the best option for you.
The relationship between deep-tissue and Swedish massage is much like that between DayQuil and NyQuil. Both are designed to help you feel better, but the one that makes the most sense depends on your individual needs. Here's what to expect from each of the two modalities:
Swedish massage combines four distinct motions?effleurage, petrissage, friction, and tapotement?to help relieve muscle tension and stimulate blood flow, thereby energizing the body and soothing the mind during a single relaxing session. The four phases are easy enough to distinguish. Effleurage refers to the smooth, gliding strokes that help relax soft tissues at the beginning of the treatment, followed by the squeezing, rolling, or kneading gestures of petrissage. Deep, circular motions make up the friction phase, in which layers of tissue rub against one another to boost circulation. Therapists conclude the massage with tapotement, a rapid cadence of percussive taps performed with cupped hands, fingers, or the edge of the hand.
Whereas Swedish massage focuses on relieving mental and physical tension, deep-tissue massage has more specific concerns. Due to stress and other factors, the layer of connective tissue that covers and interpenetrates the body's muscles and bones?the fascia?often tenses up, resulting in muscle knots and a painful buildup of lactic acid. Deep-tissue massage aims to warm up the fascia and release the accumulated toxins. To achieve this, the therapist?s fingers, thumbs, and elbows move along the body in slow, deliberate strokes, applying pressure to penetrate beyond superficial muscle layers. Although the intensity can produce some discomfort, deep-tissue massage should still be relaxing; the goal, after all, is to relieve the tension between muscles and their weird roommate, the skeleton.
Debbie Marlowe knows how to keep her clients' bodies running smoothly. 20 years of experience as a massage therapist and certifications in yoga instruction are evidence of an in-depth knowledge of musculature and bodily structure. When clients need their muscles soothed, Debbie uses her years of bodywork experience to administer specialty deep-tissue, Lomi-Lomi, Neuromuscular, Thai-yoga, and stress-therapy massages. As a certified trainer, she helps clients reach health and wellness goals with personal training and Crossfit Level 1 instruction.