The stylists at Topliner Beauty Salon for Women understand the pressure to look beautiful and know that looking good stems from feeling good about yourself. Their hands-on beauty treatments, which range from eyebrow shaping and haircuts to sari setups, are also designed to pamper and relax clients. Aestheticians cosset faces with Shahnaz Husain skincare products that nourish complexions with herbal and fruit-infused formulations, whereas henna artists ink hands and feet with intricate designs including floral lace patterns.
The year the World Health Organization (WHO) was founded, its leaders met to decide on a succinct yet comprehensive definition of health. The WHO settled on the following explanation: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." The definition remains unchanged to this day, and its holistic intent continues to guide Balancing Point's Dr. Kristina Chung.
Dr. Chung's interest in holistic remedies stretches back to her childhood in South Korea, when her parents would use acupuncture and medical teas to treat common maladies. As she grew older, Dr. Chung turned this interest into a profession with a BS degree from Ball State University, followed by a doctoral degree in chiropractic and certificate in acupuncture from National University of Health Science.
When she founded Balancing Point Center for Wellness in 2000, Dr. Chung sought to create a wellness center that treats the individual as a whole, not just a list of symptoms. Along with her team, Dr. Chung addresses her patients' complete mental and physical health, including digestive, respiratory, weight loss, and emotional issues. Acupuncture and chiropractic care remain the doctor's specialties, but she also incorporates other Western and Eastern treatments when necessary. This might mean designing individually customized medical weight-loss programs, administering various massage therapies, or even treating pain with a non-invasive device that sends out small shockwaves.
Don't be surprised if the therapists at Knead Massage ask if they can walk all over you. That's because Joel?the massage studio's founder?specializes in ashiatsu Oriental bar therapy. During this massage, the therapist?Joel or Nicole?holds onto a set of bars that hang from the ceiling, and uses feet to knead the client's muscles. The unique massage style is ideal for those suffering from muscle aches way down in their deep tissue, where most people keep their unused knowledge of high-school trigonometry.
Of course, the therapists also perform a variety of more familiar massage techniques. Relaxing Swedish messages can help improve circulation, deep-tissue massages focus on specific muscles, pre/postnatal massages reduce stress and swelling of the limbs, and hot-stone massages stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles.
Sonia Salon’s aestheticians draw on Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Indian health and beauty treatments as they pamper clients with contemporary facials, massages, and waxes. Ayurvedic treatments draw on 5,000 years of herbal healing tradition as they aim to balance the body’s internal energies and enhance beauty, and henna tattoos ornament skin on special occasions such as weddings or driving-school graduation ceremonies. Waxing and threading services rid clients of unsightly strands and leave eyebrows fit to hang in an expression of incredulity for hours, facial treatments keep mugs radiant, and massages melt stress with up to 10 modalities.
A rainbow wall of hair and skin care products brighten the storefront at Toujours Spa & Salon, which also gathers a wide range of lauded beauty therapies and expert practitioners under its roof. Many of the salon's senior stylists boast more than a decade of experience, and training in Wella coloring techniques. Their handiness with shears is exemplified by curl specialist Katrina Spence, whose deft implementation of Deva's dry-cutting technique won her a nod in Chicago magazine. In 2005, the massage therapists earned acclaim from Daily Candy for their raindrop technique, which aims to heal back pain with a combination of reflexology and antimicrobial essential oils. Lavender aromatherapy infuses nail treatments, and Toujour's signature line of skin care products appear in facials for men and women. Guests are greeted by Ned, a cardinal-red beta fish that serves as Toujours’ official mascot and freelance accountant.
Signature Service: Massage therapy
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 1 person
Parking: Free street parking
Minimum Age Requirement: 18
Under Pressure Chicago's owner and massage therapist, Jessica Hester, believes in no-frills, results-oriented massages that manipulate muscles and tendons to increase range of movement and decrease tension. Her Swedish massages work to release tension from bodies, and her deep-tissue massages fight postural strain in those who sit at a desk for long periods of time and rarely get up to stretch or do the Charleston. Jessica's prenatal massages alleviate discomfort in pregnant women, as well as help prepare them for delivery, and her Thai massage boosts circulation and improves joint mobility.