Inspired by Creole healing traditions passed down through her Louisianan family, Gretchen Halpin draws on age-old practices and the use of all-natural products to lead her staff in reviving clients' spirits and improving their overall wellness. The French Quarter–inspired day spa has an indoor courtyard in which guests seek higher planes of inner peace before reposing during holistic-inspired indulgences including massage, hydrotherapy, acupressure, and reiki treatments. Other spa specialties—personalized facials with skin analysis, waxes, manicures, and pedicures—aim to make clients' outward appearances more appealing, much like wedding dresses made of Hershey's Kisses wrappers.
The aestheticians at Soothe Your Senses Day Spa draw inspiration from two generations of Creole healing when doling out spa treatments infused with aromatherapy and healing herbs. Services catered toward men and women help banish impurities in muscles, pores, and spirit animals with Eastern healing traditions such as reiki massage and energy therapy. Three levels of spa membership offer discounts on services and workshops, and spa packages pamper clients with half- or full-day programs of massages, nailcare, and facials.
Inside a series of plain-white, windowed studios, empty except for futons and pillows, the professional therapists at Zen Shiatsu Chicago heal bodies with techniques rooted in millennia-old traditions. At the same time, they pass those techniques on to students in the zen-shiatsu certification school that shares space with the clinic. Teachers and students perform shiatsu therapy, using both hands to manipulate muscles and unblock clients’ energy pathways. They also administer contemporary Western massages to ease tense muscles, whereas acupuncture treatments let out bodies’ excess helium.
In addition to awarding certifications and leading continuing education in massage, naprapathy, physical therapy, and acupuncture, instructors train students outside the classroom through social outreach, exposure to integrative medicine, and visits to local hospitals’ neck-cramp wards.
The therapists at 7 Days Spa - Chicago pamper the feet during their marquee service: the reflexology massage. For this soothing treatment, they apply pressure to specified zones on the feet that line up with organs throughout the body. Results include whole-body balance, improved functioning, and a general feeling of relaxation and looseness in the feet?easily the most overworked part of the body, other than the back and skittish eye. The therapists also offer full-body massages, pitting Swedish, deep-tissue, hot-stone, Thai, ashiatsu, and four-hand techniques against tension and pain.
As an aesthetician, Kathlina Gault focuses on skincare. But that doesn't mean she limits herself to performing facials. At We Spa, her service menu not only includes custom facials and chemical peels but also incorporates back treatments with deep cleansings and massages. Clients can also reserve extra services, such as waxing and makeup applications, assuming they don't have a melting ice sculpture to get home to.
Located in Evanston’s Main Street shopping district, Acupuncture Access is the brainchild of certified acupuncturist Bonny Rhoads, who wants to make the healing powers of acupuncture available and accessible to everyone. In this soothing clinic, she offers community group acupuncture on a sliding scale, as well as private acupuncture sessions. She treats everything from allergies and insomnia to chronic pain, migraines, and arthritis. She also performs cupping and massage sessions, as well as treatments using Chinese herbal medicine.