Three times a week, Just U Relax's owner and principal massage therapist paid a 90-minute visit to one of her favorite clients, an elderly Italian woman who could barely speak a word of English. One day after a visit, the woman's daughter called and asked the massage therapist if she could come back again right away, saying her mother was not doing well. She arrived and set to work massaging her client's body, much of which had collapsed inward from a previous stroke. But instead of seeing the usual results, such as the woman's hands relaxing for a short time before tightening back into a bound position, the massage therapist saw her client maintain her peaceful composure. Then, this elderly Italian woman who could speak little English, let alone speak at all due to the effects of her stroke and Alzheimer's disease, looked at her massage therapist and said with perfect clarity, "Thank you." The woman's daughter called later, saying her mother died that evening, and that she wanted to say thank you for giving her mother such comfort before she passed. It was that moment that made the massage therapist realize she knew she could help people.
Raised by a cardiologist, the future owner of Just U Relax and her brother made a pact to go to medical school together, but when she found herself disenchanted by clinical environments and desiring a more hands-on approach to patient care, she explored massage therapy. Today, she and her team of licensed massage therapists at Just U Relax assess posture, gait, and occupational stress to customize bodywork for each client. The staff sees to guests' comfort in a variety of ways, including giving visitors warm robes and plush slippers, using massage tables with triple-cotton-padded tops, and playing relaxing music as aromatherapy wafts between rooms. Therapists also offer clients snacks such as fruit smoothies and granola bars. Additionally, each therapist is required to undergo at least three hours of training each month to learn new massage techniques and stay sharp.
At Whole Essential 4 U Massage Studio, therapists excel in many different styles of massage, each of which can be augmented with indulgent add-ons and extras. While clients enjoy a relaxing Swedish massage, multiple masks can help tighten skin on the face or around the eyes. Aromatherapy is included with each type of massage, including deep tissue sessions and hot stone massages, which call upon the therapeutic properties of heat to help release endorphins and decrease cramping caused by arthritis. On top of in-studio treatments, the therapists can also take their massage tables on the road for events as well as for treatments administered at their clients' homes, hotels, offices, or panic rooms.
Marengo Luxury Spa resides within The Arcade—a retail oasis formerly known as "Cleveland's crystal palace." Founded in 1890, The Arcade rises five stories high, summiting at a glass ceiling that spans the area of a football field. On the way to Marengo Luxury Spa, patrons traverse Roman marble walkways and pass gilded carvings, iron balconies, and cast-iron griffins. Upon arrival, clients consult with a spa specialist who personalizes a treatment plan that may include massage therapy or treatments for skin, hair, or nails. Throughout appointments, clients enjoy a variety of refreshments including coffee and biscotti or herbal tea and blocks of tofu. Calling itself "a perfect sanctuary in which to retreat and discover a new you," Marengo Luxury Spa exudes the palatial ambiance of The Arcade itself.
Freshen up façades with a strawberry- or chocolate-infused facial, which delicately exfoliates epidermal layers while treating skin to flavors your taste buds take for granted. Choose a gentle waxing to root out unruly stubble, creating a soft, follicle-free bikini line, or pamper pinkies and other deserving digits with a chocolate mani-pedi. The nourishing nail treatment includes a rich cocoa scrub, skin-tenderizing paraffin treatment, and a gleaming coat of nail paint to help you outshine unpolished thumb-war opponents.
La Coiffe's décor both relaxes and energizes clients, with a saffron Tuscan villa exterior giving way to a clean, white-walled atmosphere accented with scarlet swirls, crimson furniture, and pops of vibrant chartreuse. One of the salon's licensed massage therapists will relieve stress and rejuvenate sore mind-muscles with your choice of three different types of massage: aromatherapy, therapeutic, and prenatal. Easily offended noses can get over any number of scented slights by blissing out with an aromatherapy massage. The therapeutic massage digs deeper into tissues to target any pains, injuries, or Tremors worms afflicting your soul-sack. A prenatal massage manually melts moms-to-be so that they can better butter the impatient buns in their ovens. You can also upgrade to the 60-minute hot stone massage ($105) or one of the 90-minute massages and pay the difference after the Groupon.
Swedish massage, a light- to medium-pressured technique, is one of the most popular types of kneads in the massage therapist's tool box. It uses long, connective strokes to improve blood flow, stimulate the lymphatic system, relieve physical tension, and melt stress into a puddle of biodegradable papier-mâché. It can also flush the tissue's lactic acid, uric acid, and metabolic wastes, speeding up recovery time from most common anvil-related injuries. Even if your body's in mint condition and still in its original packaging, Swedish massage also just plain feels good, especially when experienced in Integrated Massage Therapy Center's serene confines and accompanied by their friendly advice on how to keep yourself feeling loosey-goosey with nutrition and exercise.