It's quiet in Aqua the Day Spa. No cell phones or pagers are allowed to remain active in either of the two locations, so all you hear is your pulse slowing to a steady, soothing beat and the tiny noises made as expert hands open bottles of designer beauty products. Open since 1998, owners Susan and Ralph Barnette struck the right, Enya-like chord in 2003, when they first earned the title of Best Day Spa in the Jackson Free Press's annual "Best Of" roundup. The team of aestheticians and massage therapists have swept that title every year since, deflating the competition in proportion to lifting spirits. Paraben-free Skin Authority and scented Tokyomilk tonics nourish skin with vitamin-rich Moroccan clay and soothing mango, or exfoliate dead cells with bamboo salves scented with ylang-ylang. The staff's nimble hands blend these into custom treatments, including those to combat aging and the strange shadows creeping over men's skin, and work aromatherapeutic elixirs into muscles with nine different massage modalities. OPI and Shellac nail polish transform hands and feet into fashion accessories, a project helped along by smoothing wax.
Winner of a 2011 OpenTable Diners' Choice Award, Sophia’s charms the most sophisticated palates with a gourmet menu of Southern-leaning dishes crafted from recipes and ingredients native to rural locales around the United States. Chef Gary Hawkins fills out the lunch menu with inventive starters such as sautéed Louisiana crab cakes ($10.95) and classic sandwiches such as the Gulf-oyster po’ boy with spicy remoulade ($9.50). Mouths watering for the textures of beef can stem the tide with braised short ribs served over grits or a tiny system of levees and dams ($14.95). For dinner, sautéed frog legs with smoked-tomato emulsion and fried asparagus ($12) or smoked Yazoo County catfish with asian noodles and pickled shiitake mushrooms ($10) enliven worldly appetites, while the Tanglewood Farms roast chicken with potato-asparagus hash beckons taste buds back to familiar turf amidst a chaotic world divided by trans-fat railroads ($23). Chewers can conclude their epicurean adventures with a slice of a Belgian milk-chocolate walnut tart with butterscotch-caramel sauce ($7).
St. Dominic's mission-based health care delivers high-tech healing services with a human touch, promoting the well-being of body, mind, and spirit with each treatment. Unlike some spa massages, which tumble-dry all backs regardless of instructions, this deep-healing therapeutic massage is customized to individual needs to rejuvenate spines gently. The spa’s trained massage therapists help relieve stress and tension, while increasing blood flow to out-of-reach extremities, and imbuing limbs with Gumby-like pliability and poise. A relaxing ambience pervades the spa, which also provides complimentary valet parking.
Licensed massage therapist LaTrisha Bailey oversees a team of relaxation experts that alleviates achiness with a suite of relaxing massage techniques. The Swedish massage unites friction-reducing oils with gentle strokes to help dexterous hands stimulate circulation, knead away stress, and search for tracking devices left by nosey neighbors. The deep-tissue massage relies on stronger strokes to untie the body’s deeply embedded knots. A variety of add-ons spice up massage sessions, stimulating noses with aromatherapy ($5 extra) or using hot stones to warm bodies after long hugs from attention-starved snowmen ($10 extra).
At Body In Balance Healthcare, Doctor of Chiropractic Laura Stubbs keeps her ailing patients far from unnecessary drugs and surgery. Instead, she takes a holistic approach to healing sciatica, lower-back pain, headaches, and auto injuries. When treating patients from infants to senior citizens, Dr. Stubbs employs chiropractic adjustments to gently eliminate pressure on the vertebrae. She also supports strained muscles with SpiderTech kinesiology taping therapy. Body in Balance also offers relaxing 30- and 60-minute massages, which use the client's preferred method of gentle Swedish strokes, deep-tissue kneads, or tap-dancing across their backs while juggling hot stones to relieve pressure and pain.
An usui reiki healer, locally trained and licensed therapist Adrienne Anthony restores inner and outer balance to the body. Deep-tissue and relaxation massages soothe stormy exterior muscles, and reiki sessions promote stress reduction and relaxation through the restoration of the body's energy flow. Adrienne also treats the energy escaping from meridian points of hand and feet through reflexology, applying direct pressure on specific points to spur change in specifically connected body areas. Almond and jojoba massage oils nourish and enliven skin during each session, turning blocked energy pathways into slip 'n' slides.