With a repertoire that includes urgent, family, and occupational medicine, the physician-led staff at Affinity Immediate Care seeks to provide quicker and less-expensive services than emergency rooms. In addition to treating sprains, diabetes, and the flu, the specialists conduct work-related physicals and drug testing for employers. To keep ladies ship shape, the Well Woman program emphasizes the importance of annual examinations.
Soothed sighs and breathless chatter fill Alvin Health & Wellness Center, attesting to spa services and heart-pumping fitness classes. Stones for back massage soak up warmth as aromatherapy oils fill the air, and massage artists pack together algae mud wraps. The staff also leads cardio-kickboxing and fitness-boot-camp classes to better bodies as well as minds and self-defense classes that teach pupils to fight off overly aggressive car-wash mascots.
John Whitman is more than a licensed massage therapist. He's also a massage-therapist instructor, licensed to help other therapists hone their healing skills. Patrons can benefit from Whitman's expertise at Opulent Massage, where he relaxes and soothes muscles with modalities such as trigger-point therapy and deep-tissue massage. Clients can also opt for cellulite massages and face-lift massages that improve appearances, or for pampering treatments such as foot massages that incorporate a fragrant, exfoliating salt scrub.
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 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.
Guests who come inside any of Malibu Tan’s many locations are greeted with a handshake. Though that might seem like an old-school approach to customer service, Malibu Tan’s owner encourages it as a genuine way for his staff to connect with each client and provide them with customized services. For more than 15 years, Malibu’s friendly staffers have also connected with higher-profile clients—including the Houston Dymano Girls team—by helping them choose the best of each facility’s tanning options for their skin types. With UV tanning, regardless of whether a client prefers a supine or standup system, they are bound to get a strong tan, as all UV bulbs are changed 200 hours before they hit capacity or finally crack open and release a butterfly. There are also plenty of UV-free options such as VersaSpa sunless tanning, which darkens exteriors with a hydrating DHA-based solution. Each location also offers tan-enhancing products from Designer Skin and California Tan.
To be the best, you don't have to beat the best. You can just as easily learn from them. Michaela Turnbo took this maxim to heart while training with makeup artist to the stars Cassandra Scott, a celebrity favorite who has worked with famous faces including Elizabeth Taylor and Heather Locklear. Recently published in Passion Hair Book 2011, Turnbo shares her skills as a style expert and aesthetician at A Petite Spa, enhancing and tightening skin with glycolic peels, nonsurgical face-lifts, and facials designed to work with any schedule. She also strips away unsightly hair from the face and body with her swift waxing services and gussies up complexions for weddings, parties, and luxury driver's licenses with makeup applications.