Though Franciska Fokkinga has been a jack-of-all-trades in the beauty industry for more than 33 years, in the last decade, she's focused her skills on skincare. In her role as a Bio-Therapeutics educator, she trains doctors, licensed aestheticians, and nurses in using microcurrent technology to noninvasively lift and tighten clients' faces, and employs it at her own studio.
Before each treatment, she sets a relaxing tone by lighting candles, turning on soothing music, and spritzing the room with a light aromatherapy spray infused with essential oils. Purple accents pop against her private studio's silvery walls, and her easygoing yet professional attitude makes the intimate atmosphere comfortable. But it's not just a relaxing experience—she says the main benefit is "actual, visual improvement in the skin."
"It's more than a froufrou facial, but it's not in a medical setting," she says. "I listen to the client and provide a comfortable setting for them, as well as a very effective facial." She selects custom products from brands such as Bio-Therapeutic to best care for her clients' skin types. At the end of appointments, she educates each client with personalized skincare recommendations.
In addition to her high-tech microcurrent and hydrodermabrasion treatments, she offers facials including a men's fitness facial and a classic European facial. Her services extend to facial and bikini waxing. She banishes strands from brows, chins, and lips with a lavender facial wax, and for bikini areas, she uses mild GiGi Honee wax, an all-purpose wax that doesn't burn, cause peeling, or jump ship to become a candlestick.
Doctor of Chiropractic Randy Moyer and his staff take a team approach to holistic healing. In addition to performing the latest techniques in chiropractic care and offering a variety of services such as skin therapy, Moyer Total Wellness features more than a dozen licensed and experienced massage therapists, striving to alleviate patients' discomfort and prevent chronic degenerative diseases. Their customized treatments and specialization in areas such as shiatsu, lymphatic drainage, or myofascial release made Moyer Total Wellness the winner in the Best Massage category of CityVoter's 2012 and 2013 A-Lists. Therapists loosen muscles in five dedicated massage rooms, including a suite for couples looking to relax quietly together or communicate during their session via knowing glances.
The multifaceted crew, including 16 massage therapists, two personal trainers, and three estheticians, welcomes guests 12 hours a day, seven days a week. A holistic nutritionist and exercise physiologist helps keep patients on track during personalized weight-loss plans, skin therapy services include facials, dermaplaning, and microdermabrasion treatments, and an on-staff doctor of chiropractic helps clients manage pain.
Symmetry Therapeutic Massage Spa sprang from the dream of two friends and fellow massage therapists who sought to demonstrate that massage could be used to better physical health. They started small, with a one-room office behind a Pilates studio. Soon, however, they found themselves juggling more appointments than they could handle. Just two years later, they moved into a sprawling new sports-partnered studio, creating a new source of relief for athletes whose massages previously consisted of lying in the middle of the turf during a game.
Today, Symmetry's founding pair leads 30 other licensed therapists, each with her own unique background and specialty. These practitioners treat clients with more than a dozen massage modalities, including neuromuscular massage, which relies on static pressure to relieve area-specific pain, and Thai Yoga. Services such as soothing steam therapy and invigorating dry body-brushing augment the offerings.
During the studio's semi-private workshops, including couples' workshops, the therapists teach clients how to perform their massage techniques at home. This allows clients to connect with their partners during couples massages whenever they have some private time at home or a long wait in a grocery-store line together.
More than 25 years ago, licensed massage therapist and single mom Peggy Irvin was facing the challenges of raising two children on her own. Despite her personal struggles, Irvin dedicated her life to making other people more comfortable. She founded the original Body Massage Wellness Spa as a massage-only establishment, but through creativity and determination, has assembled a team of highly trained professionals and designed a space that is as soothing as the spa treatments on offer.
Guests sip warm cups of tea before a fragrant aromatherapy or deep-tissue massage, then head to a private room for a facial, Zerona laser body-contouring session, or Botox or Juvederm injection. During manicures, guests sit in cushy high-backed leather chairs facing wooden room dividers whose mirrored panels are ideal for admiring newly polished fingers or seeing how long you can make eye contact with yourself before it gets weird. To further banish quotidian stress, Irvin has outfitted the reception area with tranquil beige and blue-green earth tones and an abundance of plants.
The husband-and-wife team behind Wellness Spa on 5th Avenue knows firsthand how debilitating toxins can be. Bobbi Thompson attributes allergen sensitivities and weight challenges to her childhood mercury exposure from amalgam fillings and pesticides. Now a registered nurse and colon hydrotherapy practitioner, Thompson has dedicated her life to healing herself and others. Her spouse, Jerry Besing, can attest to her passion. After suffering a major health challenge in 2003, he became increasingly interested in detoxifying treatments, and took a wellness-coaching class at The School of Integrative Healing, directed by Thompson. He is now trained in services ranging from cellulite reduction to lymphatic drainage.
Each relaxing, impurity-targeting treatment takes place within a quaint, Victorian-style house. The crew also sells nontoxic pet products that keep dog, cats, and cherished pet rocks healthy without harming the environment.
Twelve years of hands-on spa experience were enough to teach Gregg Gonzales a valuable lesson about his clients: no two are the same. He takes this lesson to heart at Dos Manos Massage Studio, where he draws on his intuition and massage know-how to craft massages that cater to all manner of aches and ailments. Stationed within six private treatment rooms, Gregg and his team of licensed massage therapists integrate modalities such as deep tissue and reflexology; the exact combination of techniques used always depends on their clients’ input. During each massage, the team of therapists welcomes clients to plug their own iPod into a dock beside the heated massage table and slip away to the self-recorded sounds of waves crashing or pigeons being tickled. Complimentary refreshments and a calming relaxation room erase any traces of tension that remain after the session.