Rae Marie bases her business, Rae of Light Aromatherapy Massage, on the use of scented oils. In a candid essay, she explains why: as a teenager, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Rae spent her high-school years cycling between different medications and inpatient programs, but continued to feel mired in negative emotions?when she didn't feel like a "walking vegetable," that is.
In 1993, something changed. Rae's mom, an alternative healer, was enrolled in a course on essential oils. When Rae reluctantly accompanied her mom to class, she intended to sleep through it. But by the end of the lecture, the soothing scent of an oil called "joy" had put her mind at ease, and as the duo smelled it in the car, they found it facilitated communication between them. Over the next few months, Rae learned more about oils, eventually stopping her medication and leaving the hospital to focus in on a new path in life. Today, at her massage clinic, she helps others experience the dramatic changes she went through via a variety of massage modalities, oils, and spa packages.
Athletic activity. Cramped office conditions. Poorly maintained posture. All of these factors can contribute to chronic, occasionally debilitating, aches and pains throughout a person's body. At Colorado Muscle Therapy, a massage therapist specializes in helping clients live pain-free lives by correcting the structural abnormalities caused by injury or routine wear and tear. Specialized massage modalities?including everything from deep-tissue work to myofascial release?soothe tense muscles and connective tissues while reducing inflammation. To complement these treatments, the therapist also offers assisted stretching sessions designed to improve mobility. For a more in-depth approach, they also lead movement-based classes that use yoga, Pilates, or tai chi to bolster flexibility and increase a client's range of motion.
At Zandi K Salon, everyone has a story. Stina Nelson didn't realize her passion for massage until a string of bad car accidents led her to the muscle-mending techniques for her own pain relief. Co-owner Nicki Wenz, meanwhile, worked as one of just 12 national Aveda makeup artists in the mid 2000s, traveling the country for photo shoots and trade shows. Educators, artists, world travelers, and Aveda-trained beauty professionals all gather within the earth-toned and stacked-slate walls of Zandi K to lend their life experiences to the looks of others.
They get a little help from their products, of course. The team uses all-natural, plant- and flower-based Aveda products made with sustainably harvested ingredients that are gentle on hair, skin, and Mother Nature's patience. These combine in services that run the gamut from styling and coloring to waxing and ousting acne with facials. But before clients watch their appearances transform in minimalist, steel-framed mirrors, they can sit back in the waiting room with a Session beer, Barefoot red wine, or fruit-infused water, and share their own story.
To secure its position as the best massage clinic of 2010, Massage Specialist presented Boulder Weekly with a suite of services that went beyond the basics. The clinic's therapists practice more than 10 massage styles including classic modalities (e.g., Swedish, deep tissue, and sports) as well as uncommon therapies (e.g., manual lymphatic drainage, infant massage, and shiatsu). Most treatments incorporate the clinic's signature water-dispersible oils and lotions that do not stain clothing but may dissolve witches. They prep for appointments by draping treatment beds with fresh, clean linens, and educating guests on therapies that suit their personal ailments. Aside from massage therapy, the clinic offers spinal adjustments, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and herbal consultations.
When she sees an imbalance in the body, Ginette Slaiher looks through more than one lens. She's a licensed massage therapist, acupuncturist, and has a background in personal training—careers that all come into play at Acussage Wellness. Ginette's primary goal is to restore the body to a balanced, healthy state, and her approach varies according to each client. She might combine massage modalities such as Swedish or deep tissue with a prescription of Chinese herbs, or conduct an acupuncture session to redirect the client's flow of energy. Her more obscure treatments include cupping, moxibustion, and auricular medicine, which stimulates pressure points on the ears to target health concerns elsewhere. These services strive to combat ailments from chronic pain and migraines, to allergies, sinus issues, and coping with stress. Additionally, Ginette practices structural therapy, a school of bodywork that corrects posture and skeletal misalignments.