Growing up in Hangzhou, Jin Fang spent much of her time in her parents' hospital pharmacy. She watched, entranced, as her mother blended skin creams, and perched on a tall stool as her father mixed a rainbow of colored formulas into new medicines. That fascination stayed with Jin throughout her life. In 1995, she rekindled a partnership with former classmate and Shanghai native John Shang, who was also raised by medical practitioners and had pursued a career in orthopedic surgery for 13 years in China. They married, and together brought their passion for herbal medicine and traditional Chinese healing practices to upstate New York. Today, they blend more than 30 years each of acupuncture experience and Chinese and Western healing methods to ease clients' pain, depression, and anxiety. They release endorphins and balance energy during acupuncture treatments, massage tense muscles using tui na Chinese massage, and open pores and miniature gardens during sessions of herbal facial steaming. Jin, John, and their staff also provide nutritional counseling and yoga instruction for patients looking to reverse infertility. Their treatments complement a range of herbal medications, many of which Jin formulated after first encountering depression, anxiety, and insomnia among Cornell University and Ithaca College students. Her roster of herbal formulas includes Happy Mood, which treats depression, Baby Boom, which addresses infertility, and Grow Taller, which aims to stimulate bone growth in children and enable adults to clean the gutters with ease.
As instructors move through the flowing postures of the Vinyasa style of yoga, the studio’s vintage oak floors gently creak in time. The constant movement builds up an internal heat in students' cores, reminiscent of the sunlight pouring through picture windows and reflecting off the yellow walls. These open sessions invite practitioners of any ability, although beginner level and advanced courses gear lessons to more specific needs and mats not quite ready to unroll all the way. Mighty Yoga’s mission is to openly welcome those seeking the gifts of yoga practice, lavished on not only the body in the form of increased flexibility, but also on the mind in the form of increased calmness. That’s why the studio’s instructors constantly repay those gifts by hosting donation-based workshops that give back to local, national, and international charities.
The expert staff at Transform Yoga is experienced in numerous healing arts, from reiki and traditional herbal medicine to a wide range of yoga practices and therapies. Two yoga rooms host more than 20 classes each week, so aspiring yogis can always find a suitable class and time. Ninety-minute Ashtanga classes focus on breathing, yoga postures, and relaxation techniques that help rookies and masters alike to develop balance, strength, and flexibility. Bikram yoga turns up the heat to help practitioners sweat out toxins and limber up skeleton belts by moving through a 90-minute sequence of 26 postures—one for each letter of “radioimmunoelectrophoresis.”
The staff at Finger Lakes Spine & Body Works aims to improve patients on both the outside and inside. Chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists work to alleviate physical ailments that range from headaches to sciatica to insomnia. Their services include manual and instrument adjustments, herbs, and massages. A cosmetologist focuses on pampering bodies with mani-pedis and facials that use natural and non-toxic products.
Helmed by lifelong Cortland residents Stephen and Patricia Jordan, Shipwreck Golf Amusement Center regales fun-seeking guests of all abilities with three engaging attractions. The 18-hole, indoor black light mini-golf course takes putt-putters on a pilgrimage through a 450-foot labyrinth of smooth faux-greens framed by phosphorescent murals depicting underwater ruins and neon incarnations of each golfer’s embarrassing yearbook photos. Playful music is complemented by emerald corridors that snake through a pirate-themed pastiche of misting waterfalls, wooden ships, and lush palm trees. The scampering feet of kids age 2–10 can bounce, bound, and barrel roll across the cushy floor of the bounce houses that populate Shipwreck’s play area, which also includes a dress-up area, two play houses, and a play office where kids can jubilantly file tax forms.