Hot Box Yoga's cadre of yogis, some of whom have earned their 200-hour certification or spent time learning the art in Asia, helps students foster emotional poise and physical strength. Instructors guide their charges through a schedule packed with yoga styles, including core-forging Ashtanga and time-tested Hatha. Within the studio's 2,200 square feet of stretching space, hot yoga sessions usher toxins out of the body by harnessing the flexibility-boosting powers of warmth in the sun-soaked studio. Those gestating tiny humans can build strength, flexibility, and bottle-juggling skills through gentle prenatal yoga classes.
The joys of a massage or the relief of a chiropractic adjustment—and the stresses of physical work—play out partly in the muscles. Learn just what pumps the body up with Groupon’s guide to the muscular system.
The human body has more than 630 muscles keeping it upright and mobile. They make up almost half its weight and power the movements of the bones, the blood, and even the food in the stomach. Perhaps the most familiar muscles are those seen in bodybuilding contests and facial-expression contests: the skeletal, or voluntary, muscles. They’re attached to our bones and controlled by our brains, which zap them with electrical signals to cause their fibers to contract. During a muscle contraction, filaments inside the muscle fibers slide together, stacking up on one another so that the larger fiber shortens. In shortening, the fibers gain thickness—a phenomenon we notice as flexing. Whatever muscles do, they accomplish by this single pulling action. If a bicep (part of a category of muscles known as flexors) flexes to lift a barbell, it needs a tricep (an extensor), pulling in the opposite direction, to bring the arm back down.
The other two types of muscles are smooth muscles and cardiac muscles, and both are beyond our conscious control. Cardiac muscles control the beating of the heart, contracting the chambers to push blood throughout the body. But the blood doesn’t ride to the toes on that momentum alone. Lining the blood vessels are smooth muscles that help push it along. These also line the esophagus, stomach, and intestine to move food through the digestive track, and can even help regulate the body’s temperature by opening and closing capillaries near the skin surface, all without conscious effort. The subconscious brain is also happy to turn muscles to ends beyond their apparent purpose: for instance, what we experience as shivering from cold is simply the brain causing the muscles to spasm so they will generate heat and keep your blood and any baby chicks in your coat pockets warm.
Minal has travelled far and wide to strengthen her skills as an acupuncturist and herbalist. In her quest to obtain a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine, she not only traversed California to attend two different universities, but also ventured to Tokyo. While there, she dove into the wealth of knowledge found in the Traditional Japanese Medicine Seminar of Acupuncture & Moxibustion. She also studied with expert acupuncturists, earning a Certificate of Completion from the President of the International Society of Traditional Japanese Medicine, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from the President of Goto College of Medical Arts and Sciences. Today, Minal applies her international education to ease her patients’ discomfort from addictions, allergies, asthma, hypertension, or their fear of embroidery.
A cream-colored spa accented by green sprouts, marble, and stone sets the stage for relaxation at Aqua Lifestyle Nail Salon & Spa, where skilled aestheticians bolster beauty with services for the skin, hair, and nails. Wrinkles and furrows fade into oblivion as the staff tightens skin with Lumière LED facials and turns back the clock on sun damage with the lightening peel’s cocktail of lactic acid and brightening serums. Kneeling at the foot of 1 of 17 plush pedicure chairs, a technician culls overgrowing nails, curbs wayward cuticles, and ousts spent skin with a sea-salt scrub, promoting relaxation and the joyful urge to commute via kickline. Among the salon’s other services, airbrush tanning bronzes bodies without UV exposure and gentle head-to-toe waxing treatments strip away hair with warm wax.
Though Alex Tuggle had been receiving alternative healing treatments such as acupuncture and qi gong from his mother since early childhood, he had no idea how drastically those techniques would later change his life. At the age of 12, Tuggle was hit by a car while rollerblading without a protective helmet. He was unconscious as medical personnel rushed him to the UCLA emergency room with a serious head injury and a broken left ankle. After days in intensive care, Tuggle went home wearing a cast stretching from his hip to his foot. In the years that followed, he began to feel intense pressure in his head and stiffness in his neck; a chiropractor told him that his hips were completely out of alignment and that he had severe scoliosis. He tried chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, and biofeedback therapy without noticeable results. But after continuously practicing qi-gong exercises and getting regular acupuncture treatments and deep-tissue shiatsu massages, Tuggle's muscles began to loosen. He also made dietary changes, avoiding sugar and alcohol and nourishing his body with Chinese herbs. Eventually, his mind and nervous system recovered from the trauma caused by the accident. Tuggle harnessed the lessons learned during his dramatic recovery and decided to share them with others. He went on to become a licensed acupuncturist and earned his master of science degree in traditional Chinese medicine from Yo San University in Los Angeles. At Golden Wellness Center, he helps heal patients with the same holistic processes that gave him his life back. Together with massage therapist April Hairell, Tuggle addresses chronic pain and adrenal fatigue with hands-on and energy-based massage modalities such as shiatsu and medical qi gong. In addition to acupuncture and herbal therapy, Tuggle offers hair-analysis services to determine a person's heavy-metal toxicity or likelihood of winning a Shirley Temple look-alike contest.
Body Techniques' more than 20 therapists, trainers, acupuncturists, and aestheticians work together to create a unique facility that's part spa, part fitness studio. They tone bodies with a combination of yoga, Zumba, and boot camps that focus on strength and stretch. They relieve the resulting soreness, along with general tension or chronic pain, with 18 different massage modalities and acupuncture. They round out the selection of services with skin treatments ranging from organic facials and oxygen facelifts to waxing treatments to remove unwanted hair, allowing guests to perfectly emulate their own wax sculpture.