It wasn’t until Karen Payne-Hill’s grandmother fell ill that Karen discovered just how much a massage could benefit the body. Seeing how simple touch could bring somebody so much physical and emotional relief, Karen switched gears and set out on a path that led her through a 630-hour massage-training program. Upon completing the program, she took up specialized training in more medical modes of therapy, such as orthopedic bodywork, geriatric massage, myoskeletal release, and spinal-reflex analysis, a treatment designed by Doctor of Chiropractic L. Frank Jarrell to relieve chronic pain and ease the symptoms of disease. Her skill set is not only wide like a 200:1 TV screen ratio but also deep—Karen has learned more than 20 variations of deep-tissue massage alone. In 2012, she founded A Healing Touch. And with a talented staff of massage therapists and healers, Karen continues her efforts to provide relief for those who are ailing or just in need of a relaxing massage. Besides modalities such as deep-tissue, relaxation, and pregnancy massage, the team uses alternative modes of healing, such as acupuncture and Thai-yoga relaxation.
The doctors that make up Northern Kentucky Pain Relief's medical team have vastly different specialties. Though this might make for awkward chats at office parties, it also means that clients with pain problems are more likely to find a professional specialized in treating their exact ailment. Some focus on nerve problems—the tingling, cramping, and numbness known as peripheral neuropathy—while others have a knack for the more hands-on relief that comes from physical rehabilitation. A corps of three chiropractors, meanwhile, eases the pain of misaligned vertebrae with chiropractic adjustments and spinal decompression. Rather than sticking to one treatment method, the clinic's pain-relief programs often call on a blend of regimens, such as massage therapy, chiropractic care, and pep talks from surly boot-camp sergeants.
Massage therapist Dan Lester’s soul-healing hands bring 17 years of therapeutic know-how to The Holistic Wellness Center’s slate of sinew-soothing rubdowns. Each 60-minute myofascial-release massage targets the client’s connective tissue, with Dan applying gentle, sustained pressure to stricken sinew in order to elongate the fascia, thus increasing range of motion, curbing chronic aches, and finally allowing clients to play the Y in “YMCA” dances.
For three decades, Steve Botuchis struggled with chronic neck and back pain. Finding no relief through traditional medicine, he eventually discovered massage techniques that helped him recover. Now, Steve helps others battle pain and find new levels of relaxation with a wide range of massage modalities and techniques as well as through ACMOS—a needle-free form of acupuncture that balances the body’s energy system.
The licensed therapists and aestheticians of Serenity Massage and Bodyworks practice their crafts within private treatment rooms, where mental and physical clarities intertwine during facials, body wraps, and the soothing massage therapies alluded to in the spa’s name. Massage therapists draw on a full repertoire of modalities—from the relaxing effleurage and percussion movements of Swedish massage to the focused, healing pressures of deep-tissue massage—to appease muscles knotted from sleeping on hard floors or Twister mats. Reiki healing techniques, which work to strengthen the bonds between mind, body, and spirit, best exemplify the massage therapists’ concern for holistic healing. Their aesthetician counterparts allow this same concern to inform their facials and body wraps, which call upon the detoxifying powers of vitamins and minerals to chase away impurities and blemishes.
When owner Giovanni Finocchiaro picked up the phone at Face It Spa, he heard one of his clients sobbing. She had been preparing for a presentation at work, and in the process, her skin had broken out so badly that Finocchiaro recalls her lamenting, "I just can't do it. I have to see you." Finocchiaro, who once dreamed of being a counselor, told her to come in immediately. "When you help people look better on the outside, it really does make them feel better inward, too," he says. When his distraught client arrived, he tailored a peel for her sensitive skin that helped kill bacteria and calm inflammation. Within a few days, he says, "she couldn't believe … how [her complexion] was already turning around."
Inside his recently remodeled boutique, Finocchiaro caters to each of his clients in the same way. He offers them complimentary water or tea before leading them across dark hardwood floors to a candlelit treatment room. After cleansing their face, he uses a lighted magnifier to analyze their skin type, then employs PCA products and a wide arsenal of customizable facial treatments to help them reach specific beauty goals or the center of the Earth.