Though she had never experienced a massage of her own, Janice Amyson knew that she had found her calling as soon as she entered massage school. She carried this initial passion through her courses and into her career at The Amazing Hands Therapeutic Massage, where today she strives to empathize with her aching clients. To make sure that she understands and addresses their individual aches, Amyson never begins treatment without a brief consultation. This all-important sit-down, during which she inquires about areas of particular soreness, allows her to customize sessions that may incorporate modalities such as deep-tissue massage, TMJ treatment, repetitive-use therapy, and medical massage.
The treatment room’s low lighting, aromatherapy candles, and lush green plants join together to soothe frazzled nerves. Arbonne lotions and a heated table aid Amyson’s nimble fingers as she unkinks knotted musculature and rewires cybernetic limbs. Other therapeutic elements include Mentholatum, which opens sinuses to allow for easier breathing, and foot warmers to comfort cold toes. In this same room, Amyson also treats bodies with soothing spa treatments such as mud-mask facials and paraffin dips.
Dual board-certified Dr. Victor Mendoza combines traditional weight-management supplements with new-age laser treatments to help clients not only shed fat, but also remedy internal ailments such as fatigue or insomnia. The staff tailors each treatment program with preliminary tests that detect the hormone and toxin levels in each patient’s body, which helps determine whether their issues come from environmental forces or simply eating too many pennies. To treat the moodiness, memory loss, and weight gain that comes with age, the spa administers health-bolstering doses of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to heal bodies from the inside out. Dr. Mendoza boosts his regimens’ effects with Zerona body-contouring treatments, which use an FDA-cleared laser system to help noninvasively remove fat and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Lifestyle makeovers go even further with Fountain of Youth Medical Spa’s other services, such as laser hair removal, chemical peels, and beauty injections.
Escape Day Spa co-owners Carrie Wheelock and Alicia Liddon know how therapeutic a day at the spa can be. Wheelock, an experienced massage therapist, has witnessed the restoration and healing power of touch while both giving and receiving massages. Liddon, on the other hand, is not only an aesthetician, but also a wife and mother of three who understands the daily stressors of family life. Her passion for healthy skin has helped ground her and was her inspiration for opening her own skincare clinic.
At the spa's new location in Edgewood, the duo and their team perform treatments that range from multimodality massages and facials with organic Babor products to mother-of-pearl body scrubs and mani-pedis with vegan SpaRitual polish. They also create spa packages that allow romantic couples, pairs of best friends, or celebrities and their egos to enjoy chocolates and champagne while relaxing together.
The expert tress tamers on the New Talent Team at Richard Joseph SalonSpa—Birmingham magazine's 2011 Best of Birmingham winner—snip, style, and color locks with Aveda products. After stylists consult with clients on whether to go for a classic cut or an avant-garde clip, a clarifying and stress-relieving shampoo massages scalps while gently cleansing manes. Next, a stylist reduces hair density and molds follicles into face-framing devices. With the full-color or highlights option, Aveda Hair Color’s 97% naturally derived formula revamps head gardens with vibrant color that either covers every strand or rewards specific locks for not harboring fugitive snakes. A complimentary 20-minute hand or foot massage relaxes appendages and adds a luxurious touch to the salon experience.
If she were handed a list of humanity's basic needs, Crystal Sutton might write "relaxation" just beneath "food, water, and shelter." The licensed massage therapist believes that cutting down on stress at the spa shouldn't be a special occasion, but a regular occurrence.
Crystal—who graduated from University of Alabama with a biology degree—backs up that perspective by citing its many benefits, which range from a decrease in chronic pain to better blood pressure. She strives to achieve these results in her clients with a handful of methods. Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massages complement specialized styles, such as a TMJ treatment—focused tissue work around the mouth that relieves pain in the jaw from trying to swallow whole grapefruits.
Licensed massage therapist Kimberly M. Johnson employs seven different styles of kneads to release her clients’ physical and emotional tensions. An annual participant in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Kimberly knows firsthand that athletic movements—as well as day-to-day activities—can put a strain on the body’s muscles. She combines her knowledge of anatomy with a compassionate approach during 60- to 90-minute Swedish massages that unwind knotted muscle fibers with alternating pressures. Aside from this popular modality and its deep-tissue sibling, Kimberly targets athletic ailments with specialized sports massages and prepares muscles for mashing with warm, smooth stones placed along the back or hurled at spots of tension.