Ashleigh Bouziden was only 18 years old when she graduated from massage school and opened her own practice. Now in operation for more than a decade, Ashleigh employs a diverse team of massage therapists?with specialties ranging from reflexology and deep-tissue techniques?alongside reiki healing specialists and a pair of passionate yoga instructors.
Symmetry Therapeutic Massage Spa sprang from the dream of two friends and fellow massage therapists who sought to demonstrate that massage could be used to better physical health. They started small, with a one-room office behind a Pilates studio. Soon, however, they found themselves juggling more appointments than they could handle. Just two years later, they moved into a sprawling new sports-partnered studio, creating a new source of relief for athletes whose massages previously consisted of lying in the middle of the turf during a game.
Today, Symmetry's founding pair leads 30 other licensed therapists, each with her own unique background and specialty. These practitioners treat clients with more than a dozen massage modalities, including neuromuscular massage, which relies on static pressure to relieve area-specific pain, and Thai Yoga. Services such as soothing steam therapy and invigorating dry body-brushing augment the offerings.
During the studio's semi-private workshops, including couples' workshops, the therapists teach clients how to perform their massage techniques at home. This allows clients to connect with their partners during couples massages whenever they have some private time at home or a long wait in a grocery-store line together.
Muscles that aren't properly cared for tend to lash out through strains, spasms, and passive-aggressive text messages. That's where Allie Haft comes in. As a massage therapist with more than a decade of experience, she has a sixth sense for putting together treatment plans tailored to individual muscular needs. Clients often come to her for simple hot-stone therapy or for blended massages that combine Swedish strokes, Thai yoga stretching, and deep-tissue pressure. Anyone with muscle sensitivity may instead opt for a reiki session to help unblock energy channels and stimulate immunity.
At Exquisite Salon and Spa, stylist Wendy cuts, colors, and styles hair. She and her fellow beauty professionals work their magic with an emphasis on calmness and relaxation—whether guests seek salon or spa services inside the gleaming white space, they're guaranteed a "quiet zone," complete with subtle music and soft conversation. Tanning services and Botox are also available for those who prefer to spruce up their looks and clear their heads at the same time.
Inside Exquisite Salon and Spa, pops of dark lilac and an occasional splash of red interrupt a sea of pristine white floors and furniture. The space also features spotless, private rooms dedicated to services such as steam baths, body treatments, and colon hydrotherapy.
Aesthetic specialists harness the power of light during photo-rejuvenation skin treatments and keep harmful rays at bay with spray tanning. In addition to enhancing facial features, permanent makeup artists hide flaws ranging from uneven pigmentation to scars. Stylists also beautify faces with traditional means such as makeup applications, haircuts, and highlights.
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.