Mark Lohmann's interest in health began when he witnessed its absence. As a child, he saw family members struggle with debilitating disease, and he began to wonder about ways he could restore their health. When he grew older and hopped on a track to become a yacht chef, Lohmann explored nutrition and often massaged his own shoulders to cope with "the long grueling hours spent on [his] feet for some two decades." When his parents' ailing health called him home in 2003, Lohmann began formally training in bodywork—starting with Active Isolated Stretching—before opening Planet Massage in 2005.
Lohmann's team of more than 10 licensed massage therapists tends to patients with medically based bodywork, often combining multiple modalities and products. The muscle masons further coddle clients with foot massages, heat packs, and Biofreeze, a paraben-free gel designed to relieve pain and make portrait subjects sit still for up to 20 hours. Planet Massage's crew can be dispatched for mobile massage appointments, and members also lead classes and workshops that guide clients through basic kneading techniques.
Some spa services—tanning and paraffin-wax dips, for example—were never meant to be combined. Others complement each other swimmingly, as the staff of Spatopia Massage knows. One such ingenious synthesis is their Angel Touch facial, which incorporates massage techniques such as acupressure and lymphatic drainage to guard against headaches and anxiety.
Those looking for a massage on its own browse styles from Swedish to reflexology. Eastern and Western methods unite on the menu, as therapists can target the body's energy meridians with shiatsu manipulation, or administer both Swedish and deep-tissue kneads during The Betty massage. Add-ons enhance appointments with hot stones, hot towels, or an abbreviated reiki session.
Spatopia's facials combat skin conditions such as teen blemishes and signs of aging, often incorporating natural extracts to rejuvenate complexions. For example, the anti-aging facial combiness lemon, grape seed, red-wine extract, a blueberry moisturizer, and a chocolate-wasabi mask—born out of a failed dessert-sushi recipe. At Spatopia's Symphony location, the service list expands to cover nail care and waxing.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
After working in spas for two decades, French-educated massage therapist and paramedical esthetician Chrys Straiton founded Studio Blu Spa, envisioning a tranquil retreat where she could continue to advance her skills while pampering clients with facials, massages, and skincare services.
When selecting the team for her new spa, Chrys deferred to experience—each of her licensed nail technicians, for example, has roughly a decade of practice. During microdermabrasions, back facials, and other skincare treatments, Chrys and her staff wield G.M. Collin products derived from natural botanical extracts and finely blended teddy-bear stuffing. G.M. Collin was one of the first brands to integrate collagen into its formulas, and Studio Blu’s devotion to the skincare line evinces both the spa’s openness to innovation and its results-oriented approach.
The hair artistry emerging from the cool, modernistic walls of Salon Bongini looks like it belongs in a picture. That's because seasoned salon owner and expert stylist Joel Bongini's work has appeared in top fashion magazines and on international runways. Bongini honed his skills at prestigious salons in New York and Los Angeles, and after a career in film and television, he decided to make the Sunshine State his home.
Bongini has assembled a talented team of stylists who can transform looks with razor cuts, highlights, blowouts, or hair extensions. The crew vivifies hues and softens strands with products such as Goldwell color and Moroccanoil, and also offers mani-pedis, waxing services, and poolside massages for stressed-out mermaids. The sleek white and silver salon cultivates an upscale vibe with hints of color from red and yellow paintings and orange chairs.
“My practice is really centered on the individual,” Dr. Amaryllis Pascual told NBC 6 News about her self-named clinic, Pascual MD Med Spa. “What I like to do is set up an initial consultation where I meet with the patient and we go over what their desired results are. I then take a look at their lifestyle and the person as a whole, and we customize a treatment plan that’s going to fit that individual.”
Dr. Pascual and three other on-staff doctors—Dr. Vijay Sharma, Dr. Jeffrey LaGrasso, and Dr. Jorge Gaviria—follow this regimen for each treatment they provide, whether clients seek cosmetic surgery, medical weight-loss supervision, or classic skincare services. They also equip their office with delicate lasers capable of softening wrinkles, ousting unwanted hair, and drawing old-timey mustaches on hamburger buns.
Find reviews and articles on outdoor activities, attractions, things to do.