When one of the cofounders of Easy Balance Wellness Center and Spa was diagnosed with cancer in her 30s, her doctor put her on the most aggressive chemo and radiation therapies available. As her immune system fought the cancer, her body absorbed the side effects. A longtime friend recommended acupuncture to counteract the suffering; though she was initially skeptical of the holistic procedure, she agreed to give it a try. After just one appointment, she felt her senses awaken. Further treatments permanently changed the way she looked at health care, making her feel like a brand-new person and convincing her to share her discoveries with as many people as she could.
At Easy Balance Wellness Center and Spa, she does just that, combining venerated Eastern wisdom with professional spa products to deliver healing massages and rejuvenating facials. Within earth-toned treatment rooms draped with russet curtains, massage therapists ease muscle tension and redirect chi—the energy that regulates the body’s functions and suppresses its natural appetite for hangnails—with focused acupressure techniques. Thalgo facials employ marine botanicals, such as regenerative algae, to nourish and hydrate complexions.
As president of Pure Oasis Massage, Angela Talley believes in the power of peaceful healing. A licensed massage therapist herself, she knows bodywork soothes not only the mind, but also the body. Her treatments take place in the tranquility of a warm, quiet room, with clients disrobed to their own level of comfort and draped with a sheet or towel. Angela's service menu catalogs four core modalities: Swedish, deep tissue, sports, and myofascial release. She works muscles from head to toe, aided by a light lotion or drizzle of oil to reduce skin friction, caused by rubbing two potatoes together on your back. She encourages her clients to make their pressure preferences known, so that the experience can be as relaxing and beneficial as possible.
In a massage room awash in shades of plum, one of Serenity Spa Wellness Center's licensed therapists plunges deft fingers into muscular structures to weed out pesky pain points and break up congregations of tension. Increasingly relaxed breaths drift out of the private room, past cedar-colored planks, and toward the far-infrared sauna, which uses dry heat in an effort to draw toxins from the body or elicit confessions from ice-cream smugglers. Aestheticians blend ingredients for facial treatments and combine fragrant swirls of essential oils, catering to individual skin and health issues. In the reception area, hands warm around mugs from a coffee bar, and floral-patterned or zebra-print chairs cradle guests.
With 129 years of combined experience in the beauty industry, the staff members at On the Edge Hair Studio really knows what they're doing. Their backgrounds?which include training at Vidal Sassoon in London and a stint as a TIGI ambassador?while varied, ensure each is equally adept at delivering on-trend haircuts, sleek highlights, and elegant bridal up-dos. The aestheticians on staff, meanwhile, are fluent in a variety of spa treatments, cleansing skin with facials, evicting unwanted hair with wax, and appeasing sore muscles with massages, and, if necessary, cupcakes.
Amber light glows against the earth-toned walls of Tea Spa Wellness Center's waiting area, a tranquil cove that foreshadows the pampering services patrons are about to enjoy. Inside private treatment rooms, the spa's licensed massage therapists use essential oils, hot towels, and long, warming strokes during the spa's signature massage, or employ smooth heated rocks to unblock energy pathways and boost circulation during hot-stone massages. Tea Spa also provides a reprieve from the harshly lit outside world with custom facials that use Guinot skin-care products to deep-cleanse and tone skin or fade away signs of aging. Meanwhile, an infrared sauna helps clients sweat out toxins. All these amenities add up to Tea Spa being voted to the Washingtonian magazine's list of "Great Day Spas 2013".
Though reflexology shares much in common with acupuncture, it has its own unique properties and origins. Read on to learn more about the practice.
In the early 20th century, you might have been able to identify patients coming from a reflexology appointment by the clothespins on their fingertips. Today?s reflexologists generally carry out their treatments by hand in a wellness clinic or a massage studio, but the principle remains the same: apply pressure to specific points on the hands, feet, or ears, prompting responses in organs throughout the body.
Similar to acupuncture and acupressure, the practice posits that energy pathways run throughout the body. Reflexology?s system, however, is a bit simpler than Chinese medicine?s complex map of meridians. Envision vertical lines running from each toe up through the leg, joining lines running from each finger up the arm toward the neck and coming together in the head, and you have the body divided into 10 attractively slimming reflexology zones. Within each zone on the palm or?most common in reflexology sessions today?the sole, certain pressure points are thought to correspond to organs, joints, or other tissues elsewhere in the same zone.
Dr. William Fitzgerald?originator of the clothespin technique?began practicing what he called ?zone therapy? in 1915. While research has yet to find a concrete link between modern medical thought and the millennia-old idea of imperceptible bodily energy, that doesn't mean reflexology can't be relaxing. Patients can expect the benefits of a treatment to include at least those of a good foot massage: increased circulation, relieved muscle tension, and decreased stress and susceptibility to tickle attacks. Even early proponents of the technique accepted that results might vary from person to person. Writing in 1928, physician Bernard Lust was content with claiming that ?the adoption of the method is attended with absolutely no danger or disagreeable results, and may be the means of lengthening short lives and making good health catching.?