The therapists at Masso the Art of Healing in Clarksburg don't just customize their services to each client's needs—they also assist them with plans for continuing their therapy at home. All of this is in service to their goal of helping clients reach a lasting state of relaxation without having to spend a week locked in the cotton-ball closet. Though they specialize in easing muscular tension with Swedish massage, Masso's therapists also perform more than a dozen other body services—ranging from Russian massage to craniosacral therapy to body scrubs. Additionally, they get kinks out of connective tissue with myofascial release, and cater to the relaxation needs of expectant mothers with prenatal massage.
At LaBella MediSpa, owner and registered nurse Helene Taylor and board-certified plastic surgeon Guy Cappuccino gently fell follicles with help from the Lumenis LightSheer and Palomar YAG lasers. First, a routine questionnaire and horoscope reading are administered to determine overall health and rate of hair growth in new patients. Dr. Cappuccino or Nurse Taylor then select the laser most suited to each patient’s unique skin type, tone, and dermal demands, adjusting the beam's intensity for maximum complexion protection. Aiming photon pulses at burrowing bristle, she permanently pulverizes up to 90 percent of follicle fortifications and tricks stubble into surrender with targeted heat and the promise that they’ll be granted asylum in Belgium.
Just as a translator can seamlessly slip from language to language, licensed massage therapist Mary Ann Zenter can effortlessly shift through various massage techniques, tailoring her treatments to meet each individual's needs. She can loosen muscles with broad, soothing strokes that dissolve general tension, or employ methods such as cross-fiber frictioning and compression to work out deep-seated pain. Patients can also request reflexology sessions, which work to boost overall health.
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.
Imagine dropping a stone into a pond. Though the stone only touches a small portion of the water's surface, the effects of the impact radiate throughout the entire pool. Reflexology is based on a similar idea—as a therapist stimulates pressure points on the feet, the effects are said to affect the entire body. At Magic Foot Spa, practitioners specialize in this therapy, first soaking feet in water warmed over the blushing cheeks of an ankle-anxious Victorian before targeting pressure points that correspond with various body organs. As practitioners increase pressure on each foot, the manipulation can ease muscular tension and release energy blockages in the digestive, immune, and circulatory systems.
The team also performs full-body acupressure treatments that are based on similar principles. These gentle massages work by activating the key pressure points used in acupuncture, but with fingers, palms, and elbows instead of needles. As clients lie fully clothed on a massage table, therapists focus on these points—which are believed to correspond with the body's energy channels—so that they can balance opposing energy forces and thus improve bodily function.
Co-owner Rebeccah Bartlett Leister of Structures Salon and Spa will not trade jobs with you. "I love that every single day I am here I laugh out loud," she says on her staff bio page. "I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy my 'work' this much." One draw may be the salon and spa's proprietary organic and natural products that are crafted by a small family business. Another draw might be the encouragement staff members receive to augment the products' powers with rounds of continuing education and creative projects such as fashion shoots, makeup design, and hair-coloring experiments. Leister herself has experience designing makeup for Vanity Fair and InStyle magazines.
Wide windows illuminate Structures Salon and Spa so that stylists can mix colors in optimum light and let new hairdos photosynthesize. Colorful yarn twines around stair railings to create chromatic triangles, and appliqué birch trees stand tall along the lobby's windows.