LaVida Massage believes massages should be available to everyone. They back up this belief not only by offering a wide range of techniques—athletes, mothers-to-be, and office workers alike can find a modality to suit them—but also by making the massage process easy. Each of their massage sessions last 60 minutes: the middle 50 minutes are reserved for the massage itself, and the last five minutes allow time for redressing. The five minutes that precede every service go toward a consultation where clients can discuss individual concerns, such as neck tension from leaning over a computer keyboard or foot soreness from driving their car like the Flintstones.
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.
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.
As a licensed massage therapist, Barbara Trojecki has a simple motto: “We have only one body, so we need to take good care of it.” Barbara is a graduate of the Baltimore School of Massage, and her experience is diverse, ranging from the corporate and health-care sectors to day spas and fitness facilities. Now in the comfort of her private North Shore studio, she customizes flowing medium-pressure strokes, with firmer deep-tissue techniques to target lower-layer aches and relieve tension. Clients seeking to improve athletic performance and recover from nights of rolling down steep hills in oil drums may also request Barbara’s signature sports massage.
Over her 15 years as a fitness instructor, Ananda Shala's owner, Aimee Firor McBride developed a special passion for yoga and Pilates. Her love of the practice led her to India, and into the studios of renowned teachers such as Shiva Rea during her more than 500 hours of teacher studies. She draws upon this experience as she helms a coterie of certified instructors who lead groups through classes and workshops. On hardwood floors flooded with natural sunlight, instructors guide students through Prana Flow Vinyasa yoga for all levels, hot yoga in an 80- to 90-degree room, and meditation classes.
In addition to yoga, instructors also teach Pilates, including mat classes, sessions that integrate weights and strength training, and machines that help lengthen and strengthen muscles. During private sessions they help students work on individual needs or master a specific technique such as folding laundry with their feet. Corporate workshops help business people soothe their minds during stressful situation, and special events such as yoga parties and classes for kids and teens explore yoga in a fun environment.
The certified massage therapists and holistic healers at Om Chakra invite guests to discover deeper mind-body connections inside a sanctuary designed to foster states of sublime serenity. Warm earth tones, zen-like decor, and five private, candlelit treatment rooms envelop guests during multisensory experiential massages or healing reiki sessions, coaxing them to unplug from the synthetic, bustling external world and explore a space within themselves that remains still and calm. This sense of calmness, the staff believes, stems from successful alignment and unblocking of the seven energy channels, or chakras, that run along the spine. After appointments or treatment sessions, guests can receive nutrition guidance and health coaching, or they can savor warm sips in the on-site tea bar.