Just before the entrance to Greenleaf Bodywork, a two-level garden box welcomes guests—its lower level filled with basalt stones atop combed white sand, the top sprouting young bamboo shoots. Inside the studio, this penchant for the elemental continues, surrounding guests with stone-tile floors, bamboo blinds, and treatment rooms where subdued lighting spills across the walls and the tapestries hanging there. Within these zen-like environs, Greenleaf’s massage therapists work their magic, healing soft tissue with modalities such as deep tissue, hot stone, and reflexology. They also offer couples massages, synchronizing Swedish bodywork between spouses' backs or helping rivals race to a state of relaxation.
A person who ascribes to a dynamist worldview sees the universe in terms of force or energy. At Dynamist Massage Therapy, dynamist healers increase the presence of positive, curative energy by practicing a range of ancient and modern massage techniques. Relaxation and Swedish-style massages diminish stress, and therapeutic massages address specific complaints with a custom blend of techniques. During hot-stone massages, warmth from heated rocks penetrates aching muscles. In contrast, cold-therapy massages activate sluggish nervous systems with chilled stones, ice packs, and readings from Ernest Shackleton's memoir. Therapists also specialize in reflexology, which activates pressure points in the hands and feet. Stress-reducing, traditional Japanese reiki healing techniques stimulate circulation and energy flow.
At Serendipity Health & Relaxation Spa, massage therapists root many of their techniques in traditional Chinese medicine to promote healing and overall well-being. For example, foot reflexology, an art first practiced by the ancient China, uses gentle pressure on areas of the feet to relieve pain or discomfort in other parts of the body. Acupressure focuses on specific points along the body’s energy channels to release endorphins and remove blockages.
The staff throws other spa treatments into the mix, too. Body scrubs, steam therapy, and SkinCeuticals facials help revitalize skin left dry and rough from somersaulting through the desert.
As a licensed massage therapist and graduate of the Wood Hygienic Institute, Jennifer Alvarado has honed her craft for nearly 15 years. Well-versed in a variety of modalities, she calms tense muscles with treatments that range from traditional deep-tissue massages to specialty raindrop and tabletop Thai techniques. When they aren’t melting stress with custom massages, Jennifer and her similarly qualified staff tend to skin and bodies with facials, cellulite wraps, and acupuncture treatments. To make massage a part of their regular routine, clients can inquire about membership at the studio or commute to work strapped to the top of a bumpy subway train.
Sunlight streams into Renaissance Salon & Spa from the façade's floor-to-ceiling windows, washing the space's Victorian-inspired mirror frames and sparkling chandeliers in a soft glow. From their stations, stylists, aestheticians, and nail technicians spruce up clients' exterior images, harnessing their diverse skill sets to design new hairdos, exfoliate and cleanse countenances, and shape nails into elegant ovals or intricate replacements for house keys. Longer stays at the soothing confines let clients ease into spa packages, which combine up to six pampering services to help melt away the stresses of the day.
The aestheticians at Beauty & Bodyworks Day Spa reach for organic, vegan, and fruit-based products when performing beautifying treatments, avoiding additives at all costs. For facials they use Hungarian herbal blends from ilike Organic Skin Care, as well as Michigan-made serums from Eve Organics. All three of the spa’s therapists graduated from Irene's Myomassology Institute in Southfield, where they learned an array of bodywork modalities, holistic practices, and not to use a curling iron in the shower. At their studio, they soothe clients' muscles with relaxation, hot-stone, and couples massage.