Derek Ramsey's interest in kinesiology and anatomy—as well as his desire to help others find freedom from pain and stress—nudged him toward a career in massage therapy. After graduating from the Southeastern Institute of Neuromuscular Therapy, he opened Allay Massage, where he cossets muscles with Swedish and deep-tissue techniques amid lime-green and yellow walls. Upon arrival, clients sip on complimentary water and then spend 10 minutes talking with Derek, coming to an agreement about the goals for the session. When the massage concludes, Derek spends another 10 minutes reviewing the session and offering clients tips for better posture and health. Clients can also opt to become a member to help keep costs down, postures up, and unionized vertebrae happy.
After being laid off from his engineering job, Nelson Berry decided to open Stonehaven Massage & Spa. Now, more than two years later, Berry presides over a Stonehaven location that is as luxurious to lounge in as a private jet parked in a giant jacuzzi. In the stonework lobby, flowers cluster around mirrors and pitchers of lemon water. Murals of waterfalls and oceans signal the themes of each treatment room, where clients can relax during massage modalities ranging from traditional Swedish to deep tissue massage. From there, aestheticians can take over with facials or waxing services.
The bodywork experts at Custom Therapy Massage soothe muscles and de-stress minds with a variety of treatments and techniques. Classic Swedish massages rely on smooth, flowing strokes to promote relaxation and improve circulation, whereas more intense deep-tissue massages use focused pressure to untie knots and pop tension bubbles. Pregnancy massages pamper expectant mothers, and hot-stone massages melt tension with heated stones.