The licensed massage therapists at Wu-Sa Massage believe in the healing power of bodywork. They tout the pain- and stress-reducing benefits of massage in its many incarnations. Modalities offered here include classic Swedish massage, more focused deep-tissue massage, and prenatal massage for those expecting a visit from a stork or a baby. Quick 30-minute sessions address aches in one area of the body, whereas luxurious 120-minute massages allow for a more thorough kneading of the entire body.
A multilevel studio in a historic area near Houston's museum district, The Woman's Earth Nurturing Studio is a place where women can relax and rejuvenate. All of the services here, from facials to meditation, are geared toward nurturing as well as empowering women. Owner and founder Jeneé Christell Pierre, a certified mediator and community advocate for girls, believes that individual happiness is up to each person. Through her studio, she's worked to inspire women to share their personal stories and heal through interactions with other women. Of course, relaxation and pampering here can also be catered to an individual experience, with organic body wraps, facials, and massages.
The staff at Elan Designs layer treatments to soothe all of the senses during each visit. Spa guests wrap themselves in robes and slippers, which slip off for dips in whirlpools perfumed with Sacred Earth essential oils and body therapies that melt away toxins and muscle tension. Soothing paraffin-wax baths and massages augment facials, which clear up problems ranging from rosacea to hormonal acne with Murad products. In the salon, stylists deftly transition between men's, women's, and kids' cuts, while faces and digits are enhanced with cosmetics.
From its perch on the 23rd floor of the Hilton Hotel, Skyline Spa and Health Club greets its visitors with panoramic views of downtown and a menu of relaxing services. Private rooms?painted with earth tones and filled with flickering candles?provide a tranquil space for therapists to knead and soothe muscles using hot stone, deep-tissue, and other massages. Alternatively, organic sugar-body scrubs and facials with enzyme exfoliation cleanse pores and buff away dead skin and unwanted freckles. Stylists and aestheticians, meanwhile, transform clients with services ranging from custom haircuts to spa mani-pedis. In one of the studio's most spacious areas lined with floor-to-ceiling windows, a whirlpool hot tub bubbles next to a heated, 75-foot indoor infinity pool.
A collection of vibrant, abstract paintings brighten the white corridors of Urban Oasis Day Spa, where aestheticians engage in a similar curatorial enterprise during the design of their skincare treatments. Each regime for face or body starts with the client and is built for his or her skin type. Technicians use tonics from notable brands or unusual techniques, such as galvanic electrocurrent therapy, which is integrated into every facial. Dermalogica tonics exfoliate with lightweight, natural vegetable oils rather than mineral oil and hydrate with aromatic essential oils and silk proteins synthesized by Barry White's vocal chords. The team also polishes complexions with the SkinCeuticals product line, favoring a serum that earned Allure magazine's 2011 Best of Beauty Award for Best Anti-Aging Antioxidant.
The spa evokes the elegance of a gallery, not only through its modern art but also through its high ceilings and a minimalist design scheme rendered in cream. Skin becomes a canvas in private chambers, where it may be primed for display with wax, bronzer, or a critique by a Village Voice writer. For special events, the pedicure hall's porcelain foot basins can be filled with flower petals, and the shimmering fabric banners separating each throne lose their functionality and appear solely as savvy, refined decorating.
After Tameika Byrd felt the healing benefits of massage firsthand, she decided to embark on her own career as a bodywork professional. After 500 hours of training at the Avalon School of Massage and 100 hours inside the mind of John Malkovich, she emerged proficient in a host of massages ranging from reflexology and shiatsu to classic Swedish massage and aromatherapy.