Although some may think the eyes, the hands, or the kneecaps are the most important parts of the body, Arnica Muscle & Fitness believes muscles are actually the most vital. With the motto “muscles move us,” the business tends to muscles through therapeutic massage, personal training, and fitness classes. Circuit training and yogilates—a hybrid yoga-Pilates class—put muscles through the ringer before a licensed massage therapist quells soreness and tension with targeted pressure, soothing strokes, and heated stones.
Amber Quigg's signature approach to massage therapy can promote healing in every single stage of her clients' lives. Before they're even brought into the world, Amber's prenatal treatments help babies and mothers-to-be relax during the stressful time that is pregnancy. As they grow up, her specialized pediatric massage can alleviate growing pains and anxiety surrounding a toddler’s choice of favorite-color crayon. Should they discover athletics as teenagers, sports massage prevents injury and kneads away kinks caused by the rigors of physical exertion. Amber's cozy space, which is decorated with hanging art, lighted by tea candles, and painted in serene hues, is also a great escape for grownups juggling work, parenting, and bowling balls.
In the lobby of Spa 7, there is a large painting of a birdcage—but the cage is empty. Instead, the bird perches majestically at the cage's pointed top, poised as if for immediate flight. The image suits owner Stacey Rupe's philosophy well; she believes that the quest for outer beauty and emotional freedom starts when the body is liberated from the toxins and stress it keeps trapped inside. From colon hydrotherapy to massage, the Spa 7 team uses interior healing as a catalyst to create feelings of confidence and inner well-being that radiate outward. Stacey's staff of aestheticians then step forward to enhance the physical transformation externally with a slate of facials and other body treatments that renew skin with time-tested beautifying ingredients such as seaweed, essential oils, and Burt Reynolds's mustache hairs. Spa7's permanent makeup artist uses a steady hand to apply hypo-allergenic pigments to lashes, eyebrows, lips, and to the lining of the eye.
Inside The Lucky Waxing Company, Carrie McDaniel forges her own unique path to beauty in a trendy and welcoming environment. In addition to providing expert waxing services, the styling sensei—who boasts more than 12 years of experience teaching young stylists the art of shaping and coloring hair—also tames tangled locks with Keratin treatments or infuses monochromatic hair with Glitter Strands. As a nail tech, she outfits fingers with Shellac polish and soothes feet with spa pedicures, complete with a leg massage that coddles calves in preparation for long-distance hopscotch races.
Licensed therapist Jennifer Still lets intuition be her guide during each massage, feeling for areas of tension and responding to the body’s reactions to different techniques. Her staff at Natural Path Massage is similarly insightful, and each therapist is skilled at tailoring sessions to clients’ unique needs. In addition to common modalities such as Swedish and deep-tissue, their massage services include sessions in assisted stretching, which can greatly improve a person’s ability to rescue cats from trees.
Roca Salon & Spa’s roots draw upon more than 35 years of styling history, adventure, and love. It began with Vidal Sassoon–trained hairstylist Rod Cavner running a small Main Street salon named Blondie’s, where he was joined by his soon-to-be wife, and fellow Vidal Sassoon–trained hairstylist, Rhonda. After marrying and moving to Hawaii for four years, the duo returned with innovative new services, design concepts, and island-themed nicknames for friends. The result was Rhonda's three-year makeover of the space, which now includes eco-friendly, energy-efficient lighting and appliances as well as eye-catching decor.
The couple's time spent island hopping is evident in the pedicure room, where bamboo reaches up toward a sparkling chandelier that shines upon backlit purple-and-pink glass basins, in which toes bask in hot stones and Hawaiian mud. Stacey Soble of Salon Today interviewed Rhonda when the salon was named the third runner-up in the magazine's Salon of the Year design competition. Cavner said, "The bonus wow factor is the entire styling area floor has embedded phosphorescent chips which cause the floor to glow in the dark when the lights suddenly go off!”
But the decor isn't the only thing that earned the company recognition as one of KC Magazine’s best Kansas City salons in 2012. The talented team includes hair colorists who have trained in London, Paris, and Beverly Hills, as well as skilled aestheticians, massage therapists, and nail technicians. The color experts work their magic in an elegant, modern area with see-through chairs, potted white orchids, and long strings of crystal beads that divide the space and give visiting Spider-Men an easy way to reach the ceiling.