It's quiet in Aqua the Day Spa. No cell phones or pagers are allowed to remain active in either of the two locations, so all you hear is your pulse slowing to a steady, soothing beat and the tiny noises made as expert hands open bottles of designer beauty products. Open since 1998, owners Susan and Ralph Barnette struck the right, Enya-like chord in 2003, when they first earned the title of Best Day Spa in the Jackson Free Press's annual "Best Of" roundup. The team of aestheticians and massage therapists have swept that title every year since, deflating the competition in proportion to lifting spirits. Paraben-free Skin Authority and scented Tokyomilk tonics nourish skin with vitamin-rich Moroccan clay and soothing mango, or exfoliate dead cells with bamboo salves scented with ylang-ylang. The staff's nimble hands blend these into custom treatments, including those to combat aging and the strange shadows creeping over men's skin, and work aromatherapeutic elixirs into muscles with nine different massage modalities. OPI and Shellac nail polish transform hands and feet into fashion accessories, a project helped along by smoothing wax.
Licensed massage therapist LaTrisha Bailey oversees a team of relaxation experts that alleviates achiness with a suite of relaxing massage techniques. The Swedish massage unites friction-reducing oils with gentle strokes to help dexterous hands stimulate circulation, knead away stress, and search for tracking devices left by nosey neighbors. The deep-tissue massage relies on stronger strokes to untie the body’s deeply embedded knots. A variety of add-ons spice up massage sessions, stimulating noses with aromatherapy ($5 extra) or using hot stones to warm bodies after long hugs from attention-starved snowmen ($10 extra).
An usui reiki healer, locally trained and licensed therapist Adrienne Anthony restores inner and outer balance to the body. Deep-tissue and relaxation massages soothe stormy exterior muscles, and reiki sessions promote stress reduction and relaxation through the restoration of the body's energy flow. Adrienne also treats the energy escaping from meridian points of hand and feet through reflexology, applying direct pressure on specific points to spur change in specifically connected body areas. Almond and jojoba massage oils nourish and enliven skin during each session, turning blocked energy pathways into slip 'n' slides.
At Gifted Hands Massage Therapy, licensed physical trainers guide clients toward their fitness goals by advising them on exercise and nutrition. They often recommend massage sessions with in-house therapists. These therapists are trained in several modalities, including sports massage, which complements training sessions by alleviating the pain from athletic exercise and even minor injuries such as shoulder strain from tossing bags of flour off the roof. Other reparative treatments include body wraps and skin exfoliations.
Health is related to physical well-being, as well as emotional and spiritual condition, and Tiffany Fealko's background encompasses all of these. As both a licensed massage and Level 3 reiki master, she can ease physical tension through hands-on therapeutic bodywork and unblock the body's energy channels through reiki healing. Tiffany also offers relaxing couples massages, ideal for superheroes and villains wishing to let bygones be bygones.
Licensed massage therapist Christopher Jordan uses massage therapy to make his clients’ lives less stressful. His Swedish massages include soft kneading and tapping to relieve muscle tension, and deep-tissue massages tend to the connective tissue. He also uses hot stones to further soothe muscles. Body wraps and sugar scrubs round out the medley of services.