After suffering from a number of painful complications tied to an allergic reaction, Quiet Touch's owner Jennifer Apolinario says that massage therapy was what made her feel whole. Trigger-point massage helped to relieve severe migraines, and craniosacral therapy worked to restore balance after being paralyzed on her left side. She opened Quiet Touch to share the healing power of touch through massage sessions rather than by high-fiving every sad-looking person she passes. She incorporates Biofreeze products during joint massage to restore flexibility with a cooling sensation similar to an ice pack. Paraffin dips, which for Apolinario relieved the stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis, envelop hands and feel in soothing warmth.
Each stroke from the therapists at Adams & Eve Garden of Massage usher clients toward a blissful state, earning it recognition as 2012's Best Massage in Osceola by readers of Practical Living Magazine. During specialty sessions, these therapists get a boost from the transformative fragrance of aromatherapy and the muscle-melting heat of hot stones. For Russian-style sports massages, they shake up muscles weary from athletic feats with rigorous strokes before rolling and twisting them, which helps speed up recovery and release toxins that cause soreness and the tendency to throw jabs whenever a bell rings. Sessions can be enhanced with body wraps.
The joys of a massage or the relief of a chiropractic adjustment?and the stresses of physical work?play out partly in the muscles. Learn just what pumps the body up with Groupon?s guide to the muscular system.
The human body has more than 630 muscles keeping it upright and mobile. They make up almost half its weight and power the movements of the bones, the blood, and even the food in the stomach. Perhaps the most familiar muscles are those seen in bodybuilding contests and facial-expression contests: the skeletal, or voluntary, muscles. They?re attached to our bones and controlled by our brains, which zap them with electrical signals to cause their fibers to contract. During a muscle contraction, filaments inside the muscle fibers slide together, stacking up on one another so that the larger fiber shortens. In shortening, the fibers gain thickness?a phenomenon we notice as flexing. Whatever muscles do, they accomplish by this single pulling action. If a bicep (part of a category of muscles known as flexors) flexes to lift a barbell, it needs a tricep (an extensor), pulling in the opposite direction, to bring the arm back down.
The other two types of muscles are smooth muscles and cardiac muscles, and both are beyond our conscious control. Cardiac muscles control the beating of the heart, contracting the chambers to push blood throughout the body. But the blood doesn?t ride to the toes on that momentum alone. Lining the blood vessels are smooth muscles that help push it along. These also line the esophagus, stomach, and intestine to move food through the digestive track, and can even help regulate the body?s temperature by opening and closing capillaries near the skin surface, all without conscious effort. The subconscious brain is also happy to turn muscles to ends beyond their apparent purpose: for instance, what we experience as shivering from cold is simply the brain causing the
As co-owners of Trend Studios Orlando, Matthew Bengston and Anthony Cortes have cultivated a business that reflects their own areas of expertise. Matthew brings his skills as a stylist to the hair salon, where he and his team cut men’s and women’s hair, add highlights, and lengthen locks with extensions. For his part, Anthony draws on his talents as a teeth-whitening and airbrush-tanning specialist to oversee those branches of the studio. Both Matthew and Anthony go out of their way to ensure a comfortable experience for clients: Anthony’s airbrush tans, for example, employ an Evolv. Sidekick tanning system that warms up its tanning solution before gently misting skin. For the spa services in which they do not specialize, Matthew and Anthony employ a knowledgeable staff that performs massages, waxing treatments, and a cappella renditions of the spa’s relaxing soundtrack.
As a physical therapist with his own private practice, Hand & Stone founder and chief operating officer John Marco made sure that he kept abreast of the rapidly growing health and wellness industry. After a period of careful research and planning, John decided to create a spa based around convenience and affordability—Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa.
Since its launch, Hand & Stone has expanded to more than 20 states and four planets. The spa’s core concept is to offer massage, facial, and waxing services performed by licensed, certified, or registered professionals and offered at convenient times, seven days a week. Each location adheres to a traditional spa aesthetic with soft lighting, heated treatment tables, and plush linens.
Gauzy curtains stretch from floor to ceiling inside Top of the Palms Spa, winnowing soft light out of harsh sunrays. Although these curtains block a sweeping view of Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort's palms and pools, they effectively separate guests from worldly concerns and nosy seagulls. In dimly lit treatment rooms with overstuffed beds, clients undergo botanical treatments that incorporate agave oil, coconut milk, lemongrass, and other natural ingredients. The spa's signature Coconut Palm massage melds the soft strokes and firm kneads of Swedish and deep-tissue modalities, and its signature pure fiji coconut oil softens skin with the help of aloe, chamomile, and seaweed.