The licensed massage therapists at Massage Alaska vaporize stress with a menu of both soothing and rehabilitative body treatments acted out within a powder-blue room. The list of modalities extends from basic relaxation massage to more intense deep- tissue massage and myofascial release. Natural aids such as hot stones, warm canes of bamboo, and badgers with velvet gloves suffuse the homey studio with the serenity of the forest. Nail techs also groom men’s and women's fingers and toes, evincing Massage Alaska's dedication to hygiene by using disposable implements.
Swedish and deep-tissue massage are two bodywork approaches that render very different benefits. Read our guide to choose the best option for you.
The relationship between deep-tissue and Swedish massage is much like that between DayQuil and NyQuil. Both are designed to help you feel better, but the one that makes the most sense depends on your individual needs. Here's what to expect from each of the two modalities:
Swedish massage combines four distinct motions?effleurage, petrissage, friction, and tapotement?to help relieve muscle tension and stimulate blood flow, thereby energizing the body and soothing the mind during a single relaxing session. The four phases are easy enough to distinguish. Effleurage refers to the smooth, gliding strokes that help relax soft tissues at the beginning of the treatment, followed by the squeezing, rolling, or kneading gestures of petrissage. Deep, circular motions make up the friction phase, in which layers of tissue rub against one another to boost circulation. Therapists conclude the massage with tapotement, a rapid cadence of percussive taps performed with cupped hands, fingers, or the edge of the hand.
Whereas Swedish massage focuses on relieving mental and physical tension, deep-tissue massage has more specific concerns. Due to stress and other factors, the layer of connective tissue that covers and interpenetrates the body's muscles and bones?the fascia?often tenses up, resulting in muscle knots and a painful buildup of lactic acid. Deep-tissue massage aims to warm up the fascia and release the accumulated toxins. To achieve this, the therapist?s fingers, thumbs, and elbows move along the body in slow, deliberate strokes, applying pressure to penetrate beyond superficial muscle layers. Although the intensity can produce some discomfort, deep-tissue massage should still be relaxing; the goal, after all, is to relieve the tension between muscles and their weird roommate, the skeleton.
The fronds of live plants sway in the air amid neutral-toned walls, soft lighting, and area rugs, all of which give DermaGlow’s interior a homey atmosphere that juxtaposes with the sharp and professional skills of its staff. Aestheticians lend skin a radiant glow with a range of services—they don’t stop at tanning. Organic Dermaquest products empower facials as they work to reduce signs of sun damage and aging, and peels and microdermabrasions delve deeper into epidermal layers. Botanical spray tans burnish skin with a glow, and professional makeup artists beautify blinks with Novalash eyelash extensions.
Stationed at her stress-free oasis inside Salon Glow, massage therapist Liz Morse draws on her extensive training and years spent working in a chiropractic office to dissipate tension with therapeutic massage techniques. Like a poorly trained team of synchronized swimmers, Liz changes her strokes constantly, mixing a variety of modalities into each of her therapy sessions. Her techniques range from flowing Swedish strokes to concentrated deep-tissue pressures, encompassing specialized methods that target neuromuscular junctions or melt away stress with heated bamboo. Along with her regular services, Liz triggers mutual relaxation with couples massages and tends to sore muscles on their own turf with in-home treatments.
The best way to describe Pamper Me Spa is a strategic color eruption. Between pink and neon yellow-checkered floor tiles and a vibrant fuchsia ceiling, the walls display an enormous abstract cityscape, with sponge-painted skyscrapers and a blue twilight backdrop. Amid these glitzy accents, skilled stylists bedeck tresses with bold color highlights and customize haircuts to clients’ preferences and lifestyles. The salon also offers private rooms for soothing massages and waxing services as well as a free play center for children and the Muppets who follow them, awaiting the right moment to burst into song.
With the rise of environmental illnesses and cancers in recent years, Dr. Thomas Taylor and his staff at Alaska Healing Touch have a healthy distrust of chemicals. That's why virtually everything that might touch clients' skin during their massage or chiropractic evaluation is chemical free and organic. Organic, food-grade massage oils come completely free of allergens and fragrance, as do the soft, organic sheets—which have been cleaned in a facility equally devoid of chemical fragrances and detergents. Dr. Taylor's massage expertise is treating auto- and work-related injuries.