A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Led by massage therapist and colon hydrotherapist Kathleen Leslie, the natural-care practitioners at Pura Vida Wellness Spa specialize in pharmaceutical-free healing. Services include detoxifying therapies such as infrared-sauna sessions and several massage modalities and medical-grade skin care and waxing along with ionic foot detoxes. Their bread-and-butter service, though, is colonic irrigation, which Leslie's team uses to address numerous ailments, such as bloating, migraines, and insomnia.
The licensed massage therapists at Massage Advantage dote on visitors with a slew of custom massage techniques, including Swedish, prenatal, and deep tissue. Armed with warm blankets and a credo to respect patients' privacy, therapists begin each 30- or 60-minute session with a discussion on clients' specific aches and ailments. Therapists can also haul their equipment to office buildings for workplace chair massages that help reinvigorate fatigued employees or stressed-out water coolers during 5–15 minute stints. Each succession of kneads is designed to alleviate stress, muscles soreness, and various medical conditions, such as high blood pressure.
Sheer, wine-colored fabric dangles from the ceiling. Track lighting and box-shaped pendant lamps gently illuminate the taupe walls and blond wood floors. A statue of Buddha greets clients as they approach the reception counter. Together, all of these features help create a serene environment at ZenScape Nails Spa & Foot Retreat, which provides visitors with a brief escape from the hurried pace of everyday life.
Here, guests have the opportunity to pamper themselves with mani-pedi treatments that leave nails looking neat and trim or embellish them with unique, eye-catching designs. To round out the menu of spa and salon services, the staffers also apply eyelash extensions and perform hand and foot treatments that leave the skin feeling softer than a teddy bear stuffed with marshmallows.
GX Program keeps its weight-loss clients on track through daily interaction. After signing up and working with a physician to set goals and outline a nutrition program, each client is paired with a health counselor who counsels them daily on the phone, discussing health, eating habits, exercise, and stress levels. With this information, the counselor consults the GX Program's health experts to craft a personalized fitness regimen. Counselors educate their charges on effective workout techniques and healthy, easy-to-make meals that use common ingredients rather than kelps that only grow at the bottom of Mariana Trench, offering daily encouragement to lose pounds and keep them off.
The yogis, bodywork experts, and energy healers at Light In Shining Armor Yoga and Massage Studio help put clients of all ages and abilities on the path to wellness. Their trademarked yoga style, Surya Namaskar, combines ancient teachings with modern health goals and can be modified to suit children, seniors, and those recuperating from injuries or the Andromeda Strain. Massages take a customized approach as well, with each kneading session addressing the unique physical and emotional needs of each client. Meanwhile, pranic healing and reiki sessions aim to improve well-being by harnessing the healing energy of the universe.