Holly Potter, a licensed aesthetician and massage therapist, got her start by working in a large spa. Though this experience helped her hone her skills, she wanted to work in a more intimate environment where she could craft custom therapies that focused on the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. So in 2009, she founded Everything Zen, where she teams up with a somatic practitioner and a certified health coach to cosset clients amid the red walls, bamboo, orchids, and Asian-style décor of a private massage room. Specialists soothe tense muscles and free blocked energy with massage, reiki, and reflexology and polish up visages with facials and microdermabrasion treatments. Like Q-Tips on strike, bodies also find liberation from buildup through ionic footbaths and ear candling.
Owner Shelley Colonese began Health in Harmony to empower clients to take a more active role in their health with organic nutrition and holistic healing services. Services such as organic diet coaching, massage, and ear candling help clients build a lifestyle rich in healing and environmentally friendly habits, which the center’s staff enjoys as well. "Everything that we offer here we also all partake in,” Shelley says. “As holistic practitioners we work on each other." She laughs. "I guess you could say that's an occupational benefit." Shelley’s commitment to health applies not only to her staff and clients, but also to the earth itself. The entire building features energy-efficient windows, soy-based insulation, and bamboo flooring harvested by pandas that rinse and reuse their plastic bags.
Rita Ammons still doesn't quite believe it. In 1987, she was in a serious car accident that left her suffering with severe pain from nerve damage. A friend recommended reiki as a healing practice, and within time, Ammons found that it worked—the treatments seemed to heal her. Amazed and inspired, she became a master reiki practitioner herself, eventually expanding her expertise into massage and opening her own practice, Back to Harmony Massage & Bodywork.
Now a licensed massage therapist, Ammons offers treatments in 10 modalities, from relaxing Swedish massages to medical massages that help treat ailments including back pain, headaches, and arthritis. She also seeks to heal guests through reiki and to soothe backs with hot-stone massages, which are far more relaxing than hugging a furnace.
Licensed massage therapist Debra Carberry has always been helping people. As a social worker for 15 years, and a trained children’s yoga instructor, Debra has honed her ability to create a supportive, safe, and healing environment and caters to clients of all needs including those suffering from chronic physical and emotional pain. Today, her way of helping people takes the form of the more than 10 types of massage modalities she doles out on a regular basis. For clients suffering from back pain, she can help untie tricky knots with deep tissue massages or her speciality, barefoot massage—ashiatsu oriental bar therapy— and therapeutic massages are customized to each individual client's needs. Debra also offers relaxing hot stone and therapeutic massage.
Within a studio perched above the Other Tiger book store, nationally certified reflexologist Kelly Urso wields more than a decade of experience in manipulating clients' extremities to cultivate whole-body relaxation. During a reflexology session, Kelly delves her digits into pressure points on the soles of feet or the palms of hands to transmit healing energy through the nervous system. A custom aromatherapy blend can enhance calmness as the treatment increases circulation and endeavors to alleviate stress, aches, sinus problems, and the digestive issues that come with reading Ulysses in just one night. Kelly also teaches reflexology courses to prep students for certification, as well as performs reiki treatments and ear candling to clear auras and aural canals.