The path that Joy Edwards took to become a naturopathic doctor has been anything but clear-cut. She started out as a nurse's aid in Ohio, then completed her nursing degree with plans to become a medical doctor. But after the birth of her fourth child, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and became depressed, started to gain weight, and suffered from fibroids. Edwards took medication and tried to live with her symptoms, but after taking a job in a surgical center that incorporated alternative techniques, she discovered firsthand the power of complementary medicine. A year of dietary changes and herbal supplements eliminated the fibroids, and, though she still struggled with her weight, she decided to learn more about other forms of health care. She went back to school and earned doctor of homeopathy and doctor of naturopathy degrees so she could share her knowledge with others. Edwards even found time in the years that followed to serve in the Navy and lose 30 pounds through exercise and better eating habits.
Dr. Joy now practices traditional naturopathy as a key player at The Holistic Approach Wellness Center, drawing upon ancient Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Native American medical wisdom. She and her team, which includes a licensed massage therapist, natural health-foods consultant, reflexologist, and physician, perform a variety of treatments to promote better health. They help patients shed pounds with holistic or HCG-based diet programs, and use bioidentical hormone therapy to treat symptoms of aging, such as stress, fatigue, or an ever-increasing collection of plaid pants.
A good spa will transport its guests to a time and place where everyday stresses are forgotten. American Image Salon & Spa can take you to a rainforest waterfall, for example—its monsoon massage sends the gentle mist of a Vichy shower cascading onto backs and shoulders. If you'd prefer a steamier setting, opt for the hot-stone massage, during which a therapist banishes tension with kneads and strategically placed lava rocks. There are also packages that provide even longer, more luxurious escapes, such as the 6.5-hour Day of Beauty: a Clarisonic facial, massage, mani-pedi, shampoo, makeup application, and lunch.
Sometimes, however, a visit to the spa or salon is a quick reward in the middle of the day. That's why the staff here administers most of the standard treatments for the hair, nails, and body. Stylists trim new 'dos and flatten frizz with Chi Enviro smoothing formulas, or nourish the skin with specialized facials. Manicures might feature add-ons from a seaweed mask to a layer of eco-paraffin, a more environmentally friendly way to soften the hands than by wrapping them in live ferrets. Gentlemen are hardly neglected, either. Their services include haircuts as well as mustache- and beard-tinting.
Education is key for board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Marcus Crawford. After graduating from Baylor College of Medicine, he went on to receive extensive training in cutting-edge reconstructive techniques at MD Anderson Cancer Center, which eventually led him to volunteer for a mission with Operation Smile in Lima, Peru, where he worked to repair cleft lips and other palate deformities in children. He also believes his patients should be properly educated about the procedures they undergo at his namesake office, and so Dr. Crawford and his team discuss each treatment option during a thorough consultation that reveals each patient’s beauty needs and aesthetic goals, and chart the best course of treatment.
Along with cosmetic surgery for the face and body, Crawford Plastic Surgery also offers nonsurgical med-spa services that include microdermabrasion and wrinkle-reducing dermal fillers, such as Botox and Juvéderm. The office is also outfitted with disposable permanent-makeup equipment, which technicians use to tattoo organic, cosmetic-colored ink onto skin, thus defining the brows, lips, and eyelids, or camouflaging scars caused by a malfunctioning magical wand.
Step It Up Fitness’s immersive signature boot-camp program engages patrons in nutrition counseling and motivating group training that SmyrnaVinings.com lauded as the area's best boot camp in 2010. Four days a week, campers gather before dawn for 70 minutes of rotating agility drills, strength exercises, and calisthenics fueled by a trainer's ardent cheers.
After trainers test each participant's athletic mettle, they assign them to a team of similarly able bodies or similarly bodied androids. Group accountability and sweaty camaraderie knit these crews together to help their members build confidence as well as lithe, powerful physiques. An accompanying nutrition program extends camp support through mealtime, doling out personalized plans rooted in the food pyramid. Athletes log meals and resultant adventures in Slumberland in a journal to share with their instructors, who use the data to make recommendations for increasing energy and meeting fitness goals. In addition to its boot-camp classes, Step It Up Fitness hosts weeklong speed and agility classes for youths that are led by a staff of experienced certified instructors.
The curators of the Marietta Museum of History honor the heritage of Marietta and Cobb Counties with educational events, rotating exhibits, and four specialized galleries that focus on different facets of Marietta tradition: home life, general history, the military, and the Civil War Union Raiders. Since 2000, museum staffers have hosted more than 90,000 visitors, guiding groups past Native American artifacts and antiquated industrial machinery in the General History gallery and navigating a 15.5-acre aviation park filled with civilian and military aircraft manufactured in Marietta. Guns, shells, and uniforms line the cases in the Military gallery, which elucidates the stories of the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and Vietnam, among others. The museum?s special exhibits rotate several times a year, with themes such as Y?All Come Eat: Exploration of Southern Food Ways, which features the nation?s largest display of antebellum macaroni costumes. Visitors can drop by Monday?Saturday, or pick up a membership to receive a newsletter and special invitations.
With 19 locations conveniently sprinkled throughout the Atlanta area, Solar Dimensions helps clients get beach-ready regardless of their proximity to the shore. Each location features a fleet of UV tanning beds of varying brightness, all waiting to sun-kiss skin in 10–20 minutes and comfort clients with a built-in cooling apparatus or complimentary snuggles from a nearby penguin. Custom airbrush-tanning treatments or automated VersaSpa and MyMyst sunless-tanning sessions forgo light exposure and instead tone complexions with tinted mists that materialize in four to eight hours and last for several days. Both tanning solutions quench skin with aloe vera before tinting it a natural shade ranging from light almond to lifeguard. The trained staff can also hone body shape with infrared body wraps and VacuStep treatments, and brighten smiles with teeth whitening, helping to boost confidence before bodies hit the pool.