Even as a child, Gustavo Briand's fascination with hairstyling was so strong, he was willing to get into trouble for it. In the years since he lopped off the locks of his sister and all of her dolls, he's gained enough fans to outweigh any early disapproval his passion encountered. Those fans tend to be highly visible: a lifelong lover of the arts, he's styled a long list of opera stars, prepped heads for the red carpet at London Fashion Week, and performed pro-bono work for the Florida Grand Opera, the Miami City Ballet, and the Miami Symphony Orchestra.
In his home studio, Briand and his team draw from a service menu spiked with innovative techniques. Ionic infrared technology leaves blowouts smooth but not overly dry, Davines and Sojourn shampoos and conditioners are specially formulated to restore dehydrated hair, and hair extensions are applied with a minute "lock-and-key" system that requires no adhesives, duct tape, or other potentially damaging techniques.
A full-fledged day spa, Massage by Design offers much more than its name might convey. Here, massage therapists practice uncommon modalities, such as Tian Di bamboo massage, in which smooth bamboo sticks are rolled across the back help improve circulation and alleviate musculoskeletal pain. Custom signature massages blend many modalities, including Swedish and deep tissue, to treat each individual's most pressing needs. But beyond the physical manipulation, aestheticians revitalize complexions with anti-aging facials and microdermabrasions. Mani-pedis beautify nails, lash extensions create lavish looks, and waxing gets rid of unwanted hair in a safer manner than leaning over a campfire.
For more than 10 years, Doctor of Chiropractic Gordon Braun—known to his patients simply as Dr. G—has been helping clients find relief from sports injuries, chronic pain, and injuries sustained during car accidents while guiding them to health and wellness. Dr. G aims to ease patients’ pains through manual adjustments, which can reduce pressure on the nerves and improve function, in addition to releasing unwanted stress.
Synergy Wellness Clinic founder Doctor of Chiropractic Gustavo Marshall’s experiences with traditional organized medicine left him disappointed, noting that it felt like “looking at the trees, rather than the whole forest.” So the licensed chiropractor assembled a team of heathcare practitioners who could work together to address the whole person, rather than just his or her symptoms. “Here, we’re always looking at the body from the standpoint of the whole forest,” he says.
When Dr. Marshall meets with new patients, he considers a variety of factors, such as their living environment, sleep habits, nutrition, and frequency of hot-coal walks. Then, he may pair his own chiropractic techniques with massage therapy or nutritional counseling. And if his own clinic doesn’t have the resources his patients need, he’s happy to recommend additional practitioners to help them on their path to wellness.
Dr. Marshall also recognizes that, regardless of his client’s ailment, stress can be a huge barrier to recovery. So he strives to establish his clinic as a refuge from the urban bustle. During massages, for instance, therapists ensconce patients in private treatment rooms equipped with flickering candles, memory-foam tables, and soothing music. They also draw upon aromatherapy to deepen relaxation.
Angel Orozco is as well traveled as he is knowledgeable—not that the two qualities developed separately. The licensed massage therapist and board-certified holistic health counselor has learned ancient healing techniques from teachers in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. Along with his licensed staff, he incorporates those lessons into spa and wellness treatments at BodySense. The result is that the center offers an impressive range of massage styles—20 total in fact—from Thai and postpartum to a honey body massage that exfoliates skin with lemon and caraway-enriched honey.
The rest of BodySense's service menu is a hybrid of Western and Eastern approaches. Acupuncture sits side by side with a treatment that combines medical massage and electrotherapy. Gerard's organic skincare products power facial treatments such as the caviar and soy facials. To help clients control the most important factor influencing their health besides whether or not they're napping in a catapult with a rusty old safety, BodySense creates custom weight-loss programs, which provide participants with nutritional counseling, massages, body treatments, and exercise classes.
As an 11-year-old girl, Doctor of Chiropractic Wendy Gallego was diagnosed with scoliosis. The painful curvature in her spine immediately began to interfere with her life, forcing her to drop out of gymnastics and wear a back brace. After years of chronic discomfort, a college friend suggested that she visit a chiropractor, and she finally began to find relief from her symptoms. More importantly, she was inspired by her chiropractor's whole-body approach to wellness, which emphasized nutrition and lifestyle as well as treatment. This drove her to become a chiropractor herself while formulating the philosophy that "people should not be perceived as separately functioning parts, but rather as a complex structure of interdependent systems." By founding Shin Wellness, she sought to create a holistic health care center that addressed physical as well as mental health.
Embracing Western and Eastern treatment modalities, Dr. Gallego looks for instructors and therapists with more than technical proficiency and a photographic recollection of the periodic table. She claims that "there's a quality that comes with being a healer," and she looks for that passion in all her prospective employees, whether they will be performing massages, conducting hypnotherapy sessions, or leading Pilates classes.