West Ave Spa's licensed therapists dole out relaxing and therapeutic massages designed to lower pain and lift spirits. The massage menu addresses myriad complaints?there's Swedish massage to allay general stress, sports massage to relieve injury or symptoms of an active lifestyle, and wellness massage, a Swedish?deep-tissue hybrid treatment that both lowers stress levels and eases chronic tension. To make the treatments that much more indulgent, the therapists offer add-ons like scalp treatments with nourishing argan oil and hand and foot scrubs to remove dead skin and glue-filled socks. They also administer full-body scrubs such as a brown sugar scrub, which imparts a radiant glow, or a green tea and algae scrub, which uses caffeine to stimulate the mind and vitamins to soothe aches and pains.
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.
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.
Living Room Community Acupuncture may be different than most acupuncture clinics in the US, but it’s similar to the ones in China. Instead of treating individual clients in an isolated room, the community-acupuncture clinic treats clients in one big group in an open treatment room. This style is more common in China because it encourages group healing and can be done on a sliding cost scale due to the fact that the acupuncturists can treat more than one person at a time.
After a consultation, which includes a tongue check to make sure clients can flip it upside-down, the acupuncturist inserts the needles into the forearms, hands, lower legs, feet, and head. Clients then recline in comfortable zero-gravity chairs, typically for 30–40 minutes. Treatments may help to alleviate general pain and decrease stress, as well as tackle specific conditions such as headaches, digestive disorders, and asthma.
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.
The wellness wizards at B-Alternative restore bodily balance with acupuncture, a treatment that helps address a wide range of digestive, respiratory, and neurological concerns. During one-hour sessions, a licensed pinpointer inserts sterilized or disposable needles into strategic points along the body with the aim of unblocking energy clogs and relieving chronic pain, a phenomenon scientists attribute to stimulation of the nervous system. Instead of using hollow needles, which can encourage bruising or irritation, technicians use very thin stainless-steel needles that, like argumentative Fonzies, smoothly come to a point. Many clients report the procedure as being entirely or nearly pain free, and many phonograph records find it catchy.