Though just a short trip from Charlotte’s bustling downtown, La Bella Vita Day Spa seems a world apart. Located amid the rolling woodlands and quaint brick buildings of Matthews, the spa reflects its immediate surroundings with serene private treatment rooms that host facials, massages, body polishes, and similarly indulgent spa services.
Wrought iron accents adorn the spa’s walls, which glow in the same golden color as the blankets spread across each massage bed. Standing beside one of these beds, massage therapists soothe anxieties and stimulate circulation with full-body Swedish techniques, neuromuscular strokes that target areas of chronic pain, and sports massages that repair muscles strained while throwing down dunks or crouching in timeout huddles. Next door, aestheticians rejuvenate skin with waxing treatments and facials that employ organic Éminence skincare products to erase blemishes. In contrast to the tranquil atmosphere of the private treatment rooms, nail technician Christie Carpenter’s manicure and pedicure stations buzz with lively chatter as she dips hands and feet in baths of moisturizing paraffin and brushes nails with vibrant polish.
Inside her namesake massage studio, Sara Bliss banishes clients' stress and assuages back-bound pain. Trained in such common modalities as Swedish, deep tissue, and reflexology, she also offers guests specialized prenatal massages and can deliver on-site chair massages, perfect for parties, or employee appreciation days. In addition to stress-melting muscle kneading, Bliss further banishes tension with complimentary luxuries such as steamed towels infused with aromatic essential oils and foot reflexology.
At Massage by David, licensed massage therapist David Martin eases stress with a combination of massage styles. Swedish, deep-tissue, myofascial-release, and manual lymph-drainage massages are customized for each client. He's had plenty of practice at this process, as more than 6,000 hours of experience inform each of his carefully tailored massages.
Elizabeth Goodman is very sensitive to the stress that comes from working in a cubicle. It wasn't until she discovered massage that she felt herself begin to unwind, and she realized that the act of helping others relax was more fulfilling than her desk job. So she fled the cubicle. She works as a therapist now, treating the very same aches and pains on her clients she once experienced herself.
As a native of Trinidad, Marcia M. Speer lives and breathes the serenity of the islands. Her grandfather made a living as a healer there, and he eventually passed down his gift for touch. Marcia called on this gift again and again while attending the Southeastern School of Neuromuscular & Massage Therapy and finally opening My Island Touch, where she draws on her family traditions?as well as her experience as a nursing assistant and an EMT?to nurture her clients' minds, bodies, and souls with massage. She employs Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone techniques to help boost circulation and soften overused muscles. She also calls on marjoram to soothe headaches, lavender to ease anxiety, and romantic comedies to loosen tense tear ducts.
Tina Sewell, the licensed massage and bodywork therapist who helms Spa Bliss, channels the relaxing vibe of Hawaii with soothing strokes from around the world. After graduating from the Atlanta School of Massage, she honed her skills in a chiropractor's office in Maui. Here, she developed expertise in lomilomi, a Hawaiian massage technique that involves manipulating sore muscles with the hands and forearms. Like many of her services, lomilomi can ease physical tension while dissolving emotional stress and undigested fudgesicles. Tina also specializes in neuromuscular therapy, a blend of deep-tissue massage, trigger-point therapy, and Japanese shiatsu techniques that can decrease the chronic pain and stiffness caused by musculoskeletal disorders, tennis elbow, carpal-tunnel syndrome, and TMJ.