Even as a 4-year-old growing up in Honolulu, Vee Osborne was drawn to Hawaiian shamanism and the Huna philosophy, which stresses the balance of the mind, body, and spirit through one’s actions. Her early passion for healing others led her down the path to becoming a hypnotherapist, reiki master, and ordained minister before she funneled her devotion to creating harmony and guiding others toward wellness into Plaza West Massage & Day Spa. Here, clouds of gentle music and the scent of essential oils greet her guests, who slip into robes and sip wine as they unwind. And Vee’s Hawaiian roots remain readily apparent, inspiring the spa’s potted palms, bamboo massages, piña-colada scrubs, and wall-sized pictures that bring Pacific beaches to Kansas.
Vee’s healing services go beyond relaxation, though. Her team of massage therapists kneads aching muscles with Swedish, trigger-point, and deep-tissue modalities, deepening their knot-fighting effect with volcanic stones and essential oils. After a body wrap with Dead Sea salts or a glycolic peel, guests can visit the two-tiered sauna or extend their rejuvenation with an energy-balancing reiki session. The spa also delves into treatments that rely on electronic frequencies, such as a tri-phasic resonator, which fights cellulite, or quantum electro-ionization, which aims to diminish blemishes rather than cover them up with white-out. Before heading home, clients can pick up body and facial products from Vee’s eponymous line, such as Island Essence hair products, complete with tropical scents.
Like the full range of muscles it challenges, Wellbridge Athletic Club & Spa affords a full range of experiences to a broad spectrum of visitors, from corporate coworkers to athletic kids. A 25-yard indoor lap pool hosts swimmers, who can dry off with towels in a full-amenity locker room. Group fitness classes challenge visitors to sweat through cycling, Pilates, and aqua Zumba. The latter gets swimming bodies boogying to the tune of energetic international and Latin rhythms. There are also more than 47 pieces of cardio equipment that allow visitors to work out independently, and some of the cardio machines have flat-screen TVs and satellite radio, which actually orbits you as you listen to it.
In order to offer their visitors ample guidance, Wellbridge Athletic Club & Spa staffs several personal trainers, who assist clients striving for a variety of goals, including weight loss and injury recovery. The facility’s free childcare allows parents to work out without the hassle of finding a sitter, and its spa allows those same parents to shed every last scintilla of stress during a relaxing massage.
For an Air Force veteran, Eric Green is awfully comfortable straying into unfamiliar territory. Stationed in Florida, Green took up the practice of reiki, a healing method that deals with a subject that's fascinated him since adolescence: the flow of energy. Today, as a certified Reiki Master, Green practices Usui and Tibetan-style reiki, using strategic hand positions to relax the body, diminish stress, and promote overall health. Green customizes his reiki treatments for each client, sometimes relying on Hayashi hand positions, sometimes turning to hands-off techniques, and sometimes chit-chatting about his old scoutmaster, Mr. Tim, if the client was in his old scout troop and remembers Mr. Tim. Green also offers training for all levels of reiki, including Reiki Master.
As a personal trainer, qi gong and yoga instructor, and physical-therapist assistant, Ken has developed a broad and intuitive understanding of the human body. He brings all this knowledge—plus more than 15 years of massage experience—to bear during soothing sessions at STL Massage and Health. There, Ken and his team of qualified massage therapists tackle muscular knots with a wide variety of modalities, including Swedish and deep-tissue massages.
Nicole Hogan and Charles Gillick, owners of Blu: A Color Salon, don’t rest on their laurels just because they employ a team of talented stylists. During weekly three-hour continuing-education sessions, they keep their staffers abreast of the hottest trends in the salon world, such as feather extensions and silly-string ponytails. As its name implies, the salon specializes in coloring hair using products from the L’Oréal Professional line. The stylists also rely on L’Oréal products for power-dose treatments, which repair and strengthen damaged locks.
As clients await their turn in their stylist’s chair, they can sip from a complimentary glass of wine or cup of coffee. The warmly lit salon keeps easily frightened hair follicles relaxed with sleek decor that includes potted plants, track lighting, and a high ceiling.
The holistic therapists at Imperial Foot Care alleviate stress throughout the body by combining massaging strokes with the pinpointed prods of reflexology. Working on the premise that certain areas of the hands, feet, and ears correlate with areas of the body, reflexology practitioners apply focused pressure to the extremities to help balance energy pathways and reduce pain, diminishing the need for chemical compounds or high-risk body-switching procedures. Ensconced in a private treatment room, therapists' trained hands glide over muscles and bodily meridians in their effort to increase circulation and minimize the pain associated with stress, tension headaches, arthritis, and back problems.