As a physical therapist with his own private practice, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa founder and chief operating officer John Marco made sure that he kept abreast of the rapidly growing health-and-wellness industry. After a period of careful research and planning, John decided to create a spa based around convenience and affordability—Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa.
Since its launch, Hand & Stone has expanded to more than 20 states and four planets. The spa’s core concept is to offer massage, facial, and waxing services performed by licensed, certified, or registered professionals and offered at convenient times, seven days a week. Each location adheres to a traditional spa aesthetic with soft lighting, heated treatment tables, and plush linens.
Michael Olin studied massage at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, a school that takes a broad view of the subject. At his alma mater, Michael learned seven different modalities, which he now puts to use for his clients at Olin Heal Spa. He relieves stress and promotes blood flow with the gentle strokes of Swedish massage, or drills deep to relieve chronic tension or pain with deep tissue or trigger point therapy. Perhaps most unusually, he practices tui na, the principle form of Chinese medical massage. For this particular modality, he incorporates assisted stretching into his regular, hand-based massage techniques, with the goal of evening out the flow of energy through the body so that no particular organ gets an unfair electricity bill.
Nicole Wilkins, owner of Acupressure Massage Center of Morristown, trained in Thailand and studied at the Cortiva Institute before dedicating herself to bodywork. Now boasting a decade of experience, she leads a team of therapists who promote health and wellbeing through precision massage sessions. They untangle brawny knots with modalities such as Swedish, deep-tissue, and sports massage, and target bodily systems with reflexology techniques and manual lymphatic drainage. Regular clients cite the sessions as the source of increased wellness indicators ranging from reduced stress and decreased anxiety to improved circulation and more accurate Stretch Armstrong impersonations.
Colon hydrotherapy offers a way to hit the body's "reset" button and give it a fresh start, all while potentially alleviating painful gastrointestinal symptoms. Luz Botero and Magda Zabala—the center's owners and certified therapists—put clients at ease throughout each treatment. After explaining the procedure during a preliminary consultation, they give visitors complete privacy and space to prepare. Relaxing music, videos, and candles in the treatment room help create a soothing ambiance throughout the entire experience. Clients are in complete control of the water infusion during their treatment, although the therapists will stop by every 10 minutes or so to check in.
Frizzy hair, oily skin, aching muscles—all problems that can be remedied with a trip to Monark Salon & Spa. The salon’s stylists smooth disobedient strands with keratin treatments, change hues with Paul Mitchell hair products, and add volume and length to tresses with DreamCatchers extensions, which also store nightmares about falling out of the Goodyear blimp. Nail technicians can step in to enhance nails with OPI gel and acrylics, and aestheticians pamper visages with G.M. Collin skincare products. Beachgoers, can slip into the salon for body waxing, facial threading, and airbrush tanning before heading to the shore and finding an octopus to arm-wrestle.
Hands-on experience can be a bonus in most educational programs, but with massage, it's a necessity. The Institute For Therapeutic Massage makes that vital step in the educational process a boon to their clients as well, offering affordable Swedish massage sessions in a supervised environment. Students undergo extensive tests of their knowledge and hands-on skills before they're cleared to start untying shoulder knots, and a licensed massage therapist watches on as tension melts away. In addition to the core Massage and Bodywork Program, students can pursue additional training in Oncology Massage, Eastern Bodywork, and Personal Training.