Core muscles tone and tidy-up with the help of Dragonfly Pilates' chiseling schedule of mentally and physically invigorating sessions. Up to eight students flock beneath the fit wings of the studio's experienced instructors for 50-minute classes that incorporate measured movements, controlled breathing, and double-dutch footwork into the regimen. Mat classes imbue attendees with the flexibility and awareness necessary to improve posture by honing basic Pilates fundamentals for beginning and intermediate students. Experienced Pilates aficionados head over to small-props sessions, workouts supplementing challenging moves with an arsenal of foam rollers, magic circles, and ball pits; restorative stretch sessions limber-up abdominals with a gentle sequence of tension-shedding exercises. Dragonfly Pilates requires students to call in order to schedule their first session and demands that visitors have a basic understanding of Pig Latin.
For Fusion Bodyworks’ owner, Jody Manofsky, true fitness is all about balance. She should know—her 15-year career has included stints as an aerobics instructor and personal trainer, as well as work as both a massage and chiropractic rehab therapist. Her career took another turn in 2006, when she discovered yoga. Enamored with the practice’s ability to relax her mind and strengthen her body, she trained to become a certified instructor so that she could add it to the cadre of tools she uses to help others find similar balance in their own lives.
Today at Fusion Bodyworks, Jody blends each aspect of her background as she works with clients not only to improve their fitness, but also to map out their goals and find the best route to getting them there. That route can include anything from personal training and nutrition counseling to regular massage, which can help speed recovery following a strenuous workout or injury. In addition to taking on individual clients, Fusion Bodyworks offers corporate services and can bring classes, workshops, or personal-training skills to employees in any office or aboard any shrimp boat.
Doctor of Chiropractic Jerry DalCanton is good with kids. A member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and the resident expert at Kids First Chiropractic, he routinely aligns the spines of children, and he once served as a high-school basketball coach. But the doctor—whose credentials also include a postgraduate-level chiropractic certification in spinal trauma—hasn't limited his focus to kids. A past life saw him working as a chiropractor for the members of Pittsburgh's former lacrosse team; today he performs adjustments for both kids and adults, erasing spine-related pain with therapeutic exercise, nutrition programs, spinal manipulation, and—under the banner of Bodyworks Connection Massage—massage therapy.
During spinal-manipulation sessions, Dr. Jerry applies corrective pressure to both sides of an adult client's spine, aiming to restore alignment and enhance mobility in vertebral joints. He uses a gentler form of this treatment for children, helping them recover after one too many games of kids' caber tossing. Dr. Jerry and his staff also check for hard-to-find problems using 3-D posture analysis. Based on the results of these tests, he can create a recovery program that combines mirror-image exercises and adjustments.
From the outside, Resolutions Med Spa has the look of a rural country house––a quality that continues inside to its pastel-hued walls, wood accents, and plush, high-backed pedicure sofas. Amid these cozy accents, guests may partake in a mélange of beautification services, ranging from microdermabrasion and chemical peels to waxing and makeup consultations. The spa also employs a licensed massage therapist who can ease chronic tension with hot-stone therapy and restorative deep-tissue bodywork.
Dominique Ponko sits at the head of the class, leading yogis through muscle-lengthening postures with the steady flow of her deep, rhythmic inhales and exhales. It’s been a long journey for Dominique. She first sought out yoga at the age of 26 to help her cope with life-threatening seizures and a slow-growing brain tumor. Yoga comforted her through three difficult years, welcoming her into a space for healing spiritually before she was able to find the proper medicine to help her heal physically. Though still a little shaky, Dominique has triumphed and opened four yoga studios—voted Best of the ‘Burgh in 2010—to inspire her students to ease their ailments, build strength, and find inner peace.
During her studio's heated Vinyasa-flow classes, an enthusiastic and supportive instructor guides students through a series of strengthening postures that work to increase flexibility and build muscles. Warm, balmy air courses through the studio, pricking beads of sweat on brows to help detox bodies and loosen stiff muscles into deep, soothing stretches.
Dr. David Petti knows firsthand the importance of a camera-ready smile. He saw it up close from Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito when he played a news reporter alongside the actors in the movie Hoffa. When he isn’t showing off his pearly whites on film, he’s helping others maintain healthy grins with assistance from his staff. He performs general and cosmetic dentistry on patients in need of checkups, cleanings, whitening treatments, or help finding an alternative use for clothes knit from dental floss.
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