What do a mainframe programmer and a massage therapist have in common? Both break down complex puzzles into their elemental parts and work toward solutions methodically. But for Bruce Morgan of Bodyworks By Bruce, a former engineer, no matter how long he worked with a particularly confounding programming problem and no matter how technically rewarding the project was, the human element of building relationships was missing.
That difference is what drew him into massage therapy. Whereas programming works within defined parameters, Bruce never knows what sort of puzzle he's going to solve when presented with a client suffering from pain. Before sessions, he consults with all clients extensively to get to know them and their symptoms, and encourages them to give feedback during sessions so that he can customize his approach. Shoulder pain, for example, may be symptomatic of a person compensating for damage in the ankles, which is why Bruce routinely delivers full-body massages. His training specialized in myofascial release and cross-fiber friction, whose strokes alternate between going with and against the muscle grain, and he uses these techniques to target problem areas.
Each client enjoys warmth in the private treatment room, both from a table warmer and the sage green shade of the walls. A salt lamp lends the room a relaxing glow, and Bon Vital all-natural lotion keeps skin hydrated. To set the soundtrack for their session, clients can select from a range of light jazz, Native American music, or nature sounds, including a chorus of dolphins covering Barry White songs.
Licensed massage therapist Caitrin Rames, LMT, specializes in shiatsu bodywork, a form of massage that focuses on balancing the body's chi in order to treat internal ailments and imbalances. Rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, shiatsu massage employs focused pressure along the body's meridians to heal backs strained from kneeling in rice paddies or from pole vaulting over the Great Wall. In addition to her flagship shiatsu technique, Caitrin also soothes muscles with cranial-sacral-release therapy and pregnancy massages for expectant mothers.
Melissa McTee spent upwards of seven years honing her craft and learning new skills, and has become something of a beauty Renaissance woman, single-handedly performing an array of services ranging from haircuts to nail treatments. She revives worn-down digits and tops them with glossy polish, and infuses strands with rich, vibrant hues using Schwarzkopf Professional color and melted crayons. She also removes unwanted facial hair quickly and meticulously, deploying stripless wax infused with essential rose oil to render skin smooth.
The stylists at Cost Cutters keep pace with families' brisk lives by bestowing stylish haircuts without the hassle of making an appointment. Children, women, and men succumb to the artful snips of scissors and come out with trimmer, shapelier 'dos in a fraction of the time it takes to cut hair with the earth's erosional forces. Signature haircare products from CC Professional lead the charge on each customer's final style, aided by products from Paul Mitchell, Redken, and Tigi.
Back in 1999, brothers David and Rick Kueber noticed a lag in business at their chain of video-rental shops during the summer months, when no one wanted to be cooped up inside watching movies. The two put their heads together and found a rather unconventional solution to their problem: tanning beds. They installed a new fleet of skin-bronzing machines and sat back as so many clients flocked to their shop that the brothers were forced to open an entire store just to cater to their clients’ tanning demands. This was the birth of Sun Tan City. Today, what started as an experimental side business boasts more than 200 locations across 16 states.
The staff at each location maintains a meticulously clean space, where they show clients to UV beds dubbed fast, faster, fastest, and instant. The beds include features such as facial tanners and self-contained air conditioners. Alternatively, clients can opt for the UV-free, automated VersaSpa system, which swathes physiques in a DHA, plant-based bronzing solution. The liquid reacts naturally with skin’s amino acids, creating an even coat as radiant as the high beams on Helios’s chariot within 46 seconds.
At Elite Tan & Nails, clients add a natural-looking, sun-kissed glow to their skin with UV beds or sunless spray-tan booths. Guests enhance their golden-brown tones with lotions and scrubs from Tiny Bubbles or Cabana Queen. Clients can also indulge in manicures and pedicures; skilled nail technicians beautify visitors' appendages with colorful nail-polish designs.