As a ballet dancer, David Gensheimer didn't need much help becoming lean, limber, and lithe. But when he found himself recovering from knee surgery, he knew he needed to find something that would keep him strong without compromising his healing process. In addition to physical therapy, he turned to Pilates and was won over by the sport's ability to strengthen core muscles and enhance flexibility. Though he was back to pirouetting in no time, David never lost the Pilates bug and went on to complete his Pilates training while serving as a company member with Ballet Austin and Nashville Ballet and dancing with the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and Stillpoint.
Today, when he's not busy dancing his way through guest performances around the country, David helms Simply Balanced where he helps others strengthen, rehabilitate, and challenge their bodies through Pilates and yoga classes. Students can also try Gyrotonic classes, which blend elements of gymnastics, yoga, dance, and tai chi, performed on a weight and pulley machine that engages the entire body. Beyond transforming the way visitors look, move, and feel about spandex shorts, the Simply Balanced studio also showers them with feel-good perks such as complimentary beverages, free parking, and access to a team of highly trained massage therapists.
Joined by more than their salon’s name, stylists Jón and Alan have spent more than two decades refining their skills side by side. Today, the duo passes on their knowledge to the stylists on their team, teaching them the tricks of the trade as they cut, color, and add texture to hair. When they aren’t watching over their stylists or juggling combs dipped in barbicide and lit on fire, they check in on the spa’s technicians, who soothe their clients’ skin with resurfacing facials, chemical peels, and relaxing massages.
All of the salon’s custom skin and scalp treatments draw on Aveda's world-renowned arsenal of plant-based products. Guided by socially conscious principles for more than 30 years, Aveda produces a full line of natural beauty products carried at nearly 7,000 salons and spas. Popular products such as Shampure shampoo and witch-hazel hair spray deliver on Aveda's commitment to well-rounded earthly beauty with eco-friendly packaging cradling ingredients derived from the world's finest and least selfish plants.
A few wisps of smoke from an extinguished candle hang in the air, along with the lingering fragrance of aromatic oils and the soft strains of jazz or nature sounds. One of the licensed massage therapists at Mona Lisa's Massage & Wellness has completed another relaxing session, easing muscle tension and stress with modalities such as hot-stone therapy, pregnancy or sports massage, or reflexology. The center's practitioners operate in an intimate and tranquil four-room suite complete with a mani-pedi station. In the couples room, pairs enjoying a Yin + Yang massage nosh on chocolate-covered strawberries and discuss how to install electric handlebar warmers on a tandem bike.
The crew exfoliates skin with coconut-lime-scented scrubs and detoxifies bodies with wraps that include a session in the steam sauna. They also aim to clear complexions with 10 different anti-aging facial treatments and peels.
Tucked into a historic home replete with an art center and retail space filled with organic and locally produced products, Center of Symmetry?s trained wellness workers provide holistic health services. Clients range from mothers and fathers looking to relax during their free time to college students trying to relieve sore muscles after moving. The center?s licensed massage therapists work to assuage tension with a variety of massage techniques, including Swedish and reflexology?pressure applied to the hands and feet to help stimulate organs and improve health. Consultant hypnotist Barry O'Neill, the center?s onsite hypnotist, provides private hypnotherapy sessions to aid in weight loss, smoking cessation, and confidence building as well as group weight-loss seminars.
To licensed massage therapist Lewis Braswell, the ups and downs of life are like the crests and troughs of a sound wave?and through Harmonic Bodywork, he strives to create a place where his clients? minds, bodies, and spirits are perfectly in tune. To relieve clients of pain and tension, he draws on more than eight years of massage experience and knowledge of techniques ranging from reiki and energy work to sound therapy performed with tuning forks. Further evidence of his keen feel for the power of sound, Lewis went to Belmont University and earned his bachelor's degree in music, making him more qualified to be Paul McCartney than Paul McCartney. Lewis also studied acutonics at the Natural Health Institute, where he met his wife.
Though the experts at Studio Green are duly concerned with the appearance of split ends, aging skin, and unwanted hair, an even greater concern is with the effects of harsh chemicals on clients' skin, hair, and environment. That's why their 2,000-square-foot salon is solely stocked with vegan and organic hair products, including hair color that's been certified cruelty-free by PETA. The team of stylists tends to tresses more gently and ethically with formaldehyde-free serums, sugar scrubs, and gentle dyes. The aestheticians, for their part, can help clients to curate at-home beauty routines with a collection of organic serums by Éminence and Surface.