Though her ability to untie knots rivals that of a sailor, licensed massage therapist Lorna Ellis-Harding has been relieving aches and pains for long enough to understand the limitations of massage. Rather than rely solely on her Swedish, deep-tissue, and sports techniques, she draws from other areas of traditional and alternative medicine to craft treatment plans for the whole body. Her acupressure massages, for example, incorporate the principles of Eastern acupuncture to apply healing pressure to specific points of energy across the body. When she isn’t balancing energy or coaxing out toxins with gentle lymphatic-drainage techniques, Lorna consults with other local businesses to help her clients manage their weight and make healthful lifestyle decisions, such as refraining from eating french fries while juggling chainsaws.
A certain hominess shines through at JoBella Salon and Spa. The shop is named for the co-owner’s children, Joe and Bella, and the Branford location is nestled inside a two-story house surrounded by trees and green grass. Skilled stylists and aestheticians at both locations tap into an arsenal of elixirs from Arrojo and skincare products by Aveda. When they aren't beautifying clients from the neck up, they primp nails, knead sinews, and leave legs wrapped in seaweed like a sleeping sushi chef.
If a still pond glimmering in the orange glow of a sunset could be translated into how a person feels, that's the kind of feeling salon owner Dawn Poindexter would want clients to have as they leave her salon. To achieve just such a sense of beauty and relaxation for her guests, expert stylists customize their services to each individual's needs, using use high-end products such as Goldwell for everything from styling and subtle highlights to more complex undertakings like smoothing hair with keratin or smoothing an astronaut's hair in a zero-gravity environment. Red Carpet Salon Services also offers a wide array of mani-pedis as well as a full menu of facials, waxing, and healing massages. Outside the salon, Dawn dedicates her time to the C.H.A.I.N. Fund—a charity devoted to treating cancer patients struggling with financial hardships.
A graduate of the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration, Rachel Felson helms New Haven Rolfing, where she performs the specialized service in an effort to release built-up tensions and adhesions in clients of varying ages and backgrounds. During Rolfing sessions, Felson manually loosens connective tissue, or fascia, by kneading the labyrinthine network with her fingers, hands, and elbows. After roughly one hour of the holistic bodywork, visitors may notice an improvement in their health, observing higher levels of elasticity in their tissue and a greater feeling of balance on tightrope commutes to work. Among its myriad benefits, Rolfing boasts the ability to improve individuals’ posture, decrease anxiety levels, and amplify energy for long-distance pogo-stick marathons.
The staff members at C Salon & Spa take special care to ensure that all clients leave feeling refreshed and beautiful. In their warm-yellow salon, they offer hair services, including cuts, color, extensions, and weaves. In their earth-toned treatment rooms, they offer a wide selection of custom spa services. These range from soothing mud body wraps to 24-karat gold facials to waxing and vajazzling. No matter the service, though, they want guests to leave looking and feeling great, inside and out.
The husband and wife team of Leon and Barbara Prete helm Anti-Aging Centers staff, who have spent more than 10 years shining bodies with noninvasive beams during laser treatments. Equipped with the brand-new Lipo-Light Pro and more Candela lasers than a hoarding supervillain, the aestheticians target hair, skin imperfections, and unwanted fat. Their el?s Plus sublative skin rejuvenation treatment, on the other hand, swaps lasers out for bipolar radio frequencies that delve deep into the skin to help treat wrinkles, enlarged pores, acne scars, and other issues. The technology-based treatments combine with classic spa services, including massage, and holistic services, such as ear candling. Prior to each aesthetic or medical treatment, staff conducts consultations, during which clients can warm their hands and shivering finger puppets around cups of complimentary tea as they forge a customized treatment plan.