Located in New Providence's Village Shopping Center, Elements Therapeutic Massage is a professional massage studio that believes massage can be the answer to dealing with chronic pain and stress. Here, licensed massage therapists use deep strokes and focused pressure to relieve everything from muscle aches to back injuries. But before they do so, they make sure to listen to clients carefully so they can learn what ails them. This means every massage is a customized experience, like those choose-your-own-adventure movies that theaters can only project for one person at a time. And because massages by their nature increase circulation, the center believes the practice has benefits even beyond pain and stress relief.
Grandmaster Taek Sung Cho has accrued more than 40 years of martial-arts experience and a host of titles on his resumé, including coach for the International Junior Taekwondo Championships and the U.S. Junior Olympic Taekwondo Team. However, he derives the most reward from his role as teacher, a position he has coveted since establishing Master Cho's Talium in 1991. Working with expert instructors, he imparts the value of community and inner balance through the lens of tae kwon do technique.
Master Cho's lessons amplify confidence as well as coordination in young children, teens, and adults. Students can practice with others in their age group or alongside their families, depending on whether their school bus or their house transforms into a giant fighting robot. Kardio Kickboxing workouts toast calories with rapid jabs, and the staff emphasize the social aspect of self-defense training by hosting summer camps and birthday parties.
Visitors to Pearly Whites enjoy a departure from the staid interior of traditional dentists. Mint-green walls add a cheery tone to a waiting room decked out with flat-screen televisions and bean bag–style seats. Drs. Michael Skolnick and Brooke Skolnick also have pleasantly unorthodox ideas about dental technology. The husband-and-wife team corrects conditions with a Waterlase dental laser and a single-tooth anesthesia system, allowing them to completely avoid needles and drills. In each treatment room, televisions serve as pleasant distraction during cleanings. Ornate, sea-urchin-like chandeliers cast a glow across dark-stained hardwood floors and a gaming room.
The Summit Area YMCA with its Berkeley Heights location and the Madison Area YMCA serve as community gathering places where principles are put into practice. The cause-driven organizations focus on healthy living, social responsibility, and youth development. The Learning Circle (Summit Area) and the F.M. Kirby Children's Center (Madison Area) take care of babies as young as 6 weeks old, and babysitting services afford parents the opportunity to explore the Y while childcare professionals watch little ones.
The Y also aims to keep kids and their families healthy with sports leagues, youth sports clinics, group fitness classes, and a fitness center equipped with a climbing wall, Olympic free-weight room, and a pool. All of the Y’s programs are accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay or perform a back handspring.
Dr. Joe Mazzeo knows that many clients come to the chiropractor when they are in pain—neck aches, back pain, or headaches, typically—but it can also be a preventative measure to stave off future discomfort. At Active Care Wellness Center, he prescribes treatments including corrective exercises to strengthen connective tissue and nutritional counseling to convince patients that swallowing bricks won’t fortify the backbone.
Helmed by a team of passionate climbing coaches, both of The Gravity Vault's locations surround climbers with more than 13,000 square feet of climbing space. Walls tower past 35 feet, mimicking such natural rock formations as overhangs, keyhole arches, and slabs, and bouldering areas challenge climbers with a latticework of problems that—unlike most of life's—can't simply be solved with dynamite and a pair of roller skates. Visitors can choose from up to 60 top-rope stations, trusting either the trained staff or a certified fellow climber to man the ropes while they scramble to the summit. When not dangling from a hold or saving lost kittens from a rappel ledge, members can bulk up in the cardiovascular-training area.
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