Before there was even an address, there was a mission. Founded in 2004 and opened in 2005, Inspired Life Health Centre seeks to “bring clients to greater levels of health by providing quality health care and education,” according to its website. Inside an “un-clinic” atmosphere, a team of registered massage therapists, a naturopathic doctor, a holistic nutritionist, and an acupuncturist help patients achieve wellness with holistic services. Unlike traditional medicine, the centre’s homeopathic treatments work to boost the body’s innate ability to heal itself without a stethoscope.
As a massage therapist, waxing technician, and aesthetician, Daniel Francoeur knows a lot about skincare. But it wasn't until his male clientele grew substantially at his previous spa that he took notice of the demographic’s lack of aesthetic products, let alone services geared toward it. It was with this epiphany that Daniel went on to take over the first Bodé Spa for Men in Ottawa, before joining forces with a med spa–focused location in Toronto in 2012. Since then both spaces have gained praise from a host of media outlets, including Toro Magazine, Spa Life Magazine Escapes, and CTV Morning Live Ottawa. "We produce about 30 to 40 per cent more oil than women do, so we have a lot more issues when it comes to things like [acne],” he says. “We have to be careful even with waxing and manscaping, how our bodies react afterwards."
Bright sunlight pours into the front lounge of Bodé's Toronto location, which features earthy yet ultramodern décor. Technicians lead patrons to private treatment rooms where facials are customized to each man's skin type and issues, such as beard burn or permanent lipstick marks. Masculine tranquility can also be found in a tailored mani-pedi, full-body hair removal using waxing and sugaring, and soon-to-be-offered laser hair removal treatments.
Formerly a professional in the hospitality industry, Tricia Batliwalla founded Light Side Up as a way to guide others toward self-awareness and a better life outlook through hypnosis. Her journey has led her to seven countries throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and toward an accreditation from the National Guild of Hypnotists Canada. She draws from all this experience each day in her office, where she eases clients into her process with a private consultation and, if needed, games of telepathic patty-cake. As she works with clients to reveal their needs, she may complement hypnosis with other therapies. In each session, she lulls clients into a deep state of relaxation and plants suggestions aimed at helping them overcome the root of issues such as addictions, hidden phobias, and damaged relationships.
Led by licensed massage therapists and a registered acupuncturist, Flow Shiatsu & RMT Clinic specializes in using shiatsu massage to help restore balance to the body. Often called “acupuncture without needles”, shiatsu puts pressure on specific points along the body to unblock qi, or energy, that can negatively affect health. While shiatsu is the house specialty, Flow Shiatsu & RMT Clinic also offers other modalities of massage, such as deep tissue, relaxation, and myofascial release, as well as traditional acupuncture to help relieve tension and chronic pain. The health specialists treat every client as an individual, spending time diagnosing and discussing problem areas, in order to treat the whole body and find the root of the problem.
Pilates is mainly known for its positive impact on core strength, flexibility, and postural alignment, but studio owner Laura Helsel has even bigger plans for the practice. In 2004, Helsel developed a new perspective on Pilates centered on therapeutic exercise, a perspective she calls The Pilates Process. Specifically designed to address injuries and chronic conditions, the Pilates Process has been taught—generally by Helsel herself, or a convincing hologram—at Pilates studios across Ontario. But despite the medical slant of her proprietary method, her home studio still offers basic Pilates classes, as well as massage services.
The goal at Milano Spa & Wellness Center is a simple one: relaxation. But here, there are many ways of achieving it. Take, for instance, massage. The spa offers five modalities, from the Indian head massage—a soothing treatment for the scalp, face, neck, shoulders, and upper back—to the Feet First massage, which includes a foot soak, scrub, mask, and massage relaxing enough to keep the feet from tap dancing “Thank you” over and over in Morse code. And full-body massages, such as the Swedish and hot-stone varieties, work from top to bottom to loosen every muscle. Milano Spa also offers facials with synergistically blended products that leave faces soft and radiant.