Rita Ammons still doesn't quite believe it. In 1987, she was in a serious car accident that left her suffering with severe pain from nerve damage. A friend recommended reiki as a healing practice, and within time, Ammons found that it worked—the treatments seemed to heal her. Amazed and inspired, she became a master reiki practitioner herself, eventually expanding her expertise into massage and opening her own practice, Back to Harmony Massage & Bodywork.
Now a licensed massage therapist, Ammons offers treatments in 10 modalities, from relaxing Swedish massages to medical massages that help treat ailments including back pain, headaches, and arthritis. She also seeks to heal guests through reiki and to soothe backs with hot-stone massages, which are far more relaxing than hugging a furnace.
New England FastFit is a fitness center designed with its clients in mind—knowing that no one has time to spend hours in a gym and everyone wants tangible results, this studio does away with the gym entirely and offers intense group fitness classes. Designed to be short and extremely efficient, these instructor-led kickboxing, hot-yoga, and boot-camp classes combine cardio and strength exercises for a challenging workout in 35–60 minutes, offering nutrition counseling as well to put the final piece of the fitness puzzle in place.
At The Baah Spa, clients are encouraged to relinquish their worries and indulge in an afternoon of escape and self-pampering. Piloting the sojourns into bliss are professional massage practitioners who apply firm pressure, soothing strokes, and hot stones to facilitate relaxation and quiet revelry. The spa offers Swedish, therapeutic, and hot-stone massages, and they combine all three during the spa’s signature massage, which also features the client’s choice of aromatherapy oils.
Quality of Life Massage & Wellness is a destination for those who suffer from issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, and fatigue. Licensed massage therapist Mark DeSantis loosens muscles with deep-tissue massage, swedish massage, and a slew of other modalities.
Liz and Phil Kramer work together to rejuvenate the whole being within a treatment room styled to mimic a comfortable living room with a gas fireplace and plush beds. Liz trained as a holistic counselor, and Phil draws upon certification as a massage therapist to help relax patrons after they chaperone Humpty Dumpty’s gymnastics class. Scents from complimentary aromatherapy unfurl through the air, stirred only by deep exhalations during customized deep-tissue massages. The shelves brim with Yonka products and Firmi sea mud, and the holistic healers also use Soul Synergy's personal cream products and hot towels saturated in aromatic Phyto Bain with every treatment.:m]]
Holly Potter, a licensed aesthetician and massage therapist, got her start by working in a large spa. Though this experience helped her hone her skills, she wanted to work in a more intimate environment where she could craft custom therapies that focused on the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. So in 2009, she founded Everything Zen, where she teams up with a somatic practitioner and a certified health coach to cosset clients amid the red walls, bamboo, orchids, and Asian-style décor of a private massage room. Specialists soothe tense muscles and free blocked energy with massage, reiki, and reflexology and polish up visages with facials and microdermabrasion treatments. Like Q-Tips on strike, bodies also find liberation from buildup through ionic footbaths and ear candling.
Owner Shelley Colonese began Health in Harmony to empower clients to take a more active role in their health with organic nutrition and holistic healing services. Services such as organic diet coaching, massage, and ear candling help clients build a lifestyle rich in healing and environmentally friendly habits, which the center’s staff enjoys as well. "Everything that we offer here we also all partake in,” Shelley says. “As holistic practitioners we work on each other." She laughs. "I guess you could say that's an occupational benefit." Shelley’s commitment to health applies not only to her staff and clients, but also to the earth itself. The entire building features energy-efficient windows, soy-based insulation, and bamboo flooring harvested by pandas that rinse and reuse their plastic bags.