East meets West whenever licensed massage therapist Zoraida Alvarez kneads ailing muscles. A member of the american massage therapy association, she reduces swelling and supports the immune system with lymphatic-drainage therapy and uses trigger-point techniques to release tender knots that coil up in response to mental or physical stress. Zoraida often tailors her massages for cancer patients who have unique needs that require gentle and focused attention. She also helps athletes by hunting down muscle imbalances, inflammation, and any underlying sources of pain. Her Lypossage sessions aim to help weight-loss endeavors by reducing inches, cellulite, and the number of pets people keep in their pockets.
Though La'Sonia Nicole Salon and Spa is a new establishment, the center's technicians use time-tested treatments to beautify their clients. Massage therapists rely on the traditional techniques of Swedish massage, which features long, flowing strokes that ease muscle aches and release tension. During a classic European facial, aestheticians deeply cleanse skin to brighten and smooth the complexion, and a spa pedicure leaves digits more polished than a dog that’s been taught to bark with a British accent.
Back in the 1960s, beauty was so simple that some beauty parlors—like the nine traditional ones run by Robert Andrew Zupko—only had one service: roller sets. But beauty trends began to change, so Zupko changed right along with them, adding skincare and nailcare to his hairstyling business. When 1996 hit the calendars, the salon evolved into a full-fledged day spa that covered 7,000 square feet.
Zupko has since created Robert Andrew – The Salon & Spa, a 22,000-square-foot Tuscan-style getaway nestled in the giant scalene triangle that connects D.C., Annapolis, and Baltimore. Inside the salon, more than 90 beauty professionals—including nail technicians, massage therapists, and stylists—shape and polish nails, snip split ends, and disentangle achy muscle knots. The salon also boasts a troupe of Yon-Ka trained aestheticians who remove dead skin cells with pumpkin enzymes and melt away frozen funny faces with hot-stone facials.
More recently, Zupko opened Robert Andrew Medical Spa, where the spotlight's on lasers, injectables, chemical peels, and other high-tech skincare services.