In the midst of rustic woods, there sits a three-story building. Upon opening its front door, visitors unleash a gentle wave of aromatherapy scents and warm air. They step inside, where therapists lead them past wood accents and into private treatment rooms. World of Serenity’s spa atmosphere recalls the calm of the surrounding wilderness, and inside its walls, therapists adopt a holistic approach; they educate guests in wellness basics, such as why humans don’t eat sand, and perform a range of customized spa services. They soften faces, deep-cleanse pores, and slough of dead cells during customized facials; sometimes scouring or soothing the skin with an additional enzyme deep cleanse, warm stones, or anti-aging collagen. They also ease muscle tension with six massage modalities such as deep tissue, warm stone, and reflexology; and scrub clients from head to toe using salt and sugar rubs, and wraps made from natural dead sea mud or Paradisius—a blend of ground fruit and flower extracts.
Owners and principal members of the stylist team Emilio and Gino corral their decades of experience to create two distinct spaces where clients revel in personalized services. They staff more than 60 aesthetes, each of whom receives focused training on adjusting hair, skin, nail, and massage services to clients? stated preferences and lifestyle. During and after haircuts, the team uses a house brand of products to style strands and address specific hair problems such as color fading, excessive oil, or naturally occurring pipe cleaners. During facials, the aestheticians home in on what lies below bangs by cleansing, toning, exfoliating, and moisturizing skin, and tension dissipates during therapists' restful massage sessions. The downtown Pittsburgh location also plays host to an elegant serata?a private, chandelier-lit escape where bridal parties can enjoy ultimate relaxation before addressing the fact that their friend is marrying a panda bear.
Supervised by Ayurvedic physician and healer Dr. Lina Thakar, the specialists at Ayurveda Integrative Wellness Institute reach 5,000 years into the past when administering their Indian therapeutic techniques. The Ayurvedic philosophy centers on the individuality of each person, leading the staff to customize their blends of herbal oils and scents before beginning their Ayurvedic spa treatments. These calming procedures range from steam therapy to healing oil massage, with focuses such as detoxification and healing the mind, body, and spirit. During massage, technicians use several Ayurvedic techniques along the body's energy channel to help restore the flow of vital energy wherever it has become blocked. This in combination with herbal oils help squeeze out toxins to detoxify the body. The center also imparts wellness consultations on Ayurvedic nutrition and lifestyle options, as well as meditation.
Jeffrey Grinnel knew he wanted to study massage to help escape the stressfulness of his career in business management; what he didn’t know was it would eventually ignite a new passion and jumpstart a new career path. He opened his massage practice BodyWorks of ShadySide 10 years ago, and since delving into his new line of work, Grinnel has developed the skills to whisk away muscular tension and stimulate physical health with massage techniques, skin treatments, and holistic healing. In the Swedish massage, the specialist uses a relaxing series of strokes called effleurage to invigorate muscles, stimulate the circulatory system, and undo muscle knots. He can also conduct a reflexology treatment, which reduces tension by targeting pressure points on the body.
Retta Flagg was introduced to the reparative benefits of massage while recovering from a back injury. Once she was back in tip-top shape, Retta decided to pursue a career in massage therapy, focusing her initial training on styles designed to treat injuries and chronic pain. Only a few years after completing massage school in 1986, she started a 10-year career teaching neuromuscular technique at the very same institution she attended—the Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy.
Retta now owns and operates The Healing Touch, a place that clients frequent for stress-relieving treatments ranging from Swedish and pregnancy massages to paraffin therapy baths and onsite corporate chair massages. All the wellness center's therapists are graduates of accredited schools, boast more than 600 hours of training, and actively improve their skills through continuing education and thumb-wrestling tournaments.
Each of the spa's relaxing services starts off as experienced staffers pamper guests with a complimentary hot-towel wrap and dose of aromatherapy scents. Licensed massage therapists work to alleviate guests' physical and psychological tension during soothing massages, which run anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes and incorporate techniques from modalities including Swedish, hot stone, reflexology, and myofascial release. Facials, body treatments, and hair-snatching waxes can clear skin of fine lines, blemishes, acne, and unwanted follicles. Clients may also doll up their appendages with a selection of manicures and pedicures, all backed by Harmony Day Spa's 48-hour nail policy that guarantees better yields when noodling for non-colorblind catfish.