When one of the cofounders of Easy Balance Wellness Center and Spa was diagnosed with cancer in her 30s, her doctor put her on the most aggressive chemo and radiation therapies available. As her immune system fought the cancer, her body absorbed the side effects. A longtime friend recommended acupuncture to counteract the suffering; though she was initially skeptical of the holistic procedure, she agreed to give it a try. After just one appointment, she felt her senses awaken. Further treatments permanently changed the way she looked at health care, making her feel like a brand-new person and convincing her to share her discoveries with as many people as she could.
At Easy Balance Wellness Center and Spa, she does just that, combining venerated Eastern wisdom with professional spa products to deliver healing massages and rejuvenating facials. Within earth-toned treatment rooms draped with russet curtains, massage therapists ease muscle tension and redirect chi—the energy that regulates the body’s functions and suppresses its natural appetite for hangnails—with focused acupressure techniques. Thalgo facials employ marine botanicals, such as regenerative algae, to nourish and hydrate complexions.
Even when they're not at the salon, Cahra owners Jhonny Davila and Teresa Reed are changing the hair game. The stylists have led seminars at various hair events, including demos of Inoar keratin blowouts. By staying so connected to the industry, they can continue to upgrade their treatments back at Cahra, where they and their team perform customized services such as precision cuts, coloring, extensions, and updos, and provide custom treatments using K?rastase and Bumble and bumble products.
Hair is just one area of the Cahra staff's expertise, however. In the spa, aestheticians cleanse skin with more than a dozen types of treatments, featuring skincare products by G.M. Collin and Caudalie, including glycolic peels and four-layer facials. Massage therapists can dissolve tension with Swedish, deep-tissue, or prenatal massage, while nail technicians soothe hands and feet with traditional and spa mani-pedis. Recently, they introduced In the Mood polishes that change hue throughout the day, or whenever the wearer puts their fingers in a glass of milk.
Seven days a week, the technicians at Ace Foot Spa One bring balance back to bodies thrown off course by stress, injuries, and fatigue. The methods they use fit squarely in the category of Eastern alternative medicine. Sessions of reflexology, an ancient treatment based on the idea that pressure points on the feet are directly connected to specific areas across the body, helps increase clients' energy levels. Chinese acupressure relies on methods similar to those of reflexology, except the practitioner applies pressure to the body, not the feet. The purpose is to alleviate tension and unblock energy that has been trapped in the limbs or stalled in a traffic jam on its way back from a Bon Jovi concert in the spleen.
In a massage room awash in shades of plum, one of Serenity Spa Wellness Center's licensed therapists plunges deft fingers into muscular structures to weed out pesky pain points and break up congregations of tension. Increasingly relaxed breaths drift out of the private room, past cedar-colored planks, and toward the far-infrared sauna, which uses dry heat in an effort to draw toxins from the body or elicit confessions from ice-cream smugglers. Aestheticians blend ingredients for facial treatments and combine fragrant swirls of essential oils, catering to individual skin and health issues. In the reception area, hands warm around mugs from a coffee bar, and floral-patterned or zebra-print chairs cradle guests.
Hanging lamps throw flickers of amber light onto the dark walls of Tea Spa's lobby, a tranquil cove that foreshadows the pampering performed beyond the front room. Included on a list of Washingtonian magazine's "Great Day Spas 2013," the spa's licensed massage therapists use varied massage techniques, essential oils, and hot towels during bodywork treatments such as a signature massage. Clients can also use their brief reprieve from the harshly lit outside world to nourish skin with a vitamin-infused facial or to decompress in the infrared sauna and bid adieu to toxins before they have a chance to settle in and wire the body for basic cable.
Relaxing Alternatives Wellness Center restores bodies to factory conditions with a combination of massage and reflexology services. Deft hands glide over backs in either a Swedish or deep-tissue massage, employing long, light strokes to dispel tension or pinpointed kneads to render backs as knot-free as a velcro convention. Staffers then turn to clients' feet, prodding reflexive points to improve circulation and relieve stress in associated locations throughout the body. After the soothing barrage of both treatments, bodies emerge relaxed enough to meditate on a Wall Street trading floor.