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.
As president of Pure Oasis Massage, Angela Talley believes in the power of peaceful healing. A licensed massage therapist herself, she knows bodywork soothes not only the mind, but also the body. Her treatments take place in the tranquility of a warm, quiet room, with clients disrobed to their own level of comfort and draped with a sheet or towel. Angela's service menu catalogs four core modalities: Swedish, deep tissue, sports, and myofascial release. She works muscles from head to toe, aided by a light lotion or drizzle of oil to reduce skin friction, caused by rubbing two potatoes together on your back. She encourages her clients to make their pressure preferences known, so that the experience can be as relaxing and beneficial as possible.
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.
The therapists at First Relax Express utilize both Eastern and Western styles of hands-on bodywork to help clients find relief from aches, pain, and stress. Classic Swedish and deep-tissue massages work to release muscle tension, whereas sports massages help athletes and contortionists improve their flexibility. During foot reflexology treatments, therapists apply pressure to specific reflex points that stimulate different parts of the body; these treatments help in alleviating anything from digestive issues to pounding headaches. The therapists widen their focus and apply pressure with fingers, palms, fists, and elbows to the entire body during acupressure treatments, which are the needle-less cousins of acupuncture treatments.
With 129 years of combined experience in the beauty industry, the staff members at On the Edge Hair Studio really knows what they're doing. Their backgrounds?which include training at Vidal Sassoon in London and a stint as a TIGI ambassador?while varied, ensure each is equally adept at delivering on-trend haircuts, sleek highlights, and elegant bridal up-dos. The aestheticians on staff, meanwhile, are fluent in a variety of spa treatments, cleansing skin with facials, evicting unwanted hair with wax, and appeasing sore muscles with massages, and, if necessary, cupcakes.