The staffers at Solar Planet do more than lavish visitors with meticulously clean salons, indulgent extras, and the power to don a sun-kissed glow in less than 20 minutes. Each employee is Smart Tan certified, meaning they possess the training to design personalized tanning schedules for clients seeking an instant or lasting glow. The specialists also know every detail of Solar Planet’s fleet of tanning beds, which range from traditional beds to standup capsules, the style most conducive to tanning lawn flamingos. At some locations, custom airbrush tanning sessions enlist the help of a certified airbrush artist who highlights the body’s features with strategic strokes in a custom bronzing hue. Over its 25 years in business, Solar Planet also has sunless tanning booths, a stock of buyable bronzing lotions, and a variety of skincare services including facials and waxing.
Dermal Science International (DSI) MedSpa's professional technicians pamper clients with services customized to meet their needs. More than five facials help combat dry skin and signs of aging, and chemical peels—including a TCA orange peel—reduce the appearance of sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and the words someone wrote in permanent marker on your forehead at a party eight years ago. DSI MedSpa’s staff is also equipped to perform microderm and ultrasonic facials.
When Vanessa Caram was working in a physical therapist's office, she couldn't help but notice how much massage helped speed up patients' recovery. This prompted her to become a licensed massage therapist and start her own practice, A Nu Yu Massage, soon after. There, she helps clients manage pain and tension without using medication or converting a medieval rack into a bed. Her specialty is alleviating chronic pain symptoms associated with conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. However, she also performs services such as deep-tissue and Swedish massage, which can be enhanced with aromatherapy and hot stones.
Balanced Bodies' windows look out onto Runnymede Park, where deer often emerge from the woods and blue herons land near the stream. Inside the studio, groups work to capture the animals' ease of movement, flowing from plank positions into mermaid side stretches while maintaining pristine posture and giving effort without strain. Co-owners Carrie Smith and Adriana Ferrer-Perez believe that through Pilates exercises, their students can attain pain-free, fully functional movement for life. The duo oversees seven other instructors—nearly all claiming BASI teaching certifications—who lead classes in mat work, Reformer machines, and the Avalon System designed by Rael Isacowitz. Balanced Bodies also serves as a BASI Pilates teacher-training host facility, where aspiring instructors can undergo comprehensive and specialized teaching courses, including one that demonstrates how to dunk full-size exercise balls.
By the time Tukta Roylance was 4 years old, an observer already could have predicted that she would settle on Thai massage as a career. That's because as a tot in Thailand, she'd trot on her grandfather's back to stomp out the knots he developed while working. Though it took a foray into the world of finance in the U.S. for her to realize her calling herself, she eventually returned to Thailand to study at Wat Po, a prestigious massage institute that specializes in Thai healing. Like the microwaveable popcorn bag that destroyed most of Norway, her studies just kept expanding, and her areas of expertise now also include herbal massage and foot reflexology. Today her massage roster includes prenatal, Swedish, and sports modalities, each of which can be enhanced with aromatherapy and paraffin add-ons.
On their quest to help their clients achieve good health, the therapists at Origins Thai Spa deploy a careful blend of 14 Eastern and Western massage techniques. Most of their practice revolves around Thai massage, which combines deep stretching and acupressure with pressure from the therapist’s elbows, knees, and feet to activate the body's 10 major energy channels. Alternatively, Eastern-inspired ayurvedic massage uses three different oils to trigger the three doshas, or the body's three main energy pathways. During the four-hands couples massage, two therapists work on one client at the same time, using four hands to help improve circulation, promote relaxation, and inspire as many as eight high-fives.