Her full name is Empress Inshallah Tolbert Queen Amit. If her name evokes royalty, it’s because she gives her clients the royal treatment. Empress is a reiki master and massage therapist. Drawing on a massage-therapy degree from Anthem College, she offers a wide array of integrated healing services, which range from herbal therapy and energy healing to deep-tissue and hot-stone bodywork.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Notes of relaxing music float through the air within the warm and welcoming private rooms of Massage Retreat & Spa, mingling sometimes with the rhythmic tapping of fingers across sore muscles or the silence of relaxation. While the spa’s massage therapists melt away aches and pains with smooth Swedish strokes, warm stones, or liquid-hot magma, their aesthetician counterparts indulge complexions with cleansing facials, waxing sessions, and treatments for eyebrows and eyelashes.
Though their menu of available sessions can seem overwhelming at first, the spa’s staff takes the time to tailor each treatment to clients’ individual needs; a health questionnaire and customer profile—required of first-time visitors—assists their efforts to pinpoint your unique ailments and concerns. An online Health Resource Center similarly typifies their uncommon dedication to individual care with its trove of helpful health and lifestyle tips with massage therapists and skincare specialists.
Author and Juut SalonSpa owner David Wagner channels a childhood spent watching nature’s beauty into his Aveda salon’s eight locations. The studio stylists and other staff members, many of whom benefit from the company’s extensive training program, perform services beneath shelves laden with Aveda products. The botanically sourced elixirs repair and sculpt hair naturally without subjecting it to other products’ unpleasant chemicals or a robot hairdresser’s endless questions about love.
The licensed massage therapists at Ideal Massage extol massage as more than just a relaxing luxury. Although their massages can in fact induce sublime serenity, the team focuses more on the therapeutic aspect of massage. They gear their strokes to not only relieve headaches and muscle tension but to boost energy, improve sleep, and increase mental function.
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