Inside Olivia Foster’s massage studio, potted plants and oak cabinets envelop guests in a sense of peace—a far cry from the hectic world outside the door’s billowing white curtain. A 1995 graduate of the Richmond Academy of Massage, Foster went into business for herself soon afterward, relieving herself of the stress of punching a time clock until it worked it again. In her own website’s words, she’d rather “care for people without the rush and fuss” of less intimate massage studios, and today she focuses on her clients’ needs while staying attuned to their physical, emotional, and spiritual states. A variety of bodywork and massage treatments impart relaxation while soothing stress and muscle pain, and full-day retreats combine several services for hours of pampering extending through the stressful 8,000,000-decibel sirens that blare every afternoon.
The certified therapists behind Escape Massage knead away curmudgeonly knots seven days a week inside 10 private and two couples massage rooms. Three-inch high-density foam massage tables cushion bodies while warm waves of heat fend off goose bumps as they disperse through fitted cotton-flannel sheets and quiet heaters. After therapists dim the wall sconces, they manipulate sinews with Swedish massage techniques, and optional deep-tissue, aromatherapeutic, and hot-stone techniques, concluding each session with hot towels upon request. Escape Massage also provides prenatal massage tables, which come with specially designed padding and pillows that allow moms-to-be to lay face-down and solicit parenting advice from Mother Earth. Escape Massage is open 7 days a week.
RVA Massage and Wellness’s staff of certified massage therapists is led by owner Stephanie Quinby, who also serves on the state of Virginia’s Advisory Board on Massage Therapy. Quinby and her staff use a variety of techniques to knead away aches and pains, including therapeutic massage, which can help treat an injury; deep-tissue massage, which can alleviate muscle tightness with intense, localized pressure; and sports massage, which can improve range of motion. The massage therapists believe in the importance of a consultation with every client, as it helps them determine the optimal type of massage.
Proprietor Mercedes Branch and her team of trained nail technicians pamper paws, scrubbing, trimming, and polishing fingernails to perfection. Each 60-minute manicure starts with a skin-softening soak, followed by a scrub to soothe digits and buff away negative thoughts. Next, a mask is applied to leave hard-wiggling fingers as flawless as a diamond's dream of a utopian society. After warming mitten-fillers in hot towels, Perception's technicians snip, buff, and shine nails to a dazzling tee. Finally, fingertips are painted in a new, vibrant shade with a chip-free shellac polish, strong enough to last up to 14 days through typing, waving, or gloveless walks in sandstorms.
James River's certified massage therapists specialize in a variety of mind-melting modalities. A Swedish massage employs Switzerland's noteworthy tension-easing techniques to manage stress-induced muscle maladies. Athletes who demand dramatic, tear-jerking performances from their bodies can opt for a deep-tissue massage, which increases circulation and expedites recovery from general physical wear and tear. The orthopedic massage is an injury-specific session that targets trauma in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, while its neuromuscular cousin focuses on overall healing and wellness. See detailed descriptions of massage services on James River Massage Therapy's website.
Inside Marpay Massage––which borrows its name from the Hebrew word for “healing”––certified massage therapist Rebekah Adams helps clients find physical and mental relief. Certified by both the Virginia nursing Board and the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, Rebekah specializes in Swedish and deep-tissue massages, which she often enhances with the soothing warmth of hot stones that may be used to help enhance the patient’s circulation or keep their book reports from blowing away.