Even at a young age, Sharon L. Henry felt that she possessed a profound gift for helping others. Though her intuitive ability to sense pain was first confined to animals, in her teens she became aware of her capacity to help humans through massage and meditative work. Now a licensed massage therapist and the senior staff member at Harmony LMT, Sharon continues to use her gift to craft custom bodywork treatments. She is joined by the studio's other therapists, who ease ailing backs with warm oils and Swedish or deep-tissue strokes. When they aren’t beating back tension and ravenous pandas with warm bamboo sticks, Sharon and her team draw on ancient Chinese knowledge to combat cellulite with cupping treatments. Beyond the realm of human healing, Sharon also offers canine therapy for animals battling ailments such as hip dysplasia.
At Beaute Box, which channels the "feel of a chic Paris apartment" according to the Dayton Daily News, owner Lisa Scott flaunts skills acquired during nearly two decades of salon artistry. The studio began as a mobile beauty service, but has evolved to fill a space crowded with clocks, statuettes of hands, and candlesticks. Brushes cloaked in long-wear Shellac polish glide across nails, and visitors awaiting custom-designed primping parties lounge on low-slung couches. Giggles drift up to the soaring ceilings as youngsters finish pampering treatments and race through the shop, admiring newly colorful digits or attempting to match polish to an imaginary friend's eyes.
Owner and massage therapist Kenyatta Bozeman understands that massage is a practical way to relieve chronic pain—she graduated from the Dayton School of Medical Massage—but she also believes it should be a memorable experience. That's why she enhances her treatments with hot-towel add-ons, nine essential oils including tea tree and ylang-ylang, and even time for an after-massage nap, which can last up to 30 minutes or until the client's REM cycle has finished downloading the latest edition of Netscape Navigator. These add-ons complete the eight styles of massage available, including deep-tissue, hot-stone, and prenatal.
Inside Holten Wellness Center, a spacious fitness area bustles with trainers, wellness coaches, massage staff, and clients of weight loss services. Nutrition experts guide clients of all ages through the Weightloss to Wellness program with nutritional, physical, and laser-pointer-chasing exercises. While exercise has its place, the center also acknowledges the role of relaxation in holistic health. Massage therapists offer seven massage modalities whose goals range from spa-like pampering to therapy during serious illness or surgery.
At Peace Massage & Wellness is a one-stop shop for muscular euphoria, backing each offered service and class with the deft touch and extensive knowledge of an expert staff. Pull the plug on shoulder and back pains with your choice of any of the center's nine 60-minute massages ($60). Swedish massage employs long, soothing strokes to relieve muscular tension and improve blood flow, while craniosacral therapy aims to restore balance within the membranes and fluids surrounding the spinal cord, subsequently increasing the body's ability to heal itself, ward off disease, and reprimand inconsiderate cannonballers. Warm bamboo therapy is a rather new modality that combines the gentle kneads of Swedish massage with the application of controlled heat (via warmed bamboo and rattan) to simultaneously melt away everyday stress and stubborn summer popsicles.
Therapeutic Touch's owner and operator Tami Lipscomb welcomes fellow skin owners into a calming, comfortable environment, specially tailored to enrich the soul and exterminate stress bats from all muscular caves and belfries. Colorful walls bedecked with beach photos set a relaxing mood for any one of her four 60-minute massage services ($60). Once you lay down, Lipscomb will discuss your targeted areas and maneuvering preferences, all catered to your desired pressure levels. She'll then use knot-nullifying hands to perform either the deep, long strokes of Swedish massage, the deeper, localized pressure of the deep-tissue massage, the stress-reducing techniques of the relaxation massage, or the bamboo fusion massage's steady application of warmed bamboo, a comfortable alternative to hot stone massage. Upon completion of a corpus-liberating knead-fest, Lipscomb will offer a paraffin treatment ($5) to either your hands or feet, whereby digits are soothed by a warm wax. Unlike greedy steamboat captains, Lipscomb doesn't ask for tips after your one-hour vacation, instead letting her professional work speak for itself.