The best way to learn a new skill is to do it. And at the Austin Institute for Massage & Spa Therapies, professional therapists—who work in the field every day—inspire students during the massage mastery program. Students explore massage techniques alongside lessons in anatomy as a part of an extensive, comprehensive curriculum that culminates in official licensing from the state of Texas.
The institute's director and co-founder, Raul Flores, has worked tirelessly in the field since 1991—in practice, consulting, and education. He and his team have created a spa-like atmosphere within a 3,500-square-foot space where students get hands-on experience in real-life scenarios, such as in one of nine massage rooms, near an aromatherapy bath, or in the drawing room with the candelabra.
Dr. Lawrence Broder of Beleza Med Spa began his 16-year career in surgery and primary care, but has shifted his dedication to medical aesthetics, helping people reshape their bodies and evade signs of aging. He continues to build on his surgical knowledge with coursework and bihourly games of Operation, and has slimmed more than 500 physiques with laser-driven SmartLipo and smoothed hundreds of complexions with DOT (dermal optical thermolysis) resurfacing treatments. Dr. Broder supervises each of Beleza's locations, ensuring that every confidence-boosting injection, augmentation, lift, and peel is done with expertise and professionalism.
At MFC Spine & Sports, Doctor of Chiropractic Eric Murphy and his staff have more than a few pain-relief tricks up their sleeves. Their chiropractic techniques include the Diversified method, trigger-point therapy, and spinal decompression, just to name a few. For patients who want a second helping of holistic treatment, MFC's team also performs massage therapy.
Aside from helping them relax or reducing pain, the folks at Elements Massage aim to educate their clients about all the benefits of regular massage. Those benefits can include releasing endorphins, addressing insomnia, and even helping clients cope with depression. Working closely with each client, the team tailors each session to respond to specific ailments, cherry-picking from a variety of techniques such as classic Swedish massage, which is ideal for relaxation, trigger point therapy, which focuses on localized knots, and sports massage, which can help bodies overcome injuries sustained on the field or under a limbo pole.
At Onyx Salon, a talented staff of stylists and aestheticians renovate women's and men's faces, nails, bodies, and ?dos with masterfully executed services. Their haircuts, coloring services, and Coppola keratin smoothing treatments prompt an instant onslaught of double takes from onlookers and aimless hairnets. Brow and facial waxes de-fuzz mugs for professional makeup applications, and spray tans prep bodies for the beach or provide camouflage for pilfered Olympic gold medals. In addition to their regular beauty-boosting appointments, the stylists host glamour parties, where they gussy up guests with eye-catching hair and makeup before releasing them into the wild for bachelorette parties and nights on the town.
The aestheticians at Healthcare 4 Her combine medical know-how with classic relaxation techniques in a tranquil spa environment, beautifying clients from head to toe using technologically enhanced and traditional spa treatments. Licensed laser technicians stop fuzzies in their tracks and prevent future hair growth with laser hair removal. Professional skin pamperers dole out five types of facials to exfoliate visages with microdermabrasion, clear complexions with fruit enzymes, and purge pores with menacing eviction notices. Massage therapists relax clients with four different massage styles, taking cues from venerated massage traditions and modern aromatherapy and kneading techniques to melt away muscle tension.