In 2001, the first iTAN Sun Spray Spa opened its doors. It had a simple goal—to make clients feel and look lovely with professional tanning services. Today, the spa has more than 30 Southern California franchises, each offering a slightly different assortment of teeth whitening, tanning beds, spray-tanning booths, and self-serve spa offerings.
The Smart Tan–certified staff prioritizes keeping up with tanning technology by stocking state-of-the-art tanning beds such as the Sun Angel, which uses sensors to customize a blend of UVA and UVB rays, practically eliminating overexposure. Many beds come equipped with stereo sound systems, misters, and fans. Just down the hall from these beauty gadgets, Mystic and airbrush machines bronze limbs without UV rays, and self-administered spa treatments dispense relaxing red-light facials, infrared-heat bodywraps, and aqua massages.
The joys of a massage or the relief of a chiropractic adjustment—and the stresses of physical work—play out partly in the muscles. Learn just what pumps the body up with Groupon’s guide to the muscular system.
The human body has more than 630 muscles keeping it upright and mobile. They make up almost half its weight and power the movements of the bones, the blood, and even the food in the stomach. Perhaps the most familiar muscles are those seen in bodybuilding contests and facial-expression contests: the skeletal, or voluntary, muscles. They’re attached to our bones and controlled by our brains, which zap them with electrical signals to cause their fibers to contract. During a muscle contraction, filaments inside the muscle fibers slide together, stacking up on one another so that the larger fiber shortens. In shortening, the fibers gain thickness—a phenomenon we notice as flexing. Whatever muscles do, they accomplish by this single pulling action. If a bicep (part of a category of muscles known as flexors) flexes to lift a barbell, it needs a tricep (an extensor), pulling in the opposite direction, to bring the arm back down.
The other two types of muscles are smooth muscles and cardiac muscles, and both are beyond our conscious control. Cardiac muscles control the beating of the heart, contracting the chambers to push blood throughout the body. But the blood doesn’t ride to the toes on that momentum alone. Lining the blood vessels are smooth muscles that help push it along. These also line the esophagus, stomach, and intestine to move food through the digestive track, and can even help regulate the body’s temperature by opening and closing capillaries near the skin surface, all without conscious effort. The subconscious brain is also happy to turn muscles to ends beyond their apparent purpose: for instance, what we experience as shivering from cold is simply the brain causing the muscles to spasm so they will generate heat and keep your blood and any baby chicks in your coat pockets warm.
During her 11-year stint as a healthcare provider for the fire service, Dawn Saidat saw more than her fair share of body trauma—but she also saw how massage and physical therapy could heal those traumas. So she decided to pursue a career in the healing arts and now performs everything from deep-tissue massage to Reiki energy healing to aromatherapy massage at Dawn's Oasis. She also travels to homes to further reduce a client's stress and see what kind of dishwashing detergent they prefer to use.
Skeletons never get a day off. As the framework of the body, they're responsible for keeping us upright and mobile. Sometimes, that responsibility comes at a cost. Enter the chiropractic experts of the Chrio-Network. Using their extensive knowledge of the skeletal system and the nuanced adjustments required to keep it up and running, they help clients manage everything from chronic pain and mobility problems to sleep problems and migraines.
Aesthetician Mary incorporates Image Skin Care and Skin Script products into her facials to help improve problematic skin conditions. She slathers faces with a glycolic acid peel to reduce fine lines and dresses skin in a salicylic acid peel to combat acne. She also expertly waxes off unwanted hair on faces and limbs.
Hair Loft's experienced salon artists enhance hairdos with a menagerie of cut and color services fueled by Paul Mitchell products. The precision cut kicks off as skilled hands wash expectant follicles in a cleansing shampoo treatment. A five-minute massage stimulates scalps as much as a tale of a legendary fountain of hats, and a wet cut trims down lengthy and rebellious hairs to sculpt coiffure personalized to the wishes of each patron. Banished water retreats at the behest of a blow dryer before a final dry cut frames faces by allowing the stylist to see what the finished hair masterpiece will look like in headshots and Play-Doh busts.