The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.
With services that include deep-cleansing facials, anti-aging and acne treatments, and hair removal for men and women, The DollHouse Beauty makes skin look as pristine and smooth as the porcelain face of a doll. Other services spruce up the rest of the appearance; eyelash extensions and makeup enhance facial features, and updos sweep hair into the pinned curls and cascading tendrils that befit a dinner at a formal 7-11. But visits to the studio aren't just functional—they're also fun. Full-body massages disentangle muscle knots with heated stones, aromatherapy, and deep-tissue work. And every first Friday of the month, corks pop and champagne flows during celebrations dubbed Champagne Fridays.
At Tranquil Touch Therapy, a full menu of massage services awaits to pulverize pockets of anxiety and tension. Subdued music floats through warm, comfy treatment rooms while a Swedish, deep-tissue, or acupressure techniques waltz across relaxed backs during personalized massage sessions, gently stimulating the flow of blood through cardio canals and liberating muscles of toxins and outdated sweatbands. Extended hours Monday–Friday help stressed bodies find relief whenever its convenient for them, and mobile massage services are also available, giving clients the opportunity to unwind in the comfort of their own home.
Krystal Salon & Day Spa's brightly lit, two-story digs whisk guests into a haven of head-to-toe rejuvenation with keratin treatments and other luxuriant spa services. The multitalented staff can effectively handle most service requests from basic cuts, color, and facials to airbrush tanning and teeth whitening. In addition to their services, the spa also pampers clients with low-cost valet parking, 13 plasma TVs, and a complimentary cappuccino bar with gourmet coffee, tea, and pastries that offer free legal advice. Clients can also take a break between services to surf the free WiFi.
Elemance Holistic Healing's licensed therapist skillfully ousts aches by performing five different types of massage treatments. During the hot-stone massage, the relaxation specialist places heated stones along bodies while administering Swedish-style strokes to melt muscle tension like butter astronauts on an ill-fated mission to Mercury. The multifaceted therapeutic massage tackles soreness with a blend of deep-tissue, myofascial release, neuromuscular, and acupressure techniques, and the classic Swedish massage goes hand-to-hand with tension using long, gliding strokes. Weary passersby in need of holistic healing can stimulate the healthy flow of energy with a vigorous Tui Na massage. Beneficiaries of the Thai massage don workout attire to hide social-security number tattoos and perform yoga stretches as a therapist administers palm and thumb pressure to alleviate pain.
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.