Sarah Wartell, a trained practitioner in thai-yoga bodywork, yoga, and Japanese reiki therapy, helms a studio in which she calls on all three holistic modalities to achieve optimal physical and mental healing. During yoga classes for all abilities, the studio fills with the sounds of controlled breathing, stretch-induced groans, and high-pitched yelps of contentment from downward-facing dogs. Agency shifts to the therapist during thai-yoga bodywork sessions that achieve heightened states of relaxation with a blend of focused compression and assisted poses. To practice their similarly holistic art, reiki therapists draw on ancient Japanese techniques designed to shuffle life-force energies around the body. Sarah’s mission to relax bodies and minds simultaneously is reflected in her studio’s décor, which features artwork depicting peace signs and leafy trees.
If you told Shannon DeCamp years ago that she would become the official massage therapist of the Dayton Gems professional hockey team, she might have thought you were one winger short of a line change. The former waitress and bartender took an interest in the medical benefits of massage therapy after suffering from sciatica and seeking chiropractic care in an office that also housed a licensed massage therapist. She went on to graduate from the Dayton School of Medical Massage and earn licensure, and has trained in the areas of Swedish, sports, therapeutic, pregnancy, and hot-stone massage.
DeCamp now owns Regain Solace Therapeutic Massage—which operates inside At Peace Massage & Wellness—and offers mobile massage services in clients' homes. She also performs in-office chair massages, soothing muscles that are sore from rearranging cubicles into mini labryinths.
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.
The therapists at Massage RX specialize in six alternative massages, each designed to improve overall health and target specific problem areas. During the Ashiatsu massage, technicians dangle from overhead bars, using their feet to stretch and knead muscles with balanced, penetrating pressure. Similar to a Swedish massage—but without the use of oils or creams—the Ashi Thai massage employs elongating strokes and stretches to relieve tension. The bamboo-fusion massage, specially designed for treating shoulder pains, employs heated bamboo shoots to melt stress into moppable puddles and test the will power of any on-looking pandas.