Smooth basalt stones steep in warmth. Aromatherapy oils blend slowly into massage lotions. The massage therapist at Quality Time works busily to prepare for each client. During sessions, she increases circulation to sore muscles with the soft kneads and soothing strokes of Swedish massage techniques. Amid thin curtains of steam, she also heats paraffin wax to a comfortable 125 degrees, warm enough to ease tension and soothe skin, but still more comfortable than being fed hot fondue by The Three Stooges.
Warm facial towels, aromatherapy oils, and heat therapy are a few of the supplemental services the therapists at VidaTherapy Massage Center use to relax clients. They stir these add-ons into an array of Swedish, deep-tissue, and sports massages to further pamper clients. After a massage, clients' blood circulates better, sleep comes easier, their headaches can vanish, and the digital self-destruct timer on their back stops counting down.
Muscle knots. Chronic aches. Deep-seated reservoirs of stress and anxiety. These and other ailments bring clients to Elements Therapeutic Massage, where they find relief courtesy of professional therapists who customize their treatments to match individual needs. The studio’s unique, level-based system gives clients an idea of what to expect during the session; they can request a low level for a gentler experience or opt for a higher level to eliminate any soreness remaining from the previous day’s jousting tournament. Each massage therapist has his or her own specialties, and treatments may draw on relaxing Swedish and hot-stone techniques or firmer deep-tissue and trigger-point strokes.
Aquarium maintenance might seem like a strange background for an expert in neuromuscular therapy and deep-tissue massage, but that's exactly how massage therapist Lynne Luckow got her start. She decided to change careers after reading about the health benefits of massage and went on to study anatomy, physiology, and medical massage at Aesthetics University. She opened Healing Hands Therapy Center in 1993 and continued her training with renowned professionals in the field of alternative medicine. Eventually, she grew her practice to the point where she was working 12 hours a day, six days a week, roughly the amount of time it takes to give a full-body massage to a really big whale. Luckow knew it was time to expand: the center is now home to eight highly trained massage therapists, who earned it nominations in CityVoter's Best Massage category in 2011.
In addition to performing massages, Luckow promotes physical and emotional healing with Ayurvedic counseling and meditation. She has further rounded out her team with licensed acupuncturist Brenda Sherman, who holds a Master of Science in acupuncture and oriental medicine.
In 1994, Jill Seebantz began her career as a massage therapist and, for years, she would alleviate chronic-and-acute pain with everything from deep-tissue massage to craniosacral therapy. She began her sessions by analyzing the client's posture and then would work to remove any distortions that had developed in the body. Eventually she would customize a maintenance program for the client.
In time, Jill discovered that she wanted to help clients find total-body wellness, so she returned to her studies and is now a holistic health coach and colon hydrotherapist. She also turned her one-woman massage studio into Body Awareness Center, a place that—like Jill—focuses on overall wellness. The holistic health center improves wellness with custom therapeutic bodywork and acupuncture, detoxification treatments, and body-movement services.
Asian-inspired folding fans and hand-painted cherry blossoms adorn the walls of Options Salon & Spa, a destination for hair, body, and skin services available six days a week. To create silky smooth locks, the resident stylists reach for KeraCare and Paul Mitchell products as well as natural-looking extensions, which are intricately sewn, fused, or braided into the hair. During exfoliating body scrubs, aestheticians massage epidermises with a sea-salt or sugar mixture, which is blended with aromatic scents such as rose or cranberry pomegranate. The crew also caters to male clientele with personalized spa packages that include a men’s facial, an all-natural mani-pedi, a deep-tissue massage, and an optional celebratory chest bump.