Don't be fooled by its tranquil atmosphere and invigorating scents—Natural Balance LLC is no day spa. Owner Trish Eastwood and her team of seven certified therapists possess years of training in therapeutic massage and take a serious approach to their profession. Each no-nonsense massage incorporates ample communication in order for the specialists to ease their clients' particular knots and painful spots with deep kneads, gliding strokes, and nimble fingers. To enhance relaxation sessions, steamed towels, hot stones, and aromatic essential oils warm the muscles and invigorate the senses much like a nap in a bread oven.
Marianne Chapin, owner of Kneading Hands Yoga for the past 10 years, takes a well-rounded approach to stress relief and wellness by marshalling years of yoga teaching experience. To help her run the studio, she has assembled a team of eight certified instructors who bring a wide range of skills to yoga classes. Available classes, all of which take place in a spacious and clean studio, include relaxing and meditative Hatha yoga, strength and stamina boosting hot-yoga sessions where temperatures of up to 98 degrees render muscles more pliable, and Pilates classes that build core strength and focus.
Cara Bartkus is never in a rush. Long before opening her own spa, she first attended the Institute of Aesthetic Arts & Sciences, then became a certified aesthetician, and later worked at several spas to gather all the experience necessary to become a well-rounded aesthetician. She also augments her treatments by laying candles throughout the small spa space and by using Eve Taylor products made with organic essential oils.
Always kept at a temperate 75 degrees, Massage Therapy Studios of CT's ashiatsu massage rooms keep guests' bodies warm and limber as they relax atop the heated massage table. Licensed massage therapist Paula Jelly customizes each massage session with relaxing music and various techniques from massage modalities ranging from Swedish to acupressure to sports massage. Before or after their massage, clients can enjoy a rejuvenating rinse in a contemporary standup shower or on the back porch with a self-supplied slip 'n’ slide.
More than 60 salon pros and their talented apprentices strive to perfect the art of hairdressing at Ricci’s Academy, and the salon-academy has been in business for more than 60 years. Under the guidance of skilled teachers, each with at least 13 years of experience, new-generation tress tamers snip strands to achieve clients' requested looks, from chin-length bobs to the multiterm shoulder-length layers made famous by FDR. A barbering program ensures scissor wielders can also trim with razors to keep men's cuts straight and neat.
Ron McKnight, licensed massage therapist and owner of The Center for Therapeutic Massage and Athletics, honed his muscle manipulation skills working on Olympians in Barcelona, Atlanta, and Athens. His deft hands seek out injury-prone areas of the anatomy on the sporty and stationary alike and attempt to prevent strains and third-degree charley horses. He has been known to ease the pain of headaches, muscle spasms, and stiff necks, and is so dedicated to improving overall wellness that he offers hearing and cognitive-assessment testing to ensure his clients are in peak physical condition.