A seven-circuit labyrinth sounds like the setting for a Greek myth, but at Branford River Resort and Spa, it is a concrete place patrons visit to practice meditation. Relaxation is not reserved for the labyrinth, though—it pervades the spa and resort as a whole, helping to earn the establishment one of 2012’s Patch Readers’ Choice awards. Visitors can bask in the healing milieu of its infrared sauna, lounge in the onsite gazebo, or unwind during diverse spa treatments.
The spa’s treatments encompass a vast array of facials, which can combat acne or aging, soothe with warm stones, or draw on the healing power of crystals. Massages range from traditional Swedish effleurage to the Shiradora indian head massage, which incorporates kneading upon the back and herbal oil conditioners, just like a cat clinic held in a soap shop. Body wraps ensconce physiques in materials from Dead Sea mud to mylar foil, and a complementary suite of salon services beautifies visitors with custom haircuts, highlights, and nail services.
Nobody will mistake Mountain Therapeutics for an ancient Buddhist temple, but the two have more in common than one might think. This is all thanks to licensed massage therapists David Schoenberg and business partner Marisa DelMonaco, whose mutual interest in Buddhist teachings led them to master traditional Thai yoga massage. With a history that stretches back three millennia, this form of bodywork requires a deep commitment on the therapist’s part. This did not deter David. If anything, he was attracted to the ways in which Thai yoga massage exemplifies the Buddhist principles of kindness and compassion.
Today, David administers the slow, rhythmic strokes of Thai yoga massage within the serene confines of their shared studio. When he isn’t using their thumbs, palms, elbows, and feet to seek out sen—or energy—lines across the body, he works to alleviate chronic pains with neuromuscular therapy and increase muscles’ range of movement with myofascial therapy. Considering the holistic emphasis of most of their massages, it’s not surprising that he also offers detoxifying colonics and nutritional coaching to ensure that clients aren’t getting all of their iron from anvil shavings.
Michael Baier has been a full-time practitioner of the healing arts since 1999, and though he has been through certification programs and apprenticeships, he considers his hands-on experience his most valuable training. With more than 7,000 client sessions beneath his belt, he offers in-depth bodywork sessions, performing Thai yoga bodywork and traditional Thai massage to promote deep relaxation while relieving tensions. Michael brings a friendly demeanor to his work, and helps his clients improve the quality of their life through stress reduction therapy and energy healing treatments.
Rubbing muscles in the same direction as the blood flowing to the heart, massage therapist use the various techniques in Swedish massage to promote overall wellness and relaxation. This stands as just one of the several diverse massage styles available at Essence of Life, which offers both massage therapy and holistic care.
From soothing massages to clarifying facials, pampering is always on the menu at Mibella Spa, sister salon to awarding-winning Graceful Spa. Massage therapists blend Swedish and shiatsu techniques to unlock chi, or energy, for longer lasting relaxation and increased circulation. During body scrubs, a choice of sea salts or brown sugars gently exfoliate skin, and parafango wraps moisturize and nourish skin to combat the appearance of cellulite. Spa packages are also available for individuals or couples.
Skinny Buddha helps clients achieve balance and healthfulness in life with fitness classes and a menu of organic meals. Head chef Elyce Jacobson prepares healthy, organic foods and orchestrates catering services, and certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist Shaka Davidson leads small-group exercise classes and one-on-one training sessions.