When Joanna Mazurek calls relaxation an "art," she knows what she's talking about. The Green Peace Art of Relaxation founder is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, though today she's more likely to be dripping massage oil on a tense back than paint on a canvas. Her massage credentials include certification in the stretching techniques of Thai massage as well as mastery of reiki, an energy-based Eastern healing method.
As an advocate of aromatherapy, Mazurek sells scents made from sage, lavender, and other organic ingredients, which together are meant to relax the muscles and moisturize the skin. That's not to say she's averse to more high-tech methods, though. During face- and body-sculpting sessions, she uses microcurrent electrical impulses to make skin produce more collagen, just as electricity shocked Ben Franklin into producing better screenplays.
At Artistic Cuts Salon & Spa, a cool blue tile mosaic greets visitors when they approach the desk, scarcely concealing murals of swans and cranes that usher in a feeling of serenity. Beneath hanging lanterns, specialists perform a variety of salon and spa services for men and women. Stylists tame locks with custom haircuts, coloring, perms, and straightening treatments, which can be complemented by other beauty services such as waxing and permanent makeup. Spa technicians also reward bodies with massages, facials, and skin treatments such as microdermabrasion.
Jeanie Balvin mitigates pain and champions relaxation through massage therapy. Her 60-minute Body Bliss modality leverages lymph drainage, myofascial, reflexology, trigger point, Swedish, and relaxation techniques to melt away tension. She can also perform 90-minute Healing Hands massages, which incorporate Eastern and Western methods to increase circulation as effectively as a newspaper that starts publishing its stories on chocolate paper.
As business partners, spouses, and licensed massage therapists, Gary and Karen Amundson have spent the past 23 years mending muscles at Massage Therapy Center of Florida. Their sinew-soothing skills caught the attention of the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce, who dubbed them Business of the Year in 2000. Gary and Karen begin all of their massage sessions with heated lotion and conclude with a hot towel, sandwiching in techniques such as prenatal massage, trigger-point therapy, and myofascial release. In addition to nurturing injured tissues, they keep their shelves stocked with Biofreeze, a menthol-infused topical pain reliever that subdues soreness and cures rare cases of shoulder halitosis. Gary and Karen also collaborate with licensed aestheticians Donna Byrd and Laura Symons, who nourish epidermises with spa treatments such as facials, body wraps, and waxing.
Helmed by Dr. John Rauch, the massage therapists at Rauch Chiropractic Wellness Center soothe tense, wound-up musculature with the customized strokes of a one-hour massage. Therapists knead sore muscles with the client's preferred use of deep-tissue, Swedish, or sports massage strokes, unwinding knot-filled fibers tied by overly dedicated boy scouts. The relaxing strokes spur blood circulation to the far reaches of the body, with kneads helping to reduce pain while increasing range of motion. Mommies-to-be can ease aches due to extra body mass with a prenatal massage, which works around baby bumps to relieve and reward the hardworking musculature without the hassle of tattooing a thank you note on your back.
For 13 years and counting, Angie Dittmar, owner of Palm Avenue Day Spa, has fixed her attention on making clients feel relaxed and beautiful. Dittmar regards her business as a "uniquely European" spa that fulfills each person's need for attention, pampering, and lotion. To this end, she employs a carefully selected team of beauty specialists. Stylists update hairdos with salon services, and skincare experts perform massages and facials as well as mani-pedis, waxes, and makeup applications.
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