Physician and Balanced Health and Wellness founder Dr. Mary Alavi may not be a mapmaker, but she does understand that knowing where you are is the first step toward getting to where you want to be. She created the center after years of watching her patients suffer from premature aging and degenerative diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, knowing full well that many cases could have been preventable had her patients merely stopped to examine the signs. Her whole-person approach to health care includes a detailed exploration of each patient's history, lifestyle, and genetic factors. This road map to wellness might include medical screening or lab testing, nutrition plans or fitness protocols led by a certified personal trainer. Dr. Alavi's balanced approach to wellness also inspired her to make changes in her own life and she continues to share her own personal successes and failures to encourage her patients to stay on track.
The patient-centered philosophy at Balanced Health and Wellness is evident in the lobby. Staffers present clients with tea or flavored water before directing them to sessions with a massage therapist or an aesthetician, or to a consultation with the office's certified laser technician who will discuss hair removal, spider veins, fine lines, and age spots.
Close your eyes. Picture a country cottage surrounded by rose gardens. Now walk in and lie down. A team of massage therapists stands at the ready to apply warm towels to your sore muscles. Just as the first whiff of lavender and peppermint reaches your nose, you feel their practiced hands press down on your knotted muscles and overworked joints. Or maybe you feel warm and soft as a layer of gentle exfoliants, botanical body butters, and moist towels wrap your body to soothe and nourish your skin. After what feels like hours, you slowly rise from the table, muscles loose and skin soft. Before you can say thank you, you're handed a free bottle of spring water to wash down a selection of sweet chocolates. The scent of aromatherapy oils fades away as you leave the spa haven, and the smell of fresh roses ushers you outside. The country opens up in front of you. Now open your eyes.
It's not a dream. The quaint country cottage surrounded by rose gardens, the gentle massage therapists, the free chocolates—it's all very real at Blue Monarch Massage, where bodies benefit from the mother and daughter team’s years of collective experience delivering pain-relief and relaxation. The duo’s attention to detail turns simple spa services into full-blown, luxurious experiences with amenities such as free chocolates, hot-towel applications, and aromatherapy oils.
Exhale Spa seeks to transform its clientele inside and out. The founding team of fitness professionals and aestheticians sought to create an environment where they could empower visitors with pampering spa treatments, invigorating fitness classes, and lifestyle education, helping clients attain a sense of control and holistic balance. Now with 19 locations across 11 cities, Exhale Spa and its signature services have earned mentions in numerous national publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Exhale's signature Core Fusion classes incorporate dance-inspired stretches, yoga poses, and Pilates exercises into total-body workouts that build long, lean limbs and sturdy abdominal muscles over time. For an even more varied workout, the instructors introduce boot-camp techniques, cardio exercises, or multiplication tables to select sessions. Yoga classes present a similar amount of breadth and variety, drawing inspiration from a number of introspective and physically oriented styles. To help hasten physical transformations, nutrition and wellness coaches teach attendees about the impacts of diet. These sessions build an awareness of healthy eating habits through custom meal plans and by teaching clients how to identify the edible parts of a fruit basket.
Many of the center's traditional spa services seek to inspire confidence. Facials pamper and refine skin using everything from green tea and fruit extracts to microcurrent technology, and mani-pedis revitalize digits before glazing nails with a vibrant new coat of color. Bodywork treatments look beyond physical relaxation and focus on holistic concerns. Massage therapists can use Eastern or Western modalities to soothe overstressed musculature, and acupuncture treatments and reiki sessions jump-start natural healing processes by encouraging the free flow of inner energies.
As advocates of health and beauty for the whole body, Krystal Kincaid and the team at The Natural Way offer customized facials, microdermabrasion, waxing treatments, and therapeutic massage. The studio fosters a passionate belief in natural remedies, and thus only uses natural and organic products—such as paraben-free serums from Skin by Ann Webb—when customizing each treatment to the client's individual issues, from easing acne problems to diminishing the signs of aging. The spa's far-infrared sauna has three spectrums of heat to penetrate the body and relieve pain, improve circulation, aid in weight loss, and boost cell immunity. Clients can augment these benefits by combining an infrared sauna session with a session of the spa's therapeutic massage. In fact, most treatments can be enhanced with an add-on, such as a hydrating foot scrub, or a peppermint cooling scalp massage.
Krystal's journey into the wellness trade began in Florida, where she earned her massage license. When she moved to Austin, her expertise in neuromuscular therapy and Swedish massage proved so impressive to the locals that she soon decided to open her own wellness spa. Her vision found its realization in The Natural Way, a suite spa with four private treatment rooms and a team of therapists who specialize in five types of therapeutic massage. Among these, the ancient method of ashiatsu is a standout. Its foot pressures are designed to ease chronic pains, increase blood flow, and reset the hard drive at the base of the spine.
The seasoned beauty professionals at Moda Aveda Salon transform appearances and enhance the health of skin using plant-based products from Aveda. Stylists remedy damaged strands with cuts and conditioning treatments, dye them with 97% natural Aveda color, or add length with Hot Heads hair extensions that adhere to hair without the use of heat or refrigerator magnets. Skin, muscle, and nail are tended to inside Moda’s full-service spa, which furnishes facials, massages, and body treatments. Complimentary treatments add luxury to any salon visit and allow clients to pick their own indulgences, including a stress-busting shampooing, hand treatment, makeup touchup, and skincare analysis.
Guided by socially conscious principles for more than 30 years, Aveda produces a full line of natural beauty products carried at nearly 7,000 salons and spas. Popular gorgeous-makers such as Shampure shampoo and witch-hazel hair spray deliver on Aveda's commitment to well-rounded earthly beauty with eco-friendly packaging cradling ingredients derived from the world's finest and least selfish plants.
Amid high-vaulted ceilings, Hair Play Salon & Spa displays a newly remodeled interior, complete with modern artwork hanging from the walls. But even though the space has a fresh, new look, the salon's technicians still rely on classic beauty techniques to execute quality hair, skin, and nail services seven days a week. On the salon floor, stylists nourish locks with deep-conditioning Moroccanoil masks and add immediate length with hair extensions. During mani-pedis, nail technicians sheathe digits in acrylic tips or colorful Shellac polishes. Meanwhile, back in the spa area, aestheticians polish pores with a variety of facials, including treatments that eliminate acne and signs of aging.
The family-friendly shop also accommodates children younger than 12 with haircuts, cleaning up shaggy tendrils and shearing off french braids made from gum. Little ladies can further experience pampering with a princess package, which dolls up girls with a variety of mini nail, hair, and skin services.
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