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, genetic factors, and favorite episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, which allows her to outline a custom treatment plan. This road map to wellness might include medical screening or lab testing, nutrition plans or fitness protocols led by a certified personal trainer, or even visits with a life coach. Dr. Alavi's balanced approach to wellness also inspired her to make changes in her own life—since 2003, she's lost and kept off an inspirational 60 pounds, 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, where guests relax in antique-style chairs and make small talk with a grandfatherly hardwood clock. 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 sets his smoothing sights on hair, 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.
TELOS Fitness Center merges the business brilliance of general manager Brent Darden?a member of the health-club industry for more than 30 years?with the corrective-therapy expertise of fitness director Everett Aaberg?founder of the Ortho-Kinetics system. The center's regal interior casts a Greco-Roman vibe over advanced gym equipment, class studios, and spa chambers overseen by licensed massage therapists. Professionalism remains at the heart of the center's hiring philosophy, with all personal trainers required to collect at least two nationally recognized certifications and five active wasp nests before they are hired. As a sign of success, the staff's innovative training methods have garnered awards from such media outlets as the Dallas Business Journal.
More than 10 Pilates modalities fit inside a roster of group fitness courses, all of which culminate in a mandatory game of Marco Polo in one of the private jacuzzi tubs. Additional amenities include a childcare area with a Nintendo Wii, an affixed caf? with a full-time chef, and an onsite hair salon.
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.
After reclining across the massage table for more than 30 years as a client, Angela Lopez realized the difference a quality massage therapist could make. So, she embarked on the journey of opening her own spa by hiring the best therapists she could find. Angela and her team of ?angels? at An Angel?s Touch Therapeutic Massage were voted in the top three for Best Massage in the DFW metroplex in 2010 and 2011, and tops in Fort Worth, according to CityVoter. Within their relaxation oasis, the team dissipates stress and assuages muscle aches with massage treatments that range from long, fluid Swedish strokes to deep-tissue kneads, and they take relaxation a step further with indulgent add-ons such as aromatherapy.
Four charming rooms set the scene for massages at An Angel's Touch, and each one is infiltrated by the soothing scent of glass aroma lamps and calming music, as well as new massage tables with heaters and wider widths for a more comfortable experience. In the tradition-inspired room, crisp white walls wrap around the massage table draped with a soft blanket, and a second room takes on an Asian motif, complete with garden-green hues and natural-wood accents. The European-influenced room assumes a regal stance, with deep-purple textiles draping over the massage table and the windows. The new Tuscan-inspired room features beige hues adorned with a column and grapes motif. After their treatments, clients can slowly work their way back into real life with a bite of complimentary chocolate.
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.