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.
When Martha Millan says, "Beauty shouldn't hurt," she's not peddling a slogan—her first job in the beauty industry literally caused her pain. Working at an upscale salon, her exposure to common hair and makeup products triggered hives and headaches. While searching for more natural goods for personal use, her research revealed unsettling truths about many industry product lines that often use irritating perfumes to mask the underlying odors of harsh chemicals. Feeling that everyone should have the opportunity to look beautiful without fear of harming health, she bought a salon and transformed it into Salon O Day Spa.
Amid Salon O Day's industrial decor, Millan and her team of stylists, aestheticians, and a massage therapist use products so natural that some are even edible, though Millan imagines the taste would leave something to be desired: barbecue sauce. Among the array of certified-organic, not-tested-on-animals, gluten- and chemical-free products, Millan's favorites include Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare, developed by an American physician who advocates against overexfoliation. For hair, stylists use products from lines including Surface Hair and Organic Color Systems, and during nail services, technicians use natural products from SpaRitual in tandem with scrubs made in-house from ingredients bought at a local co-op.
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.
Con’s Organic Spa owner Con Ciecko isn't just an expert in the beauty industry. She's also a reiki master and a medical tattoo technician. These specialties, along with her education and training at Michigan and California institutes, have prepared her to execute services that both beautify and relax her clients. Besides kneading muscles with several massage modalities, she cleanses skin with organic facials, bronzes limbs with airbrush tanning, and administers makeup applications for weddings or black-tie viewings of TV weddings. Joined by a skilled staff that includes her daughter Kiya, a massage therapist and nail technician, Ciecko infuses her new spa confines with a welcoming and personable vibe as she helps her clients develop their own signature looks.