The licensed massage therapists at Massage Advantage dote on visitors with a slew of custom massage techniques, including Swedish, prenatal, and deep tissue. Armed with warm blankets and a credo to respect patients' privacy, therapists begin each 30- or 60-minute session with a discussion on clients' specific aches and ailments. Therapists can also haul their equipment to office buildings for workplace chair massages that help reinvigorate fatigued employees or stressed-out water coolers during 5- to 15-minute stints. Each succession of kneads is designed to alleviate stress, muscles soreness, and various medical conditions, such as high blood pressure.
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.
Jody Tulloch and her team of massage therapists address tension on all fronts with massage therapy and invigorating spa services. Clients recline across heated tables that are cushioned by layers of padding as a therapist gently relaxes stiff spines, using coconut oil and grapeseed oil to glide their trained hands over areas of tension and harnessing essential oils to boost relaxation ease tenderness. During hot-stone massages, toasted basalt river rocks send heat deep into muscles, allowing tendons to warm up their vocal cords and quietly yodel. For those with TMJ, headaches, and sinus problems, Tulloch herself uses specialized techniques to ease the pain of these stubborn ailments. Body scrubs soften skin while infusing it with scents such as raspberry champagne or chocolate, and airbrush spray-tanning sessions tint bodies with a summery hue. Once clients emerge peaceful and relaxed from their private treatment rooms, they can prolong the experience by purchasing custom-blended essential oils to take home.
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.
The skin therapists of Intuitive Skin Studio rely on advanced procedures to fight the signs of aging: diamond microdermabrasion, LED photo facials, radio frequency facials, micro-needling dermapen treatments, and LHE phototherapy. Of the five, the micro-needling dermapen may well be the most advanced method for stimulating collagen production in the face; its tiny needles penetrate the skin to create "micro injuries" that then heal stronger, aiming toward tightening and brightening skin. Every treatment includes a complimentary consultation, and all sessions take place in a private treatment room. Meanwhile, massage therapists pamper clients with relaxing, therapeutic sessions, employing Swedish, deep-tissue, and trigger-point techniques.
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.
The massage therapists at Hands of Choice knead away patients' muscular tension and emotional stress during full-body rubdowns augmented by hydrotherapy treatments. Clients enter a private room and slip into a plush towel before discussing a custom treatment to target specific aches and pains with a massage therapist. The therapist's hands seek out tendons' tension through sweeping strokes that incorporate the gentle pressures of Swedish massage with the connective-tissue pampering of myofascial release. Each 60- to 90-minute session calls on as many as 10 different massage techniques to draw knots away from deep densities of musculature without the aid of telekinesis. Therapists accessorize the 90-minute supreme massage with hydrotherapy treatments, during which moist heat packs warm-up muscles so clients receive a deeper massage. Patients can keep on pants or undergarments if they help them feel more comfortable.