At City Massage & Bodywork, nationally certified massage therapists help clients unwind physically and mentally with massage techniques including soothing Swedish strokes, deep tissue?s targeted kneads, and the simmering stress relief of hot-stone therapy. Massage upgrades such as aromatherapy and sauna sessions extend relaxation to other senses and sensations. The spa takes care to only book a few clients for each therapist each day, ensuring they don?t deplete their own energy reserves or run out of nicknames for each person?s individual muscles.
VM Body and Health goes a step further than most massage centers: its staff offer eight massage classes dedicated to teaching the finer points of specific modalities. But clients can still receive their choice of 10 available styles from both the East and West, reflecting founder Juan Carlos Villanueva’s passion for traditional Chinese medicine. His interest has taken him throughout Asia to study the continent's indigenous bodywork concepts, resulting not only in Asian massage options at his center but also acupressure and reflexology classes that introduce students to the basics of performing each modality. In addition to massage, staff members host classes and lectures on various aspects of whole-body health, including yoga, nutrition, and the hokey pokey.
Northern Virginia Wellness Center helps patients refurbish dull looks with a full host of non-invasive cosmetic treatments. Here, lasers zap unwanted hair, spider veins, and tattoos, and facial injections and non-ablative skin-tightening treatments keep faces smooth and bright. Working in conjunction with the MediSun team, the center's clinicians draw upon decades of experience when administering high-tech treatments such as skin-restoring IPL photofacials.
Fine tuning the health and beauty of the human body is the main order of business at Soma Solutions Wellness & Nutrition Centers. The nutrition coaches on staff draft dietary plans and teach clients how to avoid consuming extra calories by never again licking stamps. The certified personal trainers offer one-on-one workouts and all-you-can-sweat group classes.
Medically supervised technicians see to the aesthetic nature of the business, working to rejuvenate the skin with laser treatments and injectable solutions. The GentleMax laser zaps unwanted hair, spider veins, and sunspots on all skin types using high-intensity pulses of light. Noninvasive VelaShape II sessions, which have been featured in Shape, target cellulite and lax skin with robotic massage.
Patrons at Elements Therapeutic Massage pair up with the therapist best qualified to address specific personal issues and concerns. Therapists then spend time with clients, gathering information about their conditions before customizing massages. They then custom-tailor massage treatments with a blend of modalities—including Swedish, deep-tissue, and trigger-point therapy—to sink guests into a state of relaxation or address pain-management needs.
In the lobby of Parma Spa and Center for Health, a sculpture of a woman balancing on a jade-colored orb acts as an axis for a spiraling, gleaming ribbon. The statue represents the Ayurvedic philosophy of health, a belief that the client will be "on top of the world" when mental, physical, and aesthetic needs are met and balanced. Ayurvedic medicine strives to heal the emotional and physical cause of pain rather than just treat the symptoms. "Well-being is physical, mental and spiritual," owner and founder Dr. S Nicky Singh says in a feature on WUSA 9. "I believe in this with a passion. There is a need for people to look at themselves preventatively."
In addition to med-spa-quality services such as microcurrent facials, staff members trained in Ayurvedic medicine perform massages and body treatments with healing herbal oils that invigorate and detoxify the body. Physicians are on-hand to supervise, and they also provide health care ranging from counseling to cardiology. "The presence of physicians reinforces the idea that there's a quality to what we do that's [more than just a spa]," Dr. Singh says.
But the clinical capabilities of the spa and wellness center don't mean that it feels like a doctor's office. "In a frenzied, frenzied world, it was my goal to create a place where we [could have true] wellness," Dr. Singh says, and that means being kind to the eyes and the sleeping koala clinging to each person's shoulder. Oversize gilded mirrors reflect the twinkling lights of an imported Venetian chandelier, which in turn casts light over Italian linens, chamois robes, and a Limoges tea service filling steaming cups with herbal tea. "We're not trying to create a place which is just glamorous … The idea was to show that we worry about every little detail," she says.