A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Since 2004, Gina Camaj's hairstyling skills have landed her hair and makeup gigs at weddings, photo shoots, and television programs. At Gina Camaj Salon and Spa, she and her team of fellow stylists use a full line of Paul Mitchell products for haircare appointments that range from trims and highlights to keratin treatments and eyelash extensions. While Gina oversees salon operations, the salon's co-owner, Karli Richardson, supervises the facility's spa. There, licensed aestheticians and massage therapists administer beautifying and relaxing treatments such as body scrubs, myofascial massages, and weight-loss mud wraps, which slim physiques more effectively than daily alligator-wrestling contests.
At Alternative Health Services Massage Therapy, massage therapists understand their clients' desires to escape life's daily doldrums and provide a relaxing space of total tranquility. The spa's menu features almost 10 different types of massage, including both therapeutic and energy-based treatments. Add-ons such as aromatherapy and reiki enhance massages in private treatment rooms, where licensed and experienced therapists trade in scripted massages for custom techniques, varied pressures, and a trashcan to throw away excess muscle knots.
I Knead a Massage delivers restorative back rubs and relaxing muscle kneadings to New York’s tenderest residents. Go for a classic Swedish massage and enjoy tranquility-augmenting aromatherapy during the session, or come in comfy, stretchy clothes for the Thai option, which gently ushers joints and connective tissue out of their sheltered comfort zones. For clients carrying imminent miniature humans, a pregnancy massage alleviates some of the muscle cramps and tension associated with pregnancy, without bothering kick-happy unborn cops getting a head start on dramatic apartment entrances.
Michelle Campbell, a seasoned massage therapist and a member of the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals network, pilots Myo Massage's team of licensed practitioners. The therapists specialize in medical massages, channeling their shared passion for healing into stress-staving strokes that can alleviate a wide range of chronic ailments, such as fatigue or lower back pain caused by National Walk Like a Spider Day. Though they regularly strive to improve clients' health, the crew also gears its diverse arsenal of modalities toward relaxation, and fully customizes every massage session. Their skill sets run the gamut of soothing techniques, from sports and pregnancy massages to shiatsu and reflexology.