Though it's only been open for a short time, Massage + Yoga Center already has an impressive resumé—its chief massage therapist, Summer Greenlees, was voted Austin's Best Massage Therapist in 2011 for her prenatal massages. Greenlees, along with her staff, present a bevy of modalities in the form of trigger point, shiatsu, and a unique house treatment combining a massage and yoga. Their specialty, Ashiatsu Barefoot massage, blends therapeutic, deep-tissue, and relaxation massage treatments into a tension-blasting session customized for each client and whatever knots may be lurking in their musculature. Continuing with its theme of relaxation, the staff offers a variety of yoga classes, from beginner to prenatal. These yoga workouts encourage stress reduction, and their stretching facet helps clients render their limbs as malleable as a chewed stick of gum.
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The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer’s good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.
The best way to learn a new skill is to do it. And at the Austin Institute for Massage & Spa Therapies, professional therapists—who work in the field every day—inspire students during the massage mastery program. Students explore massage techniques alongside lessons in anatomy as a part of an extensive, comprehensive curriculum that culminates in official licensing from the state of Texas.
The institute's director and co-founder, Raul Flores, has worked tirelessly in the field since 1991—in practice, consulting, and education. He and his team have created a spa-like atmosphere within a 3,500-square-foot space where students get hands-on experience in real-life scenarios, such as in one of nine massage rooms, near an aromatherapy bath, or in the drawing room with the candelabra.
After completing her massage studies at Texas Healing Arts Institute, Kristen Tagle tempered her skills in the fires of a local chiropractic office. She spent this time using modalities such as Swedish, deep tissue, sports, and prenatal to treat muscular dysfunction while developing an understanding of how each helped soothe particular aspects of muscular stress. Now the owner of Heart & Sole Massage, Kristen works alongside therapists who demonstrate a similar commitment to these modalities and devise treatment strategies that address clients’ particular aches and pains. Initial consultations allow staffers to review each visitor’s medical history, past injuries, physical conditions, and ill-fitting nicknames, and after the sessions they can recommend exercises and self-care therapies to perform at home. A deep-blue couples room, meanwhile, allows those celebrating a date night or a platonic date night to enjoy the soothing power of massage together.