A board-certified practitioner and longtime devotee of holistic healthcare, Lisa James understands the body as an interconnected organism that can?t always be treated with symptom-specific remedies. That?s why she uses techniques such as Cupping, Gua Sha, Japanese Reiki, Chinese Reflexology, and BioMat therapy to alleviate mental anxiety and physical stress all at once. Aided by aromatherapy and herbal supplements, Lisa?s methods may help restore the body?s balance and ease obstructions that can develop into physical illness if left unchecked. Not just a healer, Lisa is also an educator. In group classes, she teaches students about the art and science behind reiki.
Like any good teacher, style director and salon owner Shelley Hutchinson believes you are never done learning. Her 14 years as a cosmetologist have led her to oversee a staff of hairstylists, aestheticians, and massage therapists, all of whom continue to hone their skills through educational seminars. As they absorb new techniques, they graduate on a track from apprentice to senior stylist, having chosen a major in either scissor biology or beehive keeping. Shelley herself attends international trade shows to keep up with the world's aesthetic tastes, adapting her knowledge of cuts and colors to make the most of the salon's partnership with Goldwell.
Inside Shelley's beautification venue, sunlight illuminates fixtures inspired by the natural world. Potted trees, floral arrangements, and bamboo window shades complement the earth-toned walls of private spa and public styling areas. The services also draw from nature: guests can warm their feet during the Tranquil Earth pedicure featuring hot rocks, or they can nourish their features with an enzyme peel's pineapple and papaya extracts.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa 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. Personal spa assistants are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment.
Bethlehem Massage's practitioners blend western massage techniques with eastern practices to promote balance and harmony in their clients. First visits typically begin with a consultation, during which a licensed therapist takes the time to understand individuals' medical histories and motivations for visiting. They draw from a buffet of services such as Swedish massage and hyper-specific doctor's-orders massage, before lavishing clients with focused bodywork that rewards the muscles for automatically flexing when photographed by traffic cameras. The facility's in-house acupuncturist also stands ready to target afflictions with a 4,000-year-old Chinese practice.
Presumably tired of standing, sore of foot and back, Dustin Campbell first found his way into a massage chair at a concert. Fifteen minutes later, he knew he wanted to be a massage therapist. With barely a backward glance, he plunged into a 1,020-hour massage-therapy certification program that covered four modalities, basic sciences, medical skills, and business practices. He came out the other end Dustin Campbell, Licensed Massage Therapist, and started his own business, The Bears Massage. Today, he continues to explore and study the world of natural healing as he plies his trade on Albany's sore backs.
Dawn DuBois knows that the most important part of her job isn't just a gentle touch, but also compassion. Seasoned in a wide range of massage therapies, she specializes in working with the elderly and disabled to help comfort or relax. But each massage she performs is also customized for the client in every aspect, including the amount of pressure used. DuBois often uses pure essential oils during her massages, both as aromatherapy and to smooth across the skin while she uses long, gliding strokes to alleviate aches.