At Elements, you don't need spelunking gear and bat repellant to be considered a "caver." The staff applies the term to those who regularly visit its artificial salt cave—a grotto lined with pink Himalayan salt and lounge chairs. The salt dispenses particles into the air that potentially soothe the skin and combat respiratory ailments, such as congestion and asthma. And, by mimicking a natural cave, the room falls in line with the spa's eco-friendly motif. This focus on the environment pervades all of their treatments, paying homage to the elements of earth, water, wood, metal, and fire.
A wet room, complete with a vichy shower and soaking tub, best embody the "water" aspect, whereas skin and massage services incorporate the remainder of the elements. Aestheticians light up complexions with products from Naturopathica Holistic Skin Care, applying extracts of alpine willow, rosemary, and chamomile to fight the signs of acne and rosacea. Massage therapists, meanwhile, customize their kneads to the unique aches of each client. They might untie muscular knots with help from Mexican beach stones, or conduct an ashiatsu massage with their bare feet, the best tools for conducting deep-tissue work behind jackhammers set to "gentle."
The decor at Top Level Salon may be simple, but its treatments are anything but. A flash of color at the ends gives hair a trendy ombre effect. Eyelash extensions take the place of mascara for a bold, dramatic look. And instead of being done with traditional brushes, makeup is airbrushed on to ensure a flawless application.
Vera Reed, a licensed massage therapist, is the wellness equivalent of a one-stop shop. In addition to mastering shiatsu, lymphatic drainage, energy balancing, reflexology, and other techniques over the past decade, she’s dived into dietary and herbal studies. This makes it possible for her to provide holistic treatments for the whole body, rather than just one system or two really small toes.
In addition to caring for her patients with organic products, Vera and the staff of Body Nutrients also take care of the planet. Their efforts have resulted in the offset of nearly 2,000,000 pounds of CO2, over 16,000 pounds of waste kept from landfills, and the planting of over 1,000 trees.
Apricot Blossom Therapeutic Massage’s licensed, experienced therapist melds soothing scents with muscle-mollifying techniques, specializing in the profundity of deep-tissue massage. During each one-hour session, guests are wafted into clouds of fragrant bliss as muscular tension is tamed with long, therapeutic strokes, essential-oil blends, and reverse psychology. The studio’s atmosphere remains peaceful and centering and adheres to aesthetically pleasing style.
The word meditation typically calls to mind a feeling of stillness and solitude. Matt DeMichele, however, believes in a shared meditative experience—one that takes place in the muscles as well as the mind. For him, massage is "meditation-in-motion," a way to acknowledge and address the tensions that have restricted one's potential. Since graduating from the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy and earning his certification in therapeutic massage and bodywork, Matt has hoped to build this awareness in others and act as a conduit for their body's healing.
Each appointment at Shadow and Trees Massage Therapy begins with an in-depth evaluation. Matt logs information on his clients' recurring aches to better customize a mix of modalities, often blending elements of Swedish, orthopedic, and myofascial massage. Having studied with Aaron Mattes, founder of the active-isolated-stretching method, Matt also leads muscles through short, specific stretches to boost their range of motion. A combination of his active isolated stretching and massage can help combat the effects of past injuries, encouraging ease of movement without smearing elbow joints with grease.
• For $50, you get a T-spa pedicure with a Shellac gel manicure (a $103 value). • For $45, you get an executive manicure and pedicure with a facial wax for the upper lip, chin, and eyebrows (a $98 value). • For $35, you get a T-spa manicure and executive pedicure (a $77 value.