Sacred Cross Horse Services founder Ashley Mason has transformed her extensive background in horseback riding and show jumping into a unique training program. At stables tucked away in redwood forests, students attend English-style riding lessons that focus on basic fundamentals such as grooming, tacking, and learning how to bond with horses. The lessons cater to students' individual needs and skill levels while simultaneously prioritizing their education and enjoyment. Sacred Cross also leads horse camps for children, as well as lessons designed to impart a sense of responsibility, teach empathy, and stop them from trying to lead the dog into a canter. Students are required to wear long pants and heeled shoes while riding.
EMH Healthcare’s team of therapists and medical professionals began treating patients in 1904; in the ensuing century, their system of compassionate care steadily expanded to serve the greater Cleveland area. Today, that system includes Exhale, a day spa that sets its advanced medical treatments within a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Though its plush massage beds and warm, earth-toned decor seem far removed from a medical clinic, Exhale doesn’t forsake the medical credibility that has become synonymous with EMH Healthcare. State-licensed and board-certified therapists administer all spa services, which include pedicures, facials, and cosmetology treatments to cover up blemishes and exposed circuit wires.
At Holistic Lakewood, certified natural health professional and master herbalist Rachel Anzalone follows the principles of naturopathy to unlock each body’s innate ability to heal itself. The center’s services focus on nontoxic therapies—including reiki, massage, and naturopathy—designed to aid the body in its efforts to self-cleanse and treat problems at their root, instead of merely soothing symptoms. Holistic Lakewood’s professionals tailor a treatment plan to each client’s specific needs. They devote time to education, ensuring patients have the knowledge necessary to make lasting lifestyle changes.
"Ever since I can remember, I was always a skeptic—of western medicine that is! The idea of a drug or an over-the-counter medication to cover up a symptom didn’t make sense to me," says Dr. Michael Russell on his practice's website. Educated at Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Dr. Russell strives to keep his patients healthy through balance and nutrition. Rather than masking symptoms of illness with pills, ointments, and masking tape, he seeks out their root causes and tries to address them. He provides spinal adjustments to adults and children alike and recommends Standard Process whole-food supplements.
The expert staff at Sacred Hour doesn’t view spa services as treatments, but as rituals. As such, staffers take each facial, massage, and waxing service seriously, applying products imported from Italy amid the flickering glow of candles and the tranquil drips of tabletop fountains.
All members of the business crew support a local charity and pledge to give away 1% of their gross earnings. Sacred Hour also matches every dollar raised with bills that are exfoliated and massaged until wrinkle-free.
Though originally developed for professional athletes, Athletes4Life, LLC’s massage programs aren’t just for those scoring touchdowns or putt-putting about town. Rather, the center’s licensed massage therapists fuse a range of modalities—including Swedish, Thai Yoga, and Hawaiian lomilomi—to inspire holistic health while quelling everyday stresses, aches, and pains. Of course, owner Jim does have a few specialties: obliterating migraine headaches and healing pain caused by neck, shoulder, and rotator-cuff problems.
Five-massage therapy packages are designed to compound the overall health benefits of massage over time, and à la carte treatments can get the body prepped for a physically trying event, such as a 5K or Law & Order marathon. Jim also aims to boost immune systems with quick, 10-minute immune-system massages, and his specially formulated Caribbean Spice seasonings spice up everyday meals while promoting metabolism.