In 1964, the Carusos decided to start a spa. They wanted to open it in a century-old Victorian house, but the fixer-upper definitely needed a few renovations first. For a year, the Carusos used their evenings and weekends to fashion a spa atmosphere reminiscent of ancient Roman baths. Amid chandeliers, corinthian columns, and engravings of ancient Olympic potato-sack races, stylists craft haircuts and therapists soothe muscles in private treatment rooms. Though stylists use nationally renowned products from Dermalogica and Redken during treatments, they also use styling tools patented by the Carusos themselves.
At reYou Massage, therapists specialize in a handful of massage styles that aim to undermine bodily aches. The staff pulls from a repertoire that includes massage modalities such as Swedish, medical, deep-tissue, and Esalen—a soothing modality featuring long, slow strokes that can travel the body's full length—to blast through tension faster than a house of cards divided against itself falls. After a session of up to two hours, many clients note a heightened sense of relaxation, a boost in circulation, and a greater range of motion, which in turn improves the believability of their windmill impressions.
Donna Kimmel fostered her passion for healing at both Penn State's Professional School of Massage and the Frankford School of Nursing. Now, in the comfort of a cozy, private treatment room, she draws upon her training as well as 12 years of massage-therapy experience to slacken achy muscles with Swedish strokes or the firm pressure of deep-tissue bodywork. A heated massage table aids Donna's attempts to make tension melt from sore shoulders and backs, and glowing candles help soothe stressed minds and draw out any moths that may be hiding in connective tissues.
Owner and founder Gilda Smith specializes in helping clients to heal through massage therapy by finding mental and physical balance. She also leads a team of other experienced therapists who specialize in a number of modalities including prenatal, sports, and myofascial therapy. Exhale's staff of massage therapists, with more than 10 years of experience, use their expertise to calm clients' tense sinews by incorporating a unique blend of various modalities in their massage techniques.
Owner and principal practitioner Yvonne Fisher knows most of the techniques you'd expect a nationally certified massage therapist to be familiar with—the Swedish, shiatsu, and myofascial modalities, for example. But because she's such a firm believer in the human body's ability to heal itself, she's gone beyond these traditional bodywork techniques to master less conventional healing approaches, including the soft-tissue method developed by Australian alternative-health practitioner Tom Bowen. Like an innovative hammer, some of these techniques don't even require hands: Reconnective Healing aims to influence life-force energy without physical contact, and a self-help method called the Emotional Freedom Technique targets emotional distress and can even be done over the phone.
In one of seven private treatment rooms, guests lie down for 60- to 120-minute massages performed by licensed massage therapists. Both male and female massage therapists help clients relax with massages in a variety of modalities, including Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, and reflexology.