Aquarium maintenance might seem like a strange background for an expert in neuromuscular therapy and deep-tissue massage, but that's exactly how massage therapist Lynne Luckow got her start. She decided to change careers after reading about the health benefits of massage and went on to study anatomy, physiology, and medical massage at Aesthetics University. She opened Healing Hands Therapy Center in 1993 and continued her training with renowned professionals in the field of alternative medicine. Eventually, she grew her practice to the point where she was working 12 hours a day, six days a week, roughly the amount of time it takes to give a full-body massage to a really big whale. Luckow knew it was time to expand: the center is now home to eight highly trained massage therapists, who earned it nominations in CityVoter's Best Massage category in 2011.
In addition to performing massages, Luckow promotes physical and emotional healing with Ayurvedic counseling and meditation. She has further rounded out her team with licensed acupuncturist Brenda Sherman, who holds a Master of Science in acupuncture and oriental medicine.
Though Miracles' quirky and diversely talented staff of stylists, massage therapists, and aestheticians aims to lift patrons' spirits with beauty transformations, their work did not wholly inspire the salon's name—the beauty sanctuary's original location was inside an old church. Owner Kendalia Edelman has since expanded her business into a larger location, enabling her to add an area for laser treatments that target everything from excess hair to leg veins. She also found space for Little Miracles, a separate salon where kids up to age 9 can get haircuts with supervision from parents and invisible friends moonlighting as style consultants.
Founded more than a decade ago by Doctor of Chiropractic and naturopathic doctor Patrick Flynn, The Wellness Way offers a wide array of services aimed at treating the entire person and not just that person's symptoms. The practitioners at these clinics include chiropractors, rehab experts, massage therapists, and nutritionists, all united in the goal of finding the root cause of ailments and promoting overall health.
The Hair Co.'s staff lends a rapt ear to patrons professing their style preferences before performing hair, nail, skin, massage, and tanning services. Redken and Pureology products coddle manes during cuts, and Rusk products transform hair color without the mess of emptying a bottle of ketchup on your head. Nails painted with CND shellac get color that lasts up to two weeks after a brief drying session under the UV lamp. Patrons also line up for Bioelements facials and trips inside the SunDome standup tanning booth, which kisses frames with a summery glow akin to that emanating from an electric eel wearing a bikini.
When Penny Strohkirch and Larry Oliver met on the first day of massage school on September 11, 2001, they immediately knew they wanted to work together. Their closeness came easy, “I think partially because of the very emotional first day of class,” Penny says. After graduation, they found a way to realize their shared career aspirations and opened Rejuvenations Massage and Spa.Fish tanks, whose occupants have names such as Sgt. Pepper, stand in every treatment room, filled with a combined total of 75 fish and two confused treasure hunters. As clients meditate on the tanks’ soothing visuals, Penny or Larry delivers a custom blend of massage modalities such as Swedish, deep-tissue, and shiatsu. They focus on the healthful aspects of massage to complement or even replace the need for traditional medicine. “I have a professional runner who swears he can't train for or recover from a marathon without me,” Penny says. Even she has benefited from the healing results of massage. “I was told that I would never recover from a shoulder injury without surgery,” Penny remembers. She instead began a therapeutic massage regimen, “and guess what? Never had surgery.”
Registered nurse and massage therapist Samantha Moeller created Wholistic Health, The Wellness Spa with a vision of integrating traditional Western medicine with complementary wellness therapies. Originally located at the New London Family Medical Center, whose staff has worked closely with Moeller, Wholistic Health expanded to its current South Pearl Street location in 2004. Services include massage therapy, skincare, and weight-loss classes, along with permanent cosmetics and body waxing.