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.
Led by Dr. Lydia Savic-Durnas, the skilled technicians at True Laser use Candela GentleLase and GentleYAG lasers for hair removal and collagen-stimulating skin-rejuvenation treatments. They calibrate the laser's wavelength to suit either purpose, and a cooling device spritzes skin with cryogen immediately after the laser's pulses to make treatments more comfortable for clients.
But not all of True Laser's services are laser-based. Aestheticians polish away dead and dull skin with microdermabrasion treatments, using pure baking-soda crystals—rather than the more commonly used aluminum oxide—to avoid unnecessary skin irritation. They also stock glo therapeutics skincare products—infused with vitamin C and ultrafine fairy dust—for facials tailored toward each client's needs, and they administer facial peels to target signs of aging.
Complete Nutrition recognizes that dietary supplements fill only one realm of a healthy lifestyle, so the team also emphasizes hydration, exercise, and a balanced diet. To help clients achieve such well-rounded wellness, the stores employ certified personal trainers and strength coaches, who educate customers while simultaneously showing them how to flex the bridge of their nose.
The brains behind Complete Nutrition collaborate with nutritionists and healthcare providers to formulate new proprietary supplements for their shelves. In addition to designing products that can help patrons lose weight, build muscle, or increase their energy, the teams also figure out how to combine complementary supplements into specialized kits, which compound the effects of individual products.
The Hair Co.'s staff lends a rapt ear to patrons professing their style preferences before performing hair, nail, skin, and massage services. Big Sexy and Pureology products coddle manes during cuts, and Redken 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.
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.”
The certified trainers at Push Personal Fitness propel clients toward fitness goals in classes filled with encouragement and personalized tips. Like a trip to the airport in a clown car, classes are 60 minutes long and can accommodate up to 10 people. Brimming with energizing songs and high-intensity movements, kickboxing classes torch calories as they tone arms, legs, and abs. All-levels boot-camp classes build muscle mass and cardiovascular endurance with functional fitness equipment, such as gymnastic rings, kettlebells, and rowing machines. Yoga classes melt stress with flowing poses designed to cultivate strength, flexibility, and focus. During personal-training sessions, teachers motivate students to boost their heart rates and build lean, healthy muscle with 30-minute high-intensity workout sessions.