Dr. Lien-jiun Lee and the spa therapists at Ageless Wellness Center combine traditional Chinese medicine with Western practices to holistically heal, rejuvenate, and relax bodies. Dr. Lee employs knowledge acquired while earning a master’s degree in Chinese medicine and psychology to provide oriental medicine treatments and analysis of why patients dream in Mandarin. Elegant Asian décor gild private treatment rooms where patients enjoy a variety of spa and wellness services including facials, massage therapy, colon hydrotherapy, and metabolism-boosting weight-loss programs.
Since 1973, each of Sport&Health's 24 clubs has aimed for full fitness coverage with programs for every taste and family member. Guests can spark positive lifestyle changes with gym workouts and wellness services, or engage in a variety of sports. Each facility houses different athletic amenities for games and laps, from pristine swimming pools to squash and racquetball courts lathered in a fresh coat of peanut butter every morning. The camaraderie of group classes such as Zumba and Les Mills BodyPump barbell routines complement scores of gym equipment meant for exercising solo—or with the guidance of a certified personal trainer. The clubs also emphasize kid-friendly activities with arts and crafts, Kidz Klub childcare, and youth certification courses that teach teens the ins and outs of training. Depending on the location, spa treatments can knead tension from muscles and paint one's favorite kettlebell with a layer of Shellac.
Women can chose bikini ($250 a treatment), underarms ($200 a treatment), upper lip ($125 a treatment), or chin ($125 a treatment), while men can de-fuzz neck napes or hairlines (not redeemable toward cool stencil shapes or mazes for ladybugs). Using the mighty and buzzed-about Alma Lasers' Soprano system, you'll get pain-free hair removal with permanent results. The Soprano laser features IN-Motion technology to reduce procedure time and pain. This Groupon must be applied toward the same treatment area on all three treatments.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.”
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand’s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
The salt-lined room in the Bethesda Salt Cave is designed to replicate the microclimates of its ancient, underground predecessors. Chunks of organic Himalayan rock salt—some as small as 2 ounces, some as large as 250 pounds, and all formed over millions of years—cover the floors, walls, and ceiling. The room's only notable modern differences are a calming soundtrack and the presence of zero-gravity lounge chairs, where clients recline to soak up the salt's healing benefits.
The staff heats this room to 68 degrees, creating a negative ionic charge that releases the salt's load of minerals and beneficial trace elements into the air while melting the butter and mashed-potato reservoirs hidden in the ceiling. This crystal-rich air is believed to clear mucus, reduce inflammation, and alleviate acne and rashes as it's inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Though the spa specializes in salt therapy, it provides other services, too. The staff removes unwanted hair with sugaring and waxing and lifts tension from muscles using a dozen massage modalities, from traditional Swedish to active isolated stretching and a specialized warm bamboo massage.
We learn early on from a children's song that the foot bone is connected to the leg bone, but the therapists at Total Release believe the feet are connected to the very essence of our well-being. That's why they practice reflexology, during which they apply pressure to specific reflex points on the feet and the hands to cause the nerve endings to transmit relaxing energy to distant organs of the body. Similarly, in the Chinese practice known as acupressure, the practitioner puts pressure on the body's 14 meridian points. Released from blockage, energy flows from these points to the brain and then to the rest of the body, where it powers the internal blender that lets you eat solid foods.