Vera Reed, a licensed massage therapist, is the wellness equivalent of a one-stop shop. In addition to mastering shiatsu, lymphatic drainage, energy balancing, reflexology, and other techniques over the past decade, she’s dived into dietary and herbal studies. This makes it possible for her to provide holistic treatments for the whole body, rather than just one system or two really small toes.
In addition to caring for her patients with organic products, Vera and the staff of Body Nutrients also take care of the planet. Their efforts have resulted in the offset of nearly 2,000,000 pounds of CO2, over 16,000 pounds of waste kept from landfills, and the planting of over 1,000 trees.
Holly Potter, a licensed aesthetician and massage therapist, got her start by working in a large spa. Though this experience helped her hone her skills, she wanted to work in a more intimate environment where she could craft custom therapies that focused on the whole person?mind, body, and spirit. So in 2009, she founded Everything Zen, where she built a team of somatic practitioners and certified health coaches to cosset clients in a serene, private, massage room. Specialists soothe tense muscles and free blocked energy with massage, reiki, and reflexology and polish up visages with facials and microdermabrasion treatments. Like Q-Tips on strike, bodies also find liberation from buildup through ionic footbaths and ear candling.
Shelley is a skincare specialist working out of Health In Harmony, a full-service wellness spa dedicated to transformation in its many forms. Shelly offers microdermabrasion treatments and other skincare services that help clients regain radiant, youthful-looking complexions.
Shelly joins a staff of massage therapists, hairstylists, and acupuncturists who all work toward the same goal: to instill health, wellness, and beauty in their clients. Anti-aging facials are administered alongside therapeutic massages, and men's and women's haircuts and color treatments share menu space with ear candling and reflexology. Clients can also opt for infrared sauna therapy or a session on the power plate platform, which uses whole-body vibration to target cellulite and strengthen muscles.
Having worked as a physical therapist for 28 years, Swedish expatriate Ann-Kristin Hillgren knows how to healing bodies through manual medicine, occupational health, and pain rehabilitation. At Everything Zen, she works to eliminate aches, pain, and stress through massage, calling on her extensive knowledge of the body to help ease any known ailments. With Swedish, deep-tissue, aromatherapy, and pregnancy massage techniques at her disposal, she address each client's unique issues, whether they're aiming to unwind or looking to release tension from watching competitive tug of war tournaments.
Serenity Now's owner and certified massage therapist Ruth Ann Fallon offers modalities of massage that range from relaxation to treating persistent pain. Many of her massage options are tailored to the needs of specific groups, such as athletes, teens, and mothers-to-be, each customizable with add-ons such as hot towels and hydrating skin treatments.
Muscular System: The Meat of the Matter
The joys of a massage or the relief of a chiropractic adjustment?and the stresses of physical work?play out partly in the muscles. Learn just what pumps the body up with Groupon?s guide to the muscular system.
The human body has more than 630 muscles keeping it upright and mobile. They make up almost half its weight and power the movements of the bones, the blood, and even the food in the stomach. Perhaps the most familiar muscles are those seen in bodybuilding contests and facial-expression contests: the skeletal, or voluntary, muscles. They?re attached to our bones and controlled by our brains, which zap them with electrical signals to cause their fibers to contract. During a muscle contraction, filaments inside the muscle fibers slide together, stacking up on one another so that the larger fiber shortens. In shortening, the fibers gain thickness?a phenomenon we notice as flexing. Whatever muscles do, they accomplish by this single pulling action. If a bicep (part of a category of muscles known as flexors) flexes to lift a barbell, it needs a tricep (an extensor), pulling in the opposite direction, to bring the arm back down.
The other two types of muscles are smooth muscles and cardiac muscles, and both are beyond our conscious control. Cardiac muscles control the beating of the heart, contracting the chambers to push blood throughout the body. But the blood doesn?t ride to the toes on that momentum alone. Lining the blood vessels are smooth muscles that help push it along. These also line the esophagus, stomach, and intestine to move food through the digestive track, and can even help regulate the body?s temperature by opening and closing capillaries near the skin surface, all without conscious effort. The subconscious brain is also happy to turn muscles to ends beyond their apparent purpose: for instance, what we experience as shivering from cold is simply the brain causing the muscles to spasm so they will generate heat and keep your blood and any baby chicks in your coat pockets warm.