Although he's now a fitness expert and personal trainer to the stars, Todd "The Bodyman" wasn't always in perfect health. Todd struggled with both childhood lung disease and a ballooning waistline before losing more than 40 pounds and reclaiming a healthy lifestyle. Not only did he overcome those obstacles, he went on to become a black-belted martial artist, serve in the US Army, and eventually marshal his expertise as an active-lifestyle consultant for NBC 4 television. Today, Body by Todd's online resumé sparkles with celebrities such as actor Danny Glover, NFL pro and sports anchor Cris Carter, and recording artist Marti Dodson.
It's not just Todd who has emerged victorious from personal health battles. His team of trainers—which includes new moms and former cheerleaders, gymnasts, and soccer players—has each eked out hard-scrabble victories against excess weight, losing 25–75 pounds each. Todd and his crew have helped more than 10,000 clients reach their fitness goals with custom programs, using straightforward nutritional guidelines and exercises that, like dinner parties spent rubbing elbows with famous Muppets, are easy on the joints.
Three times a week, Just U Relax's owner and principal massage therapist paid a 90-minute visit to one of her favorite clients, an elderly Italian woman who could barely speak a word of English. One day after a visit, the woman's daughter called and asked the massage therapist if she could come back again right away, saying her mother was not doing well. She arrived and set to work massaging her client's body, much of which had collapsed inward from a previous stroke. But instead of seeing the usual results, such as the woman's hands relaxing for a short time before tightening back into a bound position, the massage therapist saw her client maintain her peaceful composure. Then, this elderly Italian woman who could speak little English, let alone speak at all due to the effects of her stroke and Alzheimer's disease, looked at her massage therapist and said with perfect clarity, "Thank you." The woman's daughter called later, saying her mother died that evening, and that she wanted to say thank you for giving her mother such comfort before she passed. It was that moment that made the massage therapist realize she knew she could help people.
Raised by a cardiologist, the future owner of Just U Relax and her brother made a pact to go to medical school together, but when she found herself disenchanted by clinical environments and desiring a more hands-on approach to patient care, she explored massage therapy. Today, she and her team of licensed massage therapists at Just U Relax assess posture, gait, and occupational stress to customize bodywork for each client. The staff sees to guests' comfort in a variety of ways, including giving visitors warm robes and plush slippers, using massage tables with triple-cotton-padded tops, and playing relaxing music as aromatherapy wafts between rooms. Therapists also offer clients snacks such as fruit smoothies and granola bars. Additionally, each therapist is required to undergo at least three hours of training each month to learn new massage techniques and stay sharp.
When owner Giovanni Finocchiaro picked up the phone at Face It Spa, he heard one of his clients sobbing. She had been preparing for a presentation at work, and in the process, her skin had broken out so badly that Finocchiaro recalls her lamenting, "I just can't do it. I have to see you." Finocchiaro, who once dreamed of being a counselor, told her to come in immediately. "When you help people look better on the outside, it really does make them feel better inward, too," he says. When his distraught client arrived, he tailored a peel for her sensitive skin that helped kill bacteria and calm inflammation. Within a few days, he says, "she couldn't believe … how [her complexion] was already turning around."
Inside his recently remodeled boutique, Finocchiaro caters to each of his clients in the same way. He offers them complimentary water or tea before leading them across dark hardwood floors to a candlelit treatment room. After cleansing their face, he uses a lighted magnifier to analyze their skin type, then employs PCA products and a wide arsenal of customizable facial treatments to help them reach specific beauty goals or the center of the Earth.
Beauty Bar serves up a complete menu of refreshing services for the entire body, and the Love and Good Fortune spa package lets clients taste test an assortment. The blissful beauty bundle features four eastern-inspired treatments, concluding with hot tea and a light lunch. To commence your fret-free escape, a master mollycoddler will show you to your own cozy, quiet nook where high-tech air filters turn air-born tension into completely safe giggle gas. During your 45-minute Shirodhara treatment, a special blend of therapeutic liquids will be poured over your forehead, promoting deep relaxation. This holistic healing practice was originally developed in India and is used to treat a variety of conditions, including sinusitis, allergies, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, hearing impairment, and more. Once the interior of your noggin is nice and noodly, your exterior noggin noodles will be shampooed and blow-dried. Next, sit back while your toes soak in a warm limoncello milk bath during a 60-minute Steamin' Stones pedicure, followed by a thorough scrubbing and warm-stone foot and leg massage. An additional 15 minutes in the massage chair will lift any leftover worries and Thetans from your shoulders.
Voted No. 1 from 2209-2013 by the readers of the Akron Beacon Journal, Novus Clinic was born 20 years prior from board-certified ophthalmologist Todd L. Beyer and optometrist Jerry Sude’s vision for a one-stop eye-care facility. To bring this idea to fruition, they first recruited a neuro-ophthalmologist and a second optometrist to their team and eventually constructed a 3,800-square-foot surgery center in 1998. The state-of-the-art center was built in response to the voices they heard asking for laser vision-correction procedures such as LASIK and cosmetic treatments. Dr. Beyer, also a certified oculofacial plastic surgeon, began performing face-lifts along with noninvasive skin treatments after he found himself fielding queries from more and more patients about dermal fillers, peels, and laser hair removal.
With the expanding list of offered services, the clinic shed its original title, System Optics, and was reknighted Novus Clinic in 2003. The word novus, which translates to “fresh and exciting” in Latin, more accurately encompasses the clinic’s multifaceted approach to ocular and anti-aging treatments. The doctors never forget the primordial soup from which they sprang, though, and still conduct eye exams and keep a venerable inventory of designer frames.
If you told Shannon DeCamp years ago that she would become the official massage therapist of the Dayton Gems professional hockey team, she might have thought you were one winger short of a line change. The former waitress and bartender took an interest in the medical benefits of massage therapy after suffering from sciatica and seeking chiropractic care in an office that also housed a licensed massage therapist. She went on to graduate from the Dayton School of Medical Massage and earn licensure, and has trained in the areas of Swedish, sports, therapeutic, pregnancy, and hot-stone massage.
DeCamp now owns Regain Solace Therapeutic Massage—which operates inside At Peace Massage & Wellness—and offers mobile massage services in clients' homes. She also performs in-office chair massages, soothing muscles that are sore from rearranging cubicles into mini labryinths.