As a graduate of Parker College of Chiropractic, Doctor of Chiropractic James C. Martell knows his way around the human spine. He draws on his impressive knowledge to keep his clients' musculoskeletal systems in alignment with adjustments and hands-on manipulations.
Dr. Martell goes a step beyond chiropractic, though, with acupuncture treatments that redirect the body's flow of energy. He has been certified in the traditional Chinese needling techniques for more than a decade, and he continues to use them to help clients who are fighting migraines or need to be convinced that they aren't actually a balloon.
Bart Vermilya didn’t always want to be an acupuncturist. He might still be building computer mainframes for a living had it not been for a shoulder injury he incurred while practicing martial arts. In severe pain, he went to a chiropractor and a massage therapist, both of whom failed to help. He then went to an acupuncturist who reclined him on a table, ignored his shoulder completely, and proceeded to insert needles into his ankle.
“It kind of has to do with tricking your nervous system,” Bart explains. A computer networker and engineer, Bart has a logical approach to problem solving and researches his own treatments with the fervor of a caffeinated skeptic. He finds fascination in sciences that work in spite of logic. “I was surprised too. My ankle. But it worked.”
Inspired by his experience, Bart began studying holistic treatments. His vocation as an engineer, combined with training in acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and holistic healing represents a merger of Eastern and Western philosophies. Today, he custom-blends Chinese herbs based on the client’s condition and on his own extensive scientific research, and integrates various treatments into his practice: a patient complaining of a sore back might receive acupuncture on limbs while Bart places cups along the spine.
As a 23-year-old junior, Tom Hatten didn’t spend his evenings at the raucous parties or ice-cream socials associated with college life. Instead, he’d spend the waning hours of his evenings waiting by the dryer for the last batch of towels before collapsing into bed. In the morning, he would lug them to Mountainside Fitness, the gym he opened as a student that he has thrown all his energy into maintaining ever since.
Today, the humble 4,800-square-foot space has bloomed into nine gyms that average a sweeping 41,000 square feet. Tom’s vision of creating a friendly neighborhood gym that greets each guest with a warm towel underscores every decision he makes for the different locations, from the colorful kid-care spaces to the entertaining group fitness classes. Personal trainers plan regimens tailored to each client, helping them lose weight, build muscle, or target the muscles that will help build a better golf game. Clients can create their own routines with the help of cardio and weight machines, or explore the different amenities at each location, such as saunas, rock-climbing walls, and indoor basketball courts.
The idea for Waterworks on Wheels blossomed in the backyards of the East Valley. Founder Janice Jaicks traveled from home to home, guiding children's swimming strokes inside their own pools. Soon, the demand for her lessons required her to hire more instructors, and in addition to her summer house calls, Janice set up shop at four health clubs for year-round classes.
Today she and her team acquaint children aged 10 months–10 years with the water through a mix of patience, kindness, and know-how. The instructors seamlessly combine safety with fun, and though they specialize in teaching preschoolers and first-time swimmers, they can engage kids of all skill levels with more advanced aquatic exercises and even have a program to boost the competitive skills of adults. By maintaining a small student-to-teacher ratio, they focus on enhancing each person's aptitude regardless of prior years spent land-locked or recent hours spent swallowing helium.
After years of research and exercise, Dr. John Spencer Ellis felt he'd hit upon a premium fitness formula for producing athletes. Inviting Kelli Calabrese, a master trainer, to help him develop a curriculum, the two pooled their exercise knowledge—which amounted to 45 years of industry experience and 35 fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle certifications. From this wealth of training and education, they created Intense Mixed Performance Accelerated Cross Training, or IMPACT Fitness Boot Camp.
Their formula requires that each workout begin with a sports-conditioning-style dynamic warm-up, before proceeding into speed, agility, and quickness training, which allows patrons to more effectively chase cars down the highway. They then challenge students with full-body-strength conditioning, which focuses on all the muscles versus only the muscle group you want to train, and a high-intensity session of cardio training. Though the formula always remains the same, the exercises vary from session to session. One day, patrons might heave medicine balls and sprints, the next, they might jump rope and stretch TRX bands.
Claudia Schroeder first started practicing yoga in 1996 as a way to find refuge from stress. In 2007, with more than 10 years of training under her belt, she decided to become an instructor to share the life-changing practice with others. Now helming her own studio, Sol Yoga, she connects with the community, while also strengthening her familial bonds. Her husband and daughter work alongside her as co-founder and an instructor, respectively, and teaching classes helps her stay in shape to keep up with her three granddaughters, who were just signed as first-draft NFL running backs.
The three of them, along with a cast of diverse teachers, aim to help students care for their bodies and cultivate an openhearted attitude during classes for students of all ages and ability levels. In addition to yoga, they offer Yo-Pi Core—a blend of yoga and Pilates that builds strength, balance, and flexibility—as well as Zumba, which encourages students to let loose with fun, Latin-inspired dance moves.