Physician and Balanced Health and Wellness founder Dr. Mary Alavi may not be a mapmaker, but she does understand that knowing where you are is the first step toward getting to where you want to be. She created the center after years of watching her patients suffer from premature aging and degenerative diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, knowing full well that many cases could have been preventable had her patients merely stopped to examine the signs. Her whole-person approach to health care includes a detailed exploration of each patient's history, lifestyle, and genetic factors. This road map to wellness might include medical screening or lab testing, nutrition plans or fitness protocols led by a certified personal trainer. Dr. Alavi's balanced approach to wellness also inspired her to make changes in her own life and she continues to share her own personal successes and failures to encourage her patients to stay on track.
The patient-centered philosophy at Balanced Health and Wellness is evident in the lobby. Staffers present clients with tea or flavored water before directing them to sessions with a massage therapist or an aesthetician, or to a consultation with the office's certified laser technician who will discuss hair removal, spider veins, fine lines, and age spots.
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.
Exhale Spa seeks to transform its clientele inside and out. The founding team of fitness professionals and aestheticians sought to create an environment where they could empower visitors with pampering spa treatments, invigorating fitness classes, and lifestyle education, helping clients attain a sense of control and holistic balance. Now with 19 locations across 11 cities, Exhale Spa and its signature services have earned mentions in numerous national publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Exhale's signature Core Fusion classes incorporate dance-inspired stretches, yoga poses, and Pilates exercises into total-body workouts that build long, lean limbs and sturdy abdominal muscles over time. For an even more varied workout, the instructors introduce boot-camp techniques, cardio exercises, or multiplication tables to select sessions. Yoga classes present a similar amount of breadth and variety, drawing inspiration from a number of introspective and physically oriented styles. To help hasten physical transformations, nutrition and wellness coaches teach attendees about the impacts of diet. These sessions build an awareness of healthy eating habits through custom meal plans and by teaching clients how to identify the edible parts of a fruit basket.
Many of the center's traditional spa services seek to inspire confidence. Facials pamper and refine skin using everything from green tea and fruit extracts to microcurrent technology, and mani-pedis revitalize digits before glazing nails with a vibrant new coat of color. Bodywork treatments look beyond physical relaxation and focus on holistic concerns. Massage therapists can use Eastern or Western modalities to soothe overstressed musculature, and acupuncture treatments and reiki sessions jump-start natural healing processes by encouraging the free flow of inner energies.
Endorsed by financial author Dave Ramsey and highlighted on Oprah Winfrey's Life Lift blog, eMeals charts out a week's worth of dollar- and health-savvy dinner recipes to relieve the burden of kitchen-related stress. Each week, organized grocery lists—categorized by family size, dietary desires, and store preferences—showcase flavorful culinary creations for discerning palates. Plans developed by working parents capitalize on sale items at stores such as Walmart, Publix, and Kroger, and an "any store" list can be used to navigate the aisles of other favored grocers. Family meal plans serve seven meals for three to six people, whereas plans for two are tailored to singles, couples, or a pair of sock puppets on a date atop a chest of drawers.
Special paleo, gluten-free, clean-eating, low-fat, and portion-controlled meal-plan options aid nongeneric eaters in assembling targets for their teeth and fitness regimens. The classic version of the Walmart family plan supplies culinary sustenance to families of three to six for an average weekly cost of $75–$85 and takes advantage of the store's regularly discounted prices. A duo can fill a Publix cart for $50–$60 a week, including side dishes.
Born of founder Jane DeLaney's desire to feed her family stress-free dinners provisioned from an organized list without coupons, eMeals allows shoppers to spend more time at the table and less time wandering about the grocery store uttering monophonic 10th-century chants in dismay.
After reclining across the massage table for more than 30 years as a client, Angela Lopez realized the difference a quality massage therapist could make. So, she embarked on the journey of opening her own spa by hiring the best therapists she could find. Angela and her team of “angels” at An Angel’s Touch Therapeutic Massage were voted in the top three for Best Massage in the DFW metroplex in 2010 and 2011, and tops in Fort Worth, according to CityVoter. Within their relaxation oasis, the team dissipates stress and assuages muscle aches with massage treatments that range from long, fluid Swedish strokes to deep-tissue kneads, and they take relaxation a step further with indulgent add-ons such as aromatherapy.
Three charming rooms set the scene for massages at An Angel's Touch, and each one is infiltrated by the soothing scent of a soy candle and calming music. In the tradition-inspired room, crisp white walls wrap around a heated massage table draped with a soft blanket, and a second room takes on an Asian motif, complete with garden-green hues and natural-wood accents. The European-influenced room assumes a regal stance, with deep-purple textiles draping over the massage table and the windows. After their treatments, clients can slowly work their way back into real life with a bite of complimentary chocolate.
Amid high-vaulted ceilings, Hair Play Salon & Spa displays a newly remodeled interior, complete with modern artwork hanging from the walls. But even though the space has a fresh, new look, the salon's technicians still rely on classic beauty techniques to execute quality hair, skin, and nail services seven days a week. On the salon floor, stylists nourish locks with deep-conditioning Moroccanoil masks and add immediate length with hair extensions. During mani-pedis, nail technicians sheathe digits in acrylic tips or colorful Shellac polishes. Meanwhile, back in the spa area, aestheticians polish pores with a variety of facials, including treatments that eliminate acne and signs of aging.
The family-friendly shop also accommodates children younger than 12 with haircuts, cleaning up shaggy tendrils and shearing off french braids made from gum. Little ladies can further experience pampering with a princess package, which dolls up girls with a variety of mini nail, hair, and skin services.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Groupon is celebrating an inspiring group of women: business leaders whose companies and brands enrich their communities. Thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of these leaders, local communities across the country are stronger and more diverse.
Shop the Women in Business collection.