Though it's only been open for a short time, Massage + Yoga Center already has an impressive resumé—its chief massage therapist, Summer Greenlees, was voted Austin's Best Massage Therapist in 2011 for her prenatal massages. Greenlees, along with her staff, present a bevy of modalities in the form of trigger point, shiatsu, and a unique house treatment combining a massage and yoga. Their specialty, Ashiatsu Barefoot massage, blends therapeutic, deep-tissue, and relaxation massage treatments into a tension-blasting session customized for each client and whatever knots may be lurking in their musculature. Continuing with its theme of relaxation, the staff offers a variety of yoga classes, from beginner to prenatal. These yoga workouts encourage stress reduction, and their stretching facet helps clients render their limbs as malleable as a chewed stick of gum.
Saloni Beauty Salon draws upon Indian beauty-and-relaxation treatments to help clients look and feel their best. Inside the tranquil salon, cosmetic caretakers revive skin with a variety of facial treatments, including Chinese almond facials and galvanic facials that use juices and fresh fruits to nourish sensitive skin. They specialize in threading, an Indian hair-removal technique that uproots unwanted follicles using only a single cotton thread. They also can accent bodies with henna tattoos, semipermanent designs that can last up to one month.
At Cielo Spa, clients can find relief for everything from stress to headaches and fibromyalgia. Rosalba and Raul Flores—the sister-and-brother team behind the spa—have created a service menu that includes deep-tissue, hot-stone, and trigger-point massage. Additionally, they offer paraffin hand and foot treatments, various facials, and a body scrub crafted from Dead Sea salts and essential oils.
The best way to learn a new skill is to do it. And at the Austin Institute for Massage & Spa Therapies, professional therapists—who work in the field every day—inspire students during the massage mastery program. Students explore massage techniques alongside lessons in anatomy as a part of an extensive, comprehensive curriculum that culminates in official licensing from the state of Texas.
The institute's director and co-founder, Raul Flores, has worked tirelessly in the field since 1991—in practice, consulting, and education. He and his team have created a spa-like atmosphere within a 3,500-square-foot space where students get hands-on experience in real-life scenarios, such as in one of nine massage rooms, near an aromatherapy bath, or in the drawing room with the candelabra.
As a massage therapist for 17 years and an Army officer for more than two decades, Lynn Wood knows a lot about the limits, strengths, and health of the human body. Lynn helps her clients fight away worries as well as aches, pains, and injuries with four types of massage treatments. She takes particular pride in the fact that her practice is different from most corporate establishments. Whispering Waters Massage Therapy doesn't require any membership plans. Lynn also doesn't pander for tips or sell any products, and she never cuts sessions short in order to rush in the next clients or yell the surprise twist at people waiting for a movie.
Aqua Blue Beauty & Bodyworks' staff enhances traditional spa services with advanced technologies. The result is a menu of multivitamin facials and laser treatments that safely eradicate hair, tattoos, and enemy TIE fighters. They also offer body scrubs and masques using special, customized blends that the clients get to choose. The specialists go so far as to share their secrets with students at an in-house skin institute that offers certification courses in microdermabrasion, eyelash extensions, and micropigmentation.