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Quality Treatments without the Downtown Prices

By now, many of you have probably heard the scoop on how massage is just one of the wellness methods that’s thought to proffer longevity and that youthful glow to all lucky takers. But getting a quick rubdown at your local chi-chi joint on your lunch break between a glass of wine and cell phone chatter probably won’t shave off the years or do you a world of good. If you’re looking for wellness and restoration first and pampering at a close second, the folks at In-Symmetry are happy to be of service.

Founded by Candace Combs and Corey Katz at the end of 2001, In-Symmetry has evolved from an under-the-radar twosome to a gaggle of advanced bodyworkers and skin-savvy aestheticians who offer what Corey calls “quality bodywork and skincare without the downtown prices.” When Candace and Corey started getting booked three to four weeks in advance, they realized it was necessary to start training bodyworkers with the same philosophy and method of providing massage strictly without the fluff.

Now, the team comprises 19 therapists (both massage therapists and aestheticians) and 4 support staff. While the services -- ranging from customized facials to deep tissue hot stone massage -- come sans the swank locker-room amenities, In-Symmetry’s satisfied repeat customers tend to prefer the harmonious, sun-dappled digs and cozy environment to the assembly-line ambience of typical spas, anyway.

While In-Symmetry boasts three massage rooms and just one for skincare, the buzz isn’t simply around the great bodywork. People with sensitive skin love the facials, too. Corey herself started administering facials after noticing that after releasing muscles from clients’ upper shoulder girdles, they looked positively vibrant.

“The progression to skincare was natural,” she explains. “When you release muscles in the face, it makes your skin look great. Getting your muscles released brings water and white blood cells to the surface…good blood flow equals good skin.” Accordingly, the skincare approach at In-Symmetry is one that stays chary of harsh methods like microdermabrasion and chemical peels, which tend to augur poor results among people with sensitive skin, and focuses a lot on lymphatic drainage by using both hot and cold stones in facials. “When you look at so many people in Hollywood who have great skin, it’s not because they’re using the latest gadgets,” says Corey. “It’s because they’re eating well, taking care of themselves…a lot of it is simple circulation.”

While I’m eager to try out a customized facial somewhere down the line, when I visit In-Symmetry for the first time, I was there for the massage. All of the therapists at In-Symmetry are advanced bodyworkers, which means they have way more hours of training than typical massage therapists and are well-versed in the various kinds of anatomical issues that could leave someone feeling imbalanced or plague them with chronic pain.

The services are kept simple and In-Symmetry pretty much offers only one modality of massage: a deep tissue, with hot rocks. “When we first started doing (restorative massage), people weren’t really offering it very much out there,” says Candace. “So in many ways, our bodywork was specifically for individuals who didn’t just want to have oil rubbed on them. These were typically people who sat at desks all day and needed to have their knots worked out.”

As a simple hour proves to me, the hot stones aren’t simply feel-good gimmicks or frivolous extras. A combination of extremely precise bodywork -- complete with trigger-point and myofascial release, which help untangle all my kinks -- and hot stones is used to release muscles from holding patterns. The idea is that when you come in, your complaints are addressed and the intention of getting a massage is to correct any structural imbalances. “For example, if you’re lying on the table and your right leg rolls out, your therapist might lengthen the muscles on one side of your leg so it’ll lie straight,” explains Corey.

As my therapist works over my sore spots with diligence and meticulous care, I begin to understand why Candace gets bodywork on a weekly basis. The massage feels almost like rolfing or chiropractic -- deeply relaxing but also targeted toward areas of diminishing health or pain. By the time my 60 minutes are over, I feel like I’ve done about an hour of yoga (and to top it all off, my skin is glowing).

Given all the enthusiasm and the flock of weekly clients, Candace and Corey see themselves opening more locations in the near future. “We kind of think of ourselves as the Trader Joe’s of massage,” says Candace. “You can come in and get great stuff at an affordable cost.” The formula of accessible, high-quality bodywork and skincare is one that the team definitely thinks will make a big splash across the board as the massage industry continues to transform -- especially in the area of affordability.

Clients also need not worry about getting “too addicted” to the bodywork or skincare and driving themselves into irreparable debt. In-Symmetry offers tons of deals -- like their Blue Light Special, where customers can get $15 off of all bodywork during the week, or their bundled package discounts. Besides, the whole purpose of launching In-Symmetry was to make massage accessible to people who might otherwise think of it as an unnecessary luxury. “Bodywork is so important for balance, and lots of people are starting to recognize this,” says Candace. Lucky for us, there’s now an easy go-to that satisfies the need for truly therapeutic services with a welcome dose of pampering and comfort.