Providing the stepping stones to better health and wellness
by Sasha Braithwaite
photos by Lauri Bridgeforth
Winter and its stiff-necked bite has left, and it is now time for rebirth and rejuvenation as Spring digs her hands into the earth bringing forth life again. Many people see spring as a time to start over and bring positive changes into their lives and well-being. Massages are a great place to start by removing all of the stiffness, stress and toxins that accumulated in the body during those cold months. Massages are a great catalyst for improving overall health and spurring along lifelong wellness.
In August 2013, Robert and Lisa Limoges opened Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Winchester, Va. The franchise based out of New Jersey now has about 145 spas across the United States and Canada. The Limoges’ spa is the third Hand and Stone in Virginia, and they are about to open their second in Haymarket, Va.
Lisa, who was previously a dancer, would often get massages to relieve muscle soreness. After she quit dancing, she continued to get massages as part of her wellness regimen, however she had to travel long distances to the spa, and it became more of a stress inducer rather than a reliever. For two or three years, she and Robert had wanted to run their own business together, so she began doing research and stumbled upon the Hand and Stone franchise. It was the company’s philosophy of helping people that initially drew Lisa in and made her and Robert want to own their own Hand and Stone spa.
“I really liked being a part of something that was growing and up and coming, as well as bringing a concept here to Winchester that was nowhere around,” Lisa says. “We’re very connected to the community. It’s important that our community grows and thrives and has all of the wonderful things that other communities have. It felt like we had the opportunity, and even sometimes the responsibility, to bring something like this here.”
The Limogeses also appreciated the franchise’s methodology in professionalism, availability and affordability—the three key words of the company. Professionally, Lisa and Robert only hire therapists and estheticians who are fully licensed and insured, which is not always the case at many spas. Many people say they are massage therapists, but there are no licenses to back up their credibility. As for availability, Hand and Stone spas operate on longer hours, seven days a week in order to make themselves available to the working individual.
Affordability is what really makes Hand and Stone stand out. Their prices are lower than many of the competitors, and there are no contract restrictions placed on clients. First time guests are able to come at the introductory price of $49.95 for a single massage or facial or go for the spa’s signature hot stone massage for the introductory rate of $69.95. There is also the Lifestyle Program, which allows the client to choose from their choice of a one-hour massage or Signature Facial for $59.95 a month. If the client does not use their massage or facial one month, it simply rolls over to the next month, available for use. “You can get your massage at $500 once a year, and that’s fine, but here it’s kind of building into the philosophy to reduce stress and to make sure people are taking care of themselves,” Robert says. “We don’t like any high pressure sales. We like to educate clients on the Lifestyle Program which could be beneficial to them, but it’s up to them to make the decision.”
Hand and Stone clients can choose from Swedish, deep tissue, trigger point, sports, pre-natal and couples’ massages, which go for an hour to an hour and a half long. The therapist is trained to customize the massage to the client’s needs. Hand and Stone’s signature hot stone massage is much like a classic massage, but it also utilizes heated, smooth river stones as tools in the therapist’s hands and penetrate into the muscles releasing tension and toxins. The warmth of the stones is truly a welcome addition to any luxurious massage. There are also additional enhancements that can be added on to the different types of massages for small prices such as hot towel foot and hand treatments, peppermint scalp massage, aromatherapy and a mini cold stone face massage.
Signature facial services are offered for men, women and teens. There are various one-hour facials or exfoliations, 30 minute skin treatments like peels and mini microdermabrasion and any facial enhancements that are desired. Just the Signature Facial itself noticeably smoothes the skin and vacates pores. The licensed estheticians use quality products such as Dermalogica, one of the best products in skin care industry, and Clarity Rx, a line of organic-based products exclusive to Hand and Stone spas. Products from both lines of skin care are sold in Hand and Stone, and the estheticians even recommend certain products to clients that will meet the individual’s specific skincare needs.
In addition to massages and facials, Hand and Stone also offers hair removal services using a botanically based, wax-free system. The services vary in price, ranging from eyebrows to Brazilian, and are provided by professional, licensed estheticians.
Overall, Hand and Stone offers several benefits in each program. Massages help with stress, anxiety, headaches and mobility, all the while lowering heart rate and blood pressure, improving circulation and ultimately strengthening the immune system. For facials, skin is purified, detoxified and hydrated which ultimately slows down aging and creates softer, smoother looking skin. Not to mention, pores are completely cleaned out of any clogging. The hair removal program is costefficient, running from $10 to $50 for members and typically lasts three to eight weeks depending on the person.
“I hope that what folks know here [at Hand and Stone] is that our goal is that it’s a wonderful, protected relaxing experience at an affordable price,” Lisa says. “We take it personally, we’re very passionate about it, and we truly are here because we care about this community and want to do something great here.”
With Mother’s Day fast approaching, Hand and Stone gift cards are a considerable gift option that can help mothers, and even expecting mothers, relax for a protected hour of self-preservation. Almost anyone can benefit from Hand and Stone one way or another. It is a gift that does not go unused.
“We don’t want you to come here just to get your money, but to make sure that you feel good coming in and feel better when you come out,” Robert says. “This is our passion.” You can visit the spa at 239 Kernstown Commons Blvd Winchester, Va., or call 540-508-0536 for questions or to book your appointment.