This sensible Midwestern metropolis turns out to have a vibrant spiritual side.
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By Melisse Gelula and Ann Abel
March / April 2008
Eric Huffman gives sublime foot massages.
These top-notch Windy City spas and practitioners perform reflexology, chakra balancing, and other, more mystical modalities.
Soothe Your Senses
The menu includes reiki, intuitive readings, and Healing Touch, which combines guided meditation, energy clearing, and chakra balancing. "It addresses your full self—physical and spiritual," says therapist Sharon Mathieu, a 20-year veteran with healing in her blood: Her father was a New Orleans traiteur (Cajun faith healer), her sister is a shaman, and her daughter owns this spa.
6260 N Broadway, 773-262-4246, www.sootheyoursenses.com
"Foot reflex specialist" Huffman gives sublime foot massages in his Zenned-out apartment. His nom de pied, the Healing Samurai, refers to the ten months he lived in Japan and apprenticed with reflexology master Ando Haruki—and his goal of "battling negative energy."
4502 N Maplewood, 773-895-4415, www.healingsamurai.net
Spiritual supervisor Laryl Fett reads auras, balances energy, and consults Tarot; acupuncturist Mary Jane Neumann hosts group sessions to the sound of Tibetan singing bowls; and multitalented Aslana Schilf gives an Enerssage that's part bodywork, part psychic reading (and right on, in my case). The spa also has eight sweet overnight rooms.
1743-45 W Division St., 773-235-2323, www.rubyroom.com
Cherie Bianco practices Core Energetics, which "moves energy that can otherwise cause emotional or physical issues." You choose an issue to discuss, notice what the feelings do to your body, and release that energy with a cathartic exercise such as whacking a foam block with a tennis racket. Bianco, a gentle, erudite guide, learned from Core Energetics' founder, John C. Pierrakos, M.D.
1207-09 W Bryn Mawr Ave., 773-878-0038, www.purepeace.com
Chakra balancing (meant to aid the flow of energy through the body's seven centers) is uncharacteristically luxe here, thanks to gorgeous surroundings. It's part of a 145-minute ritual that begins with an exfoliation before a therapist places hot volcanic stones on the chakras, and ends with a mini facial and scalp massage. Meg Elliot is especially intuitive.
108 E Superior St., 312-337-2888, www.peninsula.com
Soulistic Studio and Spa
A United Nations of yoga and Pilates, with expert teachers who follow many philosophies. Tatiana Sanchez's butt-kicking class incorporates acrobatic styles like Universal Yoga, which uses two crossed mats "to allow movement in all planes." At the new three-room spa, the treatments to get are the Eminence Organics Five Elements Facial and Thai yoga therapy.
805 N Milwaukee Ave., 312-226-7685, www.soulisticstudiospa.com