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Experience tranquility

Local businesses offer various techniques of relaxation

Radiance Herbs and Massage in downtown Olympia offers a great variety of relieving and relaxation goodies. Photo credit: Allegra Antwine

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Daily, hidden stressors take many forms to wreak havoc on sanity in ways that impact performance at work and at home. Thankfully, there are local businesses that help individuals unwind, re-center and take a breather from the nonsense that can throw them out of balance.

Founded in 1975, Radiance Herbs and Massage was one of the first massage clinics in Olympia. Offering more than 300 bulk herbs, supplements and eclectic gifts, Radiance was established as a unique business that combined the technique of massage with the philosophy of natural healing through herbs and teas. Today, that same principle serves as the foundation for superior customer service and care.

"As you walk into our store, you are immediately transported to a relaxed environment," said Radiance owner Karin Olsen. "We hear our customers audibly sigh when they walk through our doors. We value relaxation and self care, and you can feel that in the air."

Radiance currently has 13 massage therapists on staff, many of whom have more than 20 years of experience.

"Our (licensed massage practitioners) use their vast knowledge? and training to provide you the best massage for your deepest healing and relaxation," Olsen said. "We offer sound healing, deep tissue and relaxation massage.

As if this wasn't a good enough reason to stop by, it also offers a 10-percent military discount on Mondays.

Parkland is home to Essential Massage and Esthetics (EME), where customers are encouraged to voice their needs for optimum accommodation.

"We think every person who comes in is different," said owner and military veteran Dale White. "Everyone has pain, and what works for one may not work for another, (so) each massage is tailored to the client's needs."

EME offers a diverse range of services, from Chinese traditional reflexology and aromatherapy to hair removal and hot stone massage. Although the multitude of options may be what initially lures people in, White believes it's the massage therapists themselves who keep people coming back.

"Compassion and empathy are what make a great massage therapist," he said. "We are lucky enough to have some of the best therapists, as they are so understanding of the wants and needs of each individual client."

In addition to providing military discounts, EME also has a small military clientele.

"We have a few clients who are military," White said. "Helping them with their feet or soreness after PT is a joy for all who work here."

If ready to step outside the box of traditional relaxation approaches, consider stopping by Northwest Float Center to indulge in the new craze of "floating."

"Flotation therapy is where one enters a float tank, which is about a foot of water and 1,000 lbs of Epsom salt. In this environment the body is completely buoyant. The temperature of the water is the same temperature as your skin, it is dark and quiet, and there [are] no external stimuli to pull you from your state of relaxation," explain Northwest Float owners Kat Jackson and Kriss Brooks.

How would this be considered relaxing?

"Your spine is able to decompress and align," Jackson explains. "Inflammation is reduced, and pain literally floats away. Because of the magnesium you absorb in the tank, the benefits of floating lasts for days on end. With more magnesium present in our body, we are better able to counteract cortisol production, which is made when we are stressed, angry or depressed."

Whether looking for traditional methods of relaxation, or searching for something a little different, stop by one of these local businesses for a massage, herbal remedy or even a float.

Radiance Herbs and Massage, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 113 SE 5th Ave., Olympia, 360.357.5250,

Essential Massage and Esthetics, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 13923 Pacific Ave. S., Suite B, Parkland, 253.244.7155, Facebook

Northwest Float Center, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 3907 6th Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.0360,

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