Category Archives: Massage

The Value of Massage

By Kim Taylor, Owner of Essence

Massage is often thought of as a special treat, something we reward ourselves with after a rough spell or when we are on vacation. Massage can feel luxurious, but most importantly, it offers a wide range of benefits such as boosting the immune system, weight loss, stress reduction, and so much more.

Essentially every illness a person can suffer is exacerbated by stress. Regular massage can play a significant role in reducing your stress level, which in turn leads to a stronger, healthier immune system. High blood pressure, diabetes, and migraine headaches have all been shown to react positively to the healing touch of massage.

How can something so simple do all that? One word; circulation. Massage in any form increases blood flow to the muscles. Muscles are made up of fibrils, threads if you will. Fibrils are bundled together by connective tissue. These bundles make up muscles. When a cell in the fibril becomes stressed, it is unable to exchange oxygen and nutrient rich blood the way it normally would. Soon there is a buildup of waste product that can’t get out of the cell. The stressed cell affects its neighbor and soon it is performing the same way.  This goes on until the whole muscle is affected resulting in the dreaded “sore spot”.

Massage increases the circulation of blood to the area.  This flushes out the built up cellular waste promoting healthy muscle tissues that are able to exchange oxygen and nutrient rich blood the way they are meant to.  By releasing the stress from the muscles, your body is able to perform in a more productive and healthy way. Stress hormones are reduced and the immune system can function more effectively. The result?  You feel better!

There are many different types of massage to choose from, and it is not always easy to know which type you need.  As a general rule, if you are getting a massage after sports or any other strenuous activity, you will benefit most from deep tissue and/or sports massage.  A well-trained massage therapist will communicate with you before, during (as necessary), and after your massage to make sure that you are receiving the best type of massage for your needs.  Some of the most requested types of massage are as follows:

Deep tissue-True deep tissue is the technique of penetrating the tissues as deeply as they will allow.  Although this requires a firm touch it should never go past that “hurts so good” feeling. This type of massage is effective for physical pain relief.

Sports– Involves active stretching of the muscles along with lengthening and flushing muscle groups.  Whether you are training for the Ironman or are a weekend warrior this type of massage can help to prevent injury and is a great addition to your training regimen.

Integrated – This is probably the most requested, most needed, and most effective type of massage you can get. After assessing your muscles and talking with you about what you are trying to accomplish through massage, your therapist will combine any or all of these techniques to customize a personal massage to meet your needs.

Lymphatic Drainage– Increases lymph flow which boosts immune function. This type of massage is very helpful to breast cancer survivors as well as those suffering from water retention issues such as swollen ankles or bloating.  Lymphatic drainage helps the body rid itself of extra fluids. This modality requires specific advanced training and is offered exclusively by Gigi Worley.

Craniosacral– A gentle touch is used to address the head, spinal column, and pelvic bones to improve functioning of the central nervous system. The goal is to release compression in those areas which alleviates stress and pain. This modality requires specific advanced training and is offered exclusively by Kevin Padgett.

Sometimes you really do just want to be pampered, and although you will still be receiving the health benefits of massage and body work, some of the more “indulgent” services that we offer include;

Swedish– Consists of long slow strokes.  The pressure is light and while very relaxing and calming to the mind and body, this type of massage is not overly effective for physical pain relief.

Sugar Body Scrub– Exfoliates and rejuvenates your skin while leaving it dewy soft.

Salt Glow Body Scrub– Draws out toxins while exfoliating, polishing, and nourishing your skin. While still enjoyable, this treatment is more aggressive than a sugar scrub.

Dry brushing –Involves gently brushing your skin with body brushes. It feels fabulous while boosting lymph flow.

All of our exfoliating body services are provided by Gigi Worley and are paired with your choice of a 30 or 60-minute body massage.

The healing hands at Essence belong to Gigi Worley and Kevin Padgett. Both are experienced, professional, and committed to providing the best treatment experience possible.

Gigi Worley has practiced massage for over ten years, doing well over 8,000 massages. Prior to working at Essence, she has worked in many arenas of massage including holistic health, chiropractic and private practice. This experience allows her to craft a personal massage that fits your special needs. Whether it is pain relief, relaxation, sports massage, or immune boosting through lymphatic drainage she will create a pleasant and healthful experience for you.

Kevin Padgett began practicing massage therapy in 2012. He appreciates that no two people are the same and customizes every massage to meet the specific needs of each client. He is passionate about his work and driven by a deep desire to help others feel better. He offers a fresh approach to healing through massage by continually learning and integrating new modalities and techniques into his treatments.

This world we live in doesn’t show any signs of slowing down; it is up to us to take the time and nurture ourselves physically and mentally. Whether you are in need of relaxation, preventative care, or therapeutic healing we are here and eager to help.

The Essence of Beauty is the Beauty of Essence

By Kim Taylor

Hi there, my name is Kim Taylor and I am the owner and a stylist at Essence Hair, Skin, and Body. We opened our doors on May 2, 2011 with one goal in mind; providing excellent beauty and wellness services to the community in a relaxing and unpretentious environment. Becoming a part of the Evergreen community has been an incredible experience, and we have truly been blessed.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I knew that we had some important decisions to make. While we had experienced success and steady growth at our Hilltop location we felt that it was time for our next step towards solidifying the business. We knew we needed a more visibility, but there was no way we could stomach another buildout if we didn’t own the space. In May of 2015 we found what we were looking for, a single story building in Bergen Park. Better visibility, easy access, great parking, surrounded by open space- PERFECT. Okay, almost perfect. The building needed to be rezoned and completely gutted after being a veterinarian’s office for thirty years. Anyone who knows us knows that we have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew every chance we get. It’s been a blessing and a curse over the years, but hey- we’re still standing, right? VERY long story short, we spent 7 months rezoning and financing the building and another 6 months pouring ourselves into a really challenging renovation. The result? A beautiful, relaxing, unpretentious new location designed to better care for our clients!

I believe that our most significant responsibility in life is to be good to each other. This is the true “essence” of this retreat style salon and spa– meeting the beauty and wellness needs of our clients while synchronously going beyond the surface to touch their lives. Sometimes an hour or two away from our hectic lives is all we need to feel rejuvenated and ready to continue giving our best to those we love.

The staff at Essence is committed to staying current in education and trends. It is our mission to provide exceptional service with beautiful results. We offer complete head to toe care: hair, nails, skincare, massage, and spray tanning are all provided by trained and talented professionals.  The result is an unforgettable experience that will nourish both the body and the soul.

Our hair studio offers a wealth of services: beautiful dimensional color, maintenance (gray coverage), customized cutting and styling, conditioning and smoothing treatments, and hair extensions for starters. We have a creative team of stylists that come to work each day eager to surpass expectations. Emily Passaloukas (Walter), who has been with us since the beginning is a beautifully free spirit and a true creative. Mackenzie Morrison is well rounded, consistent, detail oriented, and patient. She is also our in-house hair extension specialist. In September, after working closely with me for the better part of a year, Kelly Wiggins began building her own clientele. Kelly has blossomed into a great stylist- she is quiet and kind, don’t be surprised if she is more interested in learning about you than talking about herself. In October, we welcomed Kristen Sherman to our styling team. A recent transplant from the east coast, Kristen brings over fourteen years of experience with her. She is hard working, fun, and full of energy.

Our spa offers a complete menu of skincare services including facials, peels, dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, and more. Lindsey Sloan and Serissa Asta customize every service to accommodate the unique needs of each client. In addition to improving the quality of your skin, we also offer brow shaping, face and full body waxing, brow and lash tinting, and makeup. Our “healing hands” belong to Gigi Worley who has spent years honing her skills in massage therapy. Our most requested types of massage are therapeutic and deep tissue; however, we also offer prenatal, hot stone, and lymphatic massage to help strengthen the immune system. Our sole manicurist, Penny Sutter has years of experience in manicures, pedicures, and acrylic nails.

I am personally very proud of our team. All of these ladies are unbelievably talented and amazing to work with.

To get 2017 started off right, we have put together some great seasonal offerings:

Instant Luminosity Facial

Specialty facial that includes a lactic acid peel for deeper results without the downtime usually associated with peels. Great for aging, hyper-pigmented, normal and combination skin.

60 minutes/ $100

Cranberry Massage

Relax and unwind with the power of cranberry to help smooth and soften skin. This treatment incorporates the warmth and comfort of hot stones to aid in relaxing tight muscles for a more effective treatment.

60 minutes/ $88                 90 minutes/ $116

  • Ask about pairing a brown sugar scrub with your cranberry massage!

Awaken Scalp Treatment

Soothe and invigorate dry winter scalp. Increase blood circulation to promote healthy cell turnover and reduce flaky scalp and itching.

45 minutes/ $45                 Add to any hair service/ $15

  • Please ask for this treatment when booking your service as it will add approximately 15 minutes to your appointment.


For a full menu of our services please visit our website: To receive emails about our seasonal and special offerings, contact us through the website or call the salon- we’re happy to add you to our mailing list.

Finally, for those of you who are already loyal clients, thank you for your support- it helped strengthen my resolve through a challenging yet very rewarding 2016.

And as a note to future clients; walk-ins and same day appointments are always welcome upon availability- and we ALWAYS try to accommodate. So, if you haven’t been in yet, call or stop by, we look forward to meeting you!

Fall Favorites

By Kim Taylor

Hello Fall- my old good friend. I love you for many reasons; changing leaves, crisp air, warm jackets and cozy nights perfect for cuddling.

Fall appeals to all of my senses but I am most affected by the comforting flavors and scents associated with this incredible time of year. The sweet and spicy scents of autumn relax my mind, taking me to a place where nothing feels as pressing and critical as it is in “real” life.

With that in mind, the team and I worked closely together to design some really incredible experiences intended to take you to that same place of calm relaxation.  Each service is customizable, and all are therapeutic for the body and soul.

Immune Boosting Pumpkin Butter Massage

We could all benefit from a bit of immune boosting as we come into fall and winter. This treatment begins with thirty minutes of immune boosting lymphatic massage, transitioning to a customized therapeutic massage with soothing, ultra-hydrating pumpkin body butter.

60 min/ $80 or 90 min/ $105

Pumpkin & Brown Sugar Body Scrub and massage 

This luxurious body scrub has sugar, spice and everything nice.  A blend of pumpkin butter & brown sugar exfoliates and moisturizes; gently polishing away dull skin to reveal radiance underneath.  This treatment is paired with your choice of a thirty or sixty minute massage.

 60min/ $95 or 90min/ $130 

Add six hot stones to any body treatment for $15

Now that your body is relaxed and healthy, let’s talk about skincare. Summer is an amazing time of year, but can be brutal to our skin- especially areas that are always exposed.  In addition to the great skincare treatments we provide year round, we have two really amazing fall themed facials on the menu through November. Equal in price, both are deliciously enjoyable and effective. A complimentary skincare analysis at the beginning of your appointment will determine which facial suites your skin best.

Spiced Cider Facial

This aromatic facial will delight the senses as well as the skin. Two masks are used in this fall favorite; apple orchard enzyme and an autumn spice. You will enjoy a relaxing massage of the face, neck, and shoulders as well as a complimentary eye treatment.  This treatment is packed with antioxidants as well as anti-aging ingredients and is great for most skin types.

Pumpkin Facial

After a thorough cleansing, a pumpkin enzyme mask is applied, followed by a relaxing massage of the face, neck, and shoulders. Next, a goji berry anti- aging mask is used to enhance skin firmness while relaxing fine lines and wrinkles. This amazing facial includes a complimentary eye treatment and is finished with a custom blended moisturizer.


At Essence we firmly believe in nourishing and protecting your hair year round and after a summer of hard core sun exposure, it’s time for some much needed TLC. Hair that is properly conditioned and cared for regularly is shiny and beautiful and will hold color truer and longer. We offer several types of conditioning and repair treatments, but we do have two recommended favorites this fall.

Born Again Treatment by Kevin Murphy 

This is a unique reparative treatment that contains ingredients that are so small in their molecular size and weight they can pass into the cortex of the hair instantly. Essential oils are the force that brings this product to life. They are heat and light sensitive; once you open them to the air and light they become energized: moisturizing, repairing, and regenerating.

Young Again Masque by Kevin Murphy

This is a deep conditioning restorative masque with a complex of 20 Amino Acids, Quinoa and Rice Proteins, Immortelle, Lotus Flower and Baobab Seed oils to renew youthful luster to dry, damaged or brittle hair.

*Both treatments begin with a gentle exfoliating cleanse of the hair, removing environmental and product buildup and are finished with a blow-dry style. Book a Born Again or Young Again treatment now through November, and receive a complimentary travel size of the treatment for follow up use at home.

45min/ $50

Add to a color or cut service $20

As the weather changes, there is a small window between basking in the summer sun and the hustle and bustle of a joyful holiday season. Embrace it! Relax. Enjoy. Take a deep breath and take in the abundance of life.

Lymphatic Massage

By Kim Taylor

We all know that taking care of ourselves is important. Eating healthy, exercising, and getting proper sleep are key to keeping your immune system strong. One of the most enjoyable measures that you can take to boost your immune system is to get a massage. While all massage can be beneficial, there is a specific type of massage that will help to insure that your lymphatic system is working properly.

The Lymphatic System

If you’ve been pretty healthy your whole life (how fortunate!), it is likely you have not had to stop and consider how complex the inner workings of our body are. Most of us don’t know that there is a complex system of vessels working diligently throughout our bodies. Vessels that remove bacteria, viruses, excess fluid and cell waste from around the cells all the while filtering and cleaning them.

Similar to a system of tree roots, the vessels start small and grow larger and larger so they can carry the fluids back to the blood stream. This structure is the cornerstone of our immune system, working constantly to keep our body in healthy working order. Along the way the vessels have checkpoints known as lymph nodes that are responsible for destroying viruses, bacteria and abnormal cells.

Lymphatic Massage

This specialized form of massage therapy can greatly improve the immune system’s ability to fight off illness. A gentler form of bodywork, lymphatic massage and lymphatic drainage can help remove toxins and waste that our bodies build up over time, resulting in a compromised immune system. Most of our lymph vessels are just below the skin; gentle stimulation of these vessels make the lymphatic system work more effectively. This helps the body rid itself of waste and toxins. BIG BONUS: a reduction in swelling, bloating, and puffiness!

Should YOU Get It?

Nearly anybody can receive this type of massage and benefit from it. If you’re sluggish, tired, or feel like your body is trying to fight against something, lymphatic massage could be a good option for you. It is great for those dealing with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or injuries. Lymphatic drainage is also really great as a preventative treatment; regular lymphatic massage when you’re healthy greatly boosts your immune system. Imagine the possibility of having an uneventful cold and flu season. A combination of lymphatic massage, healthy eating and getting enough sleep could make this your reality this season!

Massage therapists that are properly trained in lymphatic drainage can identify the rhythm, direction and quality of the lymphatic flow and remap drainage pathways. Estheticians use a specific form of lymphatic massage to improve lymph flow throughout the face. When lymph is moving freely through the face, clearer, healthier skin is the result. The same is true for the body, when lymph is moving freely throughout the body the result is a stronger, healthier body.

Gigi Worley is a licensed massage therapist. She has practiced for over 10 years, doing well over 8,000 massages. Gigi is certified in lymphatic drainage massage, which is an advanced application that exceeds the scope of basic massage therapy. She offers several types of massage and customizes her services to meet the needs of her clients.