Best of Columbia 2020: Beauty, Health and Wellness | Free Times

Best Acupuncturist — Palmetto Acupuncture & Holistic Clinic

Second Place: Alison Beard

Don’t get stuck with a bad acupuncturist — see what we did there? Palmetto Acupuncture & Holistic Clinic can help you handle pain and stress, and not just through acupuncture. It offers a variety of treatments, from facial rejuvenation to massage to herbal medicines. So trust founder Martin Herbkersman and company to get you feeling like yourself again. Or better than yourself, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Honorable Mentions: The Acupuncture Clinic, Noemi Martinez

Best Barber Shop — Soda City Barbers

Second Place: Gentleman’s Quarters Barber Shop

Getting a fresh haircut can make you feel like a new person. It’s the feeling you get when you leave Soda City Barbers, in Five Points. The barbers there blend an old-school aesthetic with new school style, and the shop on Santee Avenue has a comforting, welcoming feel.  

Honorable Mentions: Circa Barber Shop,

Frank’s Gentlemen’s Salon

Best Chiropractor — Max Living — Capital City Chiropractic

Second Place: The Joint Chiropractic

If you’re one of those people who decided to lift with the back and not with the legs and now you’re paying for it, head over to Max Living. It takes a comprehensive approach from adjustments to nutrition, mental health, and exercise programs. And seriously, just use your legs next time.

Honorable Mentions: Columbia Family Chiropractic, Dean McCaughan, Midlands Health Center

Best Counselor or Therapist — New Hope Counseling and Wellness Center

Second Place: Jill Smith & Associates, Jon Beaumont Counseling Services, LLC

We all need a little help sometimes, especially in 2020, and New Hope Counseling and Wellness Center is here to provide it. It offers counseling for eating disorders, trauma, addiction and general mental health, and there are even virtual session options. Oh, and it also has an adorable therapy dog named Hope, a chocolate lab who is a very good girl.

Honorable Mention: New Horizons Family Resource Center, LLC

Best CrossFit — CrossFit Soda City

Second Place: Carolina CrossFit

If you’re one of the fitness warriors who loves the regimen/competition that is CrossFit, well, we applaud you from our comfy beds. But if you want to do it right, check out CrossFit Soda City. It offers both coach-led workouts and plenty of open gym time, and it does month-to-month fees instead of pesky long-term contracts. So get to crossfitting!

Honorable Mention: Cottontown CrossFit, Workhorse Fitness

Best Day Spa — OCCO Luxury Spa

Second Place: Urban Nirvana

If anyone’s earned some pampering, it’s, well, all of us. And OCCO Luxury Spa took the top spot this year by doing relaxation right, with an array of sumptuous spa packages (check out The Ultimate), hair, nail and waxing services and massage and body treatments. It will get you feeling and looking right so you can face the world.

Honorable Mentions: Beautique Skin & Nails, Metabolic Medical Centers & Spa

Best Dentist — 32 Dental, LLC

Second Place: Forest Drive Dental Care

Opening your mouth wide for strangers is no easy feat, so feeling comfortable with the hygienists and dentists who help keep it clean is important. 32 Dental’s services range from the necessary — tooth implants, extractions, crowns and cleanings — to the cosmetic, like tooth whitening. Friendly service and impeccable smiles all around helped it take the crown this year.

Honorable Mentions: Gee Family & Cosmetic Dentistry — Dr. Nicholas Gee, DMD Carolina; Children’s Dentistry of Columbia

Best Dermatology Practice — Columbia Skin Clinic

Second Place: Carolinas Dermatology & Plastic Surgery

You gotta love the skin you’re in, and Carolina Skin Clinic gives you the tools to take care of that skin through thick and thin. It offers skin cancer screenings and state-of-the-art treatment options and the best in clinical care. Plus, if you need a touch-up, its aesthetic services will rejuvenate and revive that overworked epidermis.

Honorable Mentions: Palmetto Dermatology, Northeast Dermatology

Best Eye Doctor or Group — Columbia Eye Clinic

Second Place: Devine Eyes

Look, everyone knows you’ve been squinting at that phone screen for a while, and it’s not because the sun is out. It’s time to get those peepers checked, and our readers tell us that Columbia Eye Clinic is the place to see and be seen. Exams, lenses, glasses — it’s got it all. Now, how many fingers are we holding up?

Honorable Mentions: Eye On Gervais, Eyes On The Lake

Best Family Practice — Lexington Family Practice

Second Place: Palmetto Health – USC Family Medical Center

One thing you should know about Lexington Family Practice is that it isn’t only in Lexington. There are locations across the Midlands, even in Richland County. Part of the Lexington Medical Center network, the practice has a deep roster of physicians and medical health professionals that can help get you well when you’re sick, and work with you on preventative measures to keep you healthy.

Honorable Mentions: Main Street Physicians, Harbison Medical Associates

Best Fitness Club — Planet Fitness

Second Place: MÜV Fitness

You know the hallmarks of Planet Fitness — purple workout machines, lunk alarms, open 24 hours. But what you might not know if you haven’t been to one of its Midlands locations is that they’re also clean and well-appointed with friendly, attentive staff. So yeah, they’re gyms. Good ones.

Honorable Mentions: Orangetheory Fitness, YMCA

Best Hair Salon — Studio O2

Second Place: Five Points Salon

On Studio O2’s website, it lists a wall of accolades. Rather than cite many official awards, it’s a seemingly endless spree of customer reviews — and they’re glowing. From cuts to colors to spa services, O2 is a gem.

Honorable Mentions: process. A Hair Salon, Bombshell Beauty Studio

Best Hair Stylist — Mark Ziegler (Five Points Salon)

Second Place: Ashley Emmanoyhlidhs (Sola)

Need a new ‘do? Mark Ziegler, owner of Five Points Salon, is the stylist for you. Hairstyling is a family tradition for Mark, whose grandfather was a barber, and he’s spent years making sure each cut is unique to the head he’s giving it to.  Trust your locks to Mark and you’ll come out looking better than ever.

Honorable Mentions: Hannah DeLong (Urban Beauty), Zachary Oswald (Five Points Salon)

Best Home Healthcare Service — Meaningful Milestones

Second Place: SC House Calls

Meaningful Milestones is relatively new to the Columbia area, which makes it all the more impressive that it took top honors in the Best Home Healthcare Service category. It provides first-rate ABA (applied behavioral analysis) therapy for children on the autism spectrum, giving families support and hope, though, so maybe it’s not too surprising that it took the top spot.

Honorable Mentions: Senior Matters Extended Services, Always Best Senior Services

Best Hospital — Lexington Medical Center

Second Place: Prisma Health Richland Hospital

Lexington Medical Center continues to emerge as a healthcare force in the Midlands. The hospital system has recently completed a $400 million expansion on its main campus, with a new 10-story medical tower. LMC has become a favorite with expectant mothers, and delivers more than 3,300 new babies each year. The hospital system also has been critical in the Midlands’ fight against COVID-19.

Honorable Mentions: Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge Hospital, Providence Health

Best Lactation Support — Columbia Lactation Care

Second Place: South Carolina Lactation and Newborn Wellness Center

“Breastfeeding/chestfeeding is one of the most natural interactions between a parent and child,” reads Columbia Lactation Care’s website. “But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. There is a learning curve for both parties. If you or your baby are struggling, we want to help.” Their performance in this year’s Best Of Columbia would indicate that people who have worked with them trusted them to help.

Best Massage Therapist — The Well LLC

Second Place: Desi Terry

Instead of getting one of those pinchy neck rubs from your spouse that you have to pretend to like, why not trust The Well LLC with your massage needs? Not only can the team ease your aching muscles, but they can teach you all manner of preventative techniques to keep your body running stronger.

Honorable Mentions: Elite Massage Therapy, Catherine Bailey

Best Nail Salon — Posh Nail Spa

Second Place: The Nail Barre

Getting your nails done can be a very different experience depending on which salon or spa you go to. It can be a relaxing time where you can close your eyes and simply enjoy being taken care of by experienced professionals, or it can be a ripped cuticle nightmare. The technicians at Posh make sure the experience is always relaxing and, well, posh. From the beautifully decorated interior to the straight-up artwork they can do to nails, the team at Posh is that, and more.

Honorable Mentions: OCCO Luxury Spa, Glowout

Best Orthodontist — Boyd Orthodontics

Second Place: Sims Tompkins

There’s usually 32 teeth in the human mouth (wisdom teeth can have a say in this). Boyd Orthodontics is here to make sure they look the best they can, not to mention the rest of your lower face, too.

Honorable Mentions: Pitner Orthodontics, Davis Orthodontics

Best Orthopedic Practice — Midlands Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery, PA

Second Place: Palmetto Health USC Orthopedic Group

Got pain or discomfort in your hands, neck, feet, back or all of the above? Got chronic pain in general? It’s time to talk to the folks at Midlands Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery. They’ve got experts on staff to handle everything from surgery to physical therapy to pain management, and they offer a plethora of post-procedure recovery resources, as well.

Honorable Mentions: Southeastern Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine, Palmetto Bone and Joint-Chapin

Best Pediatric Care — Sandhills Pediatrics

Second Place: Palmetto Pediatric & Adolescent Clinic, PA

Sandhills Pediatrics has been leader in healthcare for children for nearly five decades. The organization has 19 pediatricians, all of whom are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, and operates in five different locations. If your youngsters aren’t feeling well, Sandhills will take good care of them.

Honorable Mention: Lexington Pediatric Practice, SouthernMed

Best Physical Therapy Practice — Vertex PT Specialists

Second Place: Pinnacle Physical Therapy and Personal Training

Whether you’re recovering from serious injuries or trying to rehab your broken shoulder from when you tried to dunk a basketball, Vertex PT Specialists can get you moving again. Vertex can handle everything from concussion management to spinal manipulation, and they can even offer you some pointers on your jogging form and your golf swing.

Honorable Mentions: Carolina Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, Drayer Physical Therapy Institute

Best Piercing Studio — RAW Body Piercing

Second Place: Immaculate Body Piercing

Feel like adding one more earring to your lobes, getting a nose or tongue ring or sprucing up, uh, somewhere else? Book an appointment at RAW Body Piercing for your hole-poking needs. Their pricing starts at $10, and if you’re happy with your current piercings, it can change out your jewelry as well.

Honorable Mentions: Knotty Headz Tattoo Factory & Body Piercings, The Piercing Parlor

Best Pilates — Fit Columbia

Second Place: Club Pilates

Fit Columbia offers stretch therapy, yoga, personal training and something called “bungee fitness,” but it’s also the people’s pick for best pilates. If you’re the kind of person who loves this yoga-adjacent fitness regimen, Fit Columbia is the place to go. And we’ll be cheering you on from the couch.

Honorable Mentions: Sunnyside Pilates, LLC, The Pilates Studio

Best Place to Be Born — Lexington Medical Center

Second Place: Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge Hospital

It’s unlikely that any of the votes in this category were based on actually remembering the experience of being born. But Lexington Medical Center does deliver a lot of babies — 3,300 each year — and houses state-of-the-art delivery suites and nurseries, along with doulas, midwives and support for those interested in natural childbirth.

Honorable Mention: Prisma Health Richland Hospital

Best Plastic Surgery — Carolinas Dermatology & Plastic Surgery

Second Place: Lexington Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery can help people heal from burns, who have lost weight, or people who just need to feel better about themselves. And when the decision to look into plastic surgery is made, Carolinas Dermatology & Plastic Surgery is where many folks in the Midlands go. Beyond plastic surgery, its dermatology team is top notch, too, solving issues with dry skin, rashes, skin cancer issues and more.

Honorable Mentions: Plastic Surgery Consultants; Palmetto Facial Plastics Helen A. Moses, MD

Best Tattoo Artist — Eddie Kane (Copper Finch)

Second Place: Wayne Munn (Tatway)

Kane is the lead artist at the Copper Finch Tattoo Company, which is a crew that prides itself on attention to detail. It only takes a brief glimpse of his hyper-realistic creations to notice his extraordinary attention to detail and take ultimate comfort in the fact that he’s going to absolutely nail the vision you have in your head (or he has in his).

Honorable Mentions: Matt “Toto” Davis (Animated Canvas), Jeremy Lewis (Sickle and Moon)

Best Tattoo Studio — Copper Finch Tattoo

Second Place: Ophidian Tattoo

Tattooing is an art that gets little of the respect it deserves. Copper Finch Tattoo does its best to change that. With its host of supremely talented tattoo artists, it excels at drawing on your body in numerous styles.

Honorable Mentions: Tatway Tattoos, Animated Canvas

Best Urgent Care — Doctors Care

Second Place: Lexington Medical Center

Whether it’s a sinus infection, a sprained ankle or that weird rash that won’t go away, Doctors Care will get you in, get you fixed up and get you out with minimal fuss. And while we’re grappling with COVID-19 and practicing social distancing, Doctors Care is offering virtual urgent care services, as well.

Honorable Mentions: MEDcare Urgent Care, Veritas Urgent Care

Best Yoga Studio — City Yoga

Second Place: Fit Columbia

The steadily increasing popularity of yoga in states means that there’s a surfeit of options for the budding stretching enthusiast in town, but if you want the experienced vets, you go to City Yoga. The studio has been operating since 2003 and welcomes all skill levels and styles of practice so each practitioner can find their own bliss.  

Honorable Mentions: Studio Fire, Bikram Yoga