The massage therapists at Organic Healing Therapy believe that every massage is an opportunity to correct imbalance. By examining each client's posture, movement, and areas of tension, they can customize their treatments to encourage healthy relaxation. Their studio has a wealth of add-on treatments, too, including body scrubs, paraffin wax applications, and sessions in an infrared dry sauna,
"I stepped out of the pod feeling almost absurdly peaceful and relaxed, wanting to do nothing more than just sit in a park somewhere and be happy and grateful." So said Mark Lukach of 7x7 after two float sessions in the 30% Epsom-salts water at Float Matrix. Named the Best Place to Alter Your Consciousness in 2010 by SF Weekly, the center lets visitors unburden themselves of stress in a soundproof, lightproof pod designed to simulate weightlessness and send brainwave patterns into a soothing theta state. The process has been scientifically researched and is based on a phenomenon called Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique, or REST?a deeply relaxed state in which the body is believed to divert freed-up resources to address cognitive function, creativity, and conditions such as pain and broken telekinesis actuators.
Owner Kane Mantyla told Lukach, "Floating is a lot like experiencing ?nothing,? and there is no set narrative for ?nothing? in our culture.? Mantyla was inspired to found the center in 2006, after experiencing a profound healing from his own pain. He has since facilitated more than 10,000 floats, helping clients share in the blissful nothingness in a tranquil, clean environment. The saltwater?which is mostly sterile to begin with?is sanitized after each session with compound filtration, ozone, and a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Not content to only provide one path to relaxation, the center also promotes wellness via infrared-sauna sessions.
Today, future innovators of the beauty industry might be walking the halls of Cinta Aveda Institute, where veteran cosmetologists school their protégés in the many ways of client beautification and environmental consciousness. Under the watchful eye of licensed professionals, aspiring beauticians receive first-hand experience as they practice their chosen salon discipline on visitors, helping clients achieve a movie-star appearance with haircut and coloring services, skin-balancing facials, glamorous makeup application, and a bell that dings with every smile. Calling upon Mother Nature’s nurturing touch, Cinta’s instructors and students wield Aveda’s line of all-natural products packaged in eco-friendly containers made out of recycled materials.
The Hot Tubs on Van Ness Avenue in Russian Hill (with a twin spa over in Berkeley) are a lovely spot to steal off to for a little unwinding. The well-appointed spa-like space does little more than offer up private rooms for a few friends – or romantic partners – to enjoy a hot tub soak, but that’s more than enough. Each room holds up to six people and contains a single tiled basin filled with exquisitely hot water, a sauna and a table for maximum relaxation. Don’t worry about the high turnover in each room, either – the water is filtered completely every six minutes. Prices are reasonable too, and include an extra half-hour of soak time if booking before 5 p.m. With cream-colored walls lining the common areas of this industrial space and friendly staff on hand, it’s no wonder a warming soak feels so good.
A trio of aestheticians helms The Regimen, where they personally pamper clients with an array of treatments while sharing a philosophy of consistency, education, and visible results. The cosmetically savvy triumvirate wields equipment such as DermaSweep, a vacuum pump that gently exfoliates skin, to enhance youthful appearances. Similarly, Endermologie delivers a deep-tissue massage to increase blood flow and boost movement and synchronized dance routines in the lymphatic system. After viewing before-and-after digital photos snapped by the accommodating staff, clients come away from treatments with proof of the effects.
The hour-long clinical facial begins when the skilled aesthetician evaluates your skin's specific needs, asks your skin its likes and dislikes, and then sets up a personalized comprehensive treatment schedule. The vanguard of the head then receives more attention than a toddler taking her first steps on the back of a flaming bear. Your aesthetician will exfoliate rough areas, moisturize, perform extractions on deeply clogged pores, and apply an antibacterial treatment to the skin to keep your appearance shining and blemish-free. Alka's facials are also soothing, relaxing skincare experiences, complete with tranquilizing face and décolleté massages. The clinical facial ends with a customized mask, locking in the rejuvenating effects for both body and mind.