Before Bessy Lim had her first facial, her life was a succession of stressful, 12-hour shifts. Her first spa experience awakened a latent desire: she wanted to help others find the relaxation she had forgone for so long. With that, she left her stressful career, earned a number of spa certifications, traveled abroad to learn the various therapeutic techniques and ways to pronounce "microdermabrasion" of spas overseas, and finally opened Agua De Vida. There, a corps of certified and licensed massage therapists team up with the spa specialist to mend tense muscles with massage, swaddle bodies in wraps, purify pores with facials, and primp hands and feet with nail services.
Dr. John Shieh’s noninvasive procedures are so effective that celebrities choose him to keep their skin as ageless as the photos in which they appear. For example, his famous Triniti series attracted the attention of Kris Jenner on Keeping Up with the Kardashians; during one episode, Dr. Shieh showed off the benefits of nonsurgical procedures and skincare regimens that exclude pies in the face. RejuvaYou Medical Spa has also been featured on television shows such as Extra!, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and in the pages of Forbes, Life & Style, and People Magazine.
Dr. Shieh has also charted new territory as one of the first doctors to use the Matrix RF/Sublative wrinkle-reduction procedure and VelaShape body contouring. Today, Dr. Shieh and his staff treat clients to laser lipo, fat transfer to the breasts, face, hands, and buttocks, Botox, Juvederm, chemical peels, and other procedures that fight the signs of aging.
Glowing with the warmth of thousands of contented sighs, the Royal Health Spa in Hacienda Heights offers a half a hundred ways to forget about your worries. Reds and golds dominate this sanctuary of serenity, which treats clients to steam rooms, saunas, and three temperature tubs. Elsewhere in the hideaway guests can kick back in the VIP lounge, or nibble treats from the fruit and snack bar.
Sister spa Sakura ups the ante with soothing massage and aromatherapy services to complement the steam sauna. Here, an assortment of thick carpets, bamboo wall fixtures, and hanging greenery completes the tropical feel. A San Gabriel Valley fixture for more than 20 years, Sakura Health Spa heals guests with uncommonly intense massages such as the Four Hands and the Lava Stone.
Cofounder Tina Mui-Wong boasts a passion for the beauty industry that spurred her to earn a cosmetology license before completing high school and establish a pair of spas that have thrived for more than 25 years. In a 2010 interview with Pasadena Magazine, Mui-Wong admits to being a "product freak," which is reflected in her role as developer of Amadeus's signature line, T.E.A. The staff and salon has appeared in the film Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, graced television screens on ABC's Extreme Makeover, and exhibited their handiwork on the Rose Bowl queen and her court of chrysanthemum noblesse for two decades.
Amadeus takes pride in its custom massages, and re-trains every nail technician in-house to ensure updated mastery of the hand jive. Guests receive slippers, robes, and complimentary skin consultations upon request, and may pad down the scented hallways after their treatment to decompress in a eucalyptus steam room.
At Cote d'Azur, don't be surprised if you get a mud wrap from a barefoot aesthetician. Being shoeless helps some of the staff members stay centered, and it reflects the spa's down-to-earth approach to healing. Similarly, many of the treatments draw from natural elements. Lemon and mint invigorate sore toes during the Tibetan foot soak, and Dead Sea salt nurtures the flow of positive energy during Salt Glow treatments. Many services draw from exotic and ancient modalities that focus on holistic wellness, from Thai bodywork to acupuncture treatments that are geared toward fostering spiritual balance.
The experienced muscle menders at Relax Spa squash stress and pulverize body aches with 60 or 90 minutes of kneading massage. During a deep-tissue session, firm finger and hand pressure treks across the entire body, releasing tension, chasing away stress, and untying muscle knots with the speed and skill of an ambidextrous Eagle Scout. Stress, dehydrated skin, and toxins quiver in fear of the blended essential oils rubbed onto epidermises during the aromatherapy massage. Similarly, the hot-stone massage coats guests with essential oils, but augments the results by warming each visitor's back with smooth stones laid out into precise patterns that melt tension and demonstrate offensive football plays.