Fashionable makeovers and indulgent pampering collide inside of Royal Beauty Salon. Here, stylists craft sleek haircuts and reinvent hairstyles whose patents expired in the '80s. The staff uses wax to remove body hair from problem areas and leave the skin soft to the touch. And with a dazzling array of colored polishes at their disposal, nail technicians can narrow in on fingers and toes, shaping and dressing the nails and rewarding the hands and feet that support them with aromatherapy scrubs and warm-lotion massages.
Licensed aesthetician and Bay Area–native Barbara Zaller didn’t always know massage therapy was her calling. After beginning her career as a dental assistant, then taking time off to raise her son, Barbara entered the professional fray once more. From her outpost at Butterfly Yoga, Barbara pampers clients with facials, customized peels, professional teeth whitening, massage therapy, and skin therapy. She swathes faces in luxe products from brands such as Dermalogica and DermaQuest, which she uses to treat acne, rosacea, and damaged skin. Her dexterous fingers ease stress from muscles during Swedish, shiatsu, deep-tissue, and sports massage. She performs specific body work on areas more annoying than a little sister’s obsession with megaphones and complimenting people's work ethics.
The massage therapists at Bua Thai Wellness Center realign bodies while banishing tension with a combination of traditional Thai and therapeutic massage techniques. During 90-minute sessions, clients recline on a large, cushioned floor mat as the therapist enlists traditional Thai massage’s rhythmic, yoga-like stretches to lengthen and loosen muscles. Experienced fingers also dole out therapeutic massage techniques while kneading legs and hips before soothing soreness in backs and shoulders. As clients’ cares wind away, therapists may use hands, elbows, feet, and knees to release bodies’ tension or to take their rock-paper-scissors games up a notch.
At Wat Po Thai Spa, a 2010 nominee for Best Day Spa by Best of LA, technicians bolster well-being with services that range from traditional Thai massage to skincare. The house-specialty Thai Combo fuses Thai massage, Swedish massage, and reflexology into an international amalgamation of relaxation similar to naptime at the UN. Thai massage harnesses compression, stretching, and rocking techniques to improve circulation of vital energy along the body's pathways, and Swedish massage encompasses gentle strokes such as gliding, kneading, and stretching to increase oxygen flow in the blood and forge full-body tension relief. Patrons walk away from massage sessions with relieved stress, allayed aches, increased internal alignment, and enough flexibility to fold bodies into an empty Pringles can at the first sign of danger.
Informed by fitness-heavy interests, including competitive bicycling, jogging, and research in sports injury and recovery, the licensed massage therapists at On Balance Massage and Bodywork draw upon their massage training to relieve injury and pain. They treat clients ranging from athletes to chronic-pain sufferers with massage modalities such as myofascial release, which targets pain with gentle, sustained pressure on the connective tissues. They also practice deep-tissue massage, which involves the sublayer manipulation of muscles to reduce inflammation-related pain and locate embedded spinach cans. For bodies tense from work or minds reeling from stress, therapists pore over musculatures with relaxing Swedish, hot-stone, and reiki techniques.
A tranquil metropolitan sanctuary, Oasis Day Spa’s menu of body-wide services provides clients with a respite where relaxation meets skin renewal. Aestheticians treat epidermises with proven products, such as MD Formulation, to vivify corporeal kingdoms without harmful chemicals. Skin specialists sooth façades with facials employing Mother Nature's finest, including antioxidants, oxygen, and mermaid tears, and mow down rogue fringe with waxing services for brows, bikinis, backs, and more. Tension gives up its hold on muscles as massage practitioners usher in new realms of relaxation during Swedish, deep-tissue, and shiatsu massages, and nonsurgical, gentle power-peel treatments carry dead skin cells to more peaceful resting places to reveal younger looking skin.
Oceanic claims to have spent about ten arduous years developing their foot massage, a process that erased the stress, and a few toes, of nearly 3,000 test subjects. Experience the decade's worth of relaxation channeled into every stroke. Start by reclining in a massage chair and soaking your feet in warm water scented with nutrients, herbs, and various marinades and marmalades. A ten-minute head and face massage builds tingly anticipation in the toes, which is followed by fifty minutes of slow, not too intense, rubbing, kneading, and finger walking that hits every major pressure point of the foot. Based upon the principals of reflexology—where sections of the foot are said to directly correspond with major organs and groups of nerves—a focused massage therapist will set out to awaken slumbering livers, calm overactive lymph nodes, and give purpose to gallbladders.