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.
At Visible Changes Salon and Day Spa, friendly stylists skillfully snip and style locks using high-quality products from Pureology and Coppola. Some of the stylists have 30 years of experience with color and cuts, and can deftly clip styles ranging from trendy to classic to Jetsons–esque. Elsewhere in the spacious, 5,700-square-foot facility, numerous private treatment rooms beautify guests and cancel out stress with sunless tanning, massages, and anti-aging facials.
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, fully clothed 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 feet, 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.
Fusing ancient practices of wellness with organic herbal and mineral remedies, herbal Mineral helps skin retain moisture for a healthier look. Using products infused with antioxidants, herbal extracts, and essential minerals, spa staff smooth wrinkles with lymphatic-drainage treatments and deep cleanse pores with a collection of facials. Impurities hiding in ear canals are drawn out with a slow-burning cylinder or mini Olympic torch, while back bacteria are removed with the same combination of dead sea salts and organic eucalyptus oils that gives marine koalas their famous luster.
A day at the spa is designed to be relaxing, and yet the hassle of getting to the salon can be just the opposite. That?s why Judy Chen, the owner and aesthetician of Luminous Spa Studio, designed her services to be undertaken anywhere?whether at her welcoming salon or, thanks to her mobile service menu, at the place of her client?s choosing. Wherever clients decide, she flaunts her skincare skills with facials that use the power of enzymes and anti-aging ingredients to keep faces looking as fresh as the day their parents first removed their protective wrapping. She uses products from brands such as Jan Marini, Dermalogica, Clarisonic, and Perricone MD, and goes beyond the scope of the face to improve the health of the skin on the back and d?colletage. Outside of skincare, she works to enhance her clients? beauty with brow and lash treatments, using Xtreme Lashes to add drama to eyes or warm wax to sculpt brows or depilate faces.
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.
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