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, 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.
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 décolletage. 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.
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.
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