Under the guise of a simple strip-mall merchant, Himalaya Sen lures stressed bodies into a bamboo-hued oasis of tranquility. Once inside, visitors melt into cream-colored lounge chairs as their feet are dipped into warm baths infused with Chinese botanicals, which help spur detoxification. The therapists specialize in reflexology—an ancient practice believed to heal many areas of the body through careful pressure applied to the feet—but don't skimp on other muscles. Hands, arms, shoulders, scalps, and faces all bask in therapeutic strokes as feet soak in preparation for their treatment, and a private, soundless room provides a serene backdrop for acupressure back massages and stress-relieving games of charades.
Eastern practice merges with Western techniques at Happy Head Foot Reflexology and Massage, not just in the décor but also in the offered massage services. Here, therapists foster a meditative state with massages that incorporate reflexology on the head or feet or yoga-style stretches as in Thai massage. Clients rest their eyes in dimly -lit community rooms outfitted with modern deécor and Asian touches, such as orchids floating in glass tubes, a towering Buddha statue, and live plants. These touches form an inviting space that’s as relaxing as listening to a tape of Robert Loggia repeating murmuring relaxing mantras such as, "The last slice of pizza is all yours."
At LuLu Spa Salon, trained massage therapist Candie Lam uses her hands to dissolve tension and alleviate aches. Skilled in multiple styles of treatment, Candie can utilize deep-tissue-like techniques during bamboo fusion massages, which can be administered while clients relax on a treatment table, sit in an ergonomic massage chair, or run on a treadmill. For those with problems sleeping at night or those suffering from general anxiety, she can also target key muscles that, when combined with light acupressure, help to relieve stress and instill a general sense of calm.
At Zazen, students relax their bodies and focus their minds during sessions of Zen Buddhist seated meditation, the soothing practice for which the center is named. But both Zazen locations work to cultivate calm with other services as well. Sensory-deprivation tanks block out distracting external stimuli as guests float in 10 inches of warm saltwater, a practice many say helps them grow their awareness of the present moment. Massage sessions focus on freeing the body from tension, so it can be experienced as spaciousness rather than constraint. Yoga classes also help guests become mindful, filling hearts and limbs with enough calm energy to quiet a bawling infant with a single, whispered "shhh."
Customizing a massage requires blending various modalities. When certified massage therapist Amaris Amezquita incorporates another modality into the mix, the shift occurs so seamlessly, many clients never notice the change. As her hands deliver long, rolling Swedish strokes, they may chance upon knotted muscles and petrified tendons, which require the firm cross-grained strokes of deep-tissue techniques. Rather than breaking the spell by starting over or pausing for an intermission, Amaris smoothly transitions to the new modality. Amaris makes massages easy not only with smooth delivery and transitions. She also saves clients the trouble of commuting by traveling to their homes.
Inside Stacey Jae's Massage Studio, therapists apply custom strokes to attack chronic pain in toughened muscles, tailoring services to suit athletes, sufferers of chronic pain, or those with fibromyalgia. Owner and Fair Oaks Massage Institute graduate Stacey Jae draws from more than 3,000 hours of experience and more than 500 hours of education to alleviate specific problems. Though her specialties include deep-tissue massage and injury prevention, she also blends in aromatherapy and hot stones for relaxation-focused sessions. No matter what modality they prefer, Stacey allows her customers to maintain complete control over their appointment, draping them to their comfort and always letting them dictate how much yodeling is too much.