Exhale Spa seeks to transform its clientele inside and out. The founding team of fitness professionals and aestheticians sought to create an environment where they could empower visitors with pampering spa treatments, invigorating fitness classes, and lifestyle education, helping clients attain a sense of control and holistic balance. Now with 19 locations across 11 cities, Exhale Spa and its signature services have earned mentions in numerous national publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Exhale's signature Core Fusion classes incorporate dance-inspired stretches, yoga poses, and Pilates exercises into total-body workouts that build long, lean limbs and sturdy abdominal muscles over time. For an even more varied workout, the instructors introduce boot-camp techniques, cardio exercises, or multiplication tables to select sessions. Yoga classes present a similar amount of breadth and variety, drawing inspiration from a number of introspective and physically oriented styles. To help hasten physical transformations, nutrition and wellness coaches teach attendees about the impacts of diet. These sessions build an awareness of healthy eating habits through custom meal plans and by teaching clients how to identify the edible parts of a fruit basket.
Many of the center's traditional spa services seek to inspire confidence. Facials pamper and refine skin using everything from green tea and fruit extracts to microcurrent technology, and mani-pedis revitalize digits before glazing nails with a vibrant new coat of color. Bodywork treatments look beyond physical relaxation and focus on holistic concerns. Massage therapists can use Eastern or Western modalities to soothe overstressed musculature, and acupuncture treatments and reiki sessions jump-start natural healing processes by encouraging the free flow of inner energies.
Pearls, crystal chandeliers, and white roses grace the country-chic interior of The Sanctuary Day Spa, once a 1950s cottage. But as attention grabbing as these embellishments are, it is the lack of patronage that is more noticeable. To make each guest feel like a VIP member, owner Tracy Duhs and her team only schedule one client at a time. This approach, coupled with cups of hand-blended organic tea, has earned the private spa high praise from local and national press. DiscoveredSD.com, for example, gave high marks to the spa?s ultimate facial, which blends vacuum massage, microdermabrasion, and red-light therapy with fragrant skincare products. Numerous publications have raved about the spa's Synergie vacuum-massage treatment, which can reduce cellulite as it detoxifies the body.
The spa space is also packed with high-end products, from herbal-infused Jadience creams, used during customized massages, to Jane Iredale mineral cosmetics, used to cover imperfections and age spots that relay one?s true birth date in Morse code. Clients are also invited to browse a collection of Arcona, Enessa, Bella Luxx, and Fenton Fallon products, which Tracy handpicks from around the world.
When Forrest Folen says he believes in a mind-and-body approach to fitness, he isn’t referring to pseudo-spiritual workouts. Rather, he is drawing from the simple advice given to him by his grandmother: “Take care of your body, and your body will take care of your mind. Take care of your mind, and your mind will take care of your life.” His partner Roy Schuhmacher, on the other hand, comes at fitness from a strictly physical angle. Fueled by a personal goal to become a bodybuilder when he was younger, he turned to scientific methods and empirical data to craft his regimens. This research eventually led him to the slow and steady approach to bulking up that he uses today. In 2008, both Folen and Schuhmacher joined forces, bringing their unique mix of perspectives and exercise approaches to the public at Fit for Life Solutions.
Through their studio, the two trainers slim bodies with large group boot-camp sessions, tame waistlines with Next Level personal training, and accelerate heart rates during intensive small group exercises that incorporate kettlebells and industrial-grade defibrillators.
When Earthbody looks to hire new massage therapists and licensed aestheticians, it doesn't consider recent graduates?rather, it's looking for people with years of training and experience beneath their belts, and who still love what they do. It wants people who are healers at heart, able to lavish each client with skillful services and attention. Each detail at Earthbody has been carried out with similar mindfulness?from the spa's own line of organic body and facial products, all crafted in small batches in San Francisco, to little luxuries such as heated and infused foot towels and complimentary tea service.
To set the mood, the staff lights soy candles and tea lights, which burn cleanly so that even those with allergies can breathe easily. Surrounded by this soft glow, aestheticians renew skin with facials or treat bodies to massages that not only make muscles feel great but also uproot deep-seated tension. After each session?be it a couples massage or hot-oil Indian scalp treatment?the staff can compost, recycle, or launder everything used during the sessions. Dr. Shawn Goozh, a licensed clinical psychologist, also offers somatic-psychotherapy sessions that use bodywork to deepen traditional psychotherapy.
The staff's attention to detail hasn't gone unnoticed by the media. "This intimate Hayes Valley spot is more healing center than mere day spa," writes the San Francisco Bay Guardian. "Therapists are trained in several modalities and develop custom sessions for every client, including consultations before and after treatment." In 2010, SF Weekly named Earthbody its pick for best day spa, citing its "ecological sustainability and ancient holistic rites."
Each Body By Laser clinic pairs cold-laser technology with holistic health practices to help patients lose inches and keep them off. The treatment gets its magic from cold lipolasers, which are designed to gently shrink fat cells by dislodging their contents so that they can be fully discarded through the body's natural metabolic process and series of tiny secondhand stores. Each one-hour treatment series wraps up with a consultation on diet and exercise, along with a quick session atop a whole-body-vibration platform engineered to burn even more calories.
Like art-house films and fish-flavored popsicles, these procedures are not intended for everyone; females who are pregnant or nursing should not undertake the treatment, nor should patients with active forms of cancer. Should any complications be discovered during Body By Laser's initial screening, the company will issue a refund.
To Dana Conrado, skincare is a universal language. Her nearly two-decades-long career has encompassed international training in both London and Canada, as well as a stint spent doing freelance make-up for a Japanese company. Along the way, she picked up certifications in multiple services—acne and rosacea treatments, microdermabrasion, and RejuvaLight therapy, to name a few—and established rapport with many dermatologists and plastic surgeons while undergoing training in medical-grade skincare and chemical peels.
Upon opening Cezanne Skin Group in 1996, she became one of the first on the West Coast to offer sugaring, a kind of hair removal that uses natural and organic ingredients in place of hot wax strips or repurposed bumper stickers. Together with aesthetician Amanda Ward, Dana transforms appearances and enhances relaxation through massage services, body wraps, and facials, often blending in high-quality restoratives from brands such as Dermalogica and Pevonia Botanica.