Amid hair-snipping stylists, licensed aesthetician Nikki Shahan attends to epidermal needs. Nikki employs custom skin masks, powerful chemical peels, ultrasonic treatments, and grandmotherly cheek pinches to rejuvenate skin of all types.
After Andrea Felesina earned her master's degree and started a career as a registered nurse, she couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to take a holistic approach to health. Her curiosity led her to the Bodhi Tree School of Massage, where she acquired national certification in massage therapy. With her newfound ability to blend eastern and western techniques, Andrea opened Sierra Nevada Holistic Services inside a ranch-style cottage. In addition to offering therapeutic-massage services, Andrea also leads yoga nidra meditation sessions, drawing on training she received from yogi Amrit Desai. Yoga nidra combines light stretching, breathwork, and guided imagery to completely relax the body and banish the stress of wondering where the keys to the bomb-squad van are. Andrea also concocts her own aromatherapeutic blends to ease muscle aches, indigestion, and depression with help from fellow practitioner Sue Fritz, who brings 40 years of medical and holistic training to the table.
Once it makes its way in through the large window draped in elegant, red cloth, sunlight refracts off the many mirrors lining the earth-toned walls, illuminating the staffers as they wield scissors, nail brushes, or specialized facial ingredients. At hairstyling stations, certified Redken color specialists dye strands with flattering hues, and Great Lengths hair-extension experts elongate locks without inconspicuously feeding them into a moving escalator. Nail techs in a private suite draw from shelves of OPI polish during mani-pedis designed to gussy up natural or acrylic nails. The resident aesthetician, meanwhile, can perform waxing and skincare services and highlight features with permanent-makeup applications. For special events, such as weddings and dances, the entire team eagerly joins forces to help clients look their best.
Peace of Mind Float Spa casts a gravity-defying spin on relaxation with sensory-deprivation flotation tanks. The tank's solution of filtered, sterilized water mixes with 800 pounds of Epsom salts to imbue guests with a feeling of weightlessness that aims to induce deep relaxation and alleviate physical ailments. The water is heated to skin temperature to simulate a state of anti-gravity typically experienced only by astronauts or koalas at an all-you-can-eat eucalyptus buffet. An oxygen aromatherapy treatment can heighten the effects of floating before or after the treatment with one of four scents. The relaxation destination also hosts a far infrared sauna, which uses soothing heat and infrared rays to penetrate the body and aid natural detoxification.
Essential Kneads Wellness Spa Inc.’s owner and proprietor, Billie Jo Stokes, first learned the subtle arts of holistic healing from her Aunt Donna. Aunt Donna’s teachings opened the door to what would become Billie Jo’s life calling: to help clients heal with therapies such as Reiki and without the use of drugs or invasive medical therapies. She welcomes her clients into a realm of relaxation, where an Oriental motif of wall-hung fans and bedspreads combines with abundant plant life, wooden fixtures, and soft rugs. In these spaces, Billie Jo helps clients completely let go of the outside world and all of the anxieties and humanoid robots from the future that reside there.
Old Hot Springs Resort sources natural mineral water from 35,000 feet below the Earth’s surface to fill pools and baths for a health-enriching experience. The springs carry a lengthy history, including use by settlers back in 1849 on their way to the gold rush, and before then by Washoe Indians perfecting their synchronized diving routines. The water teems with healthy minerals such as sulfate to strengthen skin and hair, calcium to fortify bones, and potassium to aid muscle function.
Adults splash and swim in aquamarine outdoor pools kept at 98 degrees in the summer and 102 degrees in the winter, or sunbathe on the surrounding patio. Meanwhile, private baths, with water from 95 to 110 degrees, proffer an intimate place for couples to canoodle and spies to exchange confidential microfiche. Staffers drain and refill pools every day, barring the use of chemicals or city water to maintain the mineral water’s purity. After soaking, patrons can deepen their relaxation with a hot-stone massage, held in a hushed room lit with petite lights, or snag refreshments from an onsite restaurant and bar.