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.
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.
Equipped with an all-natural paste refined throughout the ages, New Beginnings Skin Care & Massage’s therapists abolish unwanted hair from a variety of bodily geography with the ancient Egyptian method of body sugaring. After entrapping hair from root to tip in the sticky glaze, therapists gently lift hair out in its natural direction, freeing surfaces from fuzzy patches or worn out Dukakis '88 bumper stickers. Less painful than waxing, sugary remedies can be applied anywhere on the body, including the eyebrows ($15+), the bikini line ($25+), or the chest and abs ($65). Sugar treatments begin to deplete follicles after several sessions, often forcing threads to disappear completely before starting new lives as mysterious strangers in hardscrabble mountain towns.
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.
Part historic landmark and part day spa, Steamboat Hot Springs Healing Center and Spa has always been about one thing: the water. As stated in Healthy Beginnings Magazine, the site probably earned its name from Mark Twain, who is said to have likened its rising columns of steam with the steamboats he used to captain on the Mississippi River. The picturesque vapors emanated from what was the third-largest geyser in the United States, rivaled in majesty only by Old Faithful and the ears of an angry Yosemite Sam. Native people, settlers, and travelers seeking healing—including President Ulysses S. Grant—partook of the up to 80-foot-high waters before the geyser and springs dried up after an earthquake in 1900. Osteopath Dr. Edna Carver bought the property 25 years later and drilled down into the earth to once again unleash the artesian waters.
Today, temperature-controlled mineral water from the hot springs flows into soaking tubs and the steam room, nourishing skin with rare sulfate minerals including borax, silica, and magnesium. The center—which Kathika.com has named one of the best spas in Reno—keeps the tradition of healing alive with modernized treatments ranging from soothing massages to light, color, and sound therapy.
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.