From the walls that enclose Zena Day Spa's 6,000-square-foot space, one can almost feel sun seeping from the great, rough-hewn stone blocks and murals influenced by the ancient Egyptians. Intricately woven gold speckled with authenticity-testing bite marks trims Victorian-style couches, upon which clients nip at complimentary beverages. Extremities wrapped around warm mugs or wading through luxurious carpet prepare for dips in oil, paraffin, and a warm lotion or cooling gel infused with sea salt, and beautifiers overhaul hair, nails, skin and bodies with opulent spa and salon treatments.
Organic, semipermanent makeup accentuates facial features, and bold brushstrokes paint exotic scenes behind pedicure chairs and above gleaming marble countertops. The scent of potted lilies rides waves of eucalyptus-infused steam past the strawberry-blond wooden slats that border a sauna. The spa's private showers are ideal for relaxing cleanup or tearful regrets about taking cotton candy in the shower.
Holden Zalma knows the toll that exertion can take on muscles. Before he received his massage license, he helped to train USC's football, basketball, and swimming teams while he studied to be a physical therapist. After graduation, Holden founded MetaTouch Therapeutic Massage and Wellness Center, where he shares his burgeoning 20 years of massage-therapy experience with others. His philosophy is simple: alleviate pain and treat injuries by scouting out symptoms, hunting down their root causes, and treating the body as a whole by ignoring its unsightly seams. He and his staff of trained practitioners accomplish this task by blending techniques—such as massage, stretching, exercise, and acupuncture—to relieve pain, improve performance, and reduce the risk of future injuries.
Raindrop Bodyworks, a spa and holistic health center nestled in the heart of Culver City, contains a staff of experienced spa technicians, certified massage therapists, and chiropractors who soothe beleaguered bodies inside and out. Massage therapists employ a lively blend of Eastern-, Western-, and European-style techniques such as soft-tissue, deep-tissue, and reflexology, melting tense muscles with a blend of deep kneading and broad effleurage strokes. Certified instructors teach students the best practices for bending their bodies in 10 yogic styles such as Vinyasa flow, hatha flow, tai chi, and specialty classes for teens and expectant mothers. Spa therapists tend to skin ailments during a trio of body treatments and use botanicals such as lavender, geranium, and chamomile to soothe and attract wild squirrels that appreciate the finer things.
Inside Zena MedSpa, medical director Dr. Cynthia Mackeyer and her staff combine science with aesthetic treatments to beautify their clients. Guests can reduce wrinkles with Botox injections, pave the way for clearer skin with medical-grade facials, and remove unwanted hair, tattoos, and tiny planets orbiting their heads with laser services. The spa also offers photofacials and houses a variety of skincare lines, including products from Epicuren. Free parking in the rear of the building ensures that cars have plenty of room when getting wiped down with moisturizer.
Flickering candlelight and gently cascading waterfalls set the mood of Zendona Serenity Massage Spa’s interior and ambiance. Here, the trained massage therapist extends the relaxation imparted by these initial stimuli with services designed to melt tension and stress away. Relaxation add-ons include hot stones, body detox, paraffin wax treatments, and facial masks.
After 33 years of clinical and academic medicine, Dr. Edgar A. Guess Jr. expanded his medical repertoire by exploring alternative and holistic wellness techniques. In 1996, the retired OB/GYN and cancer surgeon founded Beverly Hills Wellness Center, where he and a team of physicians and healthcare providers aim to prevent illness and provide clients with the knowledge and services they need to maintain their health and independence. Dr. Guess is also the president-elect of the National Board for Colon Hydrotherapy, so his knowledge and experience informs the work of the center's International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy–certified therapist, as well.
Besides colon hydrotherapy, the health experts offer acupuncture and Oriental and Chinese herbal medicine. Additionally, the center's detoxifying treatments—which include infrared saunas, deep-tissue massages, and raw-juice cleanses—allow the body to rid itself of impurities that linger from their childhood paste-eating habit. They also offer health screenings, as part of their commitment to promoting early detection and empowering clients to monitor their own health at home.