Angelina Spector may have been a certified personal trainer since 1994, but according to her, she's actually in the business of making dreams come true. "Physical transformation begins with a dream," she says on MindBody Connection’s site, referring to the secret hopes her clients hold for what their bodies might be able to do or look like. She keeps these hopes in mind when constructing individualized regimens that build muscle and burn fat through group exercise workshops or personal-training sessions.
With the aid of six other teachers, Angelina slims physiques with a selection of name-brand exercises, such as Pilates, Gyrotonic, and the Nia Technique, a combination of martial arts and dance used to fight off the rhythm when it inevitably comes to get you.
Oasis Pamper Bar's staff of stylists, makeup artists, and aestheticians ushers in body-wide beauty with a full complement of meticulous treatments. The staff spruces unkempt nails, soothes visages with one of six specialized facials, and renders fuzz-laden hides smooth enough to play shuffleboard on with a slathering of wax and a quick flick of the wrist. Lavish pamper parties cater to larger groups that may rent out the spa space and its style-savvy personnel for a night of mass beautification.
Almost as long as the list of ingredients that Simply Green Day Spa’s organic nail polishes include is the list of common polish chemicals that they don’t. The colorful hues from SpaRitual and Butter London eschew DBA, toluene, formaldehyde, parabens, and phtalates—and none were tested on animals. By using products such as these, Simply Green simultaneously nurtures both its clients and the environment. While nail technicians wield the nontoxic polishes and acetone-free polish remover, augmenting mani-pedis with sugar and salt scrubs and hot-stone massages, skincare experts turn to natural facial treatments. Antioxidants from blueberries and vitamin C set to work on blemishes along with exfoliation, masks, and steam, which helps patrons clear their clogged pores without trying to suck out dirt with a Shop-Vac.
Simply Green Day Spa’s staff also eases aches and stress with Swedish, deep-tissue, and prenatal massages. After a thorough coddling, waxing specialists banish leg hair or evict unwanted fuzz from the face, leaving patrons completely made over. Setting the stage for these transformations, Simply Green’s decor lives up to its name’s other meaning with plush green armchairs arranged amid sage-green walls, a rock fountain, and sweeping white curtains.
As an avid athlete, Megan Brooks looked forward to a lifetime of tight, sore muscles. Physical stiffness did not impede her agile mind, however, which dreamed up Art of Peace Massage to deepen her knowledge of the body and hurdle the side effects of exercise. She formalized her passion at the National Holistic Institute's College of Massage Therapy in San Francisco, and she graduated with a letter of excellence. Currently, she focuses on harmonizing body and spirit with her strong hands and the warm, soothing light emanating from her third eye, knowing firsthand that this balance—different for every client—is critical to general well-being and athletic performance. A specialization in integrative massage reflects this attitude, as the style allows her to respond to individual problems with any stroke from her repertoire, including Swedish, deep-tissue therapy, and rarer styles such as Hawaiian lomi lomi.
As director of the manual therapy program at Inner-Action Sports Rehab in Oakland, she continuously expands her knowledge of how the human body works, fails, and can be righted without jamming limbs into a T-square. Practicing the 3,000-year-old art also sparked her interest in the ancient holistic health systems of ayurveda and Chinese medicine, the study of which she has penned into her continuing-education schedule.
Rockridge Day Spa employs as many vegan and organic products as possible. These naturally derived palliatives aid the aestheticians as they design personalized facials that manage to hydrate, improve skin tone, or simply restore a youthful glow around the cheekbones. Body scrubs leave the skin soft and radiant by using everything from brown sugar and honey to antioxidant-rich strawberries and fizzy sparkling wine to exfoliate the topmost layers. Similarly, the spa's chemical peels and microdermabrasion sessions use more advanced approaches as they conceal the appearance of wrinkles and pigmented blemishes.
While sipping on a cup of tea, clients can dangle their toes over pedicure bowls and enjoy a thoroughly indulgent nail treatment that pampers the feet with mineral soaks and gentle massages. The spa's massage therapist indulges visitors even more by using a personalized blend of Swedish and deep-tissue techniques to soothe aching muscle and relieve the chronic pains caused by sleeping in a bathtub full of marbles.
If The Foot Spa and Tea Bar’s the trickling water fountain, botanical art, and drifting herbal aromas don’t immediately mark it as a tranquil haven, its lengthy list of commendations will. Readers of Oakland Magazine named it the Best Spa in 2012 and the Best Place to Treat Your Feet in 2011, and the magazine's editors called it the Most Relaxing Place to Take a Load Off in 2010. The cozy, Asian-inspired spa has also been nominated in the Best Day Spa category on the San Francisco A-List.
Inside the spa’s lauded confines, skilled massage therapists and reflexologists perform treatments ranging from acupressure and shiatsu sessions to soothing aromatherapy massages with lavender, ginger, and peppermint essential oils. At the tea bar, guests sip complimentary loose-leaf varieties grown in the mountains of China while gargling responses to the nearby water fountain.