Relaxing strokes are but one tool in massage therapist Michael Parks’s arsenal of bodywork knowledge. Inspired by the grace and wisdom of martial-arts superstar Bruce Lee, he fights chronic pain with focused movements developed in the Far East. Migraine treatments teem with Eastern techniques such as reflexology and acupressure, and general massages follow a deductive, freeform style, much like the teachings of Bruce himself. During Thai massages, Michael guides the client’s body through assisted stretches that resemble yoga poses or slow-motion chicken dances. Western modalities such as Swedish massage inform stress-relief treatments, which can be tailored to address specific concerns such as sinus pressure or sports-related soreness. In addition to targeting existing aches with therapeutic touch, Michael uses postural analyses, range-of-motion assessments, and personal training to identify and address underlying sources of pain.
Sunny Daze Tanning and Salon's lineup of spray-tan technology and UV-tanning equipment—including beds, standup booths, and leg tanners—keeps skin beaming with a summery, straight-off-the-beach appearance. With tanning packages available by the session, month, or year, the facility helps clients maintain bronzed tones no matter the season. To sustain the health of epidermal surfaces, customers can stop spoon-feeding pureed carrots to each pore and instead load up on an arsenal of brand-name lotions, tonics, and bronzers available for purchase. Tanning aside, the salon's aestheticians sap stress during manicures, facials, and a variety of massages, including soft-tissue treatments and magnet therapy.
The owner and bodywork buff of kneading your knots, Rona Rivera, relieves stressed-out backsides through a variety of massage disciplines. After an initial consultation, up to 15 different techniques, such as shiatsu, deep tissue, and aromatherapy, are incorporated into your 60-minute serenity session. The varied process manipulates the muscles of average cotton-gin operators into frenzies of relaxation, freeing up bodies and souls to scale underwater mountain ranges and solve high-stakes sudoku puzzles.
Dr. Tareq Ali, a board-certified physician, has been practicing emergency and family medicine since 1993, realized one of his lifelong dreams when he opened Manasra Medical Spa. The 2009 Patients' Choice award recipient was touring his new medical spa's facility, listening to the soothing sound of the water tinkling down his indoor waterfall and checking each room's personal air-conditioning unit. Dr. Ali even stopped to relax on one of the waiting room's luxurious leather couches.
Practicing aesthetic medicine since 2006, Dr. Ali has perfected his laser skills at Mansara Medical Spa, using concentrated beams of light to eliminate unwanted body hair or battle hyperpigmentation and spider veins across the body. He has also acquired the innovative microdermabrasion technology DermaSweep. The patented technology infuses faces with essential vitamins while exfoliating and smoothing skin. Manasra also offers more traditional spa treatments, such as massages, facials, and chemical peels.
Of all of the services at Taglio Salon & Spa, owner and stylist Jennifer Nunez's favorite is hair coloring. "Someone can walk in with flat, ugly, torn-up hairs," she said, "and in two hours change to a completely different person. It's instant gratification." Though the color results may seem instantaneous, Jennifer's acquisition of styling skills in the beauty industry has been anything but.
She first became interested in hairstyling in high school, when she did her friends' hair. After college, Jennifer used her marketing degree to land a corporate job, then promptly quit to enroll in a salon academy. Jennifer's mentor was a platform artist for celebrity stylist Trevor Sorbie who taught her not only the fundamentals of working with hair but also the importance of education and technique. Today, at her own salon, Jennifer requires quarterly continuing-education classes for all stylists.
Even the decor at Taglio Salon & Spa took time. Jennifer and an artist designed the floor—a cloudy swirl of greens and blues—to suggest an ocean reef. As organic as the finished product may look, the process involved an airbrush, pump spray, and painstaking effort. This philosophy of performing diligent, patient work to achieve spectacular results runs through all of Taglio's services, which include applying polish to nails, exfoliating faces, or slowly eroding mountainsides by breathing heavily on them.
A burbling waterfall wall and live palm fronds welcome clients to the earth-toned oasis of Elk Grove Massage29. Before beginning any session, the spa’s licensed therapists consult with clients to determine the best massage for their needs; it could be Swedish strokes to slake general stress or hot stones to melt away tension and determine which extremities are really just frozen burritos. The therapists also specialize in hot-pack massage, which uses grain-filled pouches that are heated to 170–180 degrees in order to release tension and increase flexibility.