When Susan Lange’s massage therapist suggested she try watsu, Lange knew as much about the therapy as most people—nothing. “We’re kind of obscure,” Lange says with a laugh, referring to the watsu community she now considers herself a member of. The therapy, whose name is derived from “water” and “shiatsu,” blends ancient Japanese finger massage with the restorative properties of warm water. In heated pools, therapists fully support their clients as they administer a combination of massage, stretching, and instant-rice-cooking techniques. After her first watsu experience, Lange writes, “I felt like I was dancing, floating, flying and being nurtured all at once."
Today, Lange shares this experience with others in the yurt she and her husband built in the meadow adjoining their home. Inside this yurt is a 15-foot circular pool filled with 4 feet of warm water. Once they have waded in, clients can strap on narrow floatation devices to assist Lange as she guides them through the water. As she performs the massage, Lange gently strikes Tibetan singing bowls drifting alongside her in the water, creating a soundscape to further soothe the senses.
Founder and medical director Dr. Terry Grossman and a team of health professionals have made Grossman Wellness Center one of the largest complementary medical centers in the country. Together, the specialists strive to extend patients' lives by detecting and preventing disease or perilous cracks in the sidewalk. Dr. Grossman holds board certifications from the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine & Regenerative Medicine, the American Holistic Medical Association, and the American Board of Heavy Metal Toxicology. An international anti-aging educator and co-author of Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever, Grossman's words have graced numerous media outlets, including Oprah's website. To achieve the company's mission, Grossman and his medical staff perform comprehensive examinations and diagnostic evaluations for free-radical testing, biological age measurement, and genomic testing. The crew then recommends dietary changes or hormone therapy to avoid foreseeable ills.
The center also enhances vitality with acupuncture sessions and traditional Chinese medicine. Velina Lujan, a certified massage therapist, relationship counselor, and certified holistic stress manager, uses eastern and western practices to help clients control stress. Paula Quesada, the on-staff medical aesthetician, refreshes complexions with chemical peels, microdermabrasions, and facials, and Dr. Grossman use traditional dermal fillers or a process called autologous fat transfer to combat wrinkles.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all of the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
As an aesthetician, Brandy Rich spends nearly every day up close and personal with her clients’ faces. She has seen it all—from troublesome acne to irritated and dry skin—and she works her magic to address every problem. The anti-aging facial’s essential oils help diminish fine lines, and pineapple extract exfoliates faces more gently than scrubbing with an actual pineapple. When problematic skin quiets down, Brandy’s job as a makeup artist kicks in. She enhances brides’ natural beauty with Temptu Pro airbrush makeup, teaches everyday folk how to properly apply eyeliner, and applies eye-catching lash extensions for added drama when blinking.
Za Zen Day Spa provides a relaxing atmosphere for personal wellness treatments tailored to the physical, mental, and emotional needs of all gracious guests. With today’s Groupon, stresstronauts will hop inside an infrared sauna suit body-wrap and let far-infrared rays therapeutically remove toxins, improve blood flow, and speed up metabolic processes, rejuvenating the body from mind to toe. During the treatment, the increased body temperatures trigger white blood cell and T-cell production, which can enhance immune system functionality and overall health. To appease esthetic aspirations, this easy and relaxing process also opens clogged pore doors, evicting dirt and oil, which then reduces acne and other class portrait disasters, such as forgetting a comb or using pizza instead of makeup powder. Relax overworked gray matter or the human flesh it controls and enjoy a total-body tune-up at Za Zen Day Spa.
Spend some quality time not talking to your sweetie with the Be My Valentine special, which includes a couple's massage, bottle of wine, and complimentary rose ($199) in Beau Visage's handsome and spacious couple's massage room. Facial fans can try out a Fountain of Youth hydrating facial ($125) or an Under the Sea Facial ($125) with seaweed, cultivated from France's Bethany Coast, that contains 1,000 times more vitamins and minerals than anything grown in soil. Those looking to infiltrate high school to write the exposé that will seal their journalistic futures can peel away layers of dead face skin with a glycolic peel ($50) or a medical-grade peel ($120–$160). If you're more in the mood for a massage, a 90-minute European hot-stone therapy session ($120) will increase your relaxation and improve your blood flow with the penetrating heat of smooth basalt rocks. You can also cocoon yourself with a Slender Quest Body Wrap ($95) and emerge a firm, toned, sexy butterfly. Dudes, meanwhile, can enjoy being King for a Day (one of the Valentine's Day specials) with a gentlemen's facial and a sandalwood aromatherapy massage ($129). Beau Visage also offers airbrush tanning, microdermabrasion, men's body services, photorejuvenation, and more.