Candlelight illuminates a swirling jacuzzi at Spa Pura, a 7,000-square-foot relaxation mecca where clients shed stress as they don a robe and slippers before indulging in one of the spa’s many services. Aestheticians perform a full spectrum of facial treatments that leverage clay masks, SkinCeuticals products, and vitamin infusions to help the skin to regain its glow. Teams of massage therapists welcome clients onto beds and pore over muscles with relaxing strokes, and body scrubbers and waxing technicians exfoliate and smooth frames. Clients hesitant to return to the outside world can bide their time in the spa’s raindrop showers or eucalyptus steam room, which doubles as koala heaven.
A passion and appreciation for wellness is the foundation of AcuSpa Wellness Center & Spa. The staff seeks to nurture, restore, and beautify their clients through acupuncture, massage therapy, and spa treatments. During acupuncture, they insert fine needles into the body to restore balance and help the recipients heal from such ailments as depression, hypertension, allergies, and migraines. Along with acupuncture, the state-licensed practitioners use an array of Chinese medical treatments including acussage: a combination of acupuncture and massage. They also preform a cosmetic Chinese facial to promote circulation and reduce puffiness, fine lines, and the likelihood of sour-beer face.
Whether clients are dealing with back pain, bad posture, or the aches associated with pregnancy, the massage therapist at PerfecTouch Therapy has a remedy. That's because the therapist's repertoire of muscle-kneading techniques varies greatly, unlike a golden retriever's wardrobe. In addition to standard maneuvers such as Swedish massage, the stress-tamer also offers hot-stone, deep-tissue, and foot-focused treatments.
Swedish massage relies largely on a technique known as effleurage. Learn how it zaps stress with Groupon's peek at this basic stroke.
Effleurage is the glue that holds a Swedish massage together. Its smooth, gliding strokes may not deliver much pressure?the word itself is taken from a French verb that means "to touch lightly"?but the technique simultaneously soothes the nerves, boosts circulation, and allows the massage therapist to identify problem zones that need extra attention. Because effleurage doubles as an assessment tool, many therapists begin each massage with it, usually by gliding their open palms lightly across the body to feel for tense spots and potholes while acclimating the client to their touch. This form of effleurage is known as "superficial," and it serves a soothing prelude, epilogue, and transitional movement between deeper, more focused kneading.
A slightly more forceful style of effleurage is known as "deep effleurage." This form still uses gliding strokes, only with more pressure, as the therapist aims to stretch out the muscle tissue and the web of connective tissue that covers it. Therapists will generally direct the first part of their deep-effleurage stroke towards the heart, finishing with a lighter return stroke away from it. Not only does this warm up tissues for deeper muscle work, but it can also speed up the movement of blood and lymph fluid. This boost in circulation can help drain fluid from injured areas, reducing painful pressure while also releasing endorphins that further relax the entire body.
Chaba Herbal Spa & Thai Yoga Massage?s owner traveled the world to bolster her therapeutic knowledge. She began studying the art of Thai massage in Bangkok, Thailand, at the Watpro Traditional Medical School. After finishing her program, she packed her bags and journeyed to Los Angeles, where she accumulated a pet palm tree and 500 hours of massage-therapy schooling with a focus on traditional Thai massage. She uses this combination of cultural knowledge and varied techniques to treat clients with massages that fuse multiple disciplines into one soothing session. She also surrounds her clients with Thailand-influenced decor, including green plants, live flowers, and bubbling fountains that ease stress. In addition to massages, the spa also offers skin and body treatments, waxing services, and reflexology sessions.
Before Bessy Lim had her first facial, her life was a succession of stressful, 12-hour shifts. Her first spa experience awakened a latent desire: she wanted to help others find the relaxation she had forgone for so long. With that, she left her stressful career, earned a number of spa certifications, traveled abroad to learn the various therapeutic techniques and ways to pronounce "microdermabrasion" of spas overseas, and finally opened Agua De Vida. There, a corps of certified and licensed massage therapists team up with the spa specialist to mend tense muscles with massage, swaddle bodies in wraps, purify pores with facials, and primp hands and feet with nail services.