Massage is the main focus at A Gathering Place, where professionals both teach beginners how to conduct massages and use their own skills to soothe clients' muscles. Staff members are skilled in a variety of massage modalities ranging from classic aromatherapy and hot-stone massages to the more unique shamanic healing, vibro-acoustic sound therapy, and a melting chocolate hot-stone massage.
Licensed massage therapist Ken Line brings things to a slow and contemplative pace inside Relaxation Massage. There, in a private room decorated with oceanscapes and soft blue walls, Ken calms the body with relaxation massages, a gentle form of Swedish massage that incorporates smooth, gliding strokes. He's experienced in nine different modalities, including deep-tissue, sports, and medical massage, which ease pain and tension. He also offers Swedish and hot stone massages to relieve stress, as well as paraffin wax and salt-glow treatments that heighten the experience.
The name Spoil Yourself, Inc, is more than just a suggestion—the staff here considers it good advice. Here, the massage therapists also count massage instructors among their ranks, making the team able to give clients just the customized and relaxing kneads they came for. Body wraps are another specialty here, helping people hydrate, relax, and not have to buy a separate mummy costume for Halloween.
Studio Valentine offers hair, nail, skin, and massage services in a charming and inviting space. Hairstylists provide deft cuts, coloring, and updos, and skincare specialists administer nourishing facials. Clients can spruce up with a makeup application or a mani-pedi, and then wind down with a deep-tissue massage to ease muscle soreness and relieve stress. Focused massages are also available for athletes or those with work-related pain. The quaint, cottage-style salon is a warm retreat where all stylists, driven by fashion savvy and a desire to please, give their utmost attention to clients.
Sunflower Massage Studio isn't just a relaxing refuge from the everyday?as a local business, it's also a refuge from the revolving-door approach of chain massage studios. This means that in addition to a tension-relieving massage, customers get a bounty of other thoughtful amenities, such as a 30-minute buffer zone before and after the massage to give client and therapist time to wind down and discuss the session. It also means the therapists won't pressure their clients to choose a massage modality, as every session is customized to their individual needs. Of course, add-ons such as hot stones and aromatherapy are available, as well as specialty styles such as prenatal, myofascial-release, and sports massage, which helps athletes' muscles recover from sporting events and emotions recover from tense exchanges with referees.
A good spa will transport its guests to a time and place where everyday stresses are forgotten. American Image Salon & Spa can take you to a rainforest waterfall, for example—its monsoon massage sends the gentle mist of a Vichy shower cascading onto backs and shoulders. If you'd prefer a steamier setting, opt for the hot-stone massage, during which a therapist banishes tension with kneads and strategically placed lava rocks. There are also packages that provide even longer, more luxurious escapes, such as the 6.5-hour Day of Beauty: a Clarisonic facial, massage, mani-pedi, shampoo, makeup application, and lunch.
Sometimes, however, a visit to the spa or salon is a quick reward in the middle of the day. That's why the staff here administers most of the standard treatments for the hair, nails, and body. Stylists trim new 'dos and flatten frizz with Chi Enviro smoothing formulas, or nourish the skin with specialized facials. Manicures might feature add-ons from a seaweed mask to a layer of eco-paraffin, a more environmentally friendly way to soften the hands than by wrapping them in live ferrets. Gentlemen are hardly neglected, either. Their services include haircuts as well as mustache- and beard-tinting.