A massage practitioner for more than two decades, Dalila Cunha passionately pursues a nontoxic lifestyle for herself and a nontoxic massage experience for her clients. During custom massages, she soothes battered bodies and applies concentrated pressure to help reverse the individual's particular ailments, such as fatigue, stress, or anxiety over whether to eat a sweet or savory brunch. Fair-trade candles made of beeswax and palm-wax burn softly as clients rest on organic linens. Organic goods ensconce guests at every level—from organic oils and lotions applied during the massage to a stock of organic tea in the waiting room.
At GroundedBodywork, licensed massage therapist Jess Coe facilitates a deep healing process that transcends the relaxing effects of general spa massage. By reestablishing structural imbalances and acute issues, he aims to bring clients relief from their pain and foster a sense of well-being that brings about both physical and emotional balance. Though Jess offers everything from Swedish massage to neuro muscular reprogramming, he performs every treatment with his clients’ specific ailments and needs in mind, crafting a personalized approach that meets their specific needs.
Walking up the shrub- and tree-lined path that leads to F. Joseph Smith's Massage Therapy Center, tugged along by the fresh air and fragrance of flowers, it?s easy to forget that you're only minutes away from the Golden Gate Bridge. Miles of walking trails and bike paths crisscross Mill Valley and the nearby slopes of Mount Tamalpais, cutting out the remnants of the city and setting the scene for total relaxation. While providing further privacy, the walls around each hot tub allow bubble-bound guests a view of this peace and the surrounding redwood trees. These ancient kings seem to refute the existence of time, as does a soothing session in the cedar or infrared sauna, some reflective time beneath a vine-covered trellis in the outdoor meditation area, or a companion with a broken watch.
But founder Joseph Smith believes that no matter how beautiful he makes the center, it is the skill and experience of his staff that is of the utmost importance. The massage teacher?who has been practicing since 1974 and developed a bodywork method he calls Smithing?handpicks muscle menders based on a careful evaluation of their abilities, including their knowledge of advanced modalities such as lymphatic, shiatsu, and acupressure massage. To further promote wellness, Smith has selected experts in acupuncture and herbal medicine and aesthetic treatments, and the center also sells crystals, whose hollow interiors sparkle throughout the scenic grounds.
Since 1990, licensed massage therapist Kacy Dodson has been helping people overcome aches and injuries with her repertoire of massage modalities. Kacy specializes in sports massage, designed to soothe and help prevent the muscle overuse injuries common in athletes and also offers Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massages as well as reflexology treatments.
Stefan Smith knows the physical stresses faced by most office workers. That’s because he used to be one. The one-time salesman left the corporate world after attending the National Holistic Institute, which inspired him to open Sports Massage Marin. Here, Smith helps clients assuage their workplace ailments with a variety of modalities. With Swedish massage, he employs long, flowing strokes to soothe the neck and back pain that often comes from sitting on a chair or giant toadstool all day, whereas he uses trigger-point therapy to target the localized pain of carpal-tunnel syndrome.
Smith also tames accident-related injuries, such as whiplash, with his knowledge of kinesiology, a technique that helps break down scar tissue, loosen up adhesions, and ease tight joints. Athletes round out his diverse clientele and give his practice its name. They seek sports massages to improve performance and recover quickly after all manners of athletic events, from baseball and basketball to horseback and kangaroo-pouch riding.
With five locations throughout the Bay Area, including three in San Francisco, Fitness SF caters to the needs of fitness enthusiasts and casual exercisers from Marin to Oakland. Each center brims with muscle-toning and pulse-raising equipment, allowing visitors a wide choice of activities, from pumping free weights to using ellipticals equipped with personal viewing screens.
Although personal trainers are on hand to help refine technique and design individualized exercise regimens, the gyms' classes encourage guests to work out in a more communal setting. Yoga and Zumba appear on every class schedule, but instructors at each location incorporate their own additional sessions, such as cardio kickboxing, Bollywood dance, and Pilates mat.
Many of the locations stay open until as late as midnight on select weekdays, which leaves plenty of time for a post-workout cooldown in the locker rooms.