Ensconced in an idyllic California craftsman-style house that dates to 1915, and listed in the 2009 Lonely Planet travel guide, Napa Massage & Bodycare is a homey haven where aestheticians groom faces with bristle-busting waxing services. The Wax & Relax package apprehends rogue follicles on the brow, chin, or lip with an antibacterial wax that minimizes redness by leaving clown makeup out of the formula. A post-wax upper-body massage unties knots from deep within the neck and shoulders, imbuing bodies with as much calm as a nap beneath a pile of puppies.
At the full-service La Pelle Skin Spa & Boutique, complexion experts wield high-end products from brands such as Physiodermie and Duchess Marden, which they apply during massages, body treatments, and facials. The staff works with a constantly friendly demeanor, whether performing whole-body exfoliation treatments or full-body waxing. Facials that last 45–90 minutes, another of the spa’s specialties, cleanse, moisturize, and protect the façade, unlike doing the worm all the way across a corn field. Massage therapists practice a number of modalities to reduce bodily tension and promote detoxification.
There are many reasons someone might want to be Oprah Winfrey, but for Katie of Solano County, it would be so she could get a massage from Barbara Gamble every day. Katie, who suffers from fibromyalgia, credits her weekly massages from Barbara with helping her feel better and giving her the hope of healing. Katie isn’t the only one to reap the benefits of Barbara’s talent. Inside BarJea’s Body Therapy, Katie and others find relief and peace through Swedish, therapeutic, or deep-tissue massage or reflexology treatments. People are noticing that Barbara’s work is beyond ordinary—in 2012, she won a Best of Napa award in the massage-therapist category for the second consecutive year, a prize for which only 1.4% of 2011 winners qualified.
These two last award-winning years are only the tip of Barbara’s more than 15-year career. Certified in massage therapy and deep-tissue bodywork, she has practiced Swedish, deep-tissue, and medical massage along with trigger-point therapy. Her treatments include aromatherapy and healing herbs and take place in her secluded massage studio. Along with massages, she offers detoxifying body wraps that use infrared heat or Dead Sea mud. She also administers sauna sessions with color therapy to alleviate physical symptoms, such as being a polar bear when you want to be a grizzly bear.
Extra-wide beds aren’t merely for hauling cumbersome freight on the back of a semitruck. They host guests during massages at Napa Vineyard Massage, making it easier for human backs to haul the freight of everyday life such as backpacks, sports equipment, and Chevy Tahoes. The center’s massage therapists knead backs using organic coconut oil. They also glide warm stones along the skin and employ a range of massage techniques to unwind knotted and double-knotted muscles. The team renders organic facials and melts stress with aromatherapy scents such as a lavender-and-rose blend or rosemary essential oils.
After a 25-year tenure as a massage therapist, Taja Cox breathed new life into her career by becoming a licensed esthetician. She now uses both sets of talents to help clients at Relaxation Co. Skin Spa and Acne Clinic who come to her with chronic pain, acne, and sports-related injuries. When it comes to skincare, Taja calms skin with custom facials and lullabies, and dampens the effects of wrinkles with chemical peels. Her massages target ailing muscles in need of tension relief, and special techniques help clients undergoing surgery or chemotherapy to relieve their post-treatment fatigue. Further services outside the box include Taja’s facial and massage combinations that can help clients achieve an all-over relaxation more effectively than wearing clothing woven from chamomile leaves.
Pure Skin Spa's expert tress tamers fashion a silken smoothness with an armada of beautification services. The spa's most popular service, the Brazilian waxing, safely applies a soothing wax to nether manes before its speedy removal, bringing with it a horde of fugitive follicles and squashing the chance of a local Sasquatch spotting. Patrons can luxuriate among the couches and floral décor of Pure Skin Spa's relaxing facility. Boasting a commitment to local philanthropy, Pure Skin Spa enthusiastically partakes in community fundraisers dedicated to advancing local schools, youth organizations, and aspiring wax-museum curators.
At St. Pierre Massage and Spa, staff share a natural approach to health and beauty. Fleece-lined, heated tables and organic-cotton blankets invite guests to relax as licensed massage therapists ease away aches with Swedish and deep-tissue massages, augmented by aromatherapy oils and warm basalt stones. Facial treatments, which range from custom masks to AHA grape-infused peel treatments, rely on organic ingredients as they refresh faces. The Napa Valley Register recently covered St.Pierre Massage and Spa’s move from its former healing haven to its current downtown palace of tranquility. Alongside descriptions of the expanded pampering space, the article notes the uniqueness of the spa’s vegan, organic nail treatments and whisper-only policy. To complement the move, a newly expanded menu of services lures clients in to relax amid the shades of cocoa and green.