The Network Wellness Spa's experienced skincare specialists employ botanical extracts and natural products to refresh and exfoliate tired mugs. Aromatherapy scents such as jasmine, rose, and ylang-ylang swirl through the air during muscle-melting massages, facial steams, and pre-pedicure foot soaks, and aestheticians customize three kinds of facial to clean pores more effectively than a doll-size vacuum. The spa also caters to men with a shaving treatment complete with hot-towel service.
As an avid athlete, Megan Brooks looked forward to a lifetime of tight, sore muscles. Physical stiffness did not impede her agile mind, however, which targeted massage therapy to deepen her knowledge of the body and hurdle the side effects of exercise. She formalized her passion at the National Holistic Institute's College of Massage Therapy in San Francisco, and she graduated with a letter of excellence. Currently, she focuses on harmonizing body and spirit with her strong hands and the warm, soothing light emanating from her third eye, knowing firsthand that this balance—different for every client—is critical to general well-being and athletic performance. A specialization in integrative massage reflects this attitude, as the style allows her to respond to individual problems with any stroke from her repertoire, including Swedish, deep-tissue therapy, and rarer styles such as Hawaiian lomi lomi.
As director of the manual therapy program at Inner-Action Sports Rehab in Oakland, she continuously expands her knowledge of how the human body works, fails, and can be righted without jamming limbs into a T-square. Practicing the 3,000-year-old art also sparked her interest in the ancient holistic health systems of ayurveda and Chinese medicine, the study of which she has penned into her continuing-education schedule.
Mei Yao of May’s Body & Skin Care Spa can fight blemishes on both sides of the world, since she's earned licensing in aesthetics in both the U.S. and China during her 20 year career. Today, she makes over bodies with high-tech services including LED photo facials, permanent-makeup applications, and deep pore cleanses. She also distributes Rosemiss products, which are as hard to find as John Wilkes Booth's indie band demo.
The certified massage therapists at Oakland Massage Therapy ply away muscle tension with practiced strokes and spa-like add-ons. Within a cozy private room, they mend aches with gentle Swedish strokes and stretch sore muscles with deep-tissue kneads. Warm towels envelop backs and limbs in soothing comfort enhanced further by the penetrating heat of hot stones. Therapists also soften skin with salt scrubs, and tackle stressful thoughts about work or the ending of 1984 with aromatherapy. Oakland Massage Therapy also offers memberships with perks such as family discounts and free massages for referrals.
Before Aaron Harris ever rescued a sore back with massage, he dashed to the aid of others as a paramedic. Today, he applies his knowledge of kinesiology and physiology with a backdrop of soothing sounds rather than sirens to help his clients recover from injuries and battle chronic pain. To ensure top-notch treatments, he staffs his office with current students and alumni of the National Holistic Institute who also studied kinesiology, anatomy, and physiology. These trained therapists are skilled in massage modalities such as Swedish, deep tissue, zen shiatsu, and Thai. And when they aren't kneading sinews, they perform holistic techniques such as energy work, aromatherapy, crystal healing, and reiki. They can also leave their office to mend muscles and mobilize joints on-location at events, such as a tin-man convention.