At the age of 11, when most kids are playing with toys, Nadine Gomez was training. She spent so much time in salons, she essentially grew up in them, acquiring both a keen sense of style and the ability to effectively translate clients' ideas into reality. She puts her years of training to good use at Natural Intentions Salon & Spa, where she performs specialty cuts and color services for clients of all ages. Even though she has more than 23 years of salon experience at her disposal, Nadine is always looking to master new techniques, trends, and nicknames for "scissors" through ongoing training sessions.
When clients open the door to Daravadee Spa & Massage Therapy, the heady scents of lemongrass and jasmine come flowing past noses before eyes lock onto decorative Thai statues and delicate orchids. Within candlelit treatment rooms, staff members trained in ancient eastern healing techniques employ their skills to soothe muscle tension and purify complexions. Among the therapies offered at Daravadee, yoga-like Thai massage, herbal compresses of tamarind and kaffir leaves, and all-natural spa products set the center apart from other relaxation oases. But Daravadee’s most unique offering is guasa. A body-scrub treatment rooted in Chinese healing practices, guasa helps boost circulation and detoxify skin with the help of a wooden sloughing instrument. Each treatment is performed in a private room, ensuring privacy and comfort for clients and their shy backs.
From professional athletes to months-old babies, the chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists at All Pro Health Center use their expertise to maximize wellness and body function. The center is the official sports-medicine and health-care center for both the California Quake women's tackle-football team and the Pacific Warriors women's professional football organization, and resident Doctor of Chiropractic Charles Feng has an extensive background in sports medicine. After training at UCLA as a member of the Bruins' sports-medicine program, Dr. Feng served on the medical teams of both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Kansas City Chiefs. His voice may sound familiar from the local radio shows in which he discusses developments in the field of sports medicine, such as solar-powered athletic benches that warm themselves.
In addition to chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and needle-free acupuncture, Dr. Feng and his colleagues treat sports injuries or everyday ailments with a range of manual and high-tech therapies. A certified practitioner performs active-release techniques, a patented soft tissue-based massage system that alleviates pain emanating from overused muscles. The crew also offers relief via physical therapy, kinesiotaping, and cold-laser therapy.
A holistic approach to wellness underpins Finely Kneaded Day Spa's treatments, which range from back massages with scalp- and foot-rub add-ons to manual spinal adjustments by the spa's chiropractor. Exfoliation and extractions tussle with hyperpigmentation and age spots during the European-style facial, the results of which can be enhanced by the chemical kiss of a mini glycolic peel. The staff also performs such specialty services as ear coning, which reduces pressure on ear canals in an effort to relieve congestion. As a maximally tranquil haven from the perpetual hub-bub of the outside world, the spa requires that cell phones be silenced or placed in a bowl of Jell-O (not provided).
With so many daily stresses, harmony of body and mind is hard won. Beauty Star Spa is on a mission to make it easier. Combining traditional Chinese bodywork theories with finger pressure and deep elbow rolling, a licensed massage therapist can relieve chronic tension or promote deep relaxation. Each session is paired with the client's choice of sensuous music and soothing massage oil that's colorless, odorless, and completely caffeine free. To make it a full spa day, supplement bodywork with a deep-cleansing facial.
Vinita Vineet, owner of Vinita's Beauty & Threading Studio, hails from India, bringing Eastern depilation techniques to the West Coast. She and her staff of trained threading experts whisk hair from men's and women's faces, creating perfectly shaped brows, silky upper lips, and cheeks that are smoother than a newly polished bowling lane. For body parts south of the face, they rely on waxing treatments to remove unwanted hair. Artistically applied henna tattoos adorn arms, legs, and décolletage; henna is also used to tint hair.
Eastern and Western bodywork techniques come together on massage therapist CJ Lester's treatment table. He pairs familiar Swedish and deep-tissue kneading with traditional Chinese medicine-based massage cupping therapy, Japanese reiki, and other holistic treatments, aiming to promote healing and detoxification. During reflexology sessions, he uses foot massage to stimulate various internal organ systems, while his own hand-blended body products slick down the skin in preparation for the client’s triumphant exit from the treatment room via slip ‘n’ slide.
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