Massage therapist Sherri Battle began her education stateside, but her pursuit of authentic Thai-massage techniques eventually led her to the modality’s birthplace—either Thailand or the maternity ward. While abroad, Sherri studied under two bodywork masters, one specialiazing in a type of deep-tissue work known as “nerve touch,” and the other well-versed in northern Thai methods. Sherri eventually loaded her new knowledge into her suitcase, perhaps with miniature shampoo and soap, and returned home to found Sher-Thai Massage. The signature treatment Sherri now uses was pioneered in the third or second century BC by a physician and rumored confidant of Buddha. Based on a matrix of sen lines, which conduct energy throughout the body, the technique releases built-up energy that can cause pain and disease with a blend of acupressure, gentle stretching, and assisted yoga maneuvers. She sometimes augments her treatments with steamed herb packs or a reflexology massage, which only targets the reflex points that connect to the entire body.
Planet Beach is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the services. These friendly automatons facilitate everything from hydro massages and oxygen therapy to spray tanning and luminous facials, as well as Planet Beach's signature take on tantastic UV therapy. Each machine is designed for a specific service, which makes it the ultimate expert and keeps it from developing the ability to cry. Advanced spa services, such as hydro-derma fusion, sauna time, hydro massage ($40 per session), and luminous facials ($40 per session) provide opportunities for sweating, moisturizing, and photoskinthesis.
To Dana Conrado, skincare is a universal language. Her nearly two-decades-long career has encompassed international training in both London and Canada, as well as a stint spent doing freelance make-up for a Japanese company. Along the way, she picked up certifications in multiple services—acne and rosacea treatments, microdermabrasion, and RejuvaLight therapy, to name a few—and established rapport with many dermatologists and plastic surgeons while undergoing training in medical-grade skincare and chemical peels.
Upon opening Cezanne Skin Group in 1996, she became one of the first on the West Coast to offer sugaring, a kind of hair removal that uses natural and organic ingredients in place of hot wax strips or repurposed bumper stickers. Together with aesthetician Amanda Ward, Dana transforms appearances and enhances relaxation through massage services, body wraps, and facials, often blending in high-quality restoratives from brands such as Dermalogica and Pevonia Botanica.
Rise Yoga's soothing studio begins releasing students' tension with calming, contemporary trappings before they ever set foot in the stress-relieving, mixed-level yoga classes led by experienced and attentive teachers. All of the 60-to 90-minute yoga sessions incorporate gentle stretches and meditative practices, including the beginner-friendly Hatha yoga session, a slow-paced class incorporating long-held poses and calming deep breaths. Vinyasa classes increase heart rates with dynamic flowing movements, sun salutations, and traditional yogic spelling bees in which students bend their bodies into common yoga vocabulary. Yoga therapy works to help students to overcome chronic pain or injuries, and intensive yoga workshops introduce students to the ancient practice or strengthen their relationship to it.
A meditation room, fresh fruit, and warm teas help clients find peace at Organic Zen Spa while they enjoy therapeutic services from massage therapists and aestheticians. During lavish spa facials, aestheticians determine skin's exact needs with an analysis and then ease spirits with an upper-body massage. Using Eminence Organic skincare products, facials incorporate natural ingredients such as yam and pumpkin enzymes to replenish vitamins and essential nutrients. Clients can elongate eyelashes with silk or mink extensions in more than 600 combinations of curl, length, color, and language proficiencies. Waxing and threading services shape and remove body hair.
After treatments, customers can glide to enlightenment in the on-site meditation room, snack on tea and fresh fruit, or peruse luxury skin and body products made for spa-goers intent on smuggling serenity home.
What began as a traveling-spa-party business in 2010 has since grown into a brick-and-mortar studio where three licensed massage therapists ply their trade. In addition to classic massage treatments—such as relaxation, deep-tissue, and hot-stone therapy—the crew has branched out into other services that require greater expertise. During reiki treatments the staff addresses the body's energy flow, and both pediatric and infant massages meet the needs of all American Girl dolls. Super Spa Girl owner Jenny Keffer is also a fertility-massage specialist, which enables her to help women achieve their dream of becoming mothers through a combination of deep abdominal massage, pelvic rocking, reflexology, and aromatherapy.