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.
From styling celebrity hair to revitalizing complexions with relaxing facials, the team at Willo Aveda, an Aveda concept salon, aims to fill local mirrors with visions of beauty. Stylists of five different experience levels wash and rinse hair before breathing new life into languishing strands with a tailored cut and blow-dry. Alternatively, hair artisans can deploy Aveda's 97%–99% naturally derived formulas to refresh hair with a single-process color or nourish locks with conditioning plant oils that leave hair shinier than a freshly licked ring pop. The stylists at Willo Aveda also stay engaged with their clients through an active blog that celebrates lauded hair happenings. Most recently, the business collaborated with other Aveda salons to help set a Guinness World Record for the most money raised for charity in 24 hours through haircuts alone.
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.
Every spa client that enters Esthetics by Jeanette is encouraged to slip into a robe. This act is more than just a formality; it’s an invitation to shed day-to-day stresses and step into a more relaxed state of being. But the robe is just the beginning—later, visitors can trade it for mineral-enriched European moor mud, which, when brushed over the body, helps to detoxify the skin and revive its tone. Clients can also trade the robe for the hands of a massage practitioner, who simultaneously plies stress from the mind and tension from the muscles with soothing Swedish strokes or hot and cold stones. A visit to the 100-degree Turkish steam room proves a nice break between a massage and de-stress facial, while a visit to the salon for a haircut, highlights, and a French manicure can help guests reinvent themselves without having to first acquire a patent.