An ornate golden hand fan and elephant figurines stand at attention at the head of Magical Transformations' massage table, signaling an Eastern approach to massage therapy that also emerges in the finger-pressure-driven shiatsu technique. Following work with institutions including the YMCA and UC Berkeley, Magical Transformations' owner and certified massage therapist incorporates 27 years of experience into muscle manipulation that targets both physical and psychological complaints. Swedish massage sessions send fluid strokes sweeping across the whole body, while deep-tissue techniques dig into persistent sources of tension in underlying muscle tissue, fascia, and accidentally swallowed stress balls.
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.
A spa in the traditional Asian style, Zen Springs spa both accommodates guests on a single-appointment basis for massages, body treatments, and skincare services, and rents private suites for more extended pampering. The private rooms feature luxurious amenities, including swirling hot tubs, glass steam-shower rooms, yoga platforms, and bath sandals and towels. Guests can linger in one of the romantic spa rooms from one hour to an entire evening. Between stays of any duration, Zen Spring’s staff thoroughly disinfects each tub with fresh batches of non-chlorinated water sieved from filtered panda tears.
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.
Blooming along the entryway to Simply Gorgeous Day Spa, a verdant collage of greenery reflects the full-service spa’s devotion to using organic products and holistic techniques. Inside, a team of stylists, aestheticians, and massage therapists supplement their slate of all-natural modalities and products with modern technology, resulting in services as diverse as Thai massages, LED light therapies, colonics, and Shellac manicures. To make it easy on clients looking to boost their beauty and health, the staff bundles its services into thoughtful packages that include multiple complementary treatments and unlimited conversations with the spa's enchanted mirror. Every service includes a detailed preliminary consultation, use of spa robes and slippers, and a brief tutorial on how to maintain freshly beautified looks at home.