Serendipity Day Spa & Wellness Center finds inspiration for its massage, skincare, and energy therapies almost everywhere on earth. Its menu of Aveda services channels the wholesome properties of plant essences, and certain body treatments—such as the chocolate cake scrub and organic pumpkin body wrap—evoke delightful kitchen aromas. Like walruses painting a landscape, the spa's masks draw from the land and ocean simultaneously, incorporating clay and seaweed components that transfer vitamins to visages.
The staff applies deft kneads and skin-clearing solutions in a quiet environment to minimize stress. Though cell phone use is prohibited, packages and party options allow groups to socialize while on the receiving end of facials and waxing forays.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Intuitive Bodywork & Massage's experienced therapist uses keenly honed intuition, along with the senses of touch and hearing, to suss out clients' more-painful points. In addition to relaxing entire frames with soothing kneads, massages can be localized to one sore area or used to combat headaches. The therapist also performs peppermint reflexology sessions, pinpointing locations on the feet that connect to distant bodily zones or make oversea phone calls.
At Body and Soul by Carla, the atmosphere alone might be enough to relax clients, with its umber walls, soft surfaces, and low lighting. But licensed massage therapist Carla doesn’t want her clients to merely relax. She wants them to escape from every scrap of tension quivering in the furthest sinews of their back, neck, and limbs. To achieve this, she descends on muscles with soothing Swedish massages, using long, gliding strokes of medium pressure to squeeze out aches and stir stagnant blood into carting off its backlog of toxins.
Suffering from multiple athletic injuries, Dr. Dan Anderson received treatment from his father, an osteopathic physician. The health benefits he discovered from these manipulation therapies inspired him to pursue a career in chiropractic care. Dr. Anderson has now practiced for 26 years (18 in Modesto) and uses a blend of one-on-one consultation, surface EMG tests of the muscles and nervous system, and x-rays to prescribe an individualized course of treatment for each patient. Instrument and hand adjustments maneuver bones and muscle groups into the correct formation, while nutritional advice and at-home exercise allow patients to extend their healing beyond the office and into sit-up routines wherever they have some time to kill, such as the gym or the DMV. The bilingual staff at Anderson Chiropractic and Wellness speaks English and Spanish, and the reception area’s blue walls support warm sconces that light up the room along with each posttreatment smile.
Trained in the art of massage, Certified Massage Therapist Pam Costin frees back, shoulder, neck, and limb muscles from the strains of pain and stress. She customizes her one-hour sessions to fit each client, combining techniques to tackle issues ranging from common tension to the chronic pain that stems from sleeping on mattresses stuffed with angry badgers.