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.
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.
Conversations with strangers usually don't lead to newfound good looks, unless those strangers are the amiable sextet helming Vanity Lounge Beauty Boutique. Amid lavender-hued walls and potted orchids, the stylists involve each client thoroughly in the beautification process, discussing individual aesthetic wishes at length before delving into any procedure or genie-bottle rubdown. As the professional prettifiers work, they instruct clients on how to re-create new looks at home, sharing wisdom gained in training from Goldwell and Sebastian.
Walking past the kaleidoscopic ranks of bottles from brands such as Sebastian, Crew, and Number 4 lining the walls, patrons reach a range of boutique accessories such as jewelry, clutches, and hair doodads. Excited chatter drifts back and forth between the stylists and guests planning private beauty parties, which include refreshments and hair dryers trained to drown out dull stories.
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.
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.
Run by a duo of longtime friends with a mutual love for baking, Cupcake Craving rocketed to popularity from its modest beginnings—within a year of the first store’s grand opening, Sacramento Magazine awarded it the Diners’ Choice Award for the area’s best cupcake. Since then, the bakery has become a mainstay on CityVoters and KCRA 3's top-five dessert lists, and its handcrafted creations continue to earn new fans. Artful swirls of buttercream or cream-cheese frosting top the bakery’s diminutive cupcakes, which come in more than 20 traditional and signature flavors. The bakery can also handle orders for large parties and special occasions; an on-site artist designs custom cupcake cakes with special flavors and decorations to celebrate birthdays and welcome new gallons of milk into the home.