When Monica Wason moved to Salinas, she was in the midst of planning an addition to her family. Though she soon discovered that there were no prenatal health venues near her new home, she was undeterred. She decided that she'd simply open one herself, and founded Green Belly as a wellness center for fellow pregnant women. Soon, her clientele expanded to include postnatal and non-pregnant women as well as men, prompting Monica to broaden her efforts. She funneled her experiences as a nurse and massage therapist into pampering services, and hired a teaching staff to help lead yoga, Pilates, and belly-dancing sessions. Today, she continues to welcome guests from all walks of life into Green Belly's lime- and cream-colored rooms to fulfill their wellness needs. As sun beams through the studio's skylight and bay windows, her aestheticians work to brighten faces with Jadience skincare products. She exclusively stocks the spa with organic products, complementing the center's nature-inspired décor while also honoring the trees who taught her slow-breathing techniques.
Within the pampering confines of Diva's Beauty Studio, aesthetician Monica Hernandez makes it her mission to help clients feel their best. Her skincare treatments include intensive PCA Skin chemical peels, which exfoliate dead skin to liberate the glowing dewiness beneath. Her pumice-assisted microdermabrasion offers a gentler take on exfoliation, and her de-stress facial aims to gently replenish guests' energy and lift their moods. Other facials include the classic facial, the vitamin C facial, and the back facial, which clears dorsal pores and keeps wings clean. Monica also waxes, keeping faces and bodies free of unwanted hair.
After spending a handful of years crunching numbers for her family's car business, Doran Poma decided to pursue a passion for skincare that she developed as a teenager. Since completing beauty school in 2006 and becoming a licensed aesthetician in 2007, Doran has used her expertise to clear the complexions of numerous clients, including a woman in her 50s who'd been dealing with acne since her teens. This April, Doran began running her skincare operation out of a gut-rehabbed salon, where she uses phytomer and Jan Marini products to pamper clients with specialized facials designed to treat conditions ranging from acne and discoloration to wrinkles in the time-space continuum.
Armed with ace styling skills, savvy scissors, and friendly personalities, Artisans’ hair whisperers coax and tease manes into top shape seven days a week. Shrewd shears evict split ends at haircut appointments ($55+), while negative ions scare strands straight at Japanese straightening sessions ($150 for the first hour, $100 for each additional hour). An ammonia-free tint touch-up makes dull head threads glow anew, attracting the ghosts of ravers past ($75+). Guests seeking more length or volume may try a bundle of 100% human-hair extensions, adding beehives and mohawks to their list of potential date-night ’dos ($400 for the first bundle). The circlets of a new perm spring from scalps, suggesting youth and energy ($110+).
"Sano" means health, and that is the focus of the staff members at the Sano Spa at Casa Munras Hotel - Monterey as they perform beauty and wellness treatments, such as massages, facials, and waxing services, using natural ingredients and essential oils. The spa's four spacious rooms are each equipped to host an array of treatments, including facials, massages, and body wraps and scrubs. Rich, exotic ingredients pervade each treatment, such as pure beeswax and aromatherapy oils incorporated into custom massages, or the marine-based serums used in the youth-glow facial, which evokes radiance unseen since before faces learned that the Fountain of Youth isn't real. The nourishing elements of brown sugar, seaweed oils, and coconut body butters bolster eight types of body treatments including wraps, scrubs, and baths. Sano's skilled technicians also provide makeup applications for special occasions and airbrush bodies with a natural-looking, sunless tan that makes the sun second-guess its relevance.
Between treatments at the upscale retreat, robe- and slipper-clad clients lounge beneath alcoves draped with ivory linens as they sip on cups of hot tea or a re-mineralizing cocktail. Lush plants and vibrant flowers weave around Sano Spa's outdoor garden, where patrons soak in the sun as they ease into a steamy Jacuzzi or curl up next to the glowing fire pit.
Like most massage therapists, David Armstrong is interested in ridding clients of pain and increasing their range of motion. But unlike the others, he doesn't knead the part of the body experiencing pain; rather, he relies on neuromuscular therapy to discover and treat the source of the pain. He employs structural analysis, trigger-point therapy, and myofascial release, which has helped clients recover from very serious traumas. David also loves helping people de-stress during relaxing massages.
He learned his techniques from massage guru Venice Sullivan, an early pioneer of neuromuscular therapy who groomed him to follow in her footsteps. David now assists Venice in teaching neuromuscular therapy to new massage-therapy students. Clients who wish to supplement their bodywork sessions may also reach out to acupuncture specialist Glenn Sadowsky, who clients with natural medicine and acupuncture at Optimal Health Acupuncture and Bodywork. In addition to easing chronic and acute pain, while managing weight-loss goals, endocrine disorders, and asthma/allergies for his clients, he also shares herbal-supplement benefits with them.