In 2003, Gary Wrona was injured in a severe motorcycle accident. Even after a year and a half of conventional medical treatment, he was unable to function normally without chronic pain and had only a limited range of motion. It was only after his doctors told him they had done all they could that he began to seek alternative healing, which helped him regain normal movement and a pain-free existence. Now a certified massage therapist and master of neuro-linguistic programming, he runs his practice with a holistic approach—one that doesn't simply focus on physical elements but, instead, analyzes the interactions of mind, body, and spirit like three philosophers in a cage match. Beneath the exposed wooden beams of a second-floor loft, he customizes massages with Swedish, deep-tissue, shiatsu, and cupping techniques, hoping to unlock the healing potential that he himself experienced.
When you walk into Eden Day Spa, you are immediately bathed in light from a crystal chandelier. Pure white walls reflect that light off an ornate mirror, teal mosaic reception desk, and delicate orchids, all of which are designed to create a serene mood. The spa extends this relaxing experience with a bevy of traditional and contemporary treatments including facials, massage, and skin care. During body glow treatments, a sunless tanner infuses the skin with antioxidants and botanicals, leaving it with a golden sheen, while Turkish body peels employ a loofah and imported liquid gommage to remove layers of dead skin. Calming facials give the skin an all-over burst of vitality, whereas semi-permeant lash extensions draw attention to your eyes, and a full range of massage modalities soothe the muscles with the help of herbs, therapeutic stretching, and reflexology.
After working for years alongside chiropractors, Yvonne Street considers herself an expert at relieving the chronic aches and pains that result from injuries and constant stress. The certified therapist specializes in five massage modalities—Swedish, shiatsu, deep-tissue, prenatal, and trigger-point therapy—and draws liberally on Eastern and Western techniques to craft bodywork treatments that suit her clients’ individual needs. In 60- or 90-minute sessions, she combines long, gliding strokes, pinpointed kneads, and relaxing prods to leave bodies loose enough to help a genie move into its apartment.:m]]
The experienced massage therapists at Shibui Gardens Outdoor Spa vanquish stress with a multitude of relaxing massage services augmented by steamy sauna and hot-tub sessions. Flower-lined brick walkways encased by thick foliage wind through the spa's insulated downtown San Anselmo expanse, which is dotted with wooden structures housing two private massage rooms and open-roofed hot tubs boasting clear views of clouds or flocks of soaring pterodactyls.
Bhaskar Banerji still remembers where he was when he decided to become a healer. He was sitting down for another one of his Western and Non-Western Medicine classes at the University of Michigan when that day’s lecture on polarity therapy began. The lesson did more than just captivate him—it inspired him. And so, over the course of the next 25 years, he went on to practice energy healing, study shiatsu and Swedish massage at the National Holistic Institute, and travel to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to hone the art of Thai massage at the Sunshine Network. Upon returning to the states, he bolstered his experiences with a master’s in holistic-health education from JFK University.
Today, Banerji teaches Thai massage at the McKinnon Institute, sharing his insights during both beginner and intermediate classes. In class, he shows his students how to rotate joints, stretch muscles, apply pressure, and cut blue wires even when the red ones seem like the obvious choice. And of course, he also offers Thai massages for those who want to simply relax and enjoy the soothing combination of yogic movements and breema modalities.
Following in the footsteps of Dr. John C. Lilly’s research in neuropsychiatry, Conscious Drift fills its relaxation studio with modern versions of his sensory-deprivation tanks. Filled with clean water and infused with epsom salts, the chambers can confer benefits for stress, fatigue, and bodily pain. Conscious Drift offers many explanations for the profound effects of its tanks, including theories that the experience frees energy usually spent fighting gravity, activates relaxing brain waves, and transports clients back to the stainless-steel gestation pods where all life begins.