Both soundproof and lightproof, the fiberglass capsules at Float Spa San Diego simulate a world without gravity, and more importantly, a world without distractions. Eight hundred pounds of Epsom salts intermixed with warm water?heated between 94 and 95 degrees?fill the tanks. As a result, clients lose all sense of external stimuli, ultimately leading to unmatched relaxation and a greater empathy toward rubber duckies. The water, harmonized with the skin's temperature, erases the sensation of touch, and the salt allows the body, including the head, to literally float without effort. Researchers have given this phenomenon the moniker REST, meaning Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique, as it has been shown to effectively reduce the brain's workload and enhance the mind and body's ability to relax and self-heal. A tank the size of a full room is also available for clients who feel they need more room to relax.
At Float Spa San Diego, the capsules are located inside private rooms equipped with showers for use before and after the session. Appointments kick off with 10 minutes of soothing music before all sounds and stimuli are shut off for 50 minutes of supreme silence and relaxation. With their modesty guarded by the locked rooms, clients are free to enjoy their flotation clad in a bathing suit, scuba-diving gear, or, for even less restriction, without any clothing at all.
Instead of a bar and a jukebox, Karma Relaxation Spa has East Asian art and plush beds between gold and red walls. But, it still has that after-work panacea known as happy hour?from 6 to 7 on weekdays, guests can pay $20 for 25 minutes of a soothing service. Available treatments range from a scalp and neck massage to a paraffin treatment with a facial mask, and they even come with a champagne-based beverage.
Outside of that slice of time, the spa still sets muscles at ease with several types of massages. Therapists utilize Swedish, deep-tissue, and Thai kneading techniques in addition to acupressure work, hot oil, and hot stones. They also combine several treatments into packages named after important titles. The President, for example, includes a massage, ionic detox, fruit skin-conditioner, Vichy shower, and time in the sauna, with or without headphones that only blast the national anthem.
Many spas treat dull skin, but Zenspa has more ambitious aims in mind?it seeks to undo the effects of dull office meetings. And not just meetings, but all the sleep-depriving defects of modernity: long lines, overstuffed calendars, and any other sources of stress that leave your shoulders perpetually bunched around your ears.
It's easy to forget all that when you're inside one of Zenspa's private rooms. Harsh office candlelight is replaced with soft candlelight, plush robes stand in for stuffy workplace attire, and the din of traffic gives way to a serene quietude. The outside world fades even further away with each stroke of the massage therapist's hands. Here, more than a dozen modalities run the gamut from Thai massage to classic Swedish massage. The options often don't limit you to just one sensation, either. The Zenspa Signature Care Massage counterpoints a 30-minute foot massage with a 60-minute full-body massage. Similar serenity can be found via Zenspa's anti-aging facials, exfoliating scrubs, and herbal saunas.
At Wat Po Thai Spa, a 2010 nominee for Best Day Spa by Best of LA, technicians bolster well-being with services that range from traditional Thai massage to skincare. The house-specialty Thai Combo fuses Thai massage, Swedish massage, and reflexology into an international amalgamation of relaxation similar to naptime at the UN. Thai massage harnesses compression, stretching, and rocking techniques to improve circulation of vital energy along the body's pathways, and Swedish massage encompasses gentle strokes such as gliding, kneading, and stretching to increase oxygen flow in the blood and forge full-body tension relief. Patrons walk away from massage sessions with relieved stress, allayed aches, increased internal alignment, and enough flexibility to fold bodies into an empty Pringles can at the first sign of danger.
As the city's Best Day Spa according to San Diego Union-Tribune readers, All About Me Medical Day Spa offers a multitude of treatments, many of which are performed by doctors and nurses. Guests can pamper their visages with refreshing facials or their whole bodies with tension-melting massages. More advanced treatments include platelet-rich-plasma therapy, in which the patient's blood is drawn, prepared, and injected into damaged tissue to aid in the area's function. Other high-tech procedures include laser hair-removal and laser rejuvenation, where skin is zapped with lasers to combat signs of aging, just like in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The clinic also helps clients with weight loss, drawing up HCG diet plans and injecting vitamin shots to improve energy and metabolism.
The licensed beauty specialists at Ka-Lai' Spa bolster clients' bodies through an array of appearance-enhancing services ranging from microdermabrasion to airbrushed cosmetics. Harnessing years of experience and an enthusiasm for polishing individual images, the beauty specialist refines skin with Rhonda Allison and PCA customized facials while smoothing bodies with sugaring and waxing techniques. Additional services include massages, aromatherapy, body wraps and champagne-cork shooting ranges to forge relaxing, memorable events.