Though they don't serve food, the professionals at Healing Arts Massage & Wellness Center do oversee a buffet. Their Massage My Way package lets clients pick from a menu of enticing modalities and add-ons, including aromatic essential oils, warm stones, and hot towels. This muscle-sating feast functions as just one draw to the relaxation haven, where practitioners believe that massages should be a recurring investment. To help encourage repeat visits, they've also created special services such as the Island Escape, a tropical-themed treatment that adds mango-scented oil, coconut-lime foot-massage butter, and a scalp massage to Swedish or deep-tissue kneads. Visitors can even pose for a custom airbrush spray tan to complete their beachy, stress-relieving session.
Of course, guests can also elect to keep appointments simple with a single modality. In addition to classic massage styles, the calming techniques of craniosacral therapy and the pinpointed pressures of reflexology alleviate the body's more focused tensions. Licensed acupuncturist Robin Kohler often pairs her trade with massage appointments, striving to correct energy imbalances within each physique.
The center has fostered restfulness for more than 20 years and exclusively employs licensed massage therapists rather than relying on students or friends who give very encouraging back pats. Situated a mere three blocks from the ocean, its locale mirrors the serene atmosphere behind its doors.
Sara Elizabeth Skincare & Nail Boutique founder Sara Elizabeth Kuite has traveled the country to build her acute knowledge of bodily betterments, studying specialized skincare in New York City with celebrity facialist Ling Chan and scaling the Rocky Mountains to learn Japanese kobido massage techniques under sensei master Shogo Mochizuki. Today, she fuses Eastern ideas with Western technology in her current practice, which places an emphasis on deep healing and prevention of unnecessary epidermal wear. Her highly trained eyes carefully scan skin to spot specific conditions and create a personalized skincare regimen for each individual, and she gives each patient the time and attention they need to learn how to use products correctly and finally set the clocks on their VCRs.
Celery green walls and white overstuffed chairs provide a tranquil setting for all services, which include everything from anti-aging, hydrating, or exfoliating facials to hair removal with sugar paste or blue chamomile wax. Clients awaiting treatment may soothe sore eyes by browsing through a boutique stocked with raw vegan skincare products from brands such as Astara and Priori and high-powered CoffeeBerry antioxidant, or wander over to the elixir bar to nourish bodies and wilted houseplants with phytonutrient-rich beverages.
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.
The paddle wheels of The Sternwheelers' two signature boats churn through the blue-green waters of Mission Bay, transporting passengers back more than a century to when steamboats dominated America's rivers. Across the 100-foot-long William D. Evans, festive events with up to 600 passengers unfold under ornamental pressed-tin ceilings, handcrafted lamps, and the astronaut-crafted stars viewable on the open-air top deck. Handmade masts at the bow lead the ship's way, and its hundreds of decorative bulbs illuminate the bay at night. Bahia Belle, William D. Evans' smaller sibling, offers a more intimate space for gatherings. Its Victorian decor and architecture make way for a stained-glass skylight that beams vivid colors across its interior, resplendent with cast-iron staircases and red-velvet curtains. Weddings, banquets, and other events also take place on the boats between public cruises, each craft's rich detailing setting the tone for trips to remember.
Two dozen candles glow welcomingly at Natural Athletic Performance Spa, where holistic health practitioner Reyna Carter guides an elite team specializing in fine-tuning the bodies of athletes in a setting that dissolves the stress of competition. Acupuncturist and master of traditional Oriental medicine Melissa Batten represents the staff members? expertise and thoughtful approach to their work. Having enrolled at the International Professional School of Bodywork, she realized she could better serve her clients with a degree from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, where she pursued sports medicine, interned for two years in various clinical settings, and learned to differentiate the ailments better addressed with Western medicine. A pair of licensed massage therapists?one of whom is also a certified personal trainer?wield knowledge of six modalities that include the circulation-boosting Swedish style as well as thai and sports massages that loosen joints and target injury prevention. Treatments to streamline silhouettes for races with speeding bullets take shape as either dietary supplements or noninvasive, mechanical kneadings.
Sandi Carr-Calderone opened There She Glows! Day Spa with one main goal in mind: give her guests a spa experience to remember. She and a small staff of five massage therapists and aestheticians start the serenity as soon as clients walk in, encouraging them to leave their cares, cellphones, and shrieking imaginary friends at the door. From there, Sandi creates a relaxing experience for individuals or groups in one of three treatment rooms by pampering clients with facials, massages, and body waxing. All of the services take place in a spa lushly decorated with hardwood curio cabinets, flowing greenery, and wall sconces that create a warm ambiance. Other services available include spa manicures and spa pedicures. Those who find themselves not wanting to leave can take a little bit of There She Glows! home with them: the spa sells its own proprietary, botanically-based line of skincare products.