Paule-Dominique Anneheim, a certified massage therapist and owner of Voil? La Familia, eases muscle pain with techniques customized to the needs of men, women, and infants. Since she was 17 years old and living in Marseille, Paule-Dominique has been working with both healthy and disabled youngsters. She went on to become a children?s massage instructor and expert on wooden-block ergonomics before moving to Tahiti to help open a clinic. The experienced massage therapist now brings gentle kneads and Swedish massage techniques to bear against tension and pain in private rooms speckled with colorful orchids. Oil infused with vitamin E steeps skin in moisture and prevents stretch marks, and the therapist's expertise in pediatric, prenatal, and postpartum massage allows her to soothe mothers stressed by pregnancy and little ones stressed by investigations into what the cow says.
Project Zen aims to provide a serene sanctuary where clients can complement Western medicinal regimes with Eastern healing practices that coordinate internal harmony with preventative massage services. Stepping inside the spa, clients will notice its rich red tapestries and bright gold pillows, which exude an opulence matched only by drinking red wine out of a solid gold sippy cup. Project Zen, like its sister spa in Thailand, pampers patrons and aims to improve their overall wellness with treatments such as Japanese shiatsu, a brand of acupressure involving languid thumb, palm, knee, and feet strokes. In addition, an in-house line of bath and body products blended from coconut oil and flowers are used during deep-tissue and Swedish massages.
At Zazen, students relax their bodies and focus their minds during sessions of Zen Buddhist seated meditation, the soothing practice for which the center is named. But both Zazen locations work to cultivate calm with other services as well. Sensory-deprivation tanks block out distracting external stimuli as guests float in 10 inches of warm saltwater, a practice many say helps them grow their awareness of the present moment. Massage sessions focus on freeing the body from tension, so it can be experienced as spaciousness rather than constraint. Yoga classes also help guests become mindful, filling hearts and limbs with enough calm energy to quiet a bawling infant with a single, whispered "shhh."
Leelawadee Thai Classic Massage founder Ron Wittawas brings an authentic touch to Thai massages. He trained at Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School of Bangkok, perfecting his technique at the elbows of the masters before coming to the Bay Area in 2002. During his signature Thai massage, Ron sets the stage for relaxation by first dipping patrons? feet into paraffin footbaths. Once patrons have removed the wax and Ron has foot casts that he will treasure forever, he guides clients through a combination of yoga-like stretches and deep-pressure massage with warm lotions and herbal balms.
The massage therapists at Bhawana Thai Massage incorporate hospitality and healing into each of their treatments, from the cup of welcome tea they offer when guests arrive to the variety of mindful techniques that they use on their clients' muscles. In addition to traditional Thai massage—a blend of stretching, rocking, and strategic pressure—they offer massages that make use of essential oils and herbal compresses. During foot reflexology treatments, practitioners knead soles with creams and oils, in the hope of stimulating internal organ systems and auditing your inventory of toes.
The staff at Buddha Bliss Massage sees massage therapy not as a luxury, but rather as a preventive measure against ailments. With this in mind, therapists tailor each of their services?which include Swedish and deep-tissue modalities?to individuals so they can feel considerable easing of both physical and emotional tension. To augment this process, the studio is bedecked in Buddha statues, lotus flowers, incense, and flowering plants, all of which contribute to a peaceful atmosphere.