Before Bessy Lim had her first facial, her life was a succession of stressful, 12-hour shifts. Her first spa experience awakened a latent desire: she wanted to help others find the relaxation she had forgone for so long. With that, she left her stressful career, earned a number of spa certifications, traveled abroad to learn the various therapeutic techniques and ways to pronounce "microdermabrasion" of spas overseas, and finally opened Agua De Vida. There, a corps of certified and licensed massage therapists team up with the spa specialist to mend tense muscles with massage, swaddle bodies in wraps, purify pores with facials, and primp hands and feet with nail services.
A passion and appreciation for wellness is the foundation of AcuSpa Wellness Center & Spa. The staff seeks to nurture, restore, and beautify their clients through acupuncture, massage therapy, and spa treatments. During acupuncture, they insert fine needles into the body to restore balance and help the recipients heal from such ailments as depression, hypertension, allergies, and migraines. Along with acupuncture, the state-licensed practitioners use an array of Chinese medical treatments including acussage: a combination of acupuncture and massage. They also preform a cosmetic Chinese facial to promote circulation and reduce puffiness, fine lines, and the likelihood of sour-beer face.
A giant Buddha head greets every visitor to Sparadise La Brea, his wise eyes illuminated by flickering candlelight as a fountain babbles and simple greenery grows silently around him. This tranquil scene sets the mood for the entire spa, whose mission—much like the Buddha's—is to encourage visitors to reach a Zen-like state free from stress and physical pain.
The staff members work towards this goal with a slate of massage modalities and other relaxing treatments. Gentle Swedish strokes soothe surface tension with the help of warm almond, lemongrass, or eucalyptus massage oils, Thai yoga uses stretches, compressions, and gentle rocking to improve circulation and flexibility while also targeting acupressure points, and water-heated stones allow warmth to radiate and loosen taut muscles. With an emphasis on total-body relaxation, the Thai herbal foot spa includes a fragrant soak of herbs, oils, and teas that leaves the feet and legs as tension-free as a suspension bridge on the Moon.
GROOV3 founder, Benjamin Allen, seems drawn to dance floors. At the school parties and bat mitzvahs of his youth, he was always showcasing his moves. Though he earned a degree in business and communication from Arizona State University, the call of the dance floor proved stronger than that of the corporate world. Soon after graduation, Benjamin moved to Los Angeles to devote fully himself to the art of the groove in numerous TV commercials, musicals, sitcoms, and stage performances. Benjamin shares his passion for dance with students at GROOV3 during non-competitive cardio-dance classes. GROOV3's fleet of experienced instructors and live DJs attempt to build a community of like-minded dancers and share their commitment to fun-filled calorie burning in a relaxed atmosphere. Classes help students of all fitness levels kick-start their hearts and torch a few calories with energetic dance experiences that tone up muscles along the way.
The massage therapists at Chiang Mai Health Spa knead away stress and pain with a service menu culled from the best techniques of the East and West. Like their teachers before them, the therapists specialize in Thai massage, a modality that combines vigorous massage strokes with guided stretching, and may be upgraded to incorporate warm packets of soothing Thai herbs. Traditional Western techniques include Swedish and deep-tissue massage?which help stimulate lymph flow for greater detoxification?as well as pregnancy massage, which helps ease the tension felt by expectant mothers or over-loaded storks. The spa stays open late seven days a week to accommodate busy schedules.
The pampering begins the moment patrons step through Awe Spa's door. They are invited to sample complimentary hot tea and cookies while lounging in leather recliners, and don plush bathrobes woven from cotton that really believed it was a cloud. But the real royal treatment begins when clients enter private massage rooms. Here, a team of licensed therapists relax tense muscles with hot-stone, deep-tissue, and Thai massages, sometimes incorporating the calming perfumes of aromatherapy oils. A selection of exfoliating body scrubs can also leave skin smooth and scented with tamarind or green tea.