Lead by Dr. Tonya Fleck-D'Andrea, N.D., an all-female team of naturopathic doctors and massage therapists at Santa Cruz Naturopathic Medical Center soothes bodies with holistic care in a nurturing environment. First-time patients create a personalized treatment plan during a two-hour consultation with a licensed N.D. (naturopathic doctor). In these sessions, the doctors review lab work done in the past year, go over current medication, and discuss the client’s health concerns to establish a regimen designed to treat these issues and prevent conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and turf tonsils. The Center's specialists strive to establish an open dialogue with patients when tailoring therapies by performing physicals and ordering new lab work only as necessary. Precision healing also comes from the hands of licensed massage therapists, whose cross-training in Swedish massage, Craniosacral therapy, and acupressure create a single super-modality sent from the future to terminate knotted muscles and release stress-induced tension.
Emergency Response Training’s classes, available throughout each month, equip healthcare providers with the adroitness and expertise necessary to respond to cardiovascular emergencies. The American Heart Association–certified training site gives nurses, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and other first responders license to practice Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. In a small group setting, each two-day provider course imparts systematic skills for the recognition, assessment, and treatment of cardiac arrest. Licensed and professionally experienced instructors incorporate videos, lectures, and hands-on simulations to cover CPR techniques, airway management, rhythm recognition, and tools such as the automated external defibrillator (AED).
At April Rose Skin Care, a gentle, licensed aesthetician shepherds clients through gentle waxing services. April’s eight years of experience guide her in liberating strands from overburdened bikini lines, helping to achieve silken, beach-ready bodies without the time and frustration of training a hair-plucking sparrow. Eyebrows take shape under the guidance of an artistic eye focused on artistically framing eyes. For the benefit of both her clients and the earth, April only uses natural plant-based products made with medical-grade ingredients, which she applies and removes as quickly and comfortably as possible.
Vital Body Therapy's studio makes every class feel special. Inside the spacious house that’s been turned into a boutique studio, natural sunlight streams onto the hardwood floors of the long room where yoga and core sessions are held. The intimate classroom space is limited to just 10 students, which allows the experienced instructors to focus on each participant. Vital Body Therapy also offers skincare, such as facials and waxing, along with bodywork, such as massage therapy and Rolfing.
Whenever she strolled down a sandy beach or marveled at the redwoods of a lush forest, LeTa Jussila would be reminded that Santa Cruz was the most beautiful place in the world. It seemed a shame to her that most people spent so much of their days inside houses and offices rather than taking advantage of the diverse landscapes of their surroundings. Inspired, she spearheaded the foundation of Optimal Health and Fitness—a multidimensional outdoor-fitness program.
Today, LeTa and her staff of trainers conduct energetic boot-camp classes at local beaches, forests, and mountain trails. They use the tools of their surroundings as exercise equipment, running up park stairs for a cardio workout or curling plump raccoons to strengthen their biceps. Encouraging well-rounded, healthy lifestyles, the instructors also conduct seminars on holistic topics such as stress management and meditation. Nutrition specialists, meanwhile, provide students with balanced meal plans and supervise detoxifying cleanses. The staff also offers various treatments popularized in the East, including traditional Chinese acupuncture treatments and rejuvenating qi gong stretching classes.
Angela Peck thinks we shouldn't put anything on our skin that we wouldn't eat. Staying true to her background in dietetics and Chinese medicine, the licensed aesthetician only works with organic, food-grade, GMO-free products. She pampers faces with balms from Sequoia Beauty—which are made from organic, locally sourced ingredients, blended by a master herbalist, and supported by unionized cucumbers. Along with custom facials, Angela specializes in manual lymphatic drainage, a gentle treatment for lessening rosacea, acne, and eczema, as well as relieving headaches and congested sinuses. She's currently working towards her certification in oncology aesthetics, a field devoted to the skincare of those undergoing cancer treatment.
The certified therapists at Awaken Massage Therapy ease sore and tense muscles with an array of massage modalities, such as deep tissue, sports, or trigger point, customized to fit each client's needs. During deep-tissue massages, clients relax in a comfortable table surrounded by pastel walls and relaxing music as kneaders attack specific muscle groups, evicting toxins from the deltoids’ cramped one-bedroom apartment. Several rounds of deep, high-pressure strokes focus on scar tissue, fascia, and light switches flipped to the “pain” position, helping to increase oxygen and blood flow throughout the body.