A visit to Elements Skin Care & Massage Studio is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the senses. In each of the spa’s spacious chambers, the stark geometry of dark wood furniture complements the flowing lines of a sheer curtain, a linen-draped massage table, or a single potted orchid. These aesthetic pleasures only serve to enhance the sensory decadence that the staff of skin specialists, massage therapists, and nail technicians grant their clients. A slate of 10 facials —including a signature service that treats not only the face to a massage, but the feet, legs, back, and scalp as well—help stave off blemishes and fine lines with Bioelements products. In private massage rooms, therapists call on several modalities to ease tension with hot stones, firm pressure, or pregnancy-appropriate strokes, as reflexology foot treatments ease tension stemming from tight shoes or arguments between toes. Feet can also bask in the spa’s many pedicures, which go beyond standard nail-salon services to incorporate heated lava shells, warm neck wraps, and even complimentary martinis.
Meridians' staff instills wellness in both the body and mind with a full menu of hair services, massages, and holistic treatments. Skilled stylists use ammonia-free dyes and formaldehyde-free keratin solutions to style hair into streaks of smooth, silky hues. Inside sunny rooms, therapists uncork tension with skin-salvaging facials and massages that include private consultations before and after treatment. Meridians' therapy packages incorporate add-ons, such as sea salt and mud to therapeutic-exfoliation treatments, cleansing the skin of dead cells without the 1,000-page contracts involved in renting a bulldozer.
Hairstylist Chrystal Lemos and licensed aesthetician, massage therapist, and MAC freelance makeup artist Leslie Beer work as a team at the helm of their brainchild, Polished, a luxurious hair and skin salon. Using techniques learned at Bumble and bumble’s and Vidal Sassoon’s academies, Chrystal shapes and colors manes, hydrating thirsty strands with deep-conditioning treatments instead of the traditional method of dousing them in Gatorade. Perms of varying intensities bolster the volume of limp locks, whereas smoothing systems improve curls’ manageability.
Meanwhile, Leslie expertly combats persistent acne with a mix of chemical peels and facials, whose enzymes and extractions shepherd skin toward smoothness without removing key bumps, such as the nose. Her Swedish and deep-tissue massages, tailored to each client’s maladies, assuage chronic pains, and her waxing style employs up-to-the-minute strategies to minimize discomfort.
Therapist and holistic life coach Mary Sanicola combines her scientific understanding of human anatomy and physiology with an appreciation for healing methods that treat the body as a single, interconnected organism. Rather than take other therapists at their word, Mary traveled around the world to arrive at her current treatment philosophy. Her journey brought her to Tokyo, where she spent two years mastering zen shiatsu massage and on to New York City, where she honed her Swedish-massage techniques on stressed-out cabbies before returning to Northern California to practice reiki therapy.
Today, at Evolving Bridge, Mary continues to target physical as well as incorporeal symptoms with bodywork treatments that gently relieve muscular stress and address the body's energy balance. Clients in need of a more hands-off approach to wellness can benefit from a life-coaching session, during which Mary shares her personal insights to combat anxieties more effectively than a whirlpool filled with thousands of steeping teabags.
Shortly after receiving her certification, licensed massage therapist Pinky Nhanesana set out to find a job in a spa. She thought that her combined education in massage and business management would attract potential employers, but the fact that she was also expecting her first child complicated matters. Undeterred by the fact that most businesses seemed unwilling to hire a mother-to-be, Pinky set out to create her own studio—one where she could share her talents and enhance her clients’ overall well-being with massages and other therapeutic treatments.
Six years later, Pinky knows even more about stress as the proud mother of three. Stationed in an office inside Club X Gym—not far from her home in Santa Rosa—she plies muscles with gliding strokes and firm pressures, paying attention to her clients’ individual tensions from sitting in stiff office chairs or commuting to work on bareback tigers. Committed to continually learning new skills and techniques, Pinky updates her list of services regularly. Alongside Swedish, hot-stone, and deep-tissue massages, her current menu includes reflexology and body scrubs.
The Best Day Spa soothes customers with myriad treatments, but its specialty is the massage. Therapists tickle spines with a dozen traditional massage modalities, ranging from hot-stone and sports massages to couples massage and their signature Best Day massage, which combines techniques from different modalities with aromatherapy to lull the senses into a state of NASA-approved bliss. They also perform five types of Thai massage, including Thai herbal massage and the Thai and Swedish combo massage.
When not taming backs beleaguered by muscles knotted into the shape of 19th-century presidents, the specialists at The Best Day Spa invigorate visitors with body treatments. They apply scrubs and European mud wraps, as well as perform facials, waxing, nail treatments, and foot reflexology. The staff employs products from companies such as Young Living, iLike Organic Skin Care, and Glo Therapeutics.