At Scotts Valley Spa & Boutique, the spa experience doesn't end with a coat of CND Shellac nail polish or a steamy Vichy shower. The boutique's stock of products from CosMedix and glō-therapeutics lets clients maintain the results of their microdermabrasion and moisturizing facials at home. But until then, clients are free to experiment with a variety of exotic treatments. They can try getting wrapped in algae, scrubbed with sugar, herbal compresses, and pelted with organic banana-cream pies. The Spa's staff members takes client's needs into consideration before customizing each 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.
The Scotts Valley outpost of Faust Salon salves skin with nourishing plant-based products. The 60-minute facial begins with a consultation to determine the quirks and quibbles of your particular pelt using the Aveda Elemental Nature questionnaire, which assesses which of five essential elements or 11 seasons of MAS*H best fit your skin's behavior patterns. Depending on which Aveda products match your needs, facials may include exfoliants, balancing infusions, or hydrating masks to slough off signs of stress. With walls of rough-hewn stone designed for maximum contrast with newly smoothed skin, Faust Salon strives to place customers in a chic and easygoing environment.
At Aqua Body Cleansing, certified colon hydrotherapists shower large intestines with water to ward off disease and promote efficient organ function. During an initial session, a specialist explains the emulsifying process and touts its potential health benefits, which may include relief from constipation, irritability, lower-back pain, and ancient gum wads.
Nestled amid the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Balance Studio Spa beckons patrons into a holistic mecca festooned with tile mosaics and flowering plants. The health center is the brainchild of owner Melissa Stone, a massage therapist and intuitive healer who oversees a team of therapists and instructors. With a common passion for alternative health care, the specialists restore patrons' physical and mental balance either within a weathered-wood building or in the garden, where draperies shelter outdoor treatment areas. Visitors to the practice can bask in spa treatments or take home Balance Tool Kits that include yoga DVDs, guided meditation materials, and allen wrenches for tightening up loose joints. Custom spa packages encompass a diverse suite of treatments such as reiki, Pilates, and detox footbaths.
Be & Be Well revitalizes spirits by centering the mind and body in serene flotation treatments. During one-hour floats, clients bob in water infused with epsom salt, a natural soother of body aches and mental tension. Thoughts harmonize as stressed senses meditate in total isolation rivaled only by deserted islands and meetings of the Millard Fillmore fan club. With senses thoroughly deprived, clients can reboot their consciousness with an hour in the sensory-exaltation tank, a wellness innovation unveiled at Burning Man in 2011. The computerized "space pod" creates deep relaxation with a thick foam bed that cushions its inhabitant as aromatherapy scents permeate the air. Throughout the treatment, eyes feast on a mesmerizing mixture of light and holographic food designed to incite higher brain function.
From smudges and clumps to raccoon eyes, mascara can be a formidable foe. But Sarai Thomas-Brown has found a way to throw out the mascara wand for good. Using a process called lash dipping, she darkens lashes with semipermanent paint that keep them dark and vibrant for up to six weeks.
The licensed aesthetician and certified massage practitioner provides other unique treatments including a beer, wine, or chocolate facial or a grape-seed sugar scrub that leaves skin glowing. She draws from her studies in renewable resources and green living to create an eco-friendly atmosphere for her clients and the earth.