Spa in Sherman Oaks

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Cosmetic-product developer David Thurston teamed with 13-year styling vet Alexis Lishman to commandeer a once-vacant commercial space, reimagining it as a luxurious, green-certified spa. The sunny 3,400-square-foot loft space welcomes visitors with Italian-made furnishings set in a pleasant white, brown, and charcoal palate, as well as stunning floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the length of the salon, giving guests views of the vibrant urban hum of Ventura Boulevard below and the passive-aggressive silence of the Encino Hills above. A butterfly sculpture with a 6-foot wingspan designed by British artists Graham Thrussel and Mathew Morris flutters above the space, symbolizing the aesthetic transformations below.

As stylists lather scalps and plot style overhauls at curvy sinks of porcelain, nail artists spruce up digits in the light, airy space. Clients emerge from fresh spray tans and waxes into the salon’s cocoon of chic modernity, surrounded by verdant palms and modern-art pieces from Archan Nair as a custom exhaust system purifies the air of any contaminants caused by keratin hair straightening or bad knock-knock jokes.

17401 Ventura Blvd
Encino,
CA
US

Katie Cazorla worked as an actress and comedian for 10 years until a dissatisfying mani-pedi changed her life. She became obsessed with the inadequacies of the salons in her area, resolving to open her own and do it right. Hence, The Painted Nail was born. Katie outfitted the lavender-walled space with white armchairs, vintage-inspired chandeliers, and a team of expert nail technicians who pamper guests with hair and nail services. Using hospital-grade sterilizing equipment and more than 300 colors of gel nail polish, the techs treat hands and feet to bubble baths or ice-cream-themed treatments. For after-hours pampering sessions, Katie opens the doors of the party lounge, offering karaoke stages, a photo booth, and manicure bar and pedicure lounge to help celebrate bachelorette parties or sticking one’s head between some stair-railing bars without getting it stuck.

13327 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks,
CA
US

At Beauty and Body Lounge, a team of nurse practitioner, physician's assistant, and registered nurse work under the direction of Dr. Kristin Dean MD. They perform a wide range of services including IPL treatments, laser hair removal, fractional CO2 treatments, ultherapy, and injectables to smooth out wrinkles and rejuvenate skin. They also put to use extensive training to carefully remove hair with wax, perform peels, or gently strip away dead skin with microdermabrasion.

13952 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks,
CA
US

Elemance Holistic Healing's licensed therapist skillfully ousts aches by performing five different types of massage treatments. During the hot-stone massage, the relaxation specialist places heated stones along bodies while administering Swedish-style strokes to melt muscle tension like butter astronauts on an ill-fated mission to Mercury. The multifaceted therapeutic massage tackles soreness with a blend of deep-tissue, myofascial release, neuromuscular, and acupressure techniques, and the classic Swedish massage goes hand-to-hand with tension using long, gliding strokes. Weary passersby in need of holistic healing can stimulate the healthy flow of energy with a vigorous Tui Na massage. Beneficiaries of the Thai massage don workout attire to hide social-security number tattoos and perform yoga stretches as a therapist administers palm and thumb pressure to alleviate pain.

19231 Victory Blvd
Reseda,
CA
US

At Tranquil Touch Therapy, a full menu of massage services awaits to pulverize pockets of anxiety and tension. Subdued music floats through warm, comfy treatment rooms while a Swedish, deep-tissue, or acupressure techniques waltz across relaxed backs during personalized massage sessions, gently stimulating the flow of blood through cardio canals and liberating muscles of toxins and outdated sweatbands. Extended hours Monday–Friday help stressed bodies find relief whenever its convenient for them, and mobile massage services are also available, giving clients the opportunity to unwind in the comfort of their own home.

# # 5953 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Ste. C,
North Hollywood,
California
US

Muscular System: The Meat of the Matter

The joys of a massage or the relief of a chiropractic adjustment?and the stresses of physical work?play out partly in the muscles. Learn just what pumps the body up with Groupon?s guide to the muscular system.

The human body has more than 630 muscles keeping it upright and mobile. They make up almost half its weight and power the movements of the bones, the blood, and even the food in the stomach. Perhaps the most familiar muscles are those seen in bodybuilding contests and facial-expression contests: the skeletal, or voluntary, muscles. They?re attached to our bones and controlled by our brains, which zap them with electrical signals to cause their fibers to contract. During a muscle contraction, filaments inside the muscle fibers slide together, stacking up on one another so that the larger fiber shortens. In shortening, the fibers gain thickness?a phenomenon we notice as flexing. Whatever muscles do, they accomplish by this single pulling action. If a bicep (part of a category of muscles known as flexors) flexes to lift a barbell, it needs a tricep (an extensor), pulling in the opposite direction, to bring the arm back down.

The other two types of muscles are smooth muscles and cardiac muscles, and both are beyond our conscious control. Cardiac muscles control the beating of the heart, contracting the chambers to push blood throughout the body. But the blood doesn?t ride to the toes on that momentum alone. Lining the blood vessels are smooth muscles that help push it along. These also line the esophagus, stomach, and intestine to move food through the digestive track, and can even help regulate the body?s temperature by opening and closing capillaries near the skin surface, all without conscious effort. The subconscious brain is also happy to turn muscles to ends beyond their apparent purpose: for instance, what we experience as shivering from cold is simply the brain causing the muscles to spasm so they will generate heat and keep your blood and any baby chicks in your coat pockets warm.

5953 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, Suite C
North Hollywood,
CA
US