When Monica Wason moved to Salinas, she was in the midst of planning an addition to her family. Though she soon discovered that there were no prenatal health venues near her new home, she was undeterred. She decided that she'd simply open one herself, and founded Green Belly as a wellness center for fellow pregnant women. Soon, her clientele expanded to include postnatal and non-pregnant women as well as men, prompting Monica to broaden her efforts. She funneled her experiences as a nurse and massage therapist into pampering services, and hired a teaching staff to help lead yoga, Pilates, and belly-dancing sessions. Today, she continues to welcome guests from all walks of life into Green Belly's lime- and cream-colored rooms to fulfill their wellness needs. As sun beams through the studio's skylight and bay windows, her aestheticians work to brighten faces with Jadience skincare products. She exclusively stocks the spa with organic products, complementing the center's nature-inspired décor while also honoring the trees who taught her slow-breathing techniques.
Aestheticians at Vitality Skin Care coax forth deep exhalations, drawing upon Epicurean Discovery's line of natural skincare products to tailor facials and body treatments to individual needs. Cosmetologists work amid racks of Glo Mineral makeup, jane iredale products, and paraffin wax for soothing hands and faking the royal seal on field-trip permission slips. Meanwhile, massage therapists call upon aromatherapy and various modalities to mend aching muscles and balance internal energies, and Infinity Sun airbrush-tan units slip silently across skin.
At Peak Performance Massage, certified and experienced massage therapists offer a variety of soothing services. They specialize in sports and injury massage, in which they work on localized areas to increase flexibility and help lessen the chance of injury, but also offer other modalities, including Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massage. Their other treatments include steam therapy, scalp treatments, and foot scrubs.
In an open space of hardwood floors and walls of mirrors, members work up a sweat on treadmills and elliptical trainers while focusing their attention on the personal TVs each machine is equipped with. This is one of the many perks at FitU's Modesto, Oakdale, and Riverbank locations, some of which also feature massage therapy that can soothe muscles after working out or running into the weight room’s clear plexiglass walls. The enthusiastic staff is always on hand to dole out pointers to those heaving free weights or pushing toward David-like physiques on the circuit weight-training machines. They also motivate patrons in a social setting with group fitness classes, including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and spinning sessions. During one-on-one personal-training sessions, they zero in on a patron's abilities and goals to develop a challenging, yet manageable, fitness regimen. In addition to all the fitness-related amenities, the Modesto and Oakdale locations also feature cardio movie theaters and childcare facilities.
Certified massage practitioner Ian Edwards prefers to use firmer massage techniques, which are better at targeting pain and tension deep within muscles. At his spa, Five Point Palm Massage, he maneuvers between Swedish, deep-tissue, trigger point, and other modalities to customize each massage to the needs of the customer. He can also focus on specific areas of pain such as the back, neck and shoulders, or legs and feet.
"Sano" means health, and that is the focus of the staff members at the Sano Spa at Casa Munras Hotel - Monterey as they perform beauty and wellness treatments, such as massages, facials, and waxing services, using natural ingredients and essential oils. The spa's four spacious rooms are each equipped to host an array of treatments, including facials, massages, and body wraps and scrubs. Rich, exotic ingredients pervade each treatment, such as pure beeswax and aromatherapy oils incorporated into custom massages, or the marine-based serums used in the youth-glow facial, which evokes radiance unseen since before faces learned that the Fountain of Youth isn't real. The nourishing elements of brown sugar, seaweed oils, and coconut body butters bolster eight types of body treatments including wraps, scrubs, and baths. Sano's skilled technicians also provide makeup applications for special occasions and airbrush bodies with a natural-looking, sunless tan that makes the sun second-guess its relevance.
Between treatments at the upscale retreat, robe- and slipper-clad clients lounge beneath alcoves draped with ivory linens as they sip on cups of hot tea or a re-mineralizing cocktail. Lush plants and vibrant flowers weave around Sano Spa's outdoor garden, where patrons soak in the sun as they ease into a steamy Jacuzzi or curl up next to the glowing fire pit.
Like most massage therapists, David Armstrong is interested in ridding clients of pain and increasing their range of motion. But unlike the others, he doesn't knead the part of the body experiencing pain; rather, he relies on neuromuscular therapy to discover and treat the source of the pain. He employs structural analysis, trigger-point therapy, and myofascial release, which has helped clients recover from very serious traumas. David also loves helping people de-stress during relaxing massages.
He learned his techniques from massage guru Venice Sullivan, an early pioneer of neuromuscular therapy who groomed him to follow in her footsteps. David now assists Venice in teaching neuromuscular therapy to new massage-therapy students. Clients who wish to supplement their bodywork sessions may also reach out to acupuncture specialist Glenn Sadowsky, who clients with natural medicine and acupuncture at Optimal Health Acupuncture and Bodywork. In addition to easing chronic and acute pain, while managing weight-loss goals, endocrine disorders, and asthma/allergies for his clients, he also shares herbal-supplement benefits with them.