After working for years alongside chiropractors, Yvonne Street considers herself an expert at relieving the chronic aches and pains that result from injuries and constant stress. The certified therapist specializes in five massage modalities—Swedish, shiatsu, deep-tissue, prenatal, and trigger-point therapy—and draws liberally on Eastern and Western techniques to craft bodywork treatments that suit her clients’ individual needs. In 60- or 90-minute sessions, she combines long, gliding strokes, pinpointed kneads, and relaxing prods to leave bodies loose enough to help a genie move into its apartment.:m]]
Walking up the shrub- and tree-lined path that leads to F. Joseph Smith's Massage Therapy Center, tugged along by the fresh air and fragrance of flowers, it’s easy to forget that you're only minutes away from the Golden Gate Bridge. Miles of walking trails and bike paths crisscross Mill Valley and the nearby slopes of Mount Tamalpais, cutting out the remnants of the city and setting the scene for total relaxation. While providing further privacy, the walls around each hot tub allow bubble-bound guests a view of this peace and the surrounding redwood trees. These ancient kings seem to refute the existence of time, as does a soothing session in the cedar or infrared sauna, some reflective time beneath a vine-covered trellis in the outdoor meditation area, or a companion with a broken watch.
But founder Joseph Smith believes that no matter how beautiful he makes the center, it is the skill and experience of his staff that is of the utmost importance. The massage teacher—who has been practicing since 1974 and developed a bodywork method he calls Smithing—handpicks muscle menders based on a careful evaluation of their abilities, including their knowledge of advanced modalities such as lymphatic, shiatsu, and acupressure massage. To further promote wellness, Smith has selected experts in acupuncture and herbal medicine and aesthetic treatments, and the center also sells crystals, whose hollow interiors sparkle throughout the scenic grounds.
At Pure Thai Acupressure, massage therapists incorporate the techniques of traditional treatments into soothing massages. The Thai body massage combines Thai acupressure with time-tested massage approaches that work to relieve tension. The Thai aroma treatment adds an oil massage to those techniques, working to help clients relax and feel more energetic. The reflexology treatment promotes relaxation by applying pressure to points on the feet that correspond to other parts of the body.
A massage practitioner for more than two decades, Dalila Cunha passionately pursues a nontoxic lifestyle for herself and a nontoxic massage experience for her clients. During custom massages, she soothes battered bodies and applies concentrated pressure to help reverse the individual's particular ailments, such as fatigue, stress, or anxiety over whether to eat a sweet or savory brunch. Fair-trade candles made of beeswax and palm-wax burn softly as clients rest on organic linens. Organic goods ensconce guests at every level—from organic oils and lotions applied during the massage to a stock of organic tea in the waiting room.
Trio Salon offers traditional haircuts and coloring services alongside European facials and microdermabrasion. The salon also helps to kick-start the next generation of style with a children's service menu of scaled-down hairstyles and manicure treatments. During nail services, technicians add dynamic color to freshly buffed keratin with a full palette of polishes, or for an additional fee, CND shellac applications that remain chip-free for weeks. And for holistic care, the onsite massage therapist can supplement any service with a neck and shoulder massage or dole out a full Swedish or shiatsu bodywork treatment to anyone who’s sore from climbing the corporate ladder at the ladder factory.
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