Kevin Brooks had never seen anything like this before: the woman lying on his massage table had not been able to bend over without experiencing excruciating pain in her abdomen for about a year. With only 15 minutes left in the session, Kevin's trained hands dug in to her tense psoas muscles, which span the lower spine to the top of the thigh. Following this application of deep-tissue technique, the client bent to put on her shoes and gasped. The pain was gone. This is why Kevin maintains that massage therapists shouldn't sell a type of massage; they should sell relief from pain.
Twelve years ago, he founded Simply Kneaded to provide his clientele with relief from aches and tension. His massage therapists use any technique at their disposal, be it deep-tissue work, acupressure, or lullabies sung in solfège, to disperse pain or immobility. Today, his business has expanded to multiple locations, and he carefully screens each of his therapists according to his own rigorous standards and in accordance with the frequent political coups of the American Massage Therapy Association.
In 2001, the first iTAN Sun Spray Spa opened its doors. It had a simple goal?to make clients feel and look lovely with professional tanning services. Today, the spa has more than 30 Southern California franchises, each offering a slightly different assortment of teeth whitening, tanning beds, spray-tanning booths, and self-serve spa offerings.
The Smart Tan?certified staff prioritizes keeping up with tanning technology by stocking state-of-the-art tanning beds such as the Sun Angel, which uses sensors to customize a blend of UVA and UVB rays, practically eliminating overexposure. Many beds come equipped with stereo sound systems, misters, and fans. Just down the hall from these beauty gadgets, Mystic and airbrush machines bronze limbs without UV rays, and self-administered spa treatments dispense relaxing red-light facials, infrared-heat bodywraps, and aqua massages.
After a family trip to Hawaii inspired Spa Escape's signature Marine Mud detoxifying mask, the spa's owners worked to build a menu of services that similarly combined relaxation with a results-driven approach. Their trained staff of therapists and aestheticians helped a great deal in this mission, calling upon years of experience to develop a range of treatments to beautify and relax the body. Though the Marine Mud mask still serves as an ever-popular anchor, the spa's menu now encompasses exfoliating facials, waxing treatments, and massage therapy. Should stresses prove insusceptible to the therapists' targeted strokes and whispered rumors that your shoulders are haunted, the spa's packages grant up to a half-day of relaxation with multiple treatments.
The licensed massage therapists and aestheticians at My Day Tan & Spa beckon bodies into a soothing oasis, where wall lamps line dark apricot walls and lead to private, dimly lit spa rooms. Deep-tissue kneads and fluid Swedish strokes dissipate stress caused from unresolved tickle fights, and aestheticians tackle surface problems with facials targeted to treat acne or aging. Four levels of tanning beds compete with Mystic spray-tan booths to give skin a sun-smacked glow. After their spa treatment, clients can peruse the spa?s boutique of purses, clothing, and lotions.
When they're not studying the techniques of Eastern and Western massage in search of new pathways to relaxation, Joy of Living Massage’s Kardea Owens and Kammy Raymond draw on their wealth of knowledge to untie knots with oils, hot stones, bamboo rods, and their own nimble hands. The soft lights and neutral tones of the spa’s treatment room complement the treatments, which dig into muscles to excavate ingrained stresses and painful vestigial wing bones. The fascia-reaching kneads of a deep-tissue massage take aim at chronic aches, a holistic Thai technique rebalances energies with targeted stretching, and aromatherapy oils flood olfactory inboxes with love letters during a relaxing massage that alternates smooth strokes with fragrant splashes.
Jenn Bouma, the aesthetic expert behind The Beauty Loft, cossets clients with the help of her seasoned staff. Their antique velvet couches and chairs give guests a place to faint like French aristocrats before they enjoy airbrush-makeup applications, eyebrow tinting, or facials. Certified by Lavish Lashes, Jenn applies lash extensions one at a time to concoct custom looks ranging from natural to dramatic. She can also subdue vascular blemishes with therapeutic treatments or keep faces camera-ready at all times with permanent makeup.