At BuenaVentura Massage, certified massage practitioner Robert Alan Schleifer utilizes a range of techniques to eradicate aches and tension. Schleifer wields his knot kneading know-how to assuage chronic back pain with a counter-strain therapy massage, a gentle treatment designed to ease subterranean discomfort by targeting nerve, tissue, and muscular maladies. For sweet serenity, opt instead for a Swedish/Esalen-style massage, which combines thorough and direct strokes in order to treat the neck, shoulders, and back. No matter how guests choose to let loose, both mind and body will have no trouble sinking deep into BuenaVentura Massage’s quaint office space and adjoining patio, both a stone's roll away from the nearby beach and downtown businesses.
Twin Palms Health and Beauty Boutique is aptly named: owners Shannon and Sharlene are twin sisters. In their spa, the SoCal natives echo the tranquility of their favorite landscape, the beach, where they spent their childhood days together. They and their staff relax guests through massages, antioxidant-rich body wraps, facials, and more amid modern, tropical decor.
Amid the white, ethereal-curtained confines of A Secret Place Salon and Spa's waxing chamber, aesthetician Carla Cable performs hair evictions with expertise garnered from more than 10 years in the industry. After clients jump, leap, or teleport onto the silver-blanketed treatment table, Cable will slather unwanted strands with warm wax before cleanly stripping them from their follicular domiciles. The entire service takes about 15 minutes, after which personages can leave the salon boasting a smoothness seen elsewhere only in newborn beach balls.
Kali Institute's clinical curriculum and experienced instructors effectively transform pupils into licensed massage practitioners and somatic therapists. By covering subjects such as anatomy, body mechanics, and ethics, the 250-hour massage-therapy program produces licensed practitioners who know much more than just basic kneads and strokes. Students may advance their studies with additional programs that cover topics ranging from neurostructural bodywork to Asian medicines and herbs. Kali Institute also houses a student massage clinic, where graduation-bound pupils calibrate their kneads, strokes, and soft, soothing voice by pampering customers during 60-minute Swedish massages.
Karen Glass restores clarity to foggy muscle windows in the comfort of her historic downtown Ventura studio. Drawing on more than 10 years of experience, Karen can promote relaxation with Swedish strokes on her heated massage table or access lower-layer muscles with deep tissue techniques and by releasing trigger points. Clients are also free to request relaxing add-ons such as warm towels, hot stones, or a nuzzle ambush from an army of adorable puppies.
At ArchiTexture, coloring specialists are just as likely to infuse a client's hair with a dusky glow as they are to stencil in some neon-pink lightning bolts. Owner Erika Harding values technical expertise as well as artistic expression—an attitude that's also shared by her team of seven hair stylists, an aesthetician, and two licensed massage therapists.
All visits begin with a consultation, during which staffers work with clients to determine their style goals. While colorists infuse hair with colors ranging from subtle to avant-garde, stylists perform custom cuts for men and women. In the spa, steady hands massage visages with an array of organic facials and PCA peels. The salon's creative atmosphere also extends to its in-house art gallery.
Marcie Lutzke, who founded Bronzed Bottom in 2008, is a skin-cancer survivor and an NTTI-trained sunless tanner dedicated to using all-natural solutions. The solar-simulating process begins with the application of a blend of exotic aloes, which aid in increasing the length of the tan and repelling supernovas. Customers choose from various solutions of alcohol-free bronzing agents in order to discover a shade that matches their skin type. Finally, bodies bask in the breeze of an air dryer, with tans expected to pack a fully developed pigment punch within 12 hours. Deep-toned patrons can also roam the retail store, where they receive 15% off selections of body-care lotions and swimwear, including the scrunch-butt bikini, a beach-going ensemble designed to flatter curves and help its wearer look as sexy as possible when filling out tax forms near the local watering hole.