When Natural Rhythm Healing Hut’s founder Farcia De’Toles Medearis opened her spa in 1999, she knew she wanted to model it after healing centers found in indigenous West African villages. Farcia told the San Leandro Patch that, as a child in Liberia, she watched her grandmother concoct herbal remedies and lead traditional healing dances, which inspired a deep appreciation for dance and movement in healing. Each of Natural Rhythm’s massage modalities uses techniques based on these dances to speed recovery by employing music and cadenced body movements that tune into a person’s inner rhythm and natural theme song. Even the lobby mimics a traditional healing hut with tribal patterns, rounded treatment rooms, and hand-painted murals featuring rural African scenes.
Some of the treatments offered at this retreat include 60- to 90-minute massages that mingle Eastern and Western strokes as well as herbal body wraps designed to detoxify, tighten, and smooth the skin. Farcia also leads healing fitness classes such as Nia, a program that combines dance, martial arts, and yoga to tone the body and relieve stress. All therapists at her practice have a health-education background and receive ongoing training in the center’s special bodywork techniques.
Back 2 Perfect Wellness Center's owner and massage therapist Laura has a sixth sense for what her clients need to heal. Using keen instinct honed over years of caring for people with chronic pain, stress, and general physical discomfort, Laura can tell where her clients' aches and pains lie and how to root them out with nine massage-therapy styles. Of course, Laura doesn't work on instinct alone. The attentive therapist takes the time to listen to visitors’ ailments, and even encourages them to bring in a list of their symptoms, which can range from backaches to fatigue to premature antler molting. Laura customizes each massage session using therapeutic modalities including Swedish, trigger point, prenatal, and myofascial release. Laura also heads up a team of massage therapists with their own specialties, including a reiki master and sports-injury rehabilitator.
The licensed massage therapists at Lamorinda Reflexology & Wellness perform muscle-management services designed to alleviate tension and treat chronic pain. In addition to Swedish and deep-tissue massages, they specialize in foot reflexology and other holistic treatments that clear energy pathways throughout the body. To enhance visits, the center provides clients with tea to sip and gluten-free Oreos to juggle.
The dual goal of Healing H.A.R.T. certified Healing Touch and Acupressure practitioner Kara Klotz is to relieve tension and balance her internal energies. Kara blends gentle techniques with or without touch in energy-based therapies, acupressure, Chinese Tui Na massage, and reflexology, enabling her to treat a greater variety of ailments at once than an octopus with a Ph.D. Each service is tailored to the patient's current health situation or emotional state to alleviate conditions such as migraines, anxiety, and arthritis. Kara works with clients of all ages, and also translates her spiritual experiences into vibrant, nature-inspired acrylic and oil paintings.
An ornate golden hand fan and elephant figurines stand at attention at the head of Magical Transformations' massage table, signaling an Eastern approach to massage therapy that also emerges in the finger-pressure-driven shiatsu technique. Following work with institutions including the YMCA and UC Berkeley, Magical Transformations' owner and certified massage therapist incorporates 27 years of experience into muscle manipulation that targets both physical and psychological complaints. Swedish massage sessions send fluid strokes sweeping across the whole body, while deep-tissue techniques dig into persistent sources of tension in underlying muscle tissue, fascia, and accidentally swallowed stress balls.
Licensed aesthetician Sharon Bomar helms Deae Lunae Spa & Boutique, where she pampers visitors with face and body treatments infused with ingredients such as honey, oatmeal, and seaweed. Bright royal-blue walls and billowing pastel-colored curtains surround guests as they sit swaddled on draped treatment tables for cleansing facials, body wraps, or one-person slumber parties. In addition to soothing clients’ bodies and minds, Sharon employs a line of professional-grade products from lines such as Bioline Jatò, Repêchage, and Refinée in her treatments.