Alora Ambiance Spa owner Patricia Rivas has worked as a licensed aesthetician and skincare specialist for nearly a decade. Along the way, she's picked up advanced certifications in treatments such as cellulite-smoothing ionithermie and IPL hair removal, teamed up with Dr. Thomaso Skorupski, and assembled a staff of talented hairstylists, nail artists, and waxing specialists spread throughout two studios. There, staffers dole out specialty services, including eyelash perms and extensions, exfoliating salt-glow treatments, and facials that infuse faces with more oxygen and nutrients than a granola-filled balloon. Beyond stocking the shelves with aesthetic aids from such brands as Paul Mitchell, Matrix, and Pravana, Rivas is also the creator of the Ayurveda by Alora skincare line, which includes soap- and- sulfate-free cleansers, as well as body creams infused with white tea and vitamins C and E.
"Fomentation room" might sound like a science-fiction term, but the igneous dry-rock sauna at Sol Mar Day Spa actually evokes a step back in time. The Korean-style space encourages the release of toxins through sweat, boosting the body's circulation and tipping the mind back into balance. And, luckily, a trip into its steamy enclosure is included in many of the spa's other services. Clients can submit their sore spots to a combination massage, during which Swedish and pressure-point shiatsu techniques work to untie muscular knots. Customized facials address specific skincare concerns, from dryness to sensitivity, and an Asian body scrub softens the skin through relaxing exfoliation. The spa also offers nail services, reflexology, and various treatment packages that last for two to three hours, or until each vertebra can be heard softly snoring.
Hands-on experience can be a bonus in most educational programs, but with massage, it's a necessity. The Institute For Therapeutic Massage makes that vital step in the educational process a boon to their clients as well, offering affordable Swedish massage sessions in a supervised environment. Students undergo extensive tests of their knowledge and hands-on skills before they're cleared to start untying shoulder knots, and a licensed massage therapist watches on as tension melts away. In addition to the core Massage and Bodywork Program, students can pursue additional training in Oncology Massage, Eastern Bodywork, and Personal Training.