1976 was the United States' 200th birthday. It was the year the $2 bill was issued and the VHS was introduced. It was also the year that licensed acupuncturist and body mender Phil Caylor founded and instructed at one of the first massage schools in Santa Cruz. Now with more than 40 years of experience, Phil expertly slackens musculature with an ample repertoire of techniques.
Initial assessments of the body's overall health may segue into acupuncture to unblock energy flow or into the long, flowing strokes of Swedish massage to ease full-body tension. Whether releasing knots with firm deep-tissue techniques or investigating organ function with nutritional response testing, Phil complements his sessions with relaxation training to ensure wellness at home and pinky-lift training to prevent embarrassment at tea parties.
Vanity Skin Care's owner and chief aesthetician gifts women with a break from the world, and the chance to return to it feeling beautiful. She maintains a clean, peaceful spa, without a speck of dust to distract from her clients during treatments. There, she soothes skin with an array of facials and peels that reduce the appearance of sun spots, wrinkles, and acne. She also provides an array of waxing services to remove extra hair from faces and limbs where it could distract people while they are driving or turning cartwheels down the street.
In his late 20s, years of rock climbing had taken a toll on Eric Maklan’s body, leaving him with a neck pain that made it difficult to move. Rather than accept these new limitations, Eric went searching for answers. He soon found them in the Rolf Method of Structural Integration—a form of bodywork that aims to open restricted tissues and align the body to the gravitational field. Now a certified Rolfer with more than 1,000 training hours, Eric specializes in treating injuries and uses a holistic approach to help alleviate aches and chronic pain.
Lead by Dr. Tonya Fleck-D'Andrea, N.D., an all-female team of naturopathic doctors and massage therapists at Santa Cruz Naturopathic Medical Center soothes bodies with holistic care in a nurturing environment. First-time patients create a personalized treatment plan during a two-hour consultation with a licensed N.D. (naturopathic doctor). In these sessions, the doctors review lab work done in the past year, go over current medication, and discuss the client’s health concerns to establish a regimen designed to treat these issues and prevent conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and turf tonsils. The Center's specialists strive to establish an open dialogue with patients when tailoring therapies by performing physicals and ordering new lab work only as necessary. Precision healing also comes from the hands of licensed massage therapists, whose cross-training in Swedish massage, Craniosacral therapy, and acupressure create a single super-modality sent from the future to terminate knotted muscles and release stress-induced tension.
Vital Body Therapy's studio makes every class feel special. Inside the spacious house that’s been turned into a boutique studio, natural sunlight streams onto the hardwood floors of the long room where yoga and core sessions are held. The intimate classroom space is limited to just 10 students, which allows the experienced instructors to focus on each participant. Vital Body Therapy also offers skincare, such as facials and waxing, along with bodywork, such as massage therapy and Rolfing.
Aestheticians at Vitality Skin Care coax forth deep exhalations, drawing upon Epicurean Discovery's line of natural skincare products to tailor facials and body treatments to individual needs. Cosmetologists work amid racks of Glo Mineral makeup, jane iredale products, and paraffin wax for soothing hands and faking the royal seal on field-trip permission slips. Meanwhile, massage therapists call upon aromatherapy and various modalities to mend aching muscles and balance internal energies, and Infinity Sun airbrush-tan units slip silently across skin.