Healing Touches at Local Spas • The Nob Hill Gazette

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Since the start of the pandemic, we have all suffered from some form of contact deprivation. The medical community agrees that meaningful touch is vital. Babies need it to thrive. Adults need it for their well-being. In some countries, human contact is so important that massages are covered by health insurance.

More and more spas are offering services that boost well-being and alleviate chronic disease. The facilities incorporate ancient healing methods to revive circulation, reduce blood pressure and strengthen the immune system. We highlight four favorites that reveal popular treatments.


Immersive Spa

3990 El Camino Real, Palo Alto | immersionspa.com

Vision: Two sisters, june kwon and Sooyeon Kwon, launched Immersion Spa to bring Korean spa culture to Palo Alto. “We aim for a therapeutic experience rather than a healing experience,” says June. Take the cold plunge pool and the hot whirlpool, two staples of Korean public baths. The ice cold water activates the immune system, while the heat stimulates circulation. Guests from all cultures testify to the benefits of Immersion’s Korean scrub treatments, plunge pools, dry sauna, massages and jimjilbang hot rooms. The simple, clean aesthetic of the spa exudes cleanliness in a welcoming atmosphere.

The treatment: Treat yourself to the 100-minute Goddess Gold Ginseng treatment ($220). Get exfoliated with a Korean scrub, followed by a detoxifying Korean ginseng body wrap, 24-karat gold anti-aging mask, and coconut body massage. For the scrub, you lie face down in a damp room while the therapist scrubs you from head to toe with scrub gloves. Dead skin peels off in piles revealing fresh, new skin.


Cavallo Point Healing Arts Center and Spa

601 Murray Circle, Sausalito | cavallopoint.com

Vision: Spa gurus guide clients on a path that helps “release physical, mental and energetic blockages,” according to the Cavallo Point team. Integrative medicine doctors, herbalists, yoga practitioners and specialists help curate the catalog of globally inspired services, each providing health benefits, spa manager confirms Heather Steward. Meanwhile, this two-story palace in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is nothing short of a palace. The great room has a modern fireplace, intimate seating areas and a herbal tea bar. Coloring books and markers are available, just in case. If you are hungry, you can order a meal which will be delivered to you. Outside? A meditation pool, a zen garden and a patio.

The treatment: The two-hour Body Journey ($375 to $395) offers deep massage, acupressure, and sound healing using crystal bowls. Meanwhile, the Healing Gardens session ($175 to $195) includes an hour with a master gardener who guides guests in customizing a small herb garden to suit individual health needs.


SenSpa

1161 Gorgas Ave, San Francisco | senspa.com

Vision: SenSpa advocates a multidisciplinary approach to ‘unleash inner well-being’, says spa manager Jeanne LaRoche. This Presidio wellness center offers an extensive menu of treatments. It’s the only spa in the Bay Area with a program to correct posture, and one of the few spas in the world to offer the Somadome, a high-tech meditation pod resembling a shuttle pod. Meanwhile, Chinese proverbs and carvings accent the edgy premises in pumpkin and chestnut tones. Over 100 lush plants and trees adorn four lounges, including a private space for groups. An indoor tea garden invites you to enjoy chocolate covered almonds and fresh tea.

The Treatment: Indulge in the two-hour Zen package ($325), which includes a choice of massage paired with a sauna treatment using infrared light. Somadome time concludes the session as the guest dons headphones, listening to an imagery-guided meditation known as binaural sound therapy. Says LaRoche, “Some clients come specifically for this [service] to reduce stress and anxiety and help the body relax.


burke williams

845 Market Street, Suite 510, San Francisco; 355 Santana Row, Suite 2010, San Jose | burkewilliams.com

The Vision: Customers should experience a true sense of transformation after each visit, according to Diane Hibard, data controller. To achieve this goal, each service is studied for a year or more before being added to the menu. Plus, the San Jose and San Francisco locations offer spacious and lavish getaways: the kind of relaxing spa that was only available in resorts is now accessible in bustling city centers thanks to Burke Williams. The San Jose spa boasts a Moroccan vibe, while the San Francisco location visually takes guests to Paris. Little attentions: separate men’s and women’s lounges, hammams, changing rooms, showers and whirlpool baths.

The treatment: The new 80-minute Vitality Massage (from $225) provides an uplifting pick-me-up, with a layer of vitamin B12 oil and a hard, dry brush all over the body. Earnings? B12 supports nerve cells and the formation of red blood cells.

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