Tue09162014

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New Years resolution: Reduce stress at local day spa


Photo By: Eren Gknar/ Special to the Town Crier
Photo Eren Gknar/ Special To The Town CrierYelena Dukarevich works as a technician at Salon Elizabeth, a downtown Los Altos day spa that offers body wraps, massages and anti-aging facials.

January draws people to the gym, making treadmill space rare and kale a scarce commodity at Safeway. Along with the typical New Year’s resolutions that involve self-sacrifice, though, psychologists say it’s important to reduce stress.

What better way to do that than to spend time at local day spas? Perhaps not as much fun as a week at Miraval in Tucson or Ojai, but less financial stress in the future.

Julie Rose, president of the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce, noted that the city has so many beauty and nail salons that five years ago the city council passed a resolution prohibiting new ones on Main and State streets. Those that close can’t be replaced by similar businesses.

“I don’t know how many day spas we have,” she said, but none is a member of the chamber.

Orchid Bloom Spa

As a service to local readers, this reporter checked out the exotic-sounding Orchid Bloom Spa, 107 Main St. In the interest of full disclosure, I have experienced the spa’s $85 aromatherapy body massage. Prices in general are reasonable, and longtime customers receive email specials. In addition to massages, the spa features facials, microdermabrasion and bridal makeup and services.

A quick check of Yelp showed reviewers’ high marks for the $55 Ayurvedic Indian Head Massage, a 30-minute technique that massages hot oil into the scalp. The therapist also kneads the shoulders, arms, neck and face. Sounded good, but I wanted more time.

My nighttime appointment delivered an additional helping of mystery created by the black and bamboo Thai wall coverings. You walk in to a wall full of Priori facial and Ilike organic facial products, and the receptionist sits behind the counter to the right.

Lali, my massage therapist, gave me a 60-minute Thai massage, which involved my changing into a tank top and pants and lying on a mat on the floor. From there, she used an ancient technique favored by Thai royalty to stretch and bend my arms and legs.

Unlike the Thai Swedish massage – $85 for 60 minutes, $125 for 120 minutes – which uses oil, the plain Thai technique relies on pressure points for stress relief. The brochure says it’s good for headaches and insomnia, and I was ready for bed at the end.

The spa packages offered include:

• Heart and Soul, a $140, 90-minute combination of custom massage, Reiki, head and foot rub, and Thai facial massage.

• Relaxations, a $120, 90-minute cocktail of body massage and wrap with a head and foot massage thrown in.

• Spa After Flight, for jet-setters, a $100, 75-minute Swedish massage mixed with a foot and head massage.

• Jasmine Therapy, a $140, two-hour jasmine body exfoliation, aromatherapy hand, foot and face massage.

Orchid Bloom Spa is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

For more information, visit orchidbloomspa.com.

Salon Elizabeth

Salon Elizabeth, another respite from the storms of everyday life, is located at 381 First St., across from Draeger’s Market.

The salon offers anti-aging treatments, including Elizabeth’s signature $145 facial with choice of collagen mask and vitamin C or DNA application. You can also have an intense pulsed-light photofacial rejuvenation, which addresses sun damage and hyper-pigmentation in five to eight recommended sessions.

In addition to several other advanced anti-aging facials, the spa offers the following getaway procedures.

• A $98 French seaweed body wrap, a European thalassotherapy treatment that some say takes weight off.

• An hour-long $98 enzyme body mask, which uses botanical blends to soften the skin and leave it silky.

• A $120 full-body exfoliation called the Tangerine Lavender Body Glow, which the literature promises to be “luxurious and relaxing.”

For more information, visit salaonelizabeth.com.

Yelka Day Spa for Men and Women

Yelka Day Spa for Men and Women, located at 2049 Grant Road, reports that it uses only organic and vegan products.

The spa is among the few that provide 50-minute $95 Mom-to-Be massages – $150 for 80 minutes.

Its Aqua Thermal trio massage uses heat, aromatherapy and foot massage for a special experience. It costs $95 for 50 minutes, $145 for 80 minutes.

Antiaging facials like the $155 Lavender Thermal and Pearl Silk Collagen, which promises to “treat your skin like Cleopatra,” purport to make you look younger.

If you need real improvement, sign up for the three-hour Ultimate Decadence, which will set you back $760 and have you lifted and glowing.

For more information, visit yelkadayspa.com.

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