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Meditrina World Healing Spa
by Nirmala Nataraj on Jun 01, 2007
For harried city-dwellers, Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue is like a sojourn to another time -- one where residents stop to greet each other to chat about the weather, and it’s safe enough to keep your doors unlocked. But the quaint, small-town feel is assuaged quite a bit by the spattering of chicness: hip yoga studios, used book stores, antique shops, and stylish fine dining populate the area with a relaxed elegance that make Piedmont Avenue an apt backdrop for a place like Meditrina World Healing Spa.
Founded by owner Jean Rashleger just a few years ago, Meditrina is a self-professed “culturally inspired healing center that incorporates a variety of curative therapies specifically designed for your personal relaxation and well being.” And, aside from the gorgeous Zen-inspired ambience and deluxe appointments, the folks at Meditrina aren’t simply paying lip service to their fine edict.
Rashleger made sure from the outset that the spa included healthy offerings of Native American, European, Ayurvedic, and other global therapeutic indulgences. Rashleger, who originally hails from the software industry, noticed that “day spas in general lack the full holistic scene. As a spa lover, I was interested in doing something different, in creating a wellness center that offered all the treatments people love, but that was also conscious of promoting health and well-being in a way that many day spas are not.”
In addition to its pronounced holistic wellness slant, Rashleger also wanted the spa’s focus on healing to extend to its products. Just walk right into the spacious front-office area, and you’ll see shelves stacked with chemical-free products like Jurlique, a pure organic line from Australia, or Sombra, a line of all-natural massage gels and creams.
The assortment of treatments at Meditrina ranges from deep tissue massage to Japanese ritual baths, but it’s the unique touches that go into each treatment which have clients slavering for more. That includes facials that use cold stone massage for calming inflammations, heat packs in all the massages, complimentary neck wraps, and other little extras to give your regular ol’ facial or massage a little oomph. The rock-star service also includes extensive client consultations (therapists take notes on each client), which, of course, leads to the kind of personalized treatment you’d be hard-pressed to find at similar-sized spas.
To help realize the wellness concept that is at the heart of Meditrina, the spa is home to a sprinkling of other practitioners, from integrative medicine doctors to hypnotherapists to Reiki masters. “By having these tenants under one roof, it expands our mission of offering lots of alternatives to our clients,” says Rashleger. “So if somebody comes in for a massage but also sees that she can do some wellness coaching with one of the other tenants, part of our mission is fulfilled right there.”
You might be tempted to get through Meditrina’s treatment menu and pay a visit to each of the 11 commodious treatment rooms (each named after a different herb) before setting an appointment with any of the site’s other wellness coaches, however. Massage is particularly popular here, with treatments ranging from the Meditrina Stone Therapy (a melt-worthy 60 or 90 minutes of hot stone massage) to circulation-boosting Reflexology to the Pick Me Up Mini Massage (25 minutes of lunchtime leisure). The spa also boasts an assortment of innovative body treatments, such as the Southwest Native Grain Therapy, which includes a slathering of detoxifying Sedona mud.
My treatment for the day is the Body, Mind & Bath, two full hours of decadence that don’t include the time I enjoy happily lounging around in the women’s locker room and waiting room. As I sip water and nibble on almonds and chocolates in a butter-colored chaise lounge in Meditrina’s waiting room, the sound of meditative flute music creates a most appropriate mood. Then my therapist, Kimberly, greets me and leads me to my ritual bath, where I soak for 20 minutes. The tub is filled with the faintest scent of peppermint oil, as well as an LED that slowly melts from one color of the rainbow into the next. The combination of light therapy, essential oils, and Jacuzzi bubbles give me a robust appreciation for the benefits of hydrotherapy. I feel like I’m ready to take a long nap by the time I’m finished, but I’m ushered by Kimberly to the next room, where I’m treated to a vigorous and thorough Swedish massage, complemented by an incomparable scalp massage and a heat pack that actually does make me doze for at least a few minutes.
I can’t help but take my time after the treatment, and loll like a lazy cat with a glass of champagne in the waiting room for…well, as long as I can before the cares of the day start calling. I don’t know if it’s the mini-Zen garden in the lounge, or the Hershey’s kisses, or simply the warm, courteous staff -- but I have a feeling I’ll be back before long to sample Meditrina’s other treats, at the very least for the sake of wellness.
by Nirmala Nataraj on Jun 01, 2007