The Spa Less Traveled Discovering Ethnic Los Angeles One Massage at a Time

The Spa Less Traveled Discovering Ethnic Los Angeles One Massage at a Time

by Gail Herndon, Brenda Goldstein


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This is the first guide to the ethnic spas of Los Angeles, which are exploding in popularity. The expert authors demystify Asian and European massages and spa treatments and lead readers to their favorite destinations across Los Angeles County. They explain the why, what and how of Korean, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and other ethnic spa treatments; and lead readers to their favorite spas. Includes tips on what to expect, how to handle the language barriers, when and what to tip, even where to eat and shop while you're in the neighborhood.

The Spa Less Traveled is a beautifully designed book illustrated with color photography, making it as much a gift as a guide.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984410279
Publisher: Prospect Park Books
Publication date: 10/28/2011
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Los Angeles native Brenda Goldstein is a lifelong traveler whose quest for adventure travel began when she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras. More recently, she has traveled the world by exploring the remarkable array of spas in Southern California. The Pasadena resident is a consultant to the health care industry, and is a board member of Homeless Health Care Los Angeles.

Like her co-author, Gail Herndon has explored the globe, starting as a young child growing up in a military family. From a very early age she developed an awareness and appreciation for different peoples and for their customs and traditions. (She also learned how to pack light!) This shared love of cultural exploration makes her a natural partner with Brenda in unearthing the best ethnic spas in L.A. Also a Pasadena resident, Gail is a department director at City of Hope.

Read an Excerpt


Cultural Exchange, the Spa Way

We Googled. We Yelped. And we found that most of L.A.'s authentic ethnic spas weren't getting a fair shake. That's because they're being compared to a different kind of treatment, the Swedish massage. Odds are you've had a Swedish massage; it is, after all, the most popular kind in the country, a mild and completely relaxing treatment. But that's just one experience, and it's definitely not the way all massages were meant to be. After all, we're in Los Angeles! There's so much more to experience. Not only is the county of Los Angeles home to 9.86 million people, it boasts the largest Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese populations outside their home countries. So many of these immigrants brought with them meaningful customs and rituals. Just as you expect their languages and foods to be different, so should the anticipation for massage. And have we got some surprises for you!

The goal of this book is to help you understand each treatment and what's in store for you. There's nothing more enlightening than experience. Over the last several years, we've been privileged to be able to explore some of the purest ethnic enclaves in Los Angeles, rich in history and culture. And we were blown away. Visiting the places listed in this book is the only way to discover which spa treatments work for you. The more you try, the more you learn what you like— and don't. Being informed about how a certain therapy may help you can make your experience more physically and emotionally satisfying. Be sure to read the introduction page for each massage type, as well as the glossary.

Going to L.A.'s ethnic spas will open you to new worlds. Despite soft-drink billboards and American fast-food restaurants just down the street from the majority of the spas listed, they really do offer a good look into other cultures. The people who work at the spas may have left behind a country, but they have, in large part, recreated it in their businesses. So please don't be put off by limited English and certain, shall we say, colorful habits. After all, you won't find eggs cooking or underwear drying in the sauna at Burke-Williams! (You'll have to read the book to find the place we saw that.) But your world will expand and your body will be transported.

If you picked up this book, you don't need selling on the many benefits of massage. But we do want to sell you on the rewards of exploring the diverse cultural neighborhoods Los Angeles has to offer, and to expose you to their respective body treatments. Think of this as your own cultural exchange program, without the passport requirement or heinous air travel. We'll be your guides.

Escape. Explore. Enjoy!

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