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Published Tuesday Feb 18, 2020 by Erica Arvanitis

The Best Spa Days in San Diego for Stress Relief (& All-Around Good Vibes) 

Acupuncture
Beauty
Motivation
Relaxation

While being in constant sunshine and warm waters might feel like a wellness treatment in and of itself, the way to really make those out-of-office days count is to treat yourself to one of San Diego’s best spas. Whether you’re in need of a calming facial, a deep tissue massage that hurts so good, or you want to try cupping for the first time, these are our favorite places in San Diego to work on your wellness.

San Diego in Pocket

Saffron & Sage 

Nestled on a cute little street corner in San Diego’s Little Italy, Saffron & Sage is the ultimate mind, body, and spirit lounge. A client-based holistic health club on a mission to heal their members by focusing on and treating the root causes of their ailments, the studio and spa operates on a membership, although don’t let that stop you from dropping in for the occasional class or treatment.  

Featured in Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes, what truly makes Saffron & Sage stand out is the knowledgeable experts for every facet of physical and mental wellness. In a free consultation, well-trained therapists will find the right treatment for you. Plus, their treatment rooms are much chicer than your standard dark, boring room. Picture plants galore and cool, white décor.  

What We Love: While it might feel like an emerging trend, sound healing isn’t new. Practiced in Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian cultures for centuries, west coast culture is drawing on that knowledge to incorporate sound therapy into workshops, yoga classes, and spa treatments. At Saffron & Sage, you won’t want to miss their Sound Therapy sessions. Utilizing bowls made of quartz crystal and precious stones, sound healing creates a relaxed atmosphere aligning the body and mind to the melodies, which raises vibrational frequency. Sound therapy can take on many forms such as singing bowlsbiofield tuning, or wind chimes.  

According to Cristin Smith, the founder of Saffron & Sage, sound therapy helps with “decreased stress, which is one of the most important aspects since the body cannot heal if it is in a state of stress.” So, instead of sitting that 5 pm traffic, book some sound healing – you’ll thank us later.  

Book a Class 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

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Saffron & Sage 

Nestled on a cute little street corner in San Diego’s Little Italy, Saffron & Sage is the ultimate mind, body, and spirit lounge. A client-based holistic health club on a mission to heal their members by focusing on and treating the root causes of their ailments, the studio and spa operates on a membership, although don’t let that stop you from dropping in for the occasional class or treatment.  

Featured in Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes, what truly makes Saffron & Sage stand out is the knowledgeable experts for every facet of physical and mental wellness. In a free consultation, well-trained therapists will find the right treatment for you. Plus, their treatment rooms are much chicer than your standard dark, boring room. Picture plants galore and cool, white décor.  

What We Love: While it might feel like an emerging trend, sound healing isn’t new. Practiced in Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian cultures for centuries, west coast culture is drawing on that knowledge to incorporate sound therapy into workshops, yoga classes, and spa treatments. At Saffron & Sage, you won’t want to miss their Sound Therapy sessions. Utilizing bowls made of quartz crystal and precious stones, sound healing creates a relaxed atmosphere aligning the body and mind to the melodies, which raises vibrational frequency. Sound therapy can take on many forms such as singing bowlsbiofield tuning, or wind chimes.  

According to Cristin Smith, the founder of Saffron & Sage, sound therapy helps with “decreased stress, which is one of the most important aspects since the body cannot heal if it is in a state of stress.” So, instead of sitting that 5 pm traffic, book some sound healing – you’ll thank us later.  

Book a Class 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Four Moons Spa  

A self-care gem in the beautiful beach town of Encinitas, Four Moons Spa is a modern healing SPAce offering everything from facials to massages and yoga classes. Radiating good energy and high vibrations, prioritize your well-being surrounded by worldly designs including bungalows and Balinese-style day beds. Book one of their 14 curated spa package options for some serious me-time, or treat that bride-to-be, or your mom – she deserves it.  

What We Love: We are obsessed with all the treatments at Four Moons, but The Mellow Moon spa package is our go-to self-care special. Treat yourself to a 60-minute massage and then another luxurious hour-long facial (upgrade to a CBD massage for optimal zen).  

If you want to focus more on your skin, we have our eyes on the Lymphatic Massage Facial. Get all the benefits and customization of a Four Moons facial with extra added Lymphatic drainage, which effectively carries away toxins, excess water, and smooths away stress and anxiety. You’ll leave the table with your face and skin looking younger and more vibrant.  

Find Your Zen 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

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Four Moons Spa  

A self-care gem in the beautiful beach town of Encinitas, Four Moons Spa is a modern healing SPAce offering everything from facials to massages and yoga classes. Radiating good energy and high vibrations, prioritize your well-being surrounded by worldly designs including bungalows and Balinese-style day beds. Book one of their 14 curated spa package options for some serious me-time, or treat that bride-to-be, or your mom – she deserves it.  

What We Love: We are obsessed with all the treatments at Four Moons, but The Mellow Moon spa package is our go-to self-care special. Treat yourself to a 60-minute massage and then another luxurious hour-long facial (upgrade to a CBD massage for optimal zen).  

If you want to focus more on your skin, we have our eyes on the Lymphatic Massage Facial. Get all the benefits and customization of a Four Moons facial with extra added Lymphatic drainage, which effectively carries away toxins, excess water, and smooths away stress and anxiety. You’ll leave the table with your face and skin looking younger and more vibrant.  

Find Your Zen 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Firefly Wellness  

For those searching for a city wellness escape versus an outdoor retreat, Firefly Wellness is your answer. Located in the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego, this boutique spa has a tight-knit team of four massage therapists, a yoga instructor, three facialists, and an Ayurveda guide. What’s on the menu for treatments? While there’s no specific list of services – just customizable treatments – they also offer waxing, yoga, meditation classes, and even spa parties for birthdays, bridal showers, or just an extra relaxing Sunday with friends.  

What We Love: Every month, Firefly has a seasonal facial “flavor” that helps keep your skin glowing and feeling fresh. They kicked the year off with Arctic Cranberry as the January facial of the month. A wintery combo with arctic cranberry enzyme and seed oil that’s rich in fatty acids, they follow up this facial with the cooling sensation of peppermint in the Wintermint Hydrating Mask, loaded with antioxidants. Ahhh.  

Treat Yourself 

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Firefly Wellness  

For those searching for a city wellness escape versus an outdoor retreat, Firefly Wellness is your answer. Located in the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego, this boutique spa has a tight-knit team of four massage therapists, a yoga instructor, three facialists, and an Ayurveda guide. What’s on the menu for treatments? While there’s no specific list of services – just customizable treatments – they also offer waxing, yoga, meditation classes, and even spa parties for birthdays, bridal showers, or just an extra relaxing Sunday with friends.  

What We Love: Every month, Firefly has a seasonal facial “flavor” that helps keep your skin glowing and feeling fresh. They kicked the year off with Arctic Cranberry as the January facial of the month. A wintery combo with arctic cranberry enzyme and seed oil that’s rich in fatty acids, they follow up this facial with the cooling sensation of peppermint in the Wintermint Hydrating Mask, loaded with antioxidants. Ahhh.  

Treat Yourself 

Girl on the Go! Night Spa  

Don’t be thrown off by this boutique spa’s downtown neighborhood – stepping into Girl on the Go!’s HQ, you’ll encounter a bright, gorgeous space where the décor is straight out of an influencer’s living room. While there are several spa treatments, massages, and facials, GoTG’s gem is that they are open until 10 pm on weekdays (6 pm on weekends), so you can drop-in after work and try out a new facial.  

What We Love: Created for busy women on the go, GotG isn’t the same experience as a hotel, but each session starts with a complimentary glass of champagne or tea. Spa treatments like facials, waxing, massages are done in comfortable private rooms, while any makeup services are given in the main area. Of those spa treatments, our favorite is Herbal Renewal.  

A 90-minute body treatment, the age-reversing antioxidants from acai, goji, pomegranate, and bilberry will leave your skin feeling fresh. Enjoy a gentle scrub while your therapist perfects your complexion with a mandarin orange body polish. Once you’re in a deep state of Zen, you’ll be coated in a coconut hydrating milk and cocooned in a warm blanket (we know, it sounds divine). While you drift off into a peaceful sleep, don’t forget about your luscious locks. The therapist will work a coconut and mandarin infused hair treatment into your scalp while giving you a deep neck and shoulder massage. Can we go like, now?  

Try a Facial 

4
Girl on the Go! Night Spa  

Don’t be thrown off by this boutique spa’s downtown neighborhood – stepping into Girl on the Go!’s HQ, you’ll encounter a bright, gorgeous space where the décor is straight out of an influencer’s living room. While there are several spa treatments, massages, and facials, GoTG’s gem is that they are open until 10 pm on weekdays (6 pm on weekends), so you can drop-in after work and try out a new facial.  

What We Love: Created for busy women on the go, GotG isn’t the same experience as a hotel, but each session starts with a complimentary glass of champagne or tea. Spa treatments like facials, waxing, massages are done in comfortable private rooms, while any makeup services are given in the main area. Of those spa treatments, our favorite is Herbal Renewal.  

A 90-minute body treatment, the age-reversing antioxidants from acai, goji, pomegranate, and bilberry will leave your skin feeling fresh. Enjoy a gentle scrub while your therapist perfects your complexion with a mandarin orange body polish. Once you’re in a deep state of Zen, you’ll be coated in a coconut hydrating milk and cocooned in a warm blanket (we know, it sounds divine). While you drift off into a peaceful sleep, don’t forget about your luscious locks. The therapist will work a coconut and mandarin infused hair treatment into your scalp while giving you a deep neck and shoulder massage. Can we go like, now?  

Try a Facial 

ALCHEMĒ 

Hidden inside a renovated warehouse in the heart of Little Italy, ALCHEMĒ’s mantra is “rebellious health for vibrant living.” Combining integrative medicine with aesthetic beauty, this edgy spa helps clients maximize their inner and outer wellness. Take a shot at an improved you with the creatively titled Periodic Table of Vibrant Living – check out the Electric Child or the Booze Gypsy – or focus on outer beauty with Collagen Induction Therapy.  
 
What We Love: Wanna know the secret to gloriously glowing skin? ALCHEMĒ’s IV Nutrient Therapy. Whether you try out Energy Boosting or Collagen and Skin Support, these integrative treatments are all about enacting radical change to treat a variety of conditions. IV nutrient therapy allows for the administration of vitamins and minerals that can boost the immune system, improve sleep, decrease chronic pain, and kill viruses, bacteria, and even cancer cells. Creating custom IV’s using the highest quality vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and botanical and homeopathic medicines, take some time out of your schedule for a little boost at ALCHEMĒ.  
 
We know wellness retreats are trendy, but if jet setting out of the country isn’t currently an option, book a self-care, San Diego spa day instead. From edgy medical spas with new-wave vitamin shots to traditionally zen-inducing hot stone massages, download the Mindbody app to explore new ways to take care of you in America’s Finest City.  

Book a Treatment

5
ALCHEMĒ 

Hidden inside a renovated warehouse in the heart of Little Italy, ALCHEMĒ’s mantra is “rebellious health for vibrant living.” Combining integrative medicine with aesthetic beauty, this edgy spa helps clients maximize their inner and outer wellness. Take a shot at an improved you with the creatively titled Periodic Table of Vibrant Living – check out the Electric Child or the Booze Gypsy – or focus on outer beauty with Collagen Induction Therapy.  
 
What We Love: Wanna know the secret to gloriously glowing skin? ALCHEMĒ’s IV Nutrient Therapy. Whether you try out Energy Boosting or Collagen and Skin Support, these integrative treatments are all about enacting radical change to treat a variety of conditions. IV nutrient therapy allows for the administration of vitamins and minerals that can boost the immune system, improve sleep, decrease chronic pain, and kill viruses, bacteria, and even cancer cells. Creating custom IV’s using the highest quality vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and botanical and homeopathic medicines, take some time out of your schedule for a little boost at ALCHEMĒ.  
 
We know wellness retreats are trendy, but if jet setting out of the country isn’t currently an option, book a self-care, San Diego spa day instead. From edgy medical spas with new-wave vitamin shots to traditionally zen-inducing hot stone massages, download the Mindbody app to explore new ways to take care of you in America’s Finest City.  

Book a Treatment

Erica Arvanitis MINDBODY
Written by
Erica Arvanitis
Copywriter
About the author
A copywriter by day, Erica spends her free time mastering the art of puzzles while forcing her 10-year-old Chow mix to wear sweaters. With experience in PR, social media, marketing, and copywriting, Erica lives and breathes the written word. Warning: don’t test her on Friends trivia - she will win every time.
woman stretching warm-up
The Latest
Published Tuesday Apr 07, 2020 by Jay Greene

Don't Forget to Stretch: How to Prep for a Virtual Class 

Fitness
Expert Advice

With so many fitness studios and gyms closing their doors in a bid to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, their members are turning to at-home workouts to fill the need for physical activity.  As we’ve mentioned before, there has likely been no better time to prioritize exercise in our daily lives, both for physical and emotional reasons. Luckily, many studios are now recording and streaming virtual workouts so people can take advantage of their offerings at home (Hint: you don't have to just book local, change your location to anywhere you'd like and explore classes all over the world!). But before you move the coffee table and roll out the mat, there’s something you should remember: stretching. 

Ah yes. Stretching. For many of us (though we’d never say it out loud) stretching before and after working out feels a bit like that pile of peas your mom made you eat as a kid: you know it’s good for you, but do I have to? The answer, I’m afraid, is yes—and even more so if you’re working out at home. Here are some best practices to help you prevent injury and make sure you’re getting the most of your incredibly valuable workouts. 
 

Step 1: Show Up Early 

Remember: any workout—even one done in your living room—is still a workout. If you’re about to do a 45-minute virtual class, don’t just give yourself 45 minutes. You need to give yourself time to arrange your space, get your water, and get your mind right before hitting play or joining that livestream. But you also need to give yourself time to get your body right too, and that brings us to… 
 

Step 2: Warm Up 

Wait, what about stretching? Conventional wisdom dictates that you should stretch your muscles before beginning your physical activity, but mounting research is telling us that may not be such a great idea. Stretching your cold, stiff muscle fibers before they’re warmed up can actually hurt them. And because we're spending so much time at home, it’s likely our poor muscle fibers are tighter now than they've been in a long time. 

If you’re following along with a livestream or on-demand workout, there will likely be some sort of instructor-led warm-up. That said, don’t assume that your virtual workout will provide exactly the kind of warm-up that you personally need. Without the trainer right there to keep you accountable and check your form, it’s super important to take steps to protect yourself and ensure you’re warmed up enough to begin. 

According to McAlister Training co-owner and head trainer Michael McAlister, “Warming up is as important, if not more important, than the workout itself. Even from home, I encourage clients to warm-up just like they would at our studio. Before every class, I ask clients to foam roll, do hip lifts, and perform trunk rotations as a pre-warm-up. Then, we’ll warm-up together on-screen.” 

So before reaching for those toes, spend a few minutes getting your blood moving to the areas you are going to stretch and exercise. A few other great ideas for some gentle (but effective) warm-ups include: 

- High knees (or run in place) 
- Push-ups 
- Holding a plank 
- Air squats 

Once you’re nice and warm, and maybe breathing a little heavier… 
 

Step 3: Now You Can Stretch 

Properly stretching your muscles helps keep them long and flexible, improving your range of motion during the coming workout and protecting muscles and joints from potential injury like sprains and strains. But as important as stretching is, you can injure yourself just as easily doing it incorrectly as you can by skipping it entirely.  

Enter your stretches slowly, and don’t overstretch to the point of pain. You should feel a satisfying pull, but if it hurts, you’ve gone too far. Combine static stretching—where you find your stretch and hold it for 30 seconds or more—with dynamic stretches like “cat-cow” where you move fluidly through a range of controlled motions. Feel free to concentrate on an area longer if you know you’re about to work that area out intensively or if you feel a lot of tightness there. And please, don’t bounce in your stretch—just stick with smooth, steady movements to avoid injuring yourself before you’ve even begun your workout. 

 

Virtual workouts now on Mindbody banner

 

Step 4: Work Out 

During the workout, pay attention to areas of tightness/sensitivity you noticed during your stretching session (or any new ones you discover).  Don’t “push through the pain” in problem areas or extend your muscles and joints past their natural range of motion. Basically, if it feels wrong, it is wrong. There’s absolutely no shame in modifying a move to protect yourself. 

“If you’re attending livestream classes at the studio you regularly go to, reach out to your instructor(s), and let them know what you’re experiencing. Just like in a regular class, they’ll be happy to chat with you on the phone or through FaceTime, individually, to provide tips to modify and recover properly,” says McAlister. 
 

Step 5: Cool Down 

Once you've counted down the final seconds of your workout and completed your last rep, you may be (justifiably) tempted to lay on the floor in a sweaty heap for a while before getting up to shower and carry on with your day.  But do that and you’ll miss a huge opportunity to improve your overall mobility and flexibility.  

As soon as your workout is over, cool down with some walking to bring your heart rate down in a controlled manner. Once you’ve caught your breath, it’s time to stretch again—and this one’s at least as important as the first. Think about it: your muscles are about as warm as they’re ever going to get, which makes it the perfect opportunity to work on conditioning those muscles and joints. Stretching can help lengthen and soothe your pumped-up muscles, which are now in a more contracted state after your workout. 

Plus, stretching is just a nice closing ritual for ending a workout. It allows you to decompress after the physical demands you just placed on your body and gives you a moment of calm reflection before changing gears. 
 

Step 7: Stick with It 

Just like working out, stretching only reveals its true potential when you do it consistently.  If you’re inflexible now, you got that way over a long period of time—and that means it’s going to take time to improve it. You can’t expect a single high-quality stretch sesh to undo months or years of tightness. Stick with a good pre- and post-workout stretch routine, and one day you’ll notice those toes aren’t quite so far away, and your back doesn’t hurt so much when you do that one thing anymore. 

Right now, a lot of people are re-evaluating what “normal” means for them, and many of them are finding ways to use this difficult time for self-improvement.  Virtual, at-home workouts are a blessing, giving us ways to stay active and stay connected with our favorite studios and trainers (or try new ones!).  But remember, you can protect yourself while you push yourself—you just might have to stretch yourself a bit. 

Jay Greene
Written by
Jay Greene
Copywriter
About the author
Jay has been proudly wearing his Mindbody lanyard since 2014. When he’s not writing for you fine folks, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors, holding a baby (or two), cooking and/or eating good food, or wading through a dusty old book of Stoic philosophy.