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The European Day Spa Experience
by Diana Clarke


The health spa has been around since antiquity. Aroma and massage therapies were first practiced by the ancient Greeks for their healing benefits. Romans added esthetics to their treatments. Then, in the early 1800s, the spa was reintroduced into Eur
The health spa has been around since antiquity. Aroma and massage therapies were first practiced by the ancient Greeks for their healing benefits. Romans added esthetics to their treatments. Then, in the early 1800s, the spa was reintroduced into Europe.

"I had my first facial at 14," says Patricia Bottero, a native Parisian and founder of Harmonie European Day Spa in Saratoga, CA. "A facial is simply something a young woman in France experiences."

Bottero, a Los Gatos resident, was trained in the European tradition of skin and body care in Paris, and she continues to go to Europe to update her knowledge. As an esthetician, she first worked in California at a full-service salon, but in 1988, a couple of years later, she created Harmonie Skin and Body Care, now called Harmonie European Day Spa.

"The day spa experience is not about lazy pampering. The day spa is about the necessity we have to honor our femininity, especially at times when everything else and everyone else in our lives seems to be so much more important. Stress alone can make a woman feel unattractive, and if she feels unattractive, she will look that way," says Bottero.

In an atmosphere influenced by French Loire castles, Harmonie clients are indulged by estheticians in dimly lit private rooms filled with soothing music and sensuous aromas. Estheticians trained by Bottero cater to clients personally, attending to their particular skin and body-care needs.

"Not everyone has the luxury of time to do a complete spa package away from home on a regular basis. A day spa is the next best thing. Being pampered and taken care of for a day, or even an hour, is a great way to be good to yourself," says Mary Jane Reiter of Saratoga, who has been going to the spa for eleven years.

"What I like about Harmonie is that they teach clients to take personal responsibility for skin and body care at home," says Laura Scorpiniti Edens of Santa Cruz, another Harmonie client.

The spa provides facials, intensive treatments for acne, brown spots and wrinkles; full-body and other massages to promote relaxation and body detoxification; depilatories, thalassotherapy body envelopes--seawater and sea botanical body wraps--to firm, tone and detoxify skin; makeup application and lessons, manicure and pedicure.

One treatment consists of combining thermal seaweed mud with reflexology technique using Chinese acupressure points on hands and feet to relieve tension and essential oils for aromatherapy and to aid circulation.

"We want women to feel beautiful not just look beautiful. A large part of the power of beauty is how a woman feels when she is confident and self-assured," says Bottero.

The spa offers special packages for expectant mothers, brides-to-be, busy executives and teens. Men's treatments are also available.

In addition, on July 15th, 2001, nurses began providing the following services, under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey McClanahan, owner of Cliniskin Medical Corporation in Los Gatos, CA.:

Fotofacial TM to reduce dilated capillaries, redness, sun damage, and irregular pimentation.

Botox injections for facial lines and wrinkles.

Epilight for permanent hair reduction. "Today's advanced spa treatments are a major benefit for a client seeking cosmetic treatments," says Dr. McClanahan. We chose to partner with Harmonie because of its excellence in spa services and their advanced treatment techniques." (Harmonie was voted best day spa by both the Metro Silicon Valley Magazine and Elle Magazine.)

Harmonie European Day Spa is located at 14501 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA.

About the Author

Diana Clarke is a California credentialed teacher and freelance writer. Her sun protection articles have appeared in publications, such as the San Jose Mercury News, Saratoga News and a high school health magazine, Listen Magazine.





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