The Now Massage Is Making Luxury Wellness Accessible
The downside to living in the city of dreams is that for many of us, attempting to accomplish everything we want to (careers, creative endeavors, family life, relationships, fitness, etc) often means frequently feeling depleted and exhausted. And while awareness of wellness habits is growing exponentially, something as simple as a massage is still often overlooked as a luxury. Some of us will spend a small fortune on supplements, organic foods, and non-toxic beauty products yet believe that we can't budget for such treatments regularly. But that's where LA's mini-chain (three locations so far with another on the way) of massage boutiques The Now comes into play.
Founder Gara Post knows firsthand the benefits of regular massage (she talks about those below) and aimed to fill a gap in the market by creating a space that felt luxurious and transported patrons to a beautiful and tranquil environment, yet was still affordable. She also wanted to offer super busy folks the option of quickie treatments, like a 25-minute foot massage. Prices start at just $35 and top out at under $100—well under what high-end spas charge—and at that rate you're also getting to experience The Now's stunning, Tulum-inspired space.
We got the chance to speak with Gara as we toured the recently-opened Silver Lake space (side note, we got an epic massage from Charles and can highly recommend) to learn about how regular rubdowns do way more than just make you feel great, the design details that make their spaces so Instagram-ready, and what else she does to improve her health daily.
So many women think of massage as a luxury—and one they may not be able to make time/money for. Can you explain some of the other benefits to treating yourself to regular massages?
Self-care can improve your performance and many studies show the long-term benefits of massage including improved circulation, reducing muscle pain, helping with sleep, anxiety and depression issues. Recent studies have even shown it to boost ones immune system. If you can't do it for yourself than you have to consider the other people in your life. Massage is not only a therapeutic tool for the body, but is medicinal for mind and spirit as well. When you give the body time to slow down you allow the mind to naturally balance. Learning how to slow down the fluctuations of mind is a profound practice of presence. We hope that through the therapeutic use of touch our clients will have time and space to practice being in The Now.
Besides regular massages (obviously), what are some of your must-have wellness practices?
I meditate every morning for 20 minutes. I try to do twice a day but the reality is with work and raising kids, it's usually once at 5:30am. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of exercise for my mind and body—anything that helps me break a sweat and gets the endorphins going. I do yoga at least three times a week and love hiking outside of my house in Laurel Canyon. After hiking and yoga there is nothing better than a steam bath or soak in Olverum Bath Oil or a Naturopathica Himalayan Crystal Bath Salt.
How are you able to keep prices so reasonable?
We consider ourselves a massage boutique. The concept was to create a cross between a luxury day spa and a walk-in neighborhood massage shop. Our goal is to provide high quality and consistent massage services in a tranquil environment but we don't have a locker room, steam and shower rooms or some of the traditional spa elements that would drive up the cost.
The Now is so Instagrammable—can you tell us a bit about the process of designing each location—specifically the latest location?
Tulum, Mexico was the initial inspiration for the design plan but a minimalist, soothing aesthetic is the key to creating the right environment for us. We strive to make each space feel connected but inspiring in its own way. The themes are the same: sheepskin throws, a carefully placed cactus wall or gallery, high whitewashed ceilings that echo the sounds of ocean waves. We layer in different design elements based on what the space dictates. For Silver Lake, our largest boutique to date, we feature more retail because there is room for it. In addition, we included extra space to host more events and wellness gatherings. Features exclusive to Silver Lake include our handmade crystal grid installation comprised of 300 Quartz, Citrine and Smokey Quartz crystals. The space reflects our sought-after style by incorporating our signature hammock, swings hand-made from raw wood and an exclusive water feature which sets the tone for soothing relaxation. We aim to stay in tune with our surroundings and design elements the local clientele will appreciate.
What are your personal favorite services?
I love sitting in the journey room with a Fresh Eyes eye mask on and getting the Roots Massage if I need a quick fix. When I have time for the Moment room, I am a big fan of our signature massage paired with a deep tissue and an aromatherapy enhancement from Naturophatica. I am really excited about our new updated menu of services as well. With the opening of Silver Lake, we also launched a new menu and I love trying out the different enhancements which include classic wellness perks like heat therapy, muscle recovery gel and hydrating eye masks. Or for a more spiritual experience, I incorporate a crystal-healing foot soak or aromatherapy add-on to my massage.
All photos by Tessa Neustadt