Kush: Body, Mind, Bliss

music cassmcJust because the economy has mood swings, doesn’t mean that you have to follow similar suit. That is where Staycations come in handy. But what about one for the body, heart and mind? About 40 minutes away from our Santa Cruz lair resides the wonderful creative hamlet of Carmel. As most of us already know, that area is the perfect locale for a long weekend getaway, so whether you opt to stay at a Downtown Carmel lodge or hotel—I’d recommend Vagabound Inn or Hofsas House—you might also want to toss something else into the mix: Pampering.

For that, the one portal that registers the biggest mark on our Spa Meter this month is Kush Day Spa. Perhaps one of the most charming and inviting spas in Carmel, it was birthed by massage therapist John Jertberg, and his wife, Monica. Together, they boast more than 15 years of experience and Kush, which has benefited from increased buzz since it came into existence three years ago, offers a variety of treatments to sooth the senses—from Sweedish and warm stone massages to waxing and anti-aging facials.

My recent visit consisted of a lovely double whammy—a 90-minute massage from Mr. Jertberg, following by nearly an hour-long facial by Camille. These two are pros and gifted in their individual crafts.

Jertberg’s massage began face up on the massage table where, fittingly, he began working on my face. Where traditional, almost predictable massage therapists tend to follow one kind of pattern—back first, shoulders, legs, flip over—this came as a welcome change and assured me from the get-go that the rest of the massage would be a fine experience. On another note, I was reminded that we often lose sight of how much stress we tend to hold in/on our face and this was a wonderful way to begin the treatment. From there, a kind of bliss followed. Sometimes it’s hit and miss with massage therapists. Is the pressure right? Are all the proper points in the body being targeted? But here, the combination of Jertberg’s masterful touch and intuition delivered one of the finest massage experiences along the Central Coast.

(Trust me: I’ve had many—from Pebble Beach to Santa Cruz and back again.)

You may also note Jertberg’s ideal attention to the head, scalp, jaw, feet, hands—oh, those typing and overly texting hands—and accomplished execution of larger muscle groups—from hamstrings to quads. Again, the man seems to have impeccable intuition.

Afterward, Camille arrived. Of course, at this point, I was floating off the massage table. After I turned over, Camille began the facial, first by cleansing my face. She, too, offered some light massage on my face and head, which is traditional in most facials, but again, there seemed to be an intuitive craftsmanship at play here.

Facials are a multi-step endeavor. Here, after my face was cleansed, more cleansing took place, followed by moisturizing—with a steamer and also a facial moisturizer. Later, a thicker mask was applied. In between, Camille offered expert light massage to the face, scalp, neck and ears.

Together, both John and Camille make up a dynamic duo, worthy of your consideration.

But take note, I discovered a number of other goodies in my research of the spa. I’ve noted a few of them below:

The Kush-For-Two Package: Nearly two hours, this package gives you and yours an opportunity to reach a one-of-a-kind Nirvana together. This includes two personalized massages and a choice of either a European Classic Facial or Kush’s inviting Back Treatment. ($350)

Cranial Sacral Therapy: The treatment, which runs about an hour but is also available in a 30-minute service—is all about the craniosacral rhythm. ($75- $145)

 Warm Stone Massage: Bliss is assured here. Heated stones are placed on the body and used with your massage. Not to be missed. ($155).

Prices listed are for 50 / 80 minute massages.

 European Classic Facial: This 50-minute outing ($95) blends European techniques and  a number of yummy special products—customize mask, extractions, and more. There’s an eye treatment, a fruit enzyme peel, use of customized serum, a hand treatment, and a facial waxing.

 There’s plenty more. As for the name—Kush—well, we all deserve a lot of that so, yeah, you do the math.

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To experience Kush, and to learn more, visit kushincarmel.com. Nestled in Morgan Court on the East side of Lincoln Street between 7th and Ocean Avenue in Carmel (next to Cypress Inn Hotel).

Call (831) 626-4100.

Email [email protected] or [email protected] for reservations.

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