Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

The Styled Side: paying for some inner peace

by Leo Duran | Take Two

94311 full
iStockphoto | NPR

Dim the lights, play some relaxing music and hand over your credit card.

Relaxation comes at a hefty price in Los Angeles, says contributor Michelle Dalton Tyree from Fashion Trends Daily.

"There's a new wave of serenity in L.A. with businesses to help busy, stressed-out Angelenos bliss out," she says.

While New Age-meditation is not new to Southern California, the capitalist takeover of it is.

"The people trying to get ourselves to relax and unplug from our crazy lives? They're all reformed Type-A sorts," she says, "and guess what? They are marketing to the very people they once were."

It is an increasingly lucrative business: complementary and alternative medicine have seen a 65 percent increase since 2010 to $113 billion. Meanwhile the spa industry alone grew 58 percent from $60 billion in 2007 to $94 billion in 2013.

Tyree points out some of the studios leading this trend:

  • Unplug, a chic mediation studio started a couple of years ago by a stressed-out Type-A former Vogue editor and transplant from New York.
  • The Den Mediation Studio, a newly opened spot in the Miracle Mile. It was started by former NBC exec Tal Rabinowitz because she couldn't find a studio or place to practice outside the office.  You can do everything from book a lunchtime mediation detox, buy packages for classes, or do your own self-guided mediations in one of their stylishly peaceful rooms.
  • The Now, a relatively new massage studio near The Grove where one hour costs $60. While inexpensive massages are not new, this one is designed with a style in mind so it is not a drab experience: it offers a cool and stylishly boho retreat and eschews the traditional spa setting for something far more accessible and affordable.
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