Meta Touch Custom Therapeutic Massage Treats Clients to a Unique Brand of Care

Owner Zalma Holden Applies Multidisciplinary Techniques to Get Results

Everyone loves a massage, but have you ever wished your massage could be more? No, not John Travolta more, but a massage that makes you feel good, not for just an hour — but for all time.

“We go deeper,” says Holden Zalma of Culver City-based Meta Touch Custom Therapeutic Massage. “You can always have a ‘fluffy’ massage if you want one, but our goal is to get to the root of your physical problems and make you feel better – and not just for the duration of your treatment.”

Meta Touch owner Zalma Holden applies his multi-disciplinary approach to get to the core of his clients’ aches and pains

I went to see Holden with hopes he could help resolve neck and back pain that has plagued me for years. I was surprised at first when Holden asked me about my work and home life, but as my assessment continued, I understood perfectly how my stress level and other lifestyle issues affected my overall health and wellbeing.

From his empathetic demeanor you might think Holden is a psychotherapist, but he actually has a background as a former assistant athletic trainer at USC and an education in physical therapy. Through his past 16 years of practice he has devised an approach to treatment that combines traditional and alternative medicine, embracing techniques of myo-fascial release, oriental medicine, assisted stretching and other rehabilitative therapies.

The treatment rooms at Meta Touch are designed to promote relaxation and comfort

While he appears relatively young for a successful health care entrepreneur who has owned his own practice since 1996, he wise beyond his years, and his philosophy on health and wellness are more than the treatment of the moment.
As Holden talked me through my treatment, explaining each of the techniques and how they served to sooth pain and make my body and its parts work together better, I became a true believer. He found the precise points where my pain was originating and gently worked those areas until I could move better, without pain.

While I know therapy takes time and there are no immediate miracles, I felt that at I had found a provider who not only had the professional credentials but also that rare gift of intuition, knowing where the problem lies and how to unlock it.

As I gushed my praise for his healing hands, Holden in all modesty explained that his techniques are more science than art, and that they are actually teachable. In fact, he personally trains all of the therapists at Meta Touch in his methodologies so that all clients who come to the practice receive the same standard of care.
Holden has been successful and his practice is thriving because he works at it, and his methods work. Outside of his treatment studios he administers to office workers who seek his help in relieving stress through therapeutic massage in the work place. Literally and figuratively, Holden goes out of his way to help others and to spread his philosophy that the whole person – body, mind and spirit, benefits from therapeutic touch, especially when delivered with caring and compassion.

His methods are borne out in medical and alternative health care communities, but his attitude and dedication cannot be learned from a text book or seminar. As a chronic neck and back pain sufferer who has been to too many physical therapists, chiropractors, orthopedic physicians to count, I can attest that it was a relief, physically and mentally, to experience treatment from a practitioner who wanted as much as I did to find the core problem causing my pain in order to properly treat it.

Meta Touch Custom Therapeutic Massage offers treatment at its Culver City location as well as on-site at work places

He is only one man, but if you are to visit just one massage therapist, even if it is for the umpteenth time to satisfy your conviction that you have, “tried everything, and nothing has worked,” see Holden Zalma at Meta Touch. There are no guarantees about anything in life; but if when a person pursues their natural vocation, applies their life-long learning, genuinely tries their hardest and cares immensely about what he does — as Holden does, the results will not be disappointing.

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Best of the Beach: Must-Have, Must-Do Beach Stuff for all Seasons

School started early this year for many Southern California kids, but that does not mean summer fun is done.  So pack up your family and get your beach on with these great day trips and cool stuff for the sand and surf.

Wheel Easy

You got your beach chairs, cooler, blankets, umbrella and all the other accoutrement for a day at the beach — but how to you haul it across the sand?   The Wheeleez Beach Cart ($337) is the next best thing to a plane drop for getting your gear to the shore.   It features giant balloon-like wheels that glide across the sand, and with the huge 3.5-cubic foot tub, you can transport everything in one trip.  The cart features a handle for easy pulling and pushing across the sand and a kickstand to park it.  The handle folds down and the axle and wheels come off quickly for an easy load-in to your car.  When not in service at the beach, you can use the cart for gardening, as it can also cruise through mud, and it won’t crush your flower beds; or you can use the tub to store all your beach gear for the next trip.  An optional umbrella ($19.95) can connect to the cart to keep your gear, and you in the shade.   Available at http://www.wheeleez.com. Like Wheeleez, Inc. at  www.Wheeleez.com/Facebook for coupons codes for a discount on the Beach Cart and a FREE Beach Umbrella with purchase.

The Not-So-Exclusive Beach House

Love hanging by the beach, but you also love the comforts of a resort?  Get the best of both worlds, without the resort fees, at the Annenberg Community Beach House (www.annenbergbeachhouse.com).  Located in Santa Monica at 415 Pacific Coast Highway, at Beach House Way, the private-home-turned public community center boasts an expansive public beach front and plenty of reasonably-priced amenities.   The beautiful mosaic-tiled pool and the guest house are all that remain of the former beach mansion bestowed by William Randolph Heart on his mistress Marion Davies.   Now anyone can use the pool, reservations recommended, for a small fee of $10 for adults and $4 for youth, with senior and four-person family discounts.

For a CliffsNotes history lesson about the homestead, well-informed docents offer free tours of the guest house.  The grounds also feature a water-jet play area, swings and play structures for children, all next door to the Back to the Beach Café.  For more formal occasions, the center offers gorgeous party rooms for rent, and guests can reserve canopies on the beach for $20 per hour, though during peak season these get snapped up quickly.  Ignore the valet and self-park for $4 an hour, or all day for $8, or $10 on weekends. While it is not quite the Ritz, this beach house will literally let you experience the beach just like the rich and famous.

Off-Season Outings

Do you enjoy biking on the beach path through Will Rogers State Park, but don’t like pedaling through the pedestrians?  Want to take the kids to the Santa Monica Pier, but hate fighting the crowds?  Is learning to surf on your bucket list, but lessons aren’t in your budget? Take advantage of the official end of the summer season, when tourist traffic dwindles, to experience beach activities without the swarms of out-of-town visitors, and sometimes at a discount.

Whether your pleasure is the smell of burning sage and the sound of drum circles in Venice or people watching at the beachfront cafes in Santa Monica, the bike path from Manhattan Beach to Malibu offers plenty to see and do along the way, and after Labor Day there are fewer walkers to swerve around.  You also get a better pick of rental bikes at shops like Perry’s Bike and Skate at 2600 Ocean Front Walk or local fave Spokes ‘N Stuff, with locations at 4200 Admiralty Way in Marina Del Rey and 1700 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica.

If being turned upside down and scrambled is more your thing, Pacific Park on the Pier offers rides, games and other attractions for all ages along with your favorite boardwalk food, like Hot-Dog-on-a-Stick, cotton candy and kettle corn. Off-season lines are shorter, temperatures are cooler, and you can actually find a parking space.  Before you go, stop by a local Costco for discount ride-all-day wristbands offered at about half the regular price.

The sun may be setting on summer, but the beach still has plenty to offer.  You can get great off-season deals on surfing instruction at Aqua Surf School (www.aquasurfschool.com), which offers promotions October through April.  The water is at is warmest at the end of summer, and you don’t have to compete for the waves with the throngs of tourists. So what are you waiting for?  Hang ten!

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Giveaway!

When I saw the billboard for What to Expect When You’re Expecting, I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  Of course, like every pregnant woman, I had read the book.  But a movie?  It was more of an educational resource book than a narrative story, so how would that translate on screen?  We’ll, if you saw the movie in theatres (and for those who didn’t, you get a second chance when the DVD comes out  September 11) you know that the movie, just like the book, is an accurate, truthful, hilarious, tear-jerking account of pregnancy.

As Jennifer Lopez, who stars in the movie as “Rosie,” says about the book, “I think every pregnant couple – every pregnant woman reads it.  It was so accurate about everything that was happening every step of the way.”

It’s true!  According to USA Today, 93% of all pregnant mothers who read a pregnancy guide read What To Expect When You’re Expecting.

So, if you’re expecting, or in the first year of child rearing, or raising a toddler, get you must read the baby Bible, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, now in its 4rth edition; plus, once you’ve had the baby, there are two sequels: What to Expect in the First Year, and What to Expect the Second Year – from 12 to 24 Months.”

So if you’ve learned that you are expecting (or you have a little one), I have good news!  I am giving away free copies of each of these books!

To enter, just become a friend on the Facebook page for our sister blog, Out with Mommy, or follow Out with Mommy on Twitter and message or tweet about the book you would most enjoy.  Winners will be selected randomly using random.com.

It’s easy! 

-Like Out with Mommy on Facebook

-Follow Out with Mommy on Twitter

-Follow What to Expect on Twitter

Also, feel free to post this giveaway on your blog (leave the link to your post)

This giveaway will end Monday, September 9 at 9 PST. Good luck to everyone!

Attention Book Lovers: Save the Date for the 11th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair on Sunday, September 30, 2012

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WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood will host its 11th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair on Sunday, September 30, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the West Hollywood Library and West Hollywood Park, 625 North San Vicente Boulevard. The West Hollywood Book Fair is one of Southern California’s largest and most eclectic literary arts events, and it attracts readers, writers, and performers of all ages and interests. At this year’s event, the City of West Hollywood celebrates the one-year anniversary of its vibrant new library, which has quickly become an integral part of the community and its passionate commitment to lifelong learning.

This year’s Book Fair will feature 13 stages with hundreds of acclaimed authors and artists, 100 exhibitors, live performances, culinary demonstrations, children’s theater programming, and workshops across a broad spectrum of works. The 2012 Book Fair will also feature new genre-specific and multi-genre stages in addition to performance areas that carry on the success of the past ten years.

Among the many notable authors scheduled to appear at this year’s West Hollywood Book Fair are Roberto Martin (Ellen DeGeneres’ personal chef and author of Vegan Cooking for Carnivores); Andrew McCarthy (award-winning travel writer and actor);Kyle Richards (author of Life Is Not a Reality Show and star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”); Ludovic Lefebvre (LudoBites master chef); Gigi Levangie Grazer (New York Times bestselling author of five novels including The Starter Wife, Maneater and The After Wife, as well as the screenplay for Stepmom); Sheryl Lee Ralph (veteran of film, television, and Broadway; founder of the Diva Foundation); Eric Erlandson (co-founder, songwriter, and lead guitarist for the alternative rock band Hole and author of Letters to Kurt about his close friendship with Nirvana icon Kurt Cobain); Gary Phillips (bestselling author of Monkology and The Underbelly);Reverend Ed Bacon (author of 8 Habits of Love: Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind, and longtime Rector of All Saints Church in Pasadena); Charles Yu (author of Sorry Please Thank You and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe);Eduardo Santiago (author of the novel Tomorrow They Will Kiss);Dustin Thomason (multi-million selling author of The Rule of Four and 1221);and Luis J. Rodriguez (bestselling author of Always Running and It Calls You Back on L.A. gang life).

The 11th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair is hosted by the City of West Hollywood and co-produced by the Authentic Agency.

Admission is free, and there will be free parking and shuttles for the event. For more information about the West Hollywood Book Fair, contact Olivia Walker, Recreation Services Manager, at (323) 848-6482 or visit www.westhollywoodbookfair.org  Become a fan of the West Hollywood Book Fair on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WHBookFair  For the hearing impaired, please call         (323) 848-6496.

How to Make Your Home Office PC: Posturally Correct

Simple Solutions to Create a More Comfortable Setting While Your Work at Home

The Look-Up Trick

The demise of the bulky desktop computer and the proliferation of laptops has led to a plethora of aches and pains for those who work at a desk.  Laptop screens are lower and require the user to lean forward and look down, causing neck and back strain.

Ergonomic experts advise raising up a laptop so that its screen is readable at the same height as a PC monitor, just above eye level.  There are a few good looking stands out there, such as the adjustable ENHANCE ErgoPROP Ergonomic Laptop and Netbook Display Desktop Stand (sale priced at $9.99, AccessoryGenie.com).  It sure beats the low-rent option of boxes or books as props.

Key Features

Of course, you won’t be able to type on an elevated laptop, so you will need a separate keyboard.  The wireless Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop (Microsoft.com, $119.95) features an ergonomic mouse and a wave-shaped keyboard with a padded wrist rest that keeps the hand, wrist and forearm in a more natural, neutral position.  The large-sized mouse is designed for use with the hand comfortably resting on its side.  Short-cut keys on the panel get you quickly to email, Internet, or your favorite websites. The mouse and keyboard feature controls to zoom and enlarge test, so you can sit back farther from the screen to read.

There is a short learning curve to get accustomed to the spacing of the keys and the angle of the keyboard, but then it’s smooth typing. One trivial complaint is that the USB plug sticks out about an inch and a half, sometimes getting in the way, and the mouse lacks an “off” switch to conserve batteries.  Overall though, this keyboard has lots of great user-friendly features, all with comfort in mind.

Slim Pecking

If you don’t have the space for a large keyboard, the Verbatim Wireless Mini Slimboard ($44.99, B&H Photo, Amazon, Newegg and Buy.com) has an ultra slim, compact design and comes with an integrated wireless mouse.  It also features an on-keyboard media console so that you can play, pause and otherwise control your media from your keyboard. The key size and spacing feel similar to a laptop keyboard, so transition is easy for new users. 

One problem this reviewer encountered was occasional loss of wireless connection for no apparent reason.  Also, each time the computer is restarted the number lock engages by default, which can be annoying when entering passwords upon boot up.  Mostly this keyboard is for those who don’t have a lot of desk space or want to take a keyboard on the go.

Look Boss, No Hands

Cradling a phone between your ear and shoulder is a sure way to neck pain, but heavy headsets or annoying ear pieces have their downside too.  For those multi-taskers who want to move about and talk on the phone handsfree, the Gigaset C610A and L410 bundle ($119.99, gigaset.com, Amazon, Bestbuy.com) is a great solution. 

The clip-on L410, which can be fastened to a shirt collar, offers clear sound quality even while you walk and talk, up to 164 feet from the base.  Calls can be accepted or ended on the L410 or transferred from the C610A with the touch of a button.  If you don’t want your calls broadcast on the speaker, you can easily transfer the call to the handset.  For work-at-home parents, the set also functions as a baby monitor.

Happy Feet

Good ergonomics means proper posture from head to foot, so don’t forget to support for your legs and feet under the desk.  Varying the height and position of your legs and feet can reduce back pain and lessen fatigue.  The Fellowes Heat and Slide Footrest ($79.99, Office Depot) is adjustable from 4-1/4” to 5” and features a sliding platform to help increase circulation in the legs and feet.  It has the added bonus of an energy-efficient low-wattage heat source for chilly days, to warm the tops of your feet.  The heat turns off automatically in eight hours in case you leave it on.  For those who work without shoes, the bumpy surface of the footrest offers a stress-reducing massage.

Familes Get the Star Treatment with Heart at Montage Beverly Hills

Montage Presents World-Class Amenities with Heart for Visitors and Locals

“Genuine” and “Beverly Hills” might not be words heard together often, but the Montage Beverly Hills brings them together with grace and synergy.  The luxury hotel, located in the shopping and dining center of the city, offers visitors and locals the Beverly Hills treatment of extraordinary service and ambiance, but it adds sincerity, and indeed, even warmth to its experience.

There was no mistake from the moment I arrived at Montage Beverly Hills that it is a property worthy of its namesake hood, beginning with the highly efficient valet staff that greeted me at the entrance to the meticulously professional and movie-star-good looking front desk attendants.   Though it is hard to call a hotel with more than 200 guest rooms “small,” there is an intimacy to the lobby, halls and lounges that feels welcoming, and while the ornamentation is opulent, it is impresses without intimidating.

Chakra One Up

The Spa Montage is a gem within the hotel that epitomizes the hotel’s brand of hospitality.  After donning my robe and slippers in the posh and immaculate locker room, I settled into the spa’s relaxation lounge with a soothing herbal tea and a glossy celeb mag.  I was so cozy I began to doze, but soon Deborah, my therapist, came to escort me to my treatment room – a mood-lit chamber with a deep hydro tub centerpiece, which is a hi-tech Jacuzzi of sorts, complete with disco lights.  I had wanted to try something more than an ordinary massage, and this promised to be all that.

My treatment was called Essential Waters.  Once I slipped into my oh-so-flattering spa bathing suit, resembling a shower cap with leg holes and a Daisy Duke tube top, I reclined in the tub, and Deborah added a potpourri of lavender and rosemary, rose and lemon into the water.  Each of these herbs, flowers and citrus zest are designed to promote relaxation, sooth aches and pains, relieve congestion, hydrate the skin, balance the energy system, detoxify the body and aid digestion.

The tub’s lights fill the water with the colors of the chakras to activate and cleanse the energy system.  A hose spraying pressurized water is used to massage the body, neck to toe, and though the water massage is actually deeper than deep-tissue massage, it feels gentle and relaxing.  If the water treatment were not spoiling enough, it is followed by a traditional full-body massage for 45 minutes.  The treatment concludes with an invigorating scrub and Vichy rain-like shower with seven shower heads, topped off with a rub down with tangerine fig lotion.  The entire experience was completely indulgent.

Water Water Everywhere

All spa guests are given access to the Montage rooftop pool, a delightful oasis with spectacular panoramic views of Beverly Hills, including the neighboring Beverly Canon Gardens, a gorgeously landscaped European inspired public park of fountains and vine-covered walkways that adjoins the hotel property.

The pool itself is a thing of beauty, with mosaic-tiled walls and a Jacuzzi framed by plumes of water along the perimeter that arch into the saline waters.  Despite the decidedly sophisticated poolside ambiance, there was a pleasant mix of guests of all ages, including couples, families and groups, offering lots of good people watching, such as the French-speaking entourage in a corner cabana that presented a fashion show of bikinis, for both women and men.

The pool depth was perfect for my son, who could easily stand in the shallow end, and he was delighted to find several friendly kids with whom to play games in the water.  After working up an appetite, we dined at the rooftop’s Conservatory Grill, which offers poolside service of a menu of farmer’s-market-fresh healthy cuisine for breakfast and lunch along with a number of Montage signature smoothies and cocktails.

Real Happy Kids of Beverly Hills

The Montage’s very young guests, aged 5-12, have their own place to hang while the adults enjoy the spa, dining at the hotel’s Scarpetta restaurant, shopping or other grown-up diversions.  The Paintbox kids club, available to spa or hotel guests by the hour, or longer spans that include meals, hosts children in a cutely decorated recreation room of toys and games where they are supervised by trained childcare staff.  While my son was hesitant for about two minutes, after meeting the lovely attendant Maya and a handful of other happily playing kids, he jumped right in, designing his own complimentary drawstring backpack and creating a glittery plaster mold of his hand, among other arts can crafts and activities.

Our day at Montage was a treat for both mom and child.  The staff and service saw to our every need, as you would expect at a tony Beverly Hills establishment, but with the refreshing and unexpected addition of genuine friendliness.  I left feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, and my son had such a full day he was ready for a late afternoon nap.  By all accounts, a perfect day.


Beverly Hills on Dwellable