Something Spa-cial Downtown

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - June 29, 2005
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Yvette Dowd programs a massage for Samantha Manly

Owner Yvette Dowd has created an oasis in downtown Honolulu for busy professionals to get a massage without taking their clothes off. Her spa, Soothing Soles, features the Ocean Wave Massage Bed.

“I’ve always wanted to open a spa,” says Dowd.

Calming music and sweet fragrances greet customers as they wait in the boutique area for a massage. A browse through the boutique features the aroma therapy, teas, tone boosts, bath and body products. There’s even a pillow made of rice that can be heated in the microwave to relieve stress in the neck area.

The Ocean Wave Massage Bed is like lying on a heated water bed while nine jets underneath you spurt water to knead muscles all over your body. The continuous pulsating sensations make most people smile because it feels good. The most popular setting for the water strength jet propulsion, which ranges from one through nine, is five or six.

At your first session, the staff assists you with various positions you can arrange your body in to get the best effect. There are 15, 25 and 30 minute sessions available in four private booths.

“It’s really something you just have to try out for yourself,” explains Dowd about the dry hydro-therapy massage.

After you’re done, you can sit in cozy chairs in the rest lounge, and have a complimentary drink from the tonic bar.

In addition, the spa offers spray tanning and acupuncture. In the future, she’s planning on adding temporary airbrush tattoos and OxyAromatherapy, which is 92 percent oxygen infused with aromatherapy.

Before she opened her spa, she was on the road doing sales calls for four and a half years for office equipment. Dowd, a MidPac 1990 grad, had her first experience with a water massage when she was on a trip in Vegas five years ago. The Aiea resident loved having massages as she sometimes felt tired and sore, especially if her sciatic nerve started acting up. Her masseuse, who used to come to her house on a regular basis, moved to the East Coast in early 2003. That’s when Dowd remembered her Vegas water massage, and she started researching the industry. After comparing other machines, she narrowed it down to the Ocean Wave Massage Bed. She immediately secured the rights to became the exclusive distributor of the product in Hawaii. Her husband, Glenn, supported her whole-heartedly.

“He’s the skeptical one,” she says. “If I can sell him, then I know I’m not off base because I get lots of great ideas.”

She set up a booth at a couple of trade shows and got an overwhelmingly positive response to the beds and this year, she opened her spa.

“I hardly do things the way others do it,” admits the knowledgeable Dowd. “With this massage, it’s not oily, and it’s not wet. And with the heat it helps people to relax.”

Soothing Soles is located at 223 S. King St. Suite 100. It’s open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 531-8600 or log onto

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