Martha Soffer is healing personified. She's a glowing, nurturing soul who uses Ayurvedic medicine to connect the mind, body and spirit.
Ayurvedic doctor Martha Soffer (pronounced Mar-ta) is the go-to healer for Tara and her family. Martha has owned Surya Spa in the Pacific Palisades for over 20 years. If you're thinking of making a walk-in appointment, think again. This hidden oasis is the embodiment of personalized, one-on-one healing-- these treatments require specific handmade diagnoses from only Martha that you can't simply order off a menu.
Martha is a Colombian-born Ayurvedic master, filled with wisdom from training with her Ayurvedic guru for countless years. Her aura alone is soothing and you can't help but feel an instant calm in her presence. There is certainly a reason she's developed a large following with people who travel from all over to experience her transformative healing treatments. Martha personally hand-makes a custom blend of herbs for each patient, ensuring that the wonderfully specialized attention cures specific needs. She makes you feel so safe, at ease, and taken care of. Martha practices and urges her patients to practice TM (Transcendental Meditation)-- even her sweet dog meditates with the family daily!
HOW THEY GLOW QUESTIONNAIRE
NAME: Martha Soffer
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP: Bogota, Colombia
WHEN YOU ARE EATING HEALTHY, WHAT IS A TYPICAL…
BREAKFAST: Grain-free Surya Spa Love Bread with a dab of cultured ghee and raw honey, and a nice cup of hot Amish milk with fresh vanilla.
LUNCH: Organic dahl, basmati rice, farmer market vegetables sautéed in a little coconut oil, and maybe some roasted squash.
DINNER: Maybe a blended soup like asparagus, or a mixed vegetable soup -- all farmers market and organic -- or perhaps quinoa cooked so easily in a rice cooker with delicata squash and black kale or chard. I like a little fresh cheese now and then, like Burrata.
SNACK: Surya Spa Love Bread. What can I say?
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS/RESTAURANTS TO EAT HEALTHY? On the Westside, I love Rustic Canyon, Milo & Olive, Huckleberry, Axe in Venice, and Cafe Vida in the Palisades. Pressed Juicery, of course, for the best fresh juices. But we’re our own restaurant, too, and though our food is very simple, the ingredients are the best we can buy, and everything tastes very good...!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INDULGENCE? Passionfruit pudding made with fresh passionfruit and coconut sugar. And Mil Hojas, a spectacular desert from Colombia. And very good and dark chocolate!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES/RESTAURANTS TO INDULGE? Andres Carne De Res in Colombia. If I could take you to Andres, you’d understand...
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LAST MEAL ON EARTH? Rice, dahl and vegetables. I might as well go out clean!
WHERE DO YOU GROCERY SHOP IN LA? Farmers markets in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Malibu. The Co-op for hard to find things. And Gelson's when we’re in a pinch -- they’re nearby and have great organic produce.
WHAT IS YOUR FITNESS REGIME? (HOW OFTEN & WHAT DO YOU DO) In Ayurveda, fitness is more than keep the muscles strong. That’s important, and I love tennis and hiking and biking, but also we need fitness of mind, and of our nervous system, our digestive system, all our physical systems -- all of which Ayurveda can help with. We also need fitness of spirit and soul. To aid in that, I practice the simple technique of Transcendental Meditation, once when I wake up and again at the end of the day for twenty minutes. Very easy, nourishing, and rejuvenating.
WHAT IS YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE? (PRODUCTS, FACIALS, ETC) We make all our own products at Surya, including our Liquid Gold face oil, which takes about seven days to make, and has ingredients ranging from goat’s milk to moonlight. It’s an ancient recipe, and people swear by it, including executives at Revlon, who use it, themselves!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE NATURAL MAKEUP/ BEAUTY PRODUCTS? My favorites are all natural essential oil based fragrances from Aftelier in northern California and the sandalwood attars from Floracopeia and White Lotus Aromatics.
IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 PRODUCTS WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU?
1. Triphila -- a three-fruit combination that keeps things moving, has high Vitamin C content, and is profoundly rejuvenating.
2. Vilwadi -- a wonderful combination of Ayurvedic herbs that can, if you’re bitten by anything, save you from discomfort or worse.
3. Ghee -- even a tiny bit of ghee satisfies for a long time, and it’s great inside and outside the body, and if I can make a fire, I can cook with it!
WHAT PROFESSIONAL BEAUTY/FITNESS/HEALTHY GURUS DO YOU SWEAR BY? The ancient ones! The Caraka Samhita is the original Ayurvedic text, and contains the teachings of the ancient sages. So if I have to swear, I’ll swear by that. If you want the modern guys, in and around LA, I love Master Zhang, John Douglas, Howard Wills, and and all our own clients who are trainers and healers and chefs and skin experts -- there’s so much to learn from everyone.
TOP 3 FAVORITE SONGS?
1. "Let it Be" by The Beatles (I'm a big Beatles fan)
2. "1,000 Names of Vishnu" (but it doesn't have to be all at once)
3. "Besame" by Camila (I need a little Colombia in there!)...
WHAT IS THE BEST GIFT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? I want to say a book or a dress or a diamond from someone I love, guess who, and all those are wonderful, but I have received the most amazing gifts from profound healers who help me, and all the women at Surya, in the work we do. You’re probably saying, oh, sure, but it’s true -- we run across astonishing beings at Surya, and you know, astonishing beings do astonishing things!
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY. The perfect day at work is to participate in and witness a client’s transformation. It happens daily, and it’s wonderful. It’s why we do what we do. The perfect day not at work is to play tennis with my husband in an all-out live-ball clinic, get a wonderful brunch, do a little shopping, spend time with my kids -- somehow -- one is 18 and one is 20 in London! -- and have a wonderful dinner with friends...
WHAT IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE BEAUTY TIP/SECRET? Forgive everyone and forgive yourself. Love everyone and love yourself. You can put on the most wonderful oils in the world, but beauty radiates from within, and it shows on the skin...
WHAT MAKES YOU GLOW? Love. Family. Wonderful food. Panchakarma. And happy and transformed clients...!