Manolo for the Beauty » It Needs to be All About Me. And You, Too.

It Needs to be All About Me. And You, Too.

By Glinda

I’ve never actually taken a spa break, but it certainly sounds like a fine idea indeed.

I’m a big believer in stress relief, I just haven’t found a way to make it work for me since my kids entered my life. Although now that I think about it, I really should find a way because I notice that I’m a happier mom when I get even a couple of hours to myself reading a book.  Who knows what could happen if I actually managed to pamper myself a little bit? Surely a Mother of the Year award would be within my grasp.

I remember my former (non-child) life when I would stay at high-end hotels and there upon the desk would be the spa “menu.”  You could choose from all kinds of heavenly-sounding spa treatments, from a hot stone massage to Ayurvedic treatments, which were so mysterious yet so very tempting.  However, there was always something else to do on those trips, and at the time, my husband would insist that we were not there to visit the spa.  If I had only known the stress that would be visited on me in later years, I would have dragged him there kicking and screaming, so as to build up some stress relief reserves.

For our recent 10th wedding anniversary, my husband suggested we go and get a couples massage.  Hallelujah, he has finally seen the light!  Forget the traditional gift of tin or aluminum, sign me up for warm oil poured on my forehead!

Does anyone have any favorite treatments they recommend for some spa newbies?


8 Responses to “It Needs to be All About Me. And You, Too.”

  1. Monica Says:

    I am a devoted patron of spas. Even if you just go and use their most basic facilities, the peace you get is sublime.

    The best treatment I’ve ever gotten at a spa was the detox herbal bath at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay in Vegas. (Talk about a city where people have “stuff to do” other than the spa, which is a shame, because hotel spas on the Strip are heavenly.)

    At most spas, the standard menu is massage, body wraps, facials, maybe body scrubs, and then waxing and mani/pedis. I say skip the waxing or mani/pedis because you can get them cheaper elsewhere, and focus on stuff that is unique to that particular spa. Although it’s hard to go wrong with a massage.

    Also, make sure you allow some free time after the massage, because you are going to want to lounge in your comfy robe with your cucumber water or whatever beverage it is, and just blank out.

    And you may want a bathing suit for the jacuzzi and saunas.

    So, um, I like spas. :)

  2. Devon Says:

    Hot stones are awesome. First, they’re hot, and they take off the chill of being nearly naked, half-covered by a sheet. Second, the heat begins the relaxation of your muscles as it sinks in, so that your therapist will have less warming-up work to do, and you can get more accomplished in the same amount of time. I’m tempted to make a hot stones appointment now! I’ve only had it done once, but it was great.

  3. La Petite Acadienne Says:

    I just love a regular old-fashioned massage. No frills, but it’s wonderful. And my lone piece of advice to spa-goers is this: arrive in plenty of time. If you’re running late, and fly in at the last second, you’ll be all stressed and flustered and it will take you that much longer to relax. But if you arrive at LEAST 15 minutes early, you can sit down in the spa’s lovely waiting room, listening to soft music and partaking of their complimentary herbal teas, and start unwinding before the treatment even begins.

    And for anybody looking for something different, I had a myofascial release massage yesterday. It was VERY different — it wasn’t massage, so much as it was targeted pressure on certain trigger points, combined with guided stretching. But I felt several inches taller when I left, and I even WALKED differently, due to my hips no longer being so tight.

  4. klee Says:

    Massage, facials, pedicures, manicures, mud wraps: they are all awesome. Myofacial, as La Petite A pointed out, is life-changing. I thought it was silly at first, then when I stood up, I felt a lightness I never felt before. Converted me completely. I’ve been doing more and more spa-ing, and find I need less make-up and other stuff, feel and look better, and am generally a more tolerable human being (so I’ve been told).

  5. MissJoy Says:

    Sorry this is so long…
    I worked at 2 different spas for 2 1/2 years ( I moved with my manager to help open the second one). Tips for a great spa experience?
    * Turn off your cell phone and leave it in your locker.
    * I agree with La Petite, get there early, enjoy the waiting/relaxation room.
    * Shower the day of, I’ve had people come in stinking. Your massage therapist will appreciate if you are clean, especially since they are touching/smelling you for the next hour or so.
    * Don’t be embarrassed about your body. Any therapist who has been in the business any length of time has seen it all. Seriously.
    * Don’t shave your legs if you are having a salt scrub (which is great, but I enjoy the sugar more)
    * Hot stones are wonderful, but if there is a massage therapist who can do a Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage….heaven!
    * Pedicures are a favorite of mine. If you sign up for a 60 minute pedi, you get the whole 60 minutes, not someone rushing you through so they can get to the next person.
    * Facials are incredible and your skin looks and feels amazing. I wish I could afford to do this at least once a month.
    * If you choose to do a detoxifying treatment, such as a body mask, please don’t over indulge in alcohol the night before. The treatment is designed to draw toxins out through the skin and if you have been drinking excessively the night before, what is coming out of your skin will smell so raunchy it will stink the entire place up. True story.
    * It is normal to be completely naked under the sheet. The therapist has been trained how to keep you properly covered (draped) at all times. But if you feel like you can’t do that, keep your panties on. It won’t be a problem.
    * If you are uncomfortable at any point in your experience, let you therapist/technician know! A good therapist/technician will do whatever they can to make you comfortable. They want you to have an incredible experience and to return.
    * Tip you therapist/technician. If they have done an exceptional job, tip them well, usually between 15 and 20%. They will remember you.
    * Drink lots of water before and after your treatment. It is easier for the therapist to work on your muscles, and massage can by dehydrating.
    * Lastly, be nice to the front desk staff. They have control of the appointment books and often which therapist/technician will be assigned to you. They get to know the therapists well and can match you with one that will fit your needs best. If you treat them well they will go out of their way to make sure you are a happy camper.

  6. The Jimbles Says:

    MissJoy, those tips are very useful. Thank you!

    Every time I’ve had a spa experience, I’ve gotten a massage and it’s been heaven. I’ve been so wonderfully loose afterward and had that two-inches-taller feeling as well. Plus, in a real spa, the environment is so carefully controlled that you won’t experience any distractions and can truly give yourself over to the relaxation and get a better result.

    A warning about cosmetic treatments, though: I’ve had facials at two different spas and both times, I’ve broken out terribly. See if you can review the products that the spa uses before proceeding with a facial.

  7. SarahDances Says:

    Being on grad student time and budget constraints, I’ve become a HUGE fan of the Korean-style day spa near where I live. For a mere $35, you get 24 hours of access to a whole world of spa amenities (hot tubs, saunas, a warm pool with massaging jets), plus a great little Korean cafe and quiet rooms for napping, or just sitting around and relaxing, if you so choose. You can book massages, facials, scrubs, and other stuff, but I haven’t tried any of that yet.

    Even if I can only stay for a few hours, I leave feeling thoroughly refreshed. I’ve found going every couple of months is a great boon to my sanity, and I can even bring reading and other work to do without the bustle and distractions of home.

  8. JillyB Says:

    I love hot stone massages or any massage that uses wonderful-smelling oils. Long, relaxing strokes with oils are so relaxing. I’m not one for Swedish massages or anything that leaves me feeling pummeled. I can’t relax when someone’s hurting me, even if they say I’ll feel better later. I won’t. Go for something relaxing.

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