Massage: travel treat AND medicinal must

Since most of my travel is based on personal enjoyment, I have time to partake in certain indulgences. As my body ages, the one indulgence that becomes as much necessity as pleasure is having a massage. Especially after a long-haul flight to destinations abroad. A vacation is generally an opportunity to take a breather from the stresses of daily life – both physical and mental. The serene setting of a spa relaxes my mind and the massage works out the built up tension in my body, so when I exit the spa I am ready to be active on my vacation.

It doesn’t take too much investigating to see that the massage industry has become a big buck business. There are actual Spa Resorts, most notably in Arizona: Miraval Spa Resort north of Tucson or Mii Amo Spa Resort in Sedona, Arizona. There are independent day spas, like Milagro Midwestern Day Spa in Leawood, Kansas and multi-location day spas like Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas. Massages have long been a part of European and Middle Eastern culture and where many techniques and products originated – i.e. Swedish Massage and Dead Sea Salts.

Milagro Midwestern Spa & Collective, Kansas

Milagro Midwestern Spa & Collective, Kansas


Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, Union Square, NYC

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, Union Square, NYC

Even insurance companies have gotten on board supporting massage therapy as being a very important medical therapy to help people be more productive by keeping their body pain-free and moving well to withstand the demands of work and daily life.

I have been getting regular massages for the better part of the last thirty years, long before it was a popular thing to do. My mother became a clinical massage therapist 32 years ago at the age of 48 and I was more than happy to be her constant guinea pig while she worked on perfecting her skills. Up until a couple of years ago, she was still able to give a 90-minute massage to rival any I have had, anywhere. Through her eyes I have witnessed the massage industry go from an indulgent luxury to a part of many people’s regular health routine.

Over the years I have noticed a change in the attitude of the massage therapist. Instead of being an easy way to earn $50 an hour without much training, massage therapy has become a professionally trained modality that is producing a competitive edge to force therapists to hone their talent and be proud of their skills. Think about using your hands and body to give back to back massages throughout an eight-hour day – could you do that?

For years, options of kinds of massages were fairly limited – either the lighter touch Swedish massage or for the braver souls a Deep Tissue massage that really gets in and works out all the knots and ropes that stress creates in our bodies. Now the options include: hot stone; cold stone, aromatherapy; four hands; bamboo shoot rolls; foot reflexology. And cater to special needs such as: trigger point; relaxation; rejuvenation; lymphatic drain; migraine relief; cranial facial; back ailments; TMJ; prenatal; golfer’s neck, back and shoulders. And the list goes on and on for both.

Hot stone massage

My daughter and I have made massage a regular part of our regular travel routine together. We have our favorite places like the Scottsdale Spa at the CopperWynd Resort in Fountain Hills, Arizona or the Cornelia Spa at the Surrey Hotel in New York City. But we are always game to try out someplace new, having learned there are so many different ways to be treated to great massage, most being equally effective. To date we have indulged in literally dozens of massages, so when the massage therapist asks us “Have you ever had a massage before?” – we grin and say “Most definitely!”

A massage therapy room at The Scottsdale Spa at Copperwynd, Fountain Hills, AZ

A massage therapy room at Cornelia Spa at the Surrey Hotel, NYC

More spas worth checking out:


Agave Spa, Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, Scottsdale

Sanctuary Spa, Sanctuary Resort and Spa, Scottsdale


Eau Spa, Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa, Palm Beach


Fusion LifeSpa, Minnetonka

New York:

Great Jones Spa, NoHo, Manhattan, NYC

The Spa at Trump, Trump SoHo, NYC


The Spa at Windham Hill Inn, West Townshend

Czech Republic:

Esotica Spa, The Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa, Prague


Shiseido Spa, Atlantis The Palm Resort, Dubai, UAE


Moevenpick Resort and Spa, Dead Sea

InterContinental Spa, InterContinental Hotel, Amman


The Spa, Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort, Cancun

Secrets Spa, Secrets Silversands Resort and Spa, Cancun


Essence Organic Day Spa, Hotel Saskatchewan, Regina

Sahara Spa, Moose Jaw

Sun Tree Spa, Temple Gardens Mineral Spa Resort Hotel, Moose Jaw


La Spa Geneva, Grand Kempinski Hotel, Geneva


One thought on “Massage: travel treat AND medicinal must

  1. Finally breaking down and making an appointment this week for a La Stone massage at Russo Salon in Fountain Hills, AZ , I finally came to the realization that it IS a necessity (not an indulgence) to care for my physical body in this way. I am worthy of care, of comfort, of healthy touch. I’m choosing to let go of the guilt of this “indulgence”, and choose to see it’s tremendous value as a healing tool. I think I will use your amazing list of spas to try around the world! Thank you, dear friend, for helping me really get this!! Love you!

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