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.
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.
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!”
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
Great Jones Spa, NoHo, Manhattan, NYC
The Spa at Trump, Trump SoHo, NYC
The Spa at Windham Hill Inn, West Townshend
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