Spa treatments by purpose
Where to relax, recharge, detox, soothe winter skin and more.
Mon Jan 23 2012
RECOMMENDED: See this year's New York spas guide
The Green Spa & Wellness Center: Organic Revital Eyes
8804 Third Ave between 88th and 89th Sts, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (718-921-6100, greenspany.com). Regularly $38. TONY deal Mention TONY at booking for 15 percent off this treatment or any treatment that day.
I'll take any opportunity to rejuvenate my dark-circled, puffy eyes. The all-natural Eminence products used at Green Spa exfoliated and soothed my fatigued skin, while a raspberry eye mask, green-tea--soaked cotton and a neck massage helped me forget why I was so tired in the first place. (The complimentary champagne and fluffy robe didn't hurt either.)
Best part: After the initial fingertip massage, my aesthetician worked cool stones into the treatment, tracing the contours of my eyes and smoothing out any worry lines.
Why it's worth it: From the wrought-iron door to the multiple floors of dimly lit earth-toned rooms and soothing rain-forest sounds, Green Spa is anything but clinical.—Christen Brandt
Anasa Day Spa: Aromatherapy facial
31-09 Newtown Ave at 31st Ave, suite 409, Astoria, Queens (718-777-7720, anasadayspa.com). Regularly $90. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for 15 percent off this service or any other single treatment through Feb 10.
The mood lighting, soft music and cozy monogrammed robes at this Queens retreat come with a side of tough love from soothing but firm spa therapist Toula Angelidakis. With a little steaming and a few expert cheek presses, she correctly guessed that I don't drink enough water, exfoliate too much and never wipe down my cell phone. (Oops.) After a deep cleaning, she massaged in a custom mix of essential oils (ginseng and comforting horse chestnut for my sensitive skin) and topped them with a repairing serum. As a bonus, she shared handy skin tips and factoids: Did you know that New Yorkers are more prone to blackheads because of air pollution?
Best part: A cool-to-the-touch, custom-mixed mask was painted on to lock in essential oils, then peeled off and followed by a hot towel to my face. I could feel every pore open up.
Why it's worth it: I knew I'd be racing to another appointment after the facial, so I packed a makeup bag to deal with redness and shine. Surprise: My skin was dewy, clear and blotch-free on its own.—Cathy Vandewater
Spring Thyme Day Spa: Anma massage
40 Exchange Pl between Nassau and Williams Sts (212-385-4973, springthymeny.com). $80. TONY deal Mention TONY for 15 percent off any massage service, 30 percent off any facial or body treatment or an acupuncture session and consultation for $45 (normally $120) through Apr 26.
Relaxing massages are luxurious, no doubt. But to handle the constant challenges of work and parenting, what my body really needed was a serious energy boost. Spring Thyme cofounder and massage therapist Philip Lam first looked at my tongue and then deeply into my eyes for signs of toxins, which alert the practitioner to any troubled organs. Then I laid facedown on a narrow table, fully clothed in a T-shirt and sweatpants, for an intense session of Anma massage courtesy of Lam's strong, nimble hands. With directed pressure, Lam activated points from my shoulders to my toes in a way that pushed my pain envelope but also realigned my body's entire flow of energy.
Best part: Lam's initial focus on my essential-organ meridians—those of the heart, lungs and kidneys, which are accessed at different points on the upper back—released a searing heat that was exactly what my body needed.
Why it's worth it: The 50-minute session, though hardly what one could call pleasant or relaxing, left me energized and supremely awake, as though my consciousness had just been zapped into sharp focus.—Lee Magill
Moonflower Spa: Rose Renew Body Treatment
8 E 41st St between Fifth and Madison Aves, suite three (212-683-8729, moonflowerspa.com). $95.
Upon stepping into this spa, hidden above a busy midtown street, I was transported to an oasis of calm. Moon Flower specializes in facials, but for the Rose Renew treatment—a combination of aromatherapy, exfoliation and massage—it was the rest of my body that received attention. The tense muscles in my back and feet, as well as the dry skin on my arms, legs and hands, were scrubbed, rubbed, massaged and pampered. After a full exfoliation, my masseuse, Chizuru A., stimulated my circulation and released knots I didn't even know I had.
Best part: The aromatic oils that were used during the treatment were scented with rose, chamomile and neroli. Not only were they invigorating, but they also left me with a subtly, sweet scent.
Why it's worth it: The treatment was a much-needed balm for my rough winter skin, which was transformed from dry and flaky to moisturized and smooth.—Meg Rushton
Metamorphosis Spa: Aromatherapy massage
127 E 56th St between Park and Lexington Aves, fifth floor (212-751-6051, metspa.com). $150. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for $50 off this service through Apr 1.
After placing a glass bowl of mixed essential oils—cypress, juniper, bergamot, orange and rosemary—underneath my face, masseuse Andrea Nieto got to work kneading the same oils into my exhausted body. Though it was almost overwhelming at first, a few deep breaths of the scent perked me up, even more than my daily dose of caffeine. Nieto also gave me a small tissue dotted with the same combination as I walked out the door "for a quick pick-me-up." Over the next few days, a quick whiff of the potent tissue boosted my energy on the spot.
Best part: As kids, my sister and I would stretch by pulling on each other's limbs. The technique Nieto used to gently tug on my arms and legs was similar but more relaxing, and it released tension and knots I didn't even know I had.
Why it's worth it: I walked in to the spa feeling depleted from a few taxing days; I left it relaxed, recharged and ready to take on a new week right then and there.—Marcy Franklin
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