Spa treatments by purpose
Where to relax, recharge, detox, soothe winter skin and more.
Mon Jan 23 2012
Wei Lang Spa at Devachan: Detox City body treatment
425 Broome St between Crosby and Lafayette Sts (646-454-4300, devachansalon.com). $165. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for ten percent off this treatment through Feb 26.
After sloughing off dead skin with a micronutrient-packed algae granule scrub, massage therapist and body-treatment specialist Niseema Dyan Diemer patted me down with handfuls of thick, mineral-rich mud. While I enjoyed a head massage, iodine in the mud drew out toxins. Meanwhile, magnesium kept the solution bubbling and crackling, a surprisingly soothing sensation. The grand finale is a hydrating milk rubdown that sealed Vitamin E into every pore of my body.
Best part: The wrap Diemer tucked around my mud-covered body resembled tinfoil, so I felt like a cozy baked potato while sweating out a month's worth of holiday partying.
Why it's worth it: I received a healthy, fresh-for-the-new-year glow without having to give up any of my favorite toxins.—Erin Griffith
Le Cachet Day Spa: Mud/Body Wrap treatment
39 E 30th St between Madison and Park Aves (212-448-9823, lecachetspa.com). $120.
As I lay on a bed of thermal blankets, aesthetician Mila Pronenko methodically scrubbed nearly every inch of my body with a citrus-scented mixture of Dead Sea salt and Vitamin E. Paying close attention to callused areas like elbows and heels, she sloughed off dead skin cells and moisturized my skin. Next, I was painted from neck to toe with mud (also from the Dead Sea) to remove impurities and toxins stored up in my hibernation-mode body. Then Pronenko wrapped me tightly with layers of plastic wrap, towels and a heated blanket before leaving me to enjoy a blissful nap. I drifted in and out of a cathartic slumber before cleaning up in an invigorating cool shower.
Best part: The salt scrubdown revived my winter-dulled skin and was the perfect primer for the mud-cocoon--induced snooze that followed.
Why it's worth it: The warmth of the burrito-like wrap thawed my seasonal chill and I felt refreshed for days.—Janet Caputo
Yelo Spa: Toe-Tal Detox
315 W 57th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-845-9812, yelospa.com). Regularly $80. TONY deal Mention TONY for 20 percent off this service through Feb 19.
Weeks filled with instant dinners often make me feel tired and sluggish. Massage therapist Taisha Cortes helped me flush out my high-sodium diet by hooking me up to an IonCleanse Foot Spa, a machine that purportedly detoxifies the body by drawing out negative ions through osmosis (the band applies alternating positive and negative currents). After attaching a strap to my wrist, wrapping a heated band around my stomach (over my kidneys) and soaking my feet in warm salt water, Cortes left me alone for about 30 minutes to relax. Post-treatment, the water was stained with differently colored residue based on the parts of my body from which it came: Green, for example, is from the lymphatic system, while brown comes from the liver. Finally, Cortes dimmed the lights and administered a 15-minute foot massage and reflexology session as I relaxed in one of the spa's plush chairs.
Best part: The massage and reflexology session rejuvenated my newly cleansed system and left me feeling completely at ease.
Why it's worth it: Living a high-stress, high-chemical lifestyle can weigh the body down considerably over time. After ridding myself of some toxins, I felt far lighter and calmer, like I'd spent the day sitting by the ocean instead of in a cubicle.—RF
Euphora Health Medi-Spa and Salon: Platza treatment
3815 Northern Blvd between 38th and Steinway Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-786-4558, euphoraciti.com). Regularly $50. TONY deal Mention TONY and the word "banya" for 15 percent off spa and salon services, plus banya facilities, through Feb 29.
After leading me to a sauna where I laid facedown on a bed of towels, Platza specialist Tibor Juhasz grabbed two bundles of eucalyptus-soaked oak branches and rapidly shook them over my back, creating a steady shower that grew warmer with every flick of his wrists. Next, he rustled the leaves along the entire length of my body, alternating long, sweeping brushes with concentrated, drum-like pats. After a sufficient beatdown, I exited the sauna and plunged into Euphora's icy indoor pool.
Best part: I'm not sure which was more invigorating—the shock of the freezing cold water after the treatment, or repeating the entire process faceup.
Why it's worth it: I left feeling five pounds lighter and as many years younger, and later drifted into the deepest of sleeps.—LFC
FineLiving New York Ayurveda: Abhyanga-Garshana
154 W 14th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, fourth floor (646--384-3525, newyorkayurveda.com). Regularly $95. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking or at time of appointment for 20 percent off all treatments through Feb 28.
Going into this treatment, I knew nothing about the 5,000-year old Indian treatment known as Ayurveda until my technician, Kavita Rawat, explained that she determines which dosha (a term that describes your metabolic characteristics) I fall under based on a number of physical and mental observations such as weight, hair texture and appetite. After deciding I am in the Pitta category, she put together a treatment of oils (including sandalwood and sunflower) that would help bring my body back to equilibrium and balance out any issues like excessive thirst and sleeping problems.
Best part: Before applying the oils, Rawat brushed my skin with silk gloves to increase lymphatic drainage and release toxins. Not only does this step allow the oils to sink in more deeply, but it helped lull me into a state of total relaxation.
Why it's worth it: While it takes more than one treatment to reap all the benefits of Ayurveda, I left feeling energized rather than sluggish, a common side effect I encounter after most massages.—ED