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Technology-relieving spa treatments

Stiff neck? Achy back? Sore thumb? These spa treatments target your technology-induced ailments.

Illustration: Amy DeVoogd

Reboot Massage at Spa Space
Ideal for
Tense shoulders, neck, arms and hands
For years I thought headaches were for wimps…until I started getting them at the end of a long day staring at the computer. I succumbed to popping an Advil when the pain was too much, but after this treatment—designed in response to the spa’s clients who started coming on an emergency basis from problems resulting from too much texting and typing—I’ve found my preventative solution. My masseuse, Deanna, targets my waist up with acupressure and long, deep massage strokes. Because she’s not concerned with my legs or feet, she has plenty of time to loosen my tight shoulders and scapula. She works her way down the inside of my arm and hands, through my hair around my scalp, and relieves the knots in my neck. I can feel my temples tighten as she presses on the sides of my neck behind my ears, then loosen up as I’m washed over with a wave of calm. When I get up to go, Deanna gives my head a rub and comments on how much looser my scalp is compared to when I walked in. I touch my head and find that she’s right. $55 for 25 minutes, $95 for 55 minutes at Spa Space (161 N Canal St, 312-466-9585).—Jessica Herman

Hand reflexology at D.H. Reflexology
Ideal for
Carpal tunnel, hand and arm pain, stiff neck
After seeing the cheesy, two-thumbs-up picture of self-proclaimed “Healing Samurai” Eric Huffman on his website, I’m skeptical. When he greets me at the door in a white martial arts–style outfit, I’m even more nervous. But soon it becomes clear Huffman isn’t a nutty New Ager. He’s a skilled practitioner (with a self-deprecating sense of humor) who applies deep pressure to very specific points on my hands, arms and feet to get blood flowing and release the tension that’s built up from working on my computer. Huffman tells me there are 73 points on each hand (and more on the feet) that correspond to various body parts, organs, glands, etc. So, while he’s only touching my hands and feet, he’s actually relieving the shoulder pain I’ve been experiencing from lugging my laptop to and from work. The Samurai also shows me some easy exercises that can be done during the work day to relieve tension in my arms, and a great back and neck stretch I can do without looking too silly at my desk. $60 for 30 minutes at D.H. Reflexology (220 W Huron St, 773-895-4415, healingsamurai.com).—Amy Carr

Craniosacral therapy massage at exhale
Ideal for
Stiff neck, achy lower back
When Amanda, the therapist, tells me the most pressure she’s going to apply during this 60-minute massage will be as heavy as a nickel, I start to wonder if I’m wasting my time. I’ve already been instructed to keep my clothes on during the service, and now I find out I won’t be getting any deep-tissue treatment? Oy. My attitude changes, though, within minutes. It feels as if her hands are melting into my skin as she gently touches my bare feet. I’m immediately relaxed. That’s basically how it works. With almost no pressure, and small, rhythmic pulses, she places her (healing) hands on various body regions (my thighs, shoulders, neck, sinuses) and I feel as if I’m floating in a peaceful state between consciousness and sleeping. The point of this service is to clear blockages around the spine, skull and surrounding connective tissue and restore craniosacral rhythm. When the hour is up, I’m convinced it worked. I feel relaxed and stress-free, and the strain in my neck from sitting at my desk is gone for the rest of the day. $145 at exhale (945 N State St, 312-753-6500).—Kevin Aeh

Refreshing Eye Treatment at Spa at Dana
Ideal for
Crow’s feet–lined eye area
You know what sucks about being 36? Your face still breaks out, and yet you also have to deal with ever-encroaching wrinkles, especially crow’s feet (the eight-plus-hours a day I spend squinting at my computer screen can’t be helping). The Refreshing Eye Treatment, said to plump up the skin and minimize fine lines, is an add-on to the microderm facial, which also produces smoother skin, along with tempering breakouts. Perfect! My aesthetician, Aimee, does the microderm first, using a diamond-chip exfoliator and essentially vacuuming up dead skin cells. The eye treatment begins with a gentle exfoliation and a massage of the eye area (no deep-tissue, thankfully) to stimulate circulation and reduce puffiness, followed by a hydrating masque, serum and lotion. Three days after the treatment, my crow’s feet do seem less etched, and the facial leaves my skin feeling tighter and slightly more glowing. $25 add-on to the microderm facial, $150 at the Spa at Dana (660 N State St, 312-202-6040).—Laura Baginski