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Monday, May 11, 2009

...And the spa is where the "ahhh" is!

Yesterday I wrote about making and doing your own spa treatments at home. Now, this is without a doubt a money-saver, but if your patience is short like mine (what can I say?), if you have to make the treatments, set up the room with the right ambiance, and so on...well, right there you've killed some of the potential relaxation effects you are trying to create! So in fairness to the crazy type-A personalities among us, myself included, here are a few other suggestions.

First, the at-home spa idea may seem more relaxing and manageable, if you buy the treatments ahead of time instead of making them. Watch for sales - these things keep pretty well if you check the labels for recommended storage. A few ideas about where to get good deals:

* (Yep, I'm shameless, but serious about this!) - Avon offers amazing spa type products in a variety of sizes and scents - check my website at

*One of my favorites (not sure where they are located around you) but ULTA Beauty shops offer amazing deals - and usually with weekly coupons of $3.50 or more off OR great free gifts with purchases.See to locate a store near you or shop online!

*An unexpected spa product source is Cost Plus World Market. This past week they offered the following deals (varies week to week):
- a large Balinese Jasmine Spa set with soap, body lotion and shower gel
- handcrafted soaps from Portugal
- red tea bath set (combining antioxidant-rich red tea and fresh pear scent)
The prices are reasonable and you can buy individual products vs. a full set as well.

If you are still not sold on "DIY Spa Treatments," then consider some options outside your home to give you a bit more service (ok at a slightly higher price, but not too bad for an occasional rejuvenation session!).

Check out Massage Envy ( for inexpensive massage services. Typically, your initial (non-contract) session costs about $39. If you like what you experience, you are able to sign up for a membership (they have a variety of reasonably-priced programs) and have regular massages. Bear in mind that these locations are franchised, so if you aren't thrilled with your first experience, you may want to consider trying a different massage therapist or even another location.

FYI - helps to know what type of massage you want (easier than ordering correctly at a Starbuck's - trust me!):

Swedish: uses oil and gentle but firm strokes
Deep Tissue: uses oil, but the strokes are much more firm, going deep in and between the muscles
Aromatherapy: a Swedish or deep tissue massage using aromatherapy oils
Prenatal: a very gentle massage for pregnant women
Sports: a deep tissue massage but focusing on specific sore or overworked muscles
Hot Stone: hot stones are placed on the back at certain points. Heat helps work out tight areas. (This is more expensive)
Shiatsu: pressure point massage and no oil is used
Thai: usually more expensive and uses a lot of stretching
Watsu: done in the water and gentle movements are used for total relaxation
Reflexology: points of the foot are massaged that correspond with parts of the body (believed to relieve pain or soreness in other parts of the body - beats me...sounds strange, but I'm just providing info!)

Finally, consider asking for a "SpaFinder" gift card for a special occasion. These are good at lots of different spas (some even internationally). The card allows you to pick your own spa from their member list! Check out

Relax and enjoy!

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