Tag Archives: Spa

Nourish your Friendships with a Girl’s Getaway

Remove the male influence and women, regardless of age, suddenly become girlfriends again. Concise conversation becomes giddy gossip. Deeply logged secrets are liberated to surface as effervescent laughter fills the room. Yes, in this time of fast-paced overachieving, the occasional girls-only getaway seems essential to maintain our sanity.


So just where do the girls go to getaway? Some choose exotic locales where you lounge by the sea lifting little more than a finger as cabana boys continuously fill up your drink and offer chilled towels to quell the languid heat. I prefer another type of escape, one that allows for a balance of doing nothing poolside, having my muscles expertly prodded at the spa, and dolling up for an evening of mingling amidst the people watchers and those deserving of being watched. And the newly face-lifted Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills embodies each and every one of those needs, and then some…

Throngs of valet were immediately at my service the moment I pulled up. A gloved hand opened my car door and reached out to help me from my seat to my feet. As I approached the entrance to the hotel, the bell boys, with synchronized movements, pulled open the grand doors where I was greeted by yet another smiling Four Seasons face standing just beside the table-sized vase of fragrant flowers.
In the lobby there were dark glasses-donning celebrities and their handlers, and discreet billionaires and their hangers on, plus my dearest girlfriend who could hardly wait to begin our long overdue vaca. The hotel had just undergone a discreet facelift to the tune of $33 million, which is exactly the point of a facelift- You have no idea just how much has been “done,” but you know that it looks fabulous and feels fresh.
Instead of separate suites, we chose to make it a slumber party and share the recently renovated Presidential Suite West designed, no doubt, with old Hollywood glamour in mind. We were like two newly minted BFFs wide-eyed and visually overwhelmed by the gorgeous furnishings- the mirrored coffee table, cream and black lacquered cabinets, silver leaf dining table, white-tufted bed headboard, and the most statement making piece of all, the Swarovski crystal chandelier that looked like a delicate cherry tree branch hovering above the dining table. It was truly magical. But, as much as we were in awe of our environment, there would be plenty of hours to kibitz that evening, we had massage therapists awaiting our arrival to spa!
The Manipura Experience translating into “beautiful, shining jewel” in Sanskrit, energetically focuses on the solar plexus chakra located in the stomach. The idea is to cleanse and revitalize the “energy field,” no I’m not kidding, through a two-phase, total-body scrub and massage (including massaging the abdomen) in order to get the lymphatic system moving. It may sound like hocus pocus, but I will tell you that this “experience” sent my head to a delirious state and left my body feeling, somehow, lighter. Perfect to slip into my black slinky dress and red-heeled pumps for a night at the newly unveiled Culina, Modern Italian Restaurant.
Sexy isn’t enough to describe the setting of Culina, the hotel’s newest jewel sure to lure locals and travelers alike. We started in the lounge sipping house-made limoncello to commence the evening. Soon the beautiful people, the same who were being ushered around earlier in the lobby, slipped in, situating themselves along the crudo bar (essentially Italian-style sushi)- apparently the place to be. We followed suit and were decidedly and officially in heaven once dished the Aragosta (lobster, grapefruit, pink peppercorns, chive oil), Dentice (red snapper), and Gamberetti Marinati (shrimp) before digging into a shared brick-oven pizza and finally, (my mouth is watering just thinking about it) olive oil gelato made with Umbrian EVOO. Once suitably stuffed we did our best to not look like it as me made our back to our suite, plopped ourselves onto our massive bed and, as if we were 15 again, filled the room with laughter before falling asleep. We had another big day of pampering tomorrow and needed our beauty rest.
Four Seasons’ Alter Eco
Fallen Magnolia
The wine tasting communal tables and Chef’s table (which seats 10) at Culina, Modern Italian, were hand crafted from a 200 year-old Magnolia tree that fell in Sacramento.
Rose Extracted
The Spa has the exclusive rights in North America to use the organic ila skincare products. Taking pride in going “beyond organic,” the artisan line is 100% synthetic and chemical-free, sourcing the finest ingredients directly from local producers who farm and harvest in harmony with nature. One key ingredient that exemplifies the line’s essence is Damascena Rose. Known for its heart nourishing and nurturing properties, ila’s rose is sourced (similar to wine) from a single spot in the Himalayan foothills. It takes 30 roses to produce a single drop of extracted rose oil. The ingredients are then hand-blended in the English countryside in order to preserve its holistic energy.
Salt and Succulents
The 4th floor infinity-edged pool is saline (instead of chlorine) with a cushioned floor! The surrounding gardens are a passion of The Cohen Family who owns the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Mr. Robert Cohen was originally in the flower business and is still very involved with the landscaping of the succulents and flowers. 

Massage Therapy Supports your Immune System

Regular therapeutic massage sessions offer significant benefits beyond the instant relaxation we enjoy. People who experience high levels of stress are likely to get sick more than others. Mix stress with lack of sleep and poor diet, and our body’s ability to naturally defend itself against bacteria and infection is seriously reduced.

Stress management is a key factor for anyone striving to reach a balanced lifestyle. Massage therapy has been proven to be one of the most effective ways for achieving stress relief. Research studies show massage therapy in fact boosts the body’s immune system, which can become compromised from prolonged periods of stress.

Jitka Frajbisova, LMT




Post-Treatment Tips for Acupuncture and Other Treatments

The other day, a friend of mine told me about a recent visit to an acupuncturist.  He felt that the experience was completely life changing: the excruciating back pain he had been experiencing, somehow vanished for a full three days.  He became a true believer and was in the midst of seriously considering making an investment in regular treatments every week to effectively ‘heal and treat’ his back (acupuncture usually isn’t a one time treatment…it can often take several treatments to really make a permanent or long-term difference).

When I asked him what the treatment was like, he described the experience: the look and dimensions of the needles, the inability to itch or move, the sensations from the treatment, etc.  He also conveyed the acupuncturist’s ‘post-op’ dos and don’ts, which surprisingly included no sex.  More specifically, no sex for 3 days.  Ouch.  This was painful in a new and disturbing way.  Was ‘no sex’ for three days every week really worth treating his back pain?  Hmm, he wasn’t so sure, and neither was his girlfriend.

Whether or not you buy into the idea of strictly refraining from sex for three whole days after acupuncture, there are some guidelines worth following after alternative medicine (and Spa) treatments, be it acupuncture, or something more conventional, such as massage.:

  1. Rehydrate: During spa treatments, you often lose some water, release toxins and drain lymph nodes.  In order to ‘flush’ away those toxins and replace lost water, drink a lot of fluids, namely H2O, for 24 hours post-treatment.
  2. Avoid Rigorous Activity: After a spa treatment, you are oven very relaxed.  In order to adjust out of your deep relaxation and to avoid tensing up, stay relaxed and avoid overly strenuous, rigorous or exciting activities (this may be where the ‘no-sex’ rule fits in).  That said, you probably can partake after 12 – 24 hours.
  3. Avoid Alcohol: As mentioned above, many treatments will release toxins into your system and cause you to lose some water.  Avoid drinking alcohol for 24 hours to avoid further dehydration and intensified toxicity in your system.
  4. Eat Lightly: Eat a light meal or snack after your treatment to replenish.  That said, avoid eating too much, as it may cause you to feel nauseous or sick.
  5. Resist the Shower: Although it might sound a little unhygienic, showering or washing your face immediately after a treatment isn’t recommended.  In the case of acupuncture, waiting to shower 24 hours will help eliminate possible infection (remember, you just had needles stuck into your skin).  If you had any other treatments that used essential oils, creams and/or botanicals, this will allow your skin to benefit and soak up the minerals and anti-oxidants longer.

No matter what, it is best to check with your therapist to know what is the best post treatment protocol for your specific treatment.

Have you ever heard of any other wacky ‘dos or don’ts’ for after your favorite spa treatment?

Brett is author of "GET REAL" and STOP Dieting!

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4 Cheap Ways to Get Your Spa On

Chances are that a lot of us have been cutting back on our spending in areas that seem "unnecessary" or "luxurious".  Makes sense:  Budgets are tighter…economy is up in the air…and saving is a higher priority.  So more likely than not, a trip to the spa is not in the offing too soon, or at least not as regularly as it used to be.

Going to the spa, however, provides a lot of benefits beyond the touchy-feely stuff.  Getting a massage , or even a facial, can provide benefits of relaxation, stress release and flushing of toxins.  The mind-body benefits are hard to argue.  As a result, if you can’t get to the spa, try making spa a part of your life at home.  It is cheap, fun and rewarding.  Here are a few ways to indulge and decompress:spa

1. Home Hydrotherapy:  I talk about bathes a lot.  The truth is, they can be extremely therapeutic and relaxing.  They also can help your muscles loosen, letting go of the tension that builds up on a daily basis.  Use bath oils to help curb dehydration of your skin.

2. Couples Massage with a Twist: At the spa, a couple’s massage is one where you and another person get a massage together.  At home, you can morph this into giving one another massages.  Take turns on different nights.  Dedicate two nights a week as massage nights.  Alternate who gives and who gets so that both of you benefit.  If you are single, you can always opt for a "friendship" massage.  Ask a friend to partake in giving and receiving shoulder, neck and back massages.

3. Mani-Pedi: Personally, this is where I cut back my spending.  I’ve started giving myself manicures and pedicures instead of going to a nail salon.  I discovered that I actually like it better.  I’m more thorough, use clean tools, and can manage touch ups more easily.  Further, I don’t have to worry about getting any foot fungus or other infections from careless disinfection.  If your hand isn’t very steady, ask a friend to paint your nails for you.[ad#Clarisonic]

4. Facials: Facials are very good for our skin.  However, getting them on the recommended six to eight week basis can be a bit costly these days.  To keep your skin looking really good, invest in high quality skin-care products that don’t have toxic or irritating ingredients.  And invest in the CLARISONIC Skin Care System.  It is a great product that gently removes embedded dirt and oil from your skin.  It also helps to reduce the appearance of pore size, fine lines and wrinkles.  You can use this on a regular basis.

Don’t let the economy hurt your beauty care and mind-body care regimens!

What do you do to keep yourself feeling and looking your best on a budget?  Are you still going to the spa?

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Create Your Own Retreat Space!

I am blessed to have a wonderful mother. My Mom is a Reflexologist, so over the last 11 years or so, I have been fortunate to get great treatment at a great price! But more important to getting free reflexology treatments, she has taught me the importance of creating a special space in your home where you can retreat and surround yourself with beauty.
The area where she works is energetically clear and soothing. Crystals surround a bubbling water fountain and others hang as pendants. Angel figurines and art envelope you as you sit safely in the cushy treatment chair. Her extensive spiritual library, inspirational cards and essential oils are all in this space as well. There is so much to look at but all is pleasing to the eye.
My own retreat space has two colourful vision boards and pictures of my family and other close loved ones. I buy myself flowers regularly celebrating their beauty every day and not waiting for someone to buy them for me.
I have also started my own collection of crystals and my own library of books is continually growing. I also have candles and soft blankets and pillows and writing journals and meditational cds too… I spend a lot of time there.
Surround yourself with things that lift, inspire and energize you while simultaneously restoring hope, faith and peace. Enjoy!!
Kelly McIntyre M.Sc.


Reasons a Spa is for More than Just Pampering

The past couple of times I’ve spoken at Spa Industry conferences, I’ve heard industry experts describe the consumers’ perception of a spa as "a place to get fluffed and buffed," implying that spas are purely meant for superficial grooming benefits.  Sure, there are definite beautification benefits, but the reality is that there are a lot of mental and physical benefits that you can reap from a trip to the spa.  This misperception, however, once again inspired me to create a ‘Top List’ of reasons to venture out to the spa.

1. Stress Management and Relaxation: Every type of treatment or service, including massage and body work, can help you relax and decompress.  Further, you don’t need to actually buy a treatment to see the benefits.  Just sitting in a jacuzzi, steam shower or sauna , amenities a lot of spas, wellness and fitness centers offer, can help you to relieve stress

2. Detox: Many types of services promote detoxification, which eliminates  toxins and excess fluids that can contribute to loss of energy, constipation, bloating and water retention.

3. Increased Self Esteem and Confidence: Taking time to pamper yourself and to take care of your body and mind can significantly improve your body image, increase your body awareness, and improve your self esteem. 

4. Improved Circulation and Blood Pressure: Many services, such as heat therapy, hydrotherapy, massage and body treatments, help to improve circulation and reduce blood pressure.

5. Anti-Aging and Healthy Skin: Taking care of your body, mind and skin helps to ward off the aging process.  Treatments, such as facials and other skin care services, as well as body treatments, target skin problems to keep you looking your best.

6. Psychological Benefits: Being touched therapeutically through massage and other types of services provides many emotional and  psychological benefits. 

7. Pain Management: Many  types of services can help alleviate pain.  Further, some treatments are known to help relieve symptoms of arthritis, fibromyalgia and nerve problems.

8. Improved Sleep Patterns: Through the relaxation process, people find that they are able to sleep better at night.  Further, some spas offer Sleep Therapy programs for those who have serious sleep disorders.

9. Improved Breathing: Sauna and other heat related therapies, as well as massage, can help to improve your breathing.  Further, spas that offer movement classes, such as yoga or pilates, can also help you strengthen your respiratory system.

10. Improved Flexibility, Range of Motion and Athletic Performance: Massage, Heat Therapy and hydrotherapy help to improve your joints and increase your range of motion.  Further, yoga and pilates help to increase your flexibility.

So, next time you might think that a trip to the spa is merely a ‘fluff and buff’, think about all of the wonderful benefits you will see from the experience. Why do you go to the spa? Relevant Topics:


Are you tired and frustrated? Do you want more energy?

There is nothing like pushing through a day at work when you are feeling tired and frustrated. Especially when that day turns into a week and all you long for is the weekend!

We dream about how we want things to be but just don’t have the energy to get started. We know that living for the weekend is no way to live and that each moment is sacred so what can we do to get energized? How do we restore our hope and happiness?

I believe that when we begin to struggle in our lives it is because we are out of alignment; it is because what we are doing is not matching what we are thinking. Sometimes there are blocks and restrictions in our thinking and bodies that prevent us from moving forward and negative self-defeating thoughts take over.

The best place to start in regaining our natural peaceful and positive state is by returning to our breath and developing an accepting and loving awareness and appreciation of self.

It is love that makes the impossible possible. ~ Indian Proverb

There are many ways to get achieve this, through positive self talk and affirmations, yoga, meditation, visualization practices but one of my favourites is going to the spa for energy healing and deep tissue massage!!!

Tomorrow on Embrace Your Life Radio Show, I am excited to talk to Amy Pilmer of The Perfect Ten Salon about spa treatments and new trends in body work. Amy is many things including a passionate professional and also a Reiki practitioner who is skilled at clearing energy blocks. Want to know more ~ tune in tomorrow!

Embrace Your Life!

Kelly McIntyre M.Sc.
Life/Career Coach

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Give Karma for The Holidays

Looking for a gift this Holiday season to feel good about?Give the gift of feeling good with a private Pilates or GYROTONIC® lesson at The Movement Center of Boston and a Cosmedix Facial from Bella Santé Spa. The Movement Center of Boston located on Newbury Street offers Power Pilates, a classical, systematic, integrative style of Pilates with the most up-to-date instruction and state of the art equipment. The Movement Center of Boston also offers the newest wave in mind and body fitness GYROTONIC which combines the movement principles found in yoga, dance, gymnastics, swimming and tai-chi. The exercises are based on a series of fluid circular movements with adjustable resistance. After your workout, head downstairs to Bella Santé for a special Cosmedix Facial that will nourish and exfoliate your skin with the purest of products that are formulated with the most potent antioxidants. You will emerge with brighter and younger looking skin. The package costs only $150.00 and is available until December 31st, 2008. For more information please call The Movement Center of Boston at 617.723.8090 or visit www.movementcenterofboston.com.

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