Dark winter months are approaching. The stress-filled holiday season is looming just a month away. The economy is in the most depressing state it has been in decades. And, you probably have a few personal reasons of your own to add to why you’re ready to pull your hair out and permanently relocate to the Bahamas. But fear not: A stress-reducing solution is near! Chances are that just a short distance away from your home is a spa where you can spend a few hours to put your worries aside while you get pampered with a massage or other treatment.
The stigma that spas are only for rich middle-aged women is fading. “People who do a lot of physical labor need it more than anyone,” explains Lindsay Pugnali, manager of Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa in Milton. In fact, many spas cater to men just as much as they cater to women. “The captain of the men’s lacrosse team at Marist College is trying to organize the entire team to come in for a deep-tissue massage,” Pugnali says.
Additionally, almost anyone can afford some spa treatment. Marlene Weber, owner of the Marlene Weber day and salon spas in Poughkeepsie and Millbrook, offers several treatments that cost $25, including an eye-zone treatment, a stress-relieving hair treatment, and a half-hour target massage. But Weber reminds that you don’t need to go to an upscale spa to get top-dollar treatment. “I have a client who went to a spa in Las Vegas and spent $200 on a massage, and she told me that a massage she once had for $40 was better,” Weber says. “Keep in mind when you go to a big spa, you’re paying for all the amenities—the bath robe, the teas, the cushy couches, the music. If you don’t need any of that—if you need just a damn good rub—you can just go to a small spa.”
And since almost everyone can afford a spa treatment, everyone should treat him or herself to one, says Diane Ryan, who co-owns One Body Spa in Accord with her husband, Michael Ryan. A traditional massage alone can, of course, relieve stress and aid relaxation, but it can also foster faster healing of strained muscles, provide greater joint flexibility and range of motion, promote deeper and easier breathing, improve circulation, reduce blood pressure, improve posture, strengthen the immune and nervous system, rehabilitate injuries, increase cancer-fighting endorphins, and even aid muscle tone. “There’s no body system—including the endocrine and digestive system—that’s not positively served [by massage],” Ryan says. “Think of it as a full-body tune-up.”
But keep in mind that a traditional Swedish massage is a staple you can get anywhere. If you’re looking for something unusual, there’s a comprehensive array of unique treatments available. The Marlene Weber spas offers a parafango body wrap—parafango is a warm mixture of mud and paraffin—that moisturizes the skin while drawing toxins from fat cells and stimulating fluid elimination. But it doesn’t stop there. Weber’s spas also offer Botox parties, where women can have a group Botox treatment while they sip cocktails and eat hors d’oeuvres. The Mohonk Mountain House Spa offers the Shawangunk Grit Mineral Body Treatment, in which quartz that was excavated from the mountain during the spa’s building is pulverized into a powder and used as an exfoliant. One Body Spa is currently running a special for fall with all treatments revolving around pumpkin, including a pumpkin facial, pumpkin body glow, and pumpkin enzyme peel.
So go ahead, schedule your massage or other spa treatment before you find yourself banging your head against your desk from stress. A spa may not be the Caribbean relocation you’ve been wanting, but it’s the next best thing.
Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa
220 North Road, Milton
Marlene Weber Spa
751 Dutchess Turnpike, Poughkeepsie;
2647 Route 44, Millbrook
One Body Spa
10 Hawksview Lane, Accord
Mohonk Mountain House Spa
1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz