For a gentle, non-intrusive cleansing above the neck, try the ancient Egyptian practice of ear candling ($47). Ancient pyramid builders used them to remove earwax—as the Q-tip was still in its three-millennia R&D stage—and also to treat symptoms such as sinus pressure, allergies, and vertigo. Eminent physician Jessica Simpson, for example, uses them to update her Twitter feed.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles. Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Zoe A. Tritsis has been interested in healing others for as long as she can remember, but she discovered the therapeutic benefits of massage only after suffering a serious injury of her own. This injury would end up changing her life in unexpected ways. It inspired her to earn her license in massage therapy nearly two decades ago, and ever since then she has worked to soothe muscles with modalities that range from Swedish to neuromuscular therapy.
Throughout the years, Zoe’s base of clients has grown to encompass a number of musicians and staff members from the nearby House of Blues. She honors their patronage—as well as her studio’s location in historic uptown New Orleans—by giving her massages playful, blues-inspired names such as Blues Express and Bluesapalooza. Therapeutic oils, lotions, and mud from the banks of the Ole Mississippi accompany each of her treatments, which take place in a private room equipped with a bathroom and changing area.
Three aestheticians, a massage therapist, a threading artist, three treatment rooms, and a treasure-trove of paraben-free skincare products await visitors at Esthetique Facial Spa—basically, everything that’s needed to tend to all skin types. Tucked beside the Whole Foods Market on Magazine Street, Esthetique Facial Spa and its savvy staff have welcomed clients to relax and rejuvenate since 2008. Makeup lessons with artist Elise Davis help patrons master crafting fresh new looks or using tried-and-true techniques, and fertility massage aims to restore balance in the reproductive system and help break up scar tissue.
With an ancient holistic approach, Spa Zeeba uncovers each client’s natural beauty with signature services such as traditional ayurvedic facials, herbal facials, and three types of hair removal, including sugaring and the ancient practice of threading. Massage practitioners manipulate muscles with deep-tissue massages to relieve lingering pains, and Reiki experts transfer energy from their palms to help clients to heal and recharge watch batteries. Henna tattoos bring love and good fortune as they are applied to the skin in ornate patterns. Aside from pampering services, Spa Zeeba also covers bodies with clothing and jewelry from its boutique.