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.
The massage therapists at Euphoric All Over Day Spa whisk their clients to quiet, comfortable rooms to perform about a half dozen massage modalities. Therapists can play soft music while rendering classic techniques such as Swedish and deep-tissue massages, or relaxing couples massages. The staff might also incorporate lotion or light oils, which lubricate the CD player so the soft music continues to play.
A one-two combo of total-body bliss, both of the featured services refresh the epidermal, muscular, and cranial regions of guests. During the 30-minute express massage, the skilled massage therapists can implement any combination of techniques––including Swedish, deep tissue, reflexology, and the gentle Babe Ruth, among others. Products from brands such as Eminence and Biotone enhance skinly satisfaction with each well-tuned stroke. To amplify the muscle-melting magic, dayscaping guests immerse themselves in the detoxifying infrared solar sauna, which is designed to ease tension, open pores, and clear the mind of worries about how to draw a realistic-looking horse.
Though she enjoys conversing with her patients, Dr. Marilyn Pelias's ultimate goal is to get them out her office quickly. The seasoned surgeon tries to minimize the downtime following her procedures, thus enabling clients to resume work and daily activities with little hassle. Even before her treatments begin, she puts guests at ease. During pretreatment consultations, she answers questions and describes her services thoroughly to educate her patients.
Dr. Pelias's surgical treatments range from minor changes such as brow lifts and earlobe repair all the way to tummy tucks and liposuction. With the S-Lift, a faster, simpler alternative to a traditional face-lift, she reduces the appearance of sagging skin on the neck and lower face. Nonsurgical sessions often incorporate lasers, which the doctor uses for skin resurfacing, body contouring or the removal of body hair, spider veins, and tattoos that say I Love My Body Hair and Spider Veins. She also uses skincare products from Obagi to complement chemical peels and microdermabrasion sessions. Dr. Pelias doesn't do it all on her own, though. Aesthetician Shannon Eckler jumps in with the assist on all matters beauty-related, including corrective make-up, microdermabrasion, and hair-removal.
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.