Relaxation at the Spa- Jan. 2010

They say stress is an underlying factor of all illness, so if you are trying to get on the path of ‘wellness’ you might want to consider a massage at a spa where all your troubles will float away.

The concept that spas are all about beauty is changing as men become a larger part of the client base. Instead of being all about women, the spa is about treating your body well and reducing stress.

Linda and Jim Barker are a retired married couple that regularly have massages at  Myo Kinesis in St Antoine with owner and registered massage therapist, Christine Leger. Says Linda, “The men are beating the women away from the door to get there first. I think men are much more open to these things then they ever were”.

Krista Kendall, who owns and runs La Spa Salon  in Moncton, agrees. “There are more men coming in all the time. They come for facials, pedicures, hair removal and even manicures. But they definitely come for massage. I think spa owners are making it more comfortable for men to come in. We  don’t have the feminine colors, we leave it neutral so that men will feel more comfortable”.

At La Spa about 35% of their clientele are men, “but that is partly because we do hair so that gets the men in the door”, says Krista.

Melanie Lang, who, with her husband and partner Robert Pejsa, own and run the Escape Spa and Salon Studio on Mountain Rd. agrees that getting men in the door is the first step.

She says that men who come for a  ‘couples massage’ often end up staying as customers.  “They thought they were going to feel out of place but they don’t. They end up loving it. Our place is neutral, there is nothing ‘girly girl’ about it. We have a contemporary design and we have a liquor license so they can have a beer  in the lounge and feel right at home”.

Krista says that once men are in the door they realize that it is not as awkward  as they thought it would be. “It happened the other day, a man came to pick up his wife, and I just talked to him about it a little bit, and he decided to come in for a massage”.

The demographics are changing, says Melanie, and  men are an untapped market. “Men are finally realizing that it is not just about pampering, I think that is what the industry was before. And what they are realizing now is that it is about wellness, and everyone needs wellness,  not just women”.

Melanie suggest coming to the spa for a steam bath treatment with aroma therapy if you are fighting off a cold.  Hot stone massages and detoxifying masques will also release toxins.

Carson Middleton’s one experience with a massage relieved his intense back and leg pain in one session.  But the cost was not the only thing making Carson hesitate before booking the appointment. He was worried about being asked to strip down.

He is not the only one to feel exposed in this situation.  Linda Barker says her husband felt this way too “ Some men have a bit of a problem with the undressing part, that is the only thing, but they get over that quick enough when they realize that if they do get down to the buff it goes much better”.

According to the professionals, it is not necessary to bare yourself for a massage. Says Melanie, “You do not have to completely undress for a massage, we have men that don’t and we have women that don’t. They can wear a bathing suit  if they want,  it is whatever they are comfortable with”.  As well, the therapists are expert at ‘draping’ with sheets so that the client feels less exposed.

A new trend in spa services is the ‘social’ service. Krista Kendall of La Spa says “Group services are becoming more and more popular. Friends will come in and all have a pedicure together, instead of going on their own, so it has become more of a social thing than relaxing by yourself”.

Escape Spa has a large rooms called the Love Room with two massage tables, a fireplace, a double stand up shower and a living room atmosphere in which couples can drink champagne.  But the room is not restricted to couples in love, “ Friends come there and spend the day as well”, says Melanie.

A popular offering from Escape Spa is the “Chocolate Truffle Body Wrap”. You can get it on your own, apparently the caffeine and the antioxidants make it a great detoxifying masque, or you can get a side by side massage in the “Love Room’ where it “ might be more fun to get the chocolate off” jokes Melanie.

Natural ingredients are a big hit.  ”If you are in wine country in Ontario you will find that wine is a popular ingredient (in the spa treatments) there”, says Melanie,” People are finally realizing that the natural ingredients that we have had all  along are actually the best thing for you .Why use synthetic creams and everything when you can actually make them for the earth”?

Will Mavis and her husband Ross, a gourmet chef,  run a ‘stay spa’ called Inn on the Cove and Spa in Saint John with a breathtaking views of the Bay of Fundy. “It is right on the ocean and so peaceful and serene. It is a side of Saint John. that most people that don’t even know” says Willa..  They have the beach out front, the Irving nature park right next door, and every room has a hot tub with a view of the ocean.

Willa, says that they offer detoxifying  mud wraps but they don’t do chocolate wraps, “We don’t offer chocolate massages, although speaking of chocolate, my husband has lost 31 pounds and lowered  his cholesterol level by eating healthy chocolate! We don”t waste it on the body, we just consume it all the time”!

The couple offer many winter deals including Valentine Specials with gourmet meals, massages, detoxifying mud masques, and hot stone massages.

“When I was making up my programs”, says Willa, “ A businessman told me to put ‘stress’ in the wording, because, he said, we will come if it has stress in it “!  One of Willa’s programs is called

‘The Stress Buster – Scrub, Tub and Rub’,  and it has been very popular from the start.

RELAX!

Inn on the Cove Spa

Willa and Ross Mavis

672-7799 or 1-877-257-8080

Saint John , NB

Myo Kinesis

 Owner and RMT Christine Leger

506-525-s112

St. Antoine

Escape Spa Salon Studio

Owners – Melanie and Robert Pejsa

460 Mountain Road

852-3772

La Spa Salon and Spa

Owner – Krista Kendall

855-1776

130 Weldon Street

New Address February 1st – Mount Pleasant Plaza – 1579 Mountain Rd.

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