Byline: Julie McNaughton
It used to be a massage was just a massage. These days, massages seem to be opportunities for everything from one-upmanship to spiritual encounters.
Take, for instance, what has to be the world’s most expensive massage: Nirvana, a $750 indulgence from New York’s Juva Spa. The price tag includes seven hours of pure bliss, plus a chauffeur-driven limousine to take the ultrarelaxed recipient home.
And while the popularity of applying stones to people’s persons mid-rubdown isn’t exactly breaking news, the latest twists on the deeply soothing service are on people’s lips these days. Take New York City’s Stone Spa, which came up with a product line that utilizes crystals for a facial massage. Called Three Cool Eyes, the take-home kit includes aquamarine stones to quiet the nerves, citrine for healing and amethyst for meditation.
A massage can easily morph into a spiritual awakening at Minneapolis’s Juut Salon Spa, where therapists sound noises on crystal “singing” bowls before laying hands on clients. The round bowls — a variation on traditional metal Tibetan prayer bowls — are available in seven notes, each corresponding to a different chakra (see photo above). “They’re so powerful that a lot of clients start weeping,” said Juut co-owner David Wagner.
Juut is also now selling a treatment called Highly Vibrational Water, in which crystals symbolizing either peace, love, energy or abundance are placed in a water-filled ringing bowl that’s then sounded to release the crystals’ specific energies.
And the ever-popular Bliss Spa in New York offers Aromassage, a $125, 75-minute massage in a choice of six combinations of essential oils. They include the Nerve Whacker, with sweet orange and ylang-ylang oils; Rock the Bloat, a blend of peppermint and cypress oils, and Jet Out, a jet-lag fighter that includes peppermint, lemon and ravensara.
Somehow, life seemed a lot easier when it was a matter of Swedish versus shiatsu.