A visit to the right spa can be as restorative as a vacation and as much a contribution to wellness as good nutrition, exercise, and sleep. So I was very excited to get a press invite to the ISPA Media Event 2017 in NYC, which featured a number of spas, wellness centers, and wellness products, not just from NYC but as far afield as Italy and the Dominican Republic.
The event was a generous three hours but, being someone who gets overwhelmed in large venues, I stayed for half that time, which was enough to sample three treatments:
My first stop was a ride on the O2 Chair. I say “ride” because climbing into the large recliner and putting on the blinders and earphones had the feel of strapping in for an adventure, albeit on the calming side. The sounds include relaxing winds and a calming voice prompting you to breathe. The chair feels like a massage chair because it pulses on your back, but it very specifically pulses up and down your spine. I am a Dr. Joe Dispenza fan and already practice the deep breathing that passes through each of the seven energy centers.
What I loved about the O2 Chair is that it greatly facilitates this very type of breathing. The pulsing motion of the chair passes through each of the energy centers, giving you a physical prompt to match your deep inhalations. I can see why people who don’t already breathe that way would find this chair a game-changer.
I used the chair for five minutes and would love to have one in my apartment, but if you know anything about the typical size of a NYC apartment…
Chuan Body + Soul at Langham Place
Chuan Body + Soul at Langham Place in New York City offered a choice of hand or foot treatments using its Chuan stone therapy. The stones are a beautiful pink, translucent version of the rocks you normally see in hot stone massages. I opted for the foot treatment and held a couple of the round hot pink stones in my hands as the massage therapist applied pointed stones to pressure points on my feet.
The whole experience must have lasted just a few minutes but given the plush chair, the chance to put my feet up, the warmth and beauty of the hot pink stones, and the stress-reducing massage it felt much longer. This treatment definitely met the spa-as-vacation quotient.
Well & Being Spa – Wellness
I moved from a foot treatment to a hand treatment at the Well & Being Spa – Wellness, which locates its spas in hotels (Fairmont Scottsdale, Four Seasons Dallas, Red Rock Las Vegas and soon El San Juan Puerto Rico). The hand treatment included an exfoliating rub, hot towels, application of moisturizing cream and a massage. The Body Bliss products used are all natural and felt great.
It was a fun treatment to wrap up my first ISPA Media Event. However, the highlight of the event for me (and maybe this is just how much I love business) was getting a few minutes with the Chairman of Well & Being, David Stoup, who prior to this venture founded and sold the cosmetics company La Prairie, as well as grew the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas from two locations to 142 (clearly, this guy knows the spa business).
I asked him what keeps him working so hard – after 30+ years in the spa business and several companies all with successful exits, he clearly doesn’t need to work. He talked about how the spa business makes people happier and healthier so it doesn’t feel like work to him. Amen to that!
I’m an avid spa goer, and it’s luxurious but not just a luxury. Spa treatments are part of good health and wellness. The sample bag from the ISPA Media Event was chock full of different products. I can’t wait to try them and will report back my favorites in a future post.