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Below are some spa-type things I love/do. While I'm still not able to do the $6,000 week-long visit to some holistic/zen/macrobiotic/ unbleached hemp clothing only/soy candle spa (more out of a sense of outrage at the price) (although the price is a pretty big issue as well), I still believe in being good to yourself. And since I own an aromatherapy bath and body products company, I do what I can....

My favorite spa, ey?

A be-yoot of a school

Oh, my aching...wait, it's gone!


My favorite spa, ey?

I still dream of my two days at Euro-Spa in Canada. It was recommended by a friend at work, and my cousins Karen and Debbie were totally game. Five hours north of Boston by car, and if you can not speed up when you see the sign "Canada: 8 miles" at the crest of the hill and not get stopped by the Vermont State Police and not have to pay a $147 ticket, the drive up is lovely.

Euro-Spa is a little bit rustic - it's practically in a potato field - but this spa is a wonder, and affordable as well! Keep the rose petals on the rose, not in your tub, and come to Euro-Spa.

We got the two night package, which included four treatments, six meals, two nights in a spacious room with large bathroom, and unlimited use of the spa facilities.

My treatments were a facial, a shiatsu massage, and seaweed wrap, and a reflexology treatment. All in the space of two days! The spa itself had four whirlpools (mud, seaweed, herbs, and plain), a steam room, a sauna, a pool, a hot-tub, a cold-water walking tub (I don't know what you call it) that was amazing for the circulation, and a "quiet" room. In the summer the outdoor pool and jacuzzi is open. We were so worn out by all this pampering that we were asleep by nine both nights!

Food was great, and we spent our entire stay in thick terry robes and bathing suits. The only thing that came as a surprise was our first lunch in the dinning room: since the dining room at the spa is the only "real" restaurant within 10 miles, we shared the room with a business lunch of a dozen people all in dresses and suits. I think they were jealous.

The exchange rate is still excellent for Americans. The total for all of the above was approximately $350. Are you hearing me?

Centre de santé Euro-Spa wellness resort
455 de l'Eglise
St-Ignace-de-Stanbridge J0J-1Y0
450.248.0666 / 1.800.416.0666


A be-yoot of a school

The Boston area has a number of beauty schools which offer facials and the like in public clinics (a.k.a. practice for the students). If you don't mind getting a facial in a room with six (or 20) other people, the savings is tremendous. And the results are just as good as a spa.

Bojack Academy is in West Roxbury, and offer hair and spa treatments. While I like the locality (it's practically next door), the skin care clinic is a little unorganized. They don't take appointments, so it's a bit hit or miss. Even if they have the students, they can't always find the students. I've gotten excellent facials there ($15), and some microdermabrasion ($40). If you live nearby, it's worth stopping in. But don't get your hopes up.

Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics is in Woburn, a little north of Boston but so worth the drive. They offer everything, including laser hair removal. It's very much like a spa, in that you have to make an appointment and they have a reception area. The last time I was there, I got some fabulous 4-layer facial ("You're not claustrophic, are you?") that made me look and feel fabulous. All for $40! Regular facials start at $22. They facial, um, studio, has probably 20 beds, but it's busy and fun, and the conversations you can eavesdrop on...


Oh, my aching...wait, it's gone!

I made an astounding discovery the other day, the DoveStar School of Holistic Technology. Not a name I would use, but oh, the massages! The DoveStar folks have four locations -- two in South Carolina, two in New England -- and offers a pay-as-you go certification series for people wanting to learn massage therapy (and colonic irrigation, but I'm not getting into that). As part of their training, they have to give actual massages on actual people, and so my cousin Sharon (I have alot of cousins...just ask Wan) took ourselves down to Carver to get our student massages. For me, the 44 mile trip was worth it. For $35 (yes, I said thirty-five dollars) I got the best hour-long massage I think I've ever had. The school is in a newish building on the second floor, and the massage room I had was a standard one, complete with CD of waterfalls and whale sounds (maybe). My only teeny tiny issue was that the massage table squeaked just a little bit, but after a while I was just glad Rachel put a towel in the face holder (whatever you call it) to catch my drool. Really, really, an excellent massage. Sharon and I were so relaxed afterwards that we couldn't muster up enough energy to talk to each other. Until we went out for lunch and I had a mushroom pizza and she had stuffed shells. We've promised each other the next time, we'll be having salads.