Self: Stress Less

 In Culture, Feature

Tightly wound from seasonal stress? Relax and release with one of these editor selected spa massages.


It’s supposedly the most wonderful time of year, but tell that to your pounding headache and tension-filled neck and back. Who can escape the season unscathed when there are heaps of food to be prepared and mounds of gifts to be wrapped? In a season filled with giving to others, why not give yourself a break? Recharge your yuletide power switch with one of these editor-approved massages, and you’ll be feeling like your brightly spirited self in no time.

The Rubdown: Hot Stone
Where to Get It: A True Spa

This ancient form of massage incorporates gently heated Basalt stones, which are applied to key points on the body. A True Spa’s version is a full-on hour of total relaxation and has benefits beyond the masseuse’s table: the heated stones are believed to increase circulation, a process that helps eliminate built-up toxins in the body. The soothing heat also relaxes muscles, which helps the therapist more effectively perform deep-tissue massage. As you leave the spa, notice as your Grinch-like ‘tude is replaced with a merry-and-bright disposition (116 Chesterfield Commons East Rd., Chesterfield, 636.537.3227,

The Rubdown: Reflexology
Where to Get It: The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

After hours of shopping, cooking or running around in the snow with the kiddos, your feet have had it. The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis’ Reflexology treatment uses this ancient technique of foot massage to focus on pressure points that correspond to the body’s vital organs. You’ll leave with increased all-over energy and feet that are ready for anything (999 N. 2nd St., Downtown, 314.881.5800,

The Rubdown:
Couples’ Suite Escape
Where to Get It: Body Options

From arguing with your spouse about money to flying off the handle when your mother makes a comment about your cooking, it seems the holidays can cause tension not only in your body, but also in your personal relationships. Extend a truce and treat yourself and a loved one to a couples’ massage at Body Options, which features your choice of traditional Swedish, invigorating Deep-Tissue or stress-melting Hot Stone massage. Mary Merriweather says the treatment is not just for lovers—customers bring their daughters, co-workers and best friends—and that it’s not just for post-holiday stress. “We get a lot of couples coming in for treatments in late November,” she says. “After they leave us, there’s no shopping line they can’t conquer!” (215 Village Square Shopping Center, Hazelwood, 314.731.5100,

The Rubdown: Chakra Balancing Massage
Where to Get It: Ginger Bay Salon and Spa

Although you may think meditation and “centering” are for master-yogi wheat-grasssipping types, you’ll be singing a different tune after a Chakra Balancing Massage at Ginger Bay. This Aveda concept spa uses a trademarked blend of deep tissue massage of the back and spinal muscles, reflexology and energy work for each of the seven chakras. Ayurvedic tradition recognizes chakras as junctions between mind and body. The belief is when we focus on the chakras, we can connect our physical, emotional and spiritual selves to create balance. Ginger Bay’s massage ends with a guided meditation to bust stress, decrease muscular tension and increase energy (437 S. Kirkwood Rd., Kirkwood, 314.966.0655,

Great Gift
Once you’re thoroughly relaxed after your rubdown and ready to tackle some holiday shopping, the gift of massage is perfect for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list. MassageLuxe offers all types of massage, from Swedish to Trigger Point, and their gift cards make it convenient to load up on stocking stuffers for your stressed-out friends or co-workers. And with multiple locations throughout the city, this is one gift that is easy for you to pick up and just as easy for your recipient to use. And believe us, they will (


1109_465.jpgTime to relax.


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