Spa

By Leslie Rice Hart

This year my allergies and sinuses have been like visitors overstaying their welcome in my small one bedroom apartment. When are they going to leave? I’d tried many forms of relief, Claritin D, herbal combinations, saline solution irrigation. I even went as far as to spread wasabi on a cracker and eat it to clear my sinuses. I was desperate. Nothing worked! It was taking a toll on me.

One suffering day I passed by a new day spa that had just opened in my neighborhood, Spa Meridian. I picked up a list of services. Many of the services offered were unique. One unique service that caught my eye was ear candling. The description read: Used to clean accumulated debris and unwanted wax from the ear, enabling better hearing, clearer thinking, improved equilibrium and – this is what clinched it for me – RELIEF from SINUS PROBLEMS. It was fate. I was meant to find Spa Meridian, Full Service Day Spa.

I quickly called them up and booked a day for myself. I decided all my angst deserved a day of pampering. I booked not only the ear candling, but a massage, facial, manicure and pedicure.

I was curious and excited. I did a little checking on what Meridian means. Meridians or channels are the means in which vital energy and blood circulate through the human body. This is the foundation of Chinese medicine and eastern philosophy. A healthy mind and body is the essence of eastern philosophy. I’ve always leaned toward holistic and eastern philosophy, so I had a good feeling about Spa Meridian.

The day of my appointment, I walked into the Spa Meridian not expecting too much. It looked so small from the outside. I was taken aback by the size of the beautiful, Asian-influenced décor of the front waiting area. The entire spa had a very serene and friendly vibe. There was no uppity, snooty attitude.

I was handed the usual informational papers to fill out, name, medical history, blah, blah, yada, yada. One page to be completed was for the massage. Charlie, the massage therapist, sat with me and discussed, in detail, what my needs were. I was so impressed that he designs massages for the individual client. Charlie explained he would combine several different techniques to address all my problems.

I was escorted to the dressing room. I got undressed, slipped into a robe and flip flops, provided and was now ready to begin my – and I don’t mind saying – well-deserved pampering.

Charlie led me down a hallway into a room. There I would receive my personally tailored massage. I climbed on the table face down. Charlie started on my extremely knotted, tight shoulders. He did trigger point work, deeeeeeeep tissue massage. Ow! This was painful, but I asked for it and I “kneaded” it desperately. Giving me some relief from the tenderness he switched to a more holistic, relaxing massage that incorporated long broad strokes. He switched once again to a sports massage. Here he incorporated compression with stretching, using range of motion. He explained this particular technique was designed to enhance athletic performance and expedite recovery. I was a wet noodle afterwards. I could feel a huge difference in my neck and shoulders. I floated out of the massage room for the next service, ear candling.

I was met by Sunny Moon, the owner of Spa Meridian. She instructed me to lie on my side. She placed a long, slender cone in my ear. She lit the end and as it slowly burned down I could hear a crackling sound. It was very relaxing, like the sound of a fire in a fire place. She explained a vacuum formed in the tube suctioning all the “junk” out of my ears and sinuses. She reassured me it was very safe. The best part was when she cut open the remaining tube that hadn’t burned down, and I saw what came out of my ears. It was oddly intriguing. She has clients who have had great success with this procedure. She burned two cones in each of my ears. I actually felt like my head was clearer. I could breath easier after the ear candling. Two services down and two to go.

My facial was next. The esthetician, Tati, greeted me with a beautiful, warm smile. She took me to a table making sure I was comfortable and warm enough. She looked under the magnifying mirror at my face and came up with the perfect facial for my skin. She, like Charlie, individualized my facial. She treated my large, clogged pores and mature, dehydrated skin. She used a special type of, almost dry, steam that was wonderful. I was told it penetrated deeper into the pores loosening up the blackheads. She cleansed, extracted, applied a mask, and moisturized. My skin felt smooth like a baby’s. It was clean and glowing. My next and final service was the pedicure and manicure.

I sat in a roomy, comfortable massage chair. Ewa, the manicurist, turned on the chair and showed me how to use the controller. As she worked on my feet, I was in heaven having my second massage of the day. She rubbed, buffed and polished my tootsies. I asked her about scraping the dead skin off my feet but she explained how terrible that was for the feet. Scraping the bottom of the feet will make the skin thicker and tougher. We learn something new everyday. She gave me a wonderful foot and calf massage. She could see how much I was enjoying the massage chair. She didn’t dare ask me to get out. She offered, instead, to do the manicure at the chair. She didn’t have to twist my arm. We had a wonderful conversation. All that was missing was a glass of wine.

Spa Meridian offers many lines of beauty care products and cosmetics. One of their featured lines is Carita. Sunny is always looking for unique lines to carry. She wants to make sure she has the right product(s) for each patron who walks through her doors.

So, if you want a day of beauty and relaxation or just a great pedicure visit Spa Meridian. My experience was amazing. All the services are designed with the individual’s special needs in mind. The extra personal touch and unique services separates Spa Meridian from the rest.

Visit Spa Meridian at the following locations:

NEW YORK
143 East 34th St.
NY, NY 10016
212-679-0811

NEW JERSEY
32 River Edge Rd.
Tenafly, NJ 07670
201-227-0080

Originally published November 2004
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