Spa

By Jan Lee

Most of the time, when you walk down the streets of NYC, you walk, meaning head straight, eyes in front of you, with your mind on a zillion things. But if you’ve ever had a chance to stroll, you’d see that there’s a lot happening at the second level, including some serious spa going. We like to call it the Second Floor of New York and we’ve discovered some gems beckoning through plate glass windows one floor above street level. Walk up to these picks because, man, will it feel good when you get there.

SPA JA

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“Ja” means “now!” In Portuguese, that is. “We’re not a factory line. Every person’s important,” explained owner Giovanna Kufer. And that I believe. As I awaited Alexandra, the key holder to my Brazilian Body Sculpture treatment, nibbling on organic cookies and apple slices, I was given a towel laden with essential oils, like peppermint and sage, to put over my face. It felt like herbal air was clearing out my airways. Magnificent.

The Brazilian Body Sculpture treatment, which can take inches off the body, improve the appearance of cellulite and define the contours of the body, and is also good for people with chronic back pain and thyroid problems, consisted of two parts.

First, I laid in the Oceana 5 – a hydrotherapy chamber used by NASA – and received a body scrub. Then, an herbal wrap to help relax and detoxify the body. As I lay in the Oceana 5, infrared lights released uric acid, and stress and steam opened up my pores to engage the herbal nutrients.

The second part consists of an uber-relaxing massage to help circulation, which in turn helps the body carry more oxygen, and build up more elastin, further firming the body. The whole treatment consists of 1-1 ½ hour sessions each week. It’s a long term process and they suggest at least 18 sessions.

Throughout the treatments and services, you get a full sensory therapeutic experience: color therapy with color lighting depending on the treatment, soothing classical music or sounds of nature playing in the background and aromatherapy throughout the spa. “We want the person to be truly soothed and relaxed,” said Kufer.

At Spa Ja, where all products are chemical-free or organic and treatments are non-invasive, they try to educate people about the benefits of going organic. Onsite is a retail area selling top organic spa and gift brands and products from around the world. Soon, they will also be offering Lypossage treatments.

Spa Ja
300 W. 56th Street, 2nd Floor (above Momo Sushi)
(212) 245-7566
www.Spaja.com

FINESSE DAY SPA

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Warm and inviting Southwestern décor sets the mood in Finesse Day Spa. Leaving the trucks and car horns on the street where they belong, Lidia Czurgiel, owner, says she chose the second floor because “it’s less noisy than street level.” I sat in the cozy waiting room softly lit by illuminated “rocks” before my Lymphobiology™ Eye Treatment.

The Lymphobiology™ treatment stimulates the lymphatic system to remove waste material and excess fluids from the skin and body, allowing healthier fluids and nutrients to enter the skin tissue. Incorporating Lymphobiology™ with a standard facial minimizes puffy eyes, dark circles and wrinkles by increasing the circulation and maximizing product effectiveness, allowing the product to deeply penetrate the skin and achieve the best results.

First, Czurgiel cleansed my face, and then massaged it with a sweet smelling oil. Next, she went over my face with a suction apparatus. It may sound weird, but it was oddly relaxing. She finished with Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Firm and Intensive Eye Repair. At Finesse, the Lymphobiology™ treatment is used in combination with other facials and body scrubs, all over the face and body.

While in the locker room area, a woman, who travels from Jersey City to Finesse because it’s “low key and comfortable,” suggested that next time I try the Mango/Ginger Brown Sugar scrub. And as delicious as that sounds, I just might.

In the retail area, they offer Dermalogica (because they don’t have chemicals or perfumes) and G.M. Collin Paris products, as well as Essie Smoothie lotions.

Finesse Day Spa
133 W. 25th Street, 2nd Floor
(212) 352-3434
www.Finessedayspa.com

SUPPLE SPA

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Supple Spa hosts a very intimate setting, great for couples’ getaways, which is their specialty. But alas, I was alone, and in the Sunset Room (there is also the Paris and Tokyo Rooms available), I prepared for my Deep Pore Facial. Oh yeah.

Surrounded by Asian paper screens and candlelight, Judy analyzed my face and skin.. Each facial is customized for different skin types. Using all Dermalogica products, she then cleansed and exfoliated, while steam blew over my face. Then, she extracted and massaged. To kill the bacteria, she went over my face with a hi-frequency device. And finally, she ended the treatment by toning and moisturizing my skin. Every step of the way, she made sure I was okay. Thank you, Judy.

I left with visibly even toned and clearer skin with a glow. And I had to find out where they got the terry cloth jumper they had me wear. It was super soft and cute.

Supple Spa is most known for its Royal Bath Treatment – a three-phase treatment consisting of an aromatherapy massage, Dead Sea salt scrub, and essential oils infused in a rose petal bath. For the last 30 minutes, you enjoy a massage and glass of wine while sitting in the water. Also offered are Swedish, deep tissue and aromatherapy massages and body treatments, as well as nail care and waxing services.

For other Supple options, visit Supple Spa II at 80 Delancey, also on the 2nd floor, or inquire about Supple Mobile Spa, where the spa comes to you.

Supple Spa
55 W. 19th Street, 2nd Floor
(212) 929-5948
www.supplespa.com

Originally published November 2007
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