I’m not really a spa kind of guy.
It’s been years since my last massage. My idea of self-care involves a trip to the refrigerator for a cold beer, followed by 90 minutes of The Good Place. Sometimes it includes some aromatherapy — but only because my youngest daughter perpetually has scented candles lit throughout the house.
That doesn’t mean I’m not stressed, run-down, sleep-deprived or generally in need of some help relaxing or recharging.
And if this month’s 20 Best Spas cover story is any indication, the same goes for many of our writers and editors — who found themselves overwhelmed by the notion of ducking out of work for an 80-minute skin treatment, plagued my migraines from too much screen time and generally taxed by adulting.
Clearly, though, they’re not alone. A full 39 percent of American adults admitted to being more anxious than a year ago, according to a 2018 poll by the American Psychiatric Association. A January article by Anne Helen Petersen in BuzzFeed News examined how millennials have become the “burnout generation.”
Is it any wonder, then, that the spa industry had a record-breaking year in 2017 with $17.5 billion in revenue, according to the International Spa Association. With its eighth-straight year of revenue growth, the industry also saw increases in the number of spa visits (187 billion!), spa locations and employment.
If the traffic to Cleveland Magazine’s website is any indication, Northeast Ohioans have definitely contributed to those numbers. Our Ultimate Spa Guide from 2003 routinely ends up among our most-read articles (thanks Google!). But while the issue marked my first and only spa facial — and I had completely forgotten how good the warm oven-mitt-like moisturizing gloves felt — the spa where I received it has since closed.
So let us introduce you to the most innovative treatments (I’m completely onboard with Sacred Hour Wellness Spa’s Drunken Lotus Massage), traditional methods and what that deep-sea mud enriched with algae is actually doing for you.
Because even if Petersen is right and burnout can’t be fixed with a vacation, oxygen facial or treadmill desk, a little Thai massage, salt-and-oil scrub or golf ball massage certainly can’t hurt.