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12 Days of Stressmas

Our sexy helpers are here to get you through the holidays without going crazy

10.Spa la la la la.

OK, so you're convinced nothing short of a shot of Demerol can ease the tension in your practically paralyzed shoulders. But guess what — a mere 10-minute massage can help you recharge and relax, says massage therapist Carla Ciuffo, co-owner and co-founder of the StoneSpa in Manhattan. No, not that kind of massage, Huggy Bear, but a legitimate mind, body, and spirit rejuvenator.

Game Plan: Try out that treatment with the heated basalt stones from Mexico. (While you're on the premises, add a skin treatment — sure, it's a little Queer Eye-ish, but dry winter weather and holiday stress can make you break out quicker than that Shawshank guy.) And after strong hands have kneaded your back for 10 minutes — hell, splurge for the full 60 — pretend you're Scandinavian and slip into a steam room or a cold pool. It'll be the spiritual equivalent of an ER defibrillator — STAT!

Bonus: Still feeling spa adverse? Ciuffo offers some free — and hands-free — advice: "Head for a Sharper Image store," she says. "I sit in every massage chair there and stay as long as I can without being obnoxious."

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