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Top Massages around the World

Monday, July 9, 2012
During a much-needed massage on Saturday, I started reminiscing about all the amazing body treatments I’ve experienced around the world.  Here are my top favorites – a tough list to cull down!
  1. 90-minute Massage, Encore Spa, Las Vegas, NV:  This incredibly luxurious massage was a family gift, and everything about the experience was perfect: the room, the sheets, the sound, the setting, and the oh-so-skilled masseuse.  What really amazed me, though, was that 6 of us got 90-minute massages from 6 different therapists, and all of us walked out saying “That was the best massage of my life.”  Not one person said it was so-so.  In my opinion, way more fun than blowing the money gambling!
  2. Watsu massage, Canyon Ranch, Tuscon, AZ: A massage experience unlike any other, Watsu is “Water Shiatsu,” a tranquil, blissful experience in a warm pool of water.  It’s probably the closest feeling to being back in the womb. And at the Canyon Ranch, the Watsu room is a beautiful oasis, a tribute to water and its healing powers.
  3. Beach massages, Thailand: You’ll find them everywhere on Thailand’s islands and beaches: covered platforms with a handful of ladies and signs advertising their services: Thai massage, oil massage, foot massage.  The average cost of these is about $5-8/ hour.  It doesn’t matter if your masseuse isn’t the most skilled you’ve ever had; half of the experience is listening to the waves crashing and feeling the warm wind caressing you in this most peaceful of settings.
  4. Neuromuscular massage, Massage Revolution, Manhattan Beach, CA: Neuromuscular massage, for me, is not the most enjoyable of massages during the experience — the emphasis is on finding sources of pain and working them — but the results are phenomenal. I have carpal tunnel and chronic neck and back pain from too much office work, and this is the only type of bodywork I’ve found that leads to WEEKS, if not months, of pain-free, tension-free results.  I highly recommend this to anyone who has chronic pain and has not been able to find relief through traditional types of massage.  [bonus: their office is near an amazing Lebanese restaurant that has a few SoCal branches – Open Sesame!  Make a day of it!]
  5. Couples massage, MotherHome Inn, Siem Reap, Cambodia:  A charming, sweet experience in a charming, sweet hotel.  We booked an in-room couples massage and wondered where they’d fit the massage tables.  No problem – the two ladies who came to deliver our massages quickly prepped the king-sized bed, arranged us on it and went to work.  There’s nothing better after a tiring day of sightseeing than getting a massage.  Being able to just fall asleep in your own bed when it’s over?  Perfection.
  6. Buff & Massage, Wi Spa, Los Angeles, CA: I have to include this for so many reasons: the cultural phenomenon that is this Korean mega-spa, the experience of being flipped around and rubbed down by a middle-aged Korean woman in underwear and sandals, and feeling like a newborn baby after an hour of skin scrubbing.  LA is fortunate to have a number of Korean spas, and this one takes the cake in size and amenities.  You might just become addicted.

What are some of your favorite spas or massage experiences? Let me know in the comments!

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