Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Getting in Touch with My Softer Side

The U.S. Day Spa sector is pumping out $12-billion in annual sales as frazzled Americans discover ways to address stress and soothe nerves rattled by our daily routines.

A sub-culture of medspas—businesses offering medical treatments—is also on the rise, and is anticipated to generate over $5-billion a year, according to a review by Diagonal Reports in the UK. (Why is it that foreign researchers know more about us than we do??)

Bottom line—there are more and more ways to rub away the cares of the day, and it’s an activity that’s no longer limited to the fairer sex. Men are discovering therapeutic value in allowing ourselves to be pampered once in a while.
It’s okay, fellas, really.

My first exposure to this luxury was shortly after my cancer surgery. My wife hauled me over to the nail salon in our neighborhood and had them run me through their pedicure routine.
I felt like an automobile in a carwash.

After enduring all manner of vile assaults on my body from the surgeon, followed by weeks of recovery, having a petite Asian woman scrubbing my toes and rubbing my feet and ankles with Lord-knows-what was actually quite nice. The meds I was taking for pain also dampened my anxiety about going to a salon for some legal pedophilactory. I actually slept through my first session, drooling on my shirt.

Recently, the co-founder of the Network sent me to a Cambodian salon owner for a complimentary facial.
Say what?
Men having facials—the very idea assaults our manhood. But really, it’s basically what you get in a men’s barbershop when they give you the hot towel treatment.
On steroids.

I opted to add a good old-fashioned back-waxing to the routine--not wanting to be mistaken at the YMCA for a member of The Caveman sitcom cast. Annie, the owner of the salon, had a field day with me.

Steve Carrell has my complete sympathy, having endured a real—not staged—waxing in the “40-Year Old Virgin” movie. My treatment was dorsal-only, however. Annie completed my deforestation in record time, and then clipped and trimmed the man-hairs deemed worthy of cultivating on my chest.
I know, that sounds creepy when you read it.
My bride loved the look.
At no time did I take Kelly Clarkson's name in vain.

The facial was actually quite good, too, combining all manner of cooling, oozy materials plastered on my face-made-for-Radio. Annie used a portable steamer to moisturize and cleanse my skin, and a mini-vaccuum to remove the residue. That part didn't suck. Actually, literally, it did, but the effect didn't. Again, my bride loved the results, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

Had a tough day?
Go to the gym, work off the stress, and drop some pounds while you’re at it. Afterwards, grab a shower and head to a spa for some manly pampering. I have an idea $12-billion in sales is going to be on the small end of the scale before the decade is out.

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