The medium is the massage.

Posted on April 15th, 2009 by Michelle

Outside MassageThe International Spa Association (ISPA) claims that spa treatments lower blood pressure and thereby add years to your life. I’ve always considered stress and anxiety to be key elements in my weight-loss plan and have the before-and-after pictures to prove it, but apparently I should have been putting those cucumbers on my eyelids along with tossing them in my salad.

Seaweed wraps, facials, manis-, pedis- and especially massages, all reduce stress, and by the transitive property of savvy marketing, could also help you live a longer, happier life. Because of this, we are told to think of spa treatments not as an extravagance, but a necessity in our overscheduled, multi-tasked lives – economy be damned. The American Psychological Association says that a third of Americans are living with extreme stress and nearly half believe their stress has increased over the past five years.  People who go for a single deep-tissue massage reduce their blood pressure by 7 points, according to the ISPA, and over time, lowered blood pressure can add six years to your life.

Now, do we want to add six or seven years to our lives with retirement funds disappearing quicker than fat through a lipo sucker? Maybe, maybe not.  But whether or not that’s a load of hooey, there are spa treatments that we must have a couple of times a year, so we find a way to budget for it (generally by drinking cheaper wine).  It feels good.  We are refreshed, re-buffed, re-lacquered and relaxed. And that’s what keeps us coming back for more.

  • The hands-down best spa finder on the ‘net is
  • Thinking about being a massage therapist?  Start here with the American Massage Therapy Association.
  • If you’re taking Michelle’s advice and buying cheaper wine, get the best advice from New York Times wine blog,  “The Pour.”

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A short history of cosmetics

150BC Romans use yellow eye shadow.

The Romans preferred to use gold-colored eye shadow which was made from saffron and painted onto the area around the sides and under their eyes. Then they used powdered wood ash to color their eyelids black. This gold color was quite significant at the time because they saw themselves as the rulers of the Mediterranean.