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By Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT

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“Touching the Massage Today reader one letter at a time.”


I would like to know what type of simple essential oils I could use to treat headaches during my massage treatment and for home use.

- Sue in Texas

Dear Sue:

Thanks for writing. I use lavender for relaxation and for headaches to help me relax the muscles in my client's neck. I like to apply the lavender on the temples and the base of the occiput. I also sell and use lavender water to spray on my pillow to get a better night's sleep and to help me relax. Katie Haley, owner of Cosmicflower aromatherapy, shared a quick relief for tension and stress headaches with me when using aromatherapy. In the form of neat "undiluted" essential oils, apply one drop of peppermint and one drop of lavender and massage the temples and occiput. The menthol contained in the peppermint and the linalol in the lavender will calm the pain receptors and usually stop the headache very quickly. Have the client do some deep breathing and perform your usual routine for the neck and head.


I am a massage therapist that likes to visit other massage centers and spas for research, but I have not been to New York City for spa and massage treatments. I am taking some high-end clientele on a girls' day trip to New York City to visit a few high-end spas. Do you have any recommendations.

- Cindy in Pennsylvania

Dear Cindy:

I was just in New York City for the American Spa Expo. While there, I went on a special VIP tour of about eight hot spas in New York City, set up by New York publicist Nancy Trent. New York City has many neat spas to visit. Two of the spas we visited sound like just the places you are looking for. The first place is The Spa at Mandarin Oriental (, New York. The place was just beautiful, with a breathtaking view of the city. All the treatments are 80 minutes or longer. If money is an issue, this is not the place for you. They have a quiet room with lemon water and fresh fruit. When you walk in, you are given hot herbal tea at the front desk and a warm towel. The treatment waiting room has water with lemon and cucumber in it. My massage was tailored to my needs and put me in a state of bliss. Next stop was the relaxation room, with a view of the city while you laid back in the chaise lounges. When we came out, our shoes were shined and wrapped in paper waiting for us.

The other spa you should look at and I think the girls will enjoy is Cornelia Day Resort ( This is on Fifth Avenue and they received the American Academy Star Diamond Award. This is the place to be pampered. They have European soaking tubs and sell their own bath products. They have a watsu pool filled with more than 18,000 bottles of Evian water. On the roof, they have treatment stations for those in a rush, and a café on the penthouse level. A butler serves complimentary fresh juices, teas and fruits. Cornelia Day Resort will transport your friends to an island of tranquilly right on the island of Manhattan. I think you and your friends will enjoy both Cornelia Day Resort and The Spa at Mandarin Oriental.


I am about to add spa treatments to my massage office. Do you think I need a wet table and wet room?

- Wendy in Vermont

Dear Wendy:

Not necessarily! If you are just starting out and on a tight budget, you can do spa treatments without a wet room or wet table in a dry-room setting. I would even suggest you start off slow if you are moving your massage center into a day spa with spa therapies. I would invest in a hot towel cabbie right away. Most scrubs and muds can be removed with warm towels. For the feet, they make tables that do not require plumbing and you can soak the feet and do pedicures and foot treatments. Dry room treatments are what we do at my massage center and we have a shower for treatments that really need to be rinsed off. We get a lot of use out of the towel cabbie. On the other side, wet rooms are nice and can play a nice role in many spas. Sounds like a dry room setup will work fine for you and you will be able to add scrubs, wraps and mud treatments right away with a small investment. Good luck!

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