#15 from my 30 Before 30 list: Get a professional massage – or take a spa day

I’ve never gotten a professional massage before. I’ve participated in massage trains and gotten my back rubbed if I agreed to massage my sister’s back in return, but I’ve never paid someone who was professionally trained to do massage therapy. I decided to put “get a professional massage” on my 30 Before 30 list and soon realized it’s one of the easiest items to cross off.

I looked around online for various day spas and massage therapists. Friends suggested the chiropractor’s office where they work, but I was also thinking about adding some other relaxing spa treatments to the appointment. I found Sass Salon and Day Spa in Mechanicsburg, where I had previously gotten a haircut. I made an appointment for a Tuesday afternoon, the day after getting back from a business trip. (We usually get to take off work the day after trips because we work both Saturday and Sunday when we travel.)

When I got to Sass, I was greeted at the front desk by Kim, one of the stylists, who confirmed my reservation. She got someone to escort me to the spa lobby upstairs. In the upstairs lobby, I was seated down in the corner couches to fill out some paperwork: allergies, injury/illness history, etc.With the paperwork filled out, I was led down the hall to a warm, dimly lit room where I would receive both a facial and a full body massage as part of Sass’ “Essential Touch” package.

First was the hour-long Elemental Nature facial by Dena. Given the choice of floral, citrus, or musky aromatherapy, I went with citrus. Since it was my first time getting a facial, Dena explained the various steps, Aveda products, and benefits as she went along. She also asked questions about my usual skin regimen and skin type so that she could better customize my facial. The facial consisted of cleansers, toners, clay masks, and exfoliation to renew my skin. The whole experience was also very relaxing. Dena even massaged my arms, hands, and feet while waiting for clay masks to set.

After the facial and a bottle of water was a full body massage with Carla (I think that was her name). The package included a half-hour back and neck massage, but I upgraded to a one-hour full body massage. Carla told me that was a good idea and that the half-hour massage is just a tease. I was under blankets the whole time, and Carla only uncovered what she was massaging at the time. (They provided a robe wrap and allowed me to wear as much as made me comfortable.) She walked around me, massaging my limbs, neck, and shoulders. Carla had me flip over onto my stomach so she could massage my back. I soon realized that the massage table was heated, and I’m pretty sure it lulled me to sleep at least once.

Following the massage was lunch, though it was dinner time for me. I had the choice of various wraps and salads, and I went with turkey and cheese on a wheat wrap. It came with chips and a pickle on the side, as well as a complimentary glass of red wine. I also had the choice of white wine, mixed drinks, and other beverages. The meal was included in the Essential Touch package, along with the facial, massage, and gratuity. Overall, it was a very relaxing and enjoyable experience that was a great value compared to the cost. I could get used to visiting Sass Salon and Day Spa after my various business trips.


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