Sometimes you need more than a yoga class to chill out from a frenzied December in New York City. Decking the halls can be exhausting. Ditto eight nights of Hanukkah. Not to mention office holiday parties and shopping for distant relatives. (And we let us not forget the tourist hordes in Rock Center and Times Square.) Here are three temporary antidotes to the merry mayhem.
Book a Soulful Facial
Facials aren’t always relaxing, like when extractions and peels are involved. But Monica Waters, who works out of her salon-like Upper East Side apartment, delivers reliably relaxing facials that incorporate lymphatic drainage massage, Reiki, and foot reflexology. We also love that she uses organic Dr. Alkaitis products and reads your Tarot cards for a window into 2011. Monica Watters Sacred Touch, 245 E. 60th St., Suite 2; 212-838-3717; no website
Float Your Cares Away With Watsu
Watsu, or Water Shiatsu, hails from northern California where it’s practiced in the hot springs near Calistoga. To have this dreamy, ethereal warm-water massage in NYC, head to the Greenspan Center in Williamsburg where Ben Watts and Tina Dohrmann maintain a large 97 degree pool for watsu, water dance (like Watsu but you go under water for an even more womb-like experience), as well as “on land treatments” such as zero balancing. $100 for a 1-hour Watsu treatment. The Greenspan Center, 39 Ainslie Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-963-2852; www.greenspancenter.com
Get a Total Head-to-Toe Treatment
If you need major relaxation, SoHo Sanctuary is offering a 3.5 hour Heavenly Holiday package for $295. It starts with a signature massage—we can vouch for their high-caliber therapists—followed by an hour-long facial, using your choice of natural Arcona or Dr. Hauschka products. Part three is a manicure and pedicure, so you emerge holiday-party ready. SoHo Sanctuary, 119 Mercer St., 3rd fl; 212-334-5550, www.sohosanctuary.com
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