The Treatment

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From my first person perspective, I'd say I'm pretty low maintenance. In a culture of overconsumption, jewelry stores, make up salons and plastic surgeons don't really get my money and I'm fairly conservative in the amount of fashion I purchase. This approach has recently deemed me hip and trendy — part of a new global movement as a sustainable shopper. I go to annual checkups, I try to eat and live healthy but I'm kind of average and most of the time I'm not too embarrassed by it.

So when my husband and I have an annual opportunity to get a spa service — such as a massage or manicure, it's really a treat. Except when it isn't.

Most of the opportunity to have a great treatment falls to the trusty hands of the massage therapists, estheticians, nail technicians and assistants. But because we have no favorite place, no particular person and tend to select a service that seems interesting when at a hotel or resort, I find that in recent years I can do with a little less discussion of my aging wellness requirements and a little more sea scrub pampering.

Last time out, in order to sell as many of the treatment products as possible, my massage therapist assessed me from head to toe. Alkaline-based creams would be needed to ease the knots in my shoulder, hydrating lotions are the way to go to combat dry skin, and oh yes, my thumb showed evidence of arthritis and I have poor circulation as identified by cold hands and feet. I respectfully listened and nodded in all the right places but after a warm massage in a cool temperature room, I just wanted the comfort to linger without salesmanship and a lecture on acupuncture. To my husband's credit, he too was subject to the same process but he came back with a written list that he paid little attention to, given a less talkative masseuse and a quality hot stone massage that fully relaxed him.

I know that these technicians' purely good intentions mixed with shrewd marketing is one way to make every person they meet reach their healthiest potential in a capitalist world. I also know that we are a society that still promotes youth and new health trends every day of the week. But sometimes, at least for me, it would be nice to simply leave the talk behind, shut the spa treatment door and relax for a while.

A contributing writer to the Herald since 2012, Lauren Lev is an East Meadow resident and a direct marketing/advertising executive who teaches advertising and marketing communications courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY, LIU Post and SUNY Old Westbury.