One thing Cantabridgians pride themselves on is being more relaxed than their fellow life travelers across the river. Could that have anything to do with the availability of massages called Stress-Fix and Pure Bliss, and feng shui designed hot tubs? Who doesn’t want to fix their stress? And what better way than through massage?
Harvard Square’s Pyara Spa and Salon, which uses Aveda goodies, is where you’ll find the head-to-toe, utterly transforming Stress Fix. But stress seems to diffuse long before you plonk onto the massage table; it happens the moment you walk through the door and imbibe the lovely aromas of flowers and herbs, and calming earthy décor.
Combining soothing Swedish and de-knotting deep tissue massage, acupressure, and reflexology, Stress Fix includes a special oil infused with yet more calming organically grown French lavender and lavandin, which is another species of lavender (all of which are members of the mint family), but with a high camphor content. Camphor is a natural plant oil and a venerable cure-all. The mix also includes clary sage, a pungent old European herb, revered for its mind-clearing properties. One hour later, both mind and bod are sufficiently cleared of ills.
In Charles Square, Corbu Spa & Salon is named for renowned architect and designer Le Corbusier. The Swiss modernist architect only designed one building in North America: the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard on Quincy Street. Corbu was part of the Charles Hotel, but has new owners who have retained its fresh Mod design. This is where you’ll find the Pure Bliss customizable massage, which combines deep tissue, hot stone, Swedish or reflexology. Who can’t use a little bliss?
Feng Shui designed Inman Oasis is a unique spa that’s all about relaxation, not beautification. It only offers massage complemented by hot tub soaks. You can choose to do either, or both. Massages are in increments from 15 minutes to 90, and both private and communal hot tubs are available. The more traditional Japanese wooden hot tubs are most popular. Westerners sometimes have problems understanding that hot tubs can be a tranquil experience and don’t need to be a party. So, just shut up and relax.
If you go
Corbu Spa & Salon: Pure Bliss 60-minutes $120, 90-minutes $170.
5 Bennett Street. www.corbuspa.com
Inman Oasis: massage from $25, hot tub from $10.
243 Hampshire Street. www.inmanoasis.com
Pyara Spa & Salon: Stress Fix $110.
104 Mount Auburn Street.