Sunday, July 25, 2010

Better than botox

Several years ago, when botox was first becoming popular, I thought I would try it to ensure the fine lines did not become more deepset. My sister wisely told me I would be better to spend the same amount of money on a monthly therapeutic massage, which would relax me and therefore my face. It would also be a more pleasurable way to spend my money than pointy injections. I thought this was a very good idea and found someone nearby.

I enjoyed the massages but the person doing them wasn’t exactly to my taste. She was very sterile and practical and didn’t have the ‘bedside manner’ I required. If she got too warm she would say ‘gosh it’s getting hot in here and turn the heating off’. She did not ask me, the customer, lying there in knickers and a towel (I was the one paying and I was lying there cold). And I didn’t like the way I was in and out within the hour, including changing and paying. Wasn’t an hour long massage an hour long?

I never spoke up though, I simply didn’t go back. I left it a few years without going for my monthly massage, and then on chatting with a customer in our store, discovered she was an aromatherapy masseuse just across the road from us. I booked in with her and haven’t looked back.

I have just had a massage this afternoon and feel so blissed out. She is the polar opposite from my first masseuse. When I arrive the room is warm and dimmed, with soft carpet underfoot. The whole time I am there is a real sensory experience.

She often has a candle, incense or scented oils going, and everything is immaculately clean while still being welcoming and homely. She starts by getting me to take my shoes off and soaks my feet in a foot spa-bath for a few moments and massages in an exfoliating scrub. This is rinsed off and my feet are dried.

She then leaves the room and I change and hop up onto the table. The oil column heater in the corner is heaped with clean towels for her to use, and the towel on the table to cover myself with is toasty warm. As she massages my back, my legs etc, towels are replaced with hot ones, and once she has done with each foot they are wrapped in a warm hand-towel for the remainder of the massage. Can you imagine how wonderful this feels?

She uses a different mix of oils each time. Today I had patchouli, geranium and ylang ylang, and the hour is finished off with a rose oil facial massage.

All the while relaxing meditative music is playing softly.

I've not tried botox yet, and I'm so glad I took the good advice to indulge in regular massage instead. And if you think it's indulgent, just flick through all the other things you spend money on - as I've discovered, some things sneak into your budget uninvited, whereas others, like a regular massage are well worth the investment.


  1. hi fiona,

    it sounds like you go to an aveda spa. you just described their ritual. bathing the feet before a service, aromatherapy oils, hot towels...heaven. and you are so right about the relaxation/aging connection. our skin repairs when we are in deep relaxation/sleep mode. not needle mode.


  2. Fiona, I would travel for an experience like this! Sounds amazing! And I agree that regular relaxation practices along with a good skin care routine can really keep you looking younger.

    Oh, and was it an Aveda spa?

  3. How wonderful that sounds! I've planned a facial for myself as a treat when I reach a goal I've set for myself. Maybe after that, I should also do it monthly!

  4. I am relaxed just reading this. The girl I got facials from did the foot bath before we started. I think a regular massage is a fantastic idea. You must feel so incredibly good after an experience like this.

  5. The picture you have painted with your words has made me realize that a massage is just what I need.
    Botox scares me because I dislke needles...and it's not "natural"
    What skin care products do you prefer?
    Your photo shows a healthy and glowing complexion and you look wonderful!

  6. J, I like your thoughts on relaxation and aging. I will consider this also when I'm stressed over something trivial - relax and my skin will thank me.

    Kalee, no it is not an Aveda spa. She works for herself and used to hire a room in a place with other practitioners, but now works from home, which luckily is within walking distance from our shop.

    I must ask her if her training had anything to do with Aveda. As far as I know, you can buy a few Aveda products here, but that's it. There used to be an Aveda shop in town but I haven't been there for ages.

    Cherie, I encourage you to make it a regular thing. Don't add the annual price up in your head though or you probably won't do it. You can choose to go not monthly too, but say 5 weekly to stretch it out.

    Stephanie, I don't actually tell many people I do this, as it sounds so 'rich' and 'lady who lunches'. I think people will judge me for having a regular massage, yet I don't have an ipod or a flash cellphone and very rarely buy coffee or bottled water out. It's all just different ways of how we spend our money. I really would like an ipod though!

    Hostess of the Humble Bungalow (I love your name!), thank you, and welcome. Botox worries me too, not just that most seem to overdo it, but the long-term effects of even the dilute form of poison. It's not natural, as you say.

    Merci for the compliment on my skin. I have used Dior for a long time but recently been trying other less expensive products (more natural ones). Time will tell if expensive and French is the way to go.

  7. I LOVE a good massage! You're right though - the experience can vary greatly depending on the masseuse. You're lucky to have found a good one. She sounds like a keeper!
    The hot towels are my favorite thing! Also, have you ever had hot stones?

  8. Lyn, I often wonder if it's sad that the hot towels make me so happy!

    I've never had a hot stone massage. Are they amazing?

  9. I've never had an aroma therapy massage, and you've made it sound so wonderful (the second one, not the first ;o) )!

    Good for you for choosing this over botox. I find the idea of that quite scary. I'd much rather have a few lines and wrinkles and be able to show expression on my face.

    And Hostess of the Humble Bungalow is right about your photo. The last thing you need is botox!

  10. I used to do botox, then I decided I liked my expressions more than I hated my forehead lines! It has been hard to not jump back into the dermatologists chair again, but now that I am trying to "live the rich life on a budget",, I bank the $400 + bucks into my "bodeci body bank"! And you are beautiful!

  11. Jackie, I would definitely recommend you try an aromatherapy massage. I have found it helpful to relax myself before I go in though. Just slow down and look foward to it, calm yourself. I have had times where I've rushed in and plonked down, all wound up. You don't enjoy it as much.

    D, thanks! I think there are definitely more pleasurable ways to spend $400. I love your blog, it's very motivating and has great informaton.

  12. I recently went to the Aveda Institute where people study to become hair dressers and aestheticians. I had four services (hair, nails, facial and pedicure) for less than $50. It was wonderful and inexpensive.

  13. Dot, you're so lucky to live nearby! This sounds wonderful. And I sometimes wonder if students don't try harder to make it a luxurious experience for you. It bothers me when I pay full-price for something and the person is quite blase or rushes me.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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