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Think twice about dropping that robe on your next visit to the spa, ladies: The mud bath next to you may be occupied by (gasp!) a man. Guys today are pampering themselves by having manicures, pedicures and even facials. But they no longer need to compete with women for prime appointment times. Male spa patrons now have a few places to call their own, like Nickel (pronounced “nee-kel�) in New York City and The Grooming Lounge in Washington, D.C. These just-for-men facilities assure visitors the highest quality wraps, massages and (ouch!) waxings. But you don't have to travel to the East Coast for an all-male review. Gadabout Men, another boys-only spa, recently opened in Tucson, Ariz. Way to go, fellas.


Eastern philosophies and approaches continue to shape the spa industry, influencing everything from products and services to design. While yoga, Pilates and Thai massage are becoming staples at spas and health clubs nationwide, an ancient massage treatment from India, Ayurveda, is gaining in popularity. At Turnberry Isle in Aventura, Fla., visitors wanting the “Passage to India� Ayurvedic treatment must complete a questionnaire, several pages long, so they can be placed in their proper “constitution.� Spa director Tammy Pahel explains that a person's constitution will determine which specially designed Indian products and scents will be used to bring his or her body type into balance. Such customization does not come cheap. At Turnberry Isle, a two-hour Ayurvedic treatment costs $240.


The line between dermatology and pampering is blurring even further. Laser treatments, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, collagen and Botox injections, light therapy and even medical acupuncture are being offered at a growing number of spas. Dr. Pamela Peeke, medical advisor to the Lexington, Ky.-based International Spa Association, admits that the people who come in for such treatments have “money to burn.� (She reports that the average cost for a Botox injection is $500 and that a chemical dermabrasion goes for about $150.) “These high-maintenance, classic Boomers are ramping it up and taking their visits to the spa to the next level,� she says. The advanced services are most available in big urban areas like New York and L.A. So the next time you're in the city, why not drop by and have those brow lines smoothed over? We won't tell.

Source: Lynne McNees, executive director, International Spa Association

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