There’s no denying it; life’s pace is just not as leisurely as it
once was. For those who came before us, "me time” was
commonly observed every evening on the front porch
swing or at the family dinner table.
But as our schedules have become crowded with activities
and events, we no longer have time to do the greatest activity of
them all—absolutely nothing.
Doing nothing is an indulgence that may
produce feelings of guilt for many, but taking
some time for yourself is important for both
your mental and physical health. Scheduling
some official “me time” on your calendar and
seeking professional help (in the form of a massage
therapist or esthetician) is a good first step
toward putting yourself at the top of your list of
At the FirstHealth Center for Health &
Fitness–Pinehurst, massage therapist Michele
Santiago helps people unwind from the stress of
“In today's world, everyone is multi-tasking,”
Santiago says. “How many of us are making
mental checklists of the 20 things we must
accomplish today, while returning phone calls
and e-mails, while searching the World Wide
Web and researching our latest medical, mental
or family issues?”
There are few places in the world where you
are encouraged not to think, but the massage table is one of them.
To help her clients truly unwind, Santiago lays some ground rules so
that her clients can effectively leave the outside world behind while
they are with her.
Cell phones and Blackberries must be turned off as Santiago
encourages her clients to forget their mental checklist of “to-do’s” and try instead to mentally shut down.
The connection between mind and body is a strong one. As the
mind relaxes, so does the body, but the residual effects of stress on
the body can still require some attention. A common complaint
Santiago hears from her clients regards the classic mind/body ailment—tension.
“When muscles are tight, there is constriction
of circulation to the affected area,” she
says. “Through massage, the area is relaxed so
that circulation may be improved. As clients
receive more massage, they become more
aware of their bodies and where they hold
A treatment that Santiago recommends to
her tension-filled clients is hot stone massage.
This ancient therapy originated 5,000 years
ago in India, and uses smooth river rocks,
heated to a muscle-melting 120 degrees, to
help people reach a deeper state of mental and
The stones, which come in a variety of sizes
to treat a variety of areas, retain heat better
than hot water bottles and penetrate deeper
into the muscle than heating pads. They are
never still. The massage therapist glides them
across the skin and treats problematic joints and muscles with pressure.
The result, says Santiago, is a deeper state of total relaxation. “I
tell my first-time clients not to plan on doing anything after their hot
stone massage,” she says.
Pampering your face
When one speaks of indulgence, relaxation and pampering, one typically thinks of a massage. But spa enthusiasts will tell you that
those unfamiliar services buried deep in the spa menu with scary,
even painful sounding names such as “Sea Salt Scrub” not only provide
just as much bang for your “pamper me buck” as a massage,
but they can also help you look better. (And they won’t hurt a bit!)
Facials, or facial massage, don’t stop at the chin. They often
include a neck-and-shoulder massage as well as a hand-and-foot
Facial massage uses gentle strokes to stimulate the tissue while
toning the muscles of the face and neck. Blood flows to your skin,
nourishing it and giving you a post-facial “glow.”
Facials are typically customized to treat a variety of skin conditions
such as acne and dryness, and the materials used to achieve this are
often found in your refrigerator rather than your medicine cabinet.
Oatmeal, honey, even pumpkin are used in facial treatments to
address the skin’s specific needs.
The pampered male
Women have long been fans of facials and other spa services, but
one large population has always been conspicuously absent from the
waiting area—men. Many large cities have spas that cater only to
men, and their popularity has grown as society’s acceptance of male
pampering has increased.
Thanks to the “metro-sexual” man—a man who not only takes
care of his physical health through diet and exercise, but also minds
his aesthetic well-being through spa and salon visits, more and more men have discovered that a day of relaxation is not just for the ladies.
“Men are beginning to appreciate what a good facial and proper
skin care can do for their appearance,” says Santiago. “Spa treatments
are a way for men to take care of their skin that will enhance
their ‘maleness,’ not take away from it.”
Bonnie Tilley, spa coordinator for the FirstHealth Center for
Health & Fitness, attributes the big increase in male clients to their
wives, who are encouraging their men to try spa services. Tilley also
cites the Center’s association with the hospital, which she believes
helps men feel more comfortable in the spa atmosphere. She estimates
that 40 percent of the Center’s massage clients are male.
Surprisingly, a full 15 percent of its nail service clients are men, too.
According to nail technician Kristen Guinn, men typically receive
gift certificates from wives who are tired of the husband’s unsightly
hands and feet. Pedicures are more popular with men than manicures,
although Guinn points out that many businessmen who work
on a face-to-face basis with clients get regular manicures.
The modern manicure focuses on the whole hand, and not
just only on the nails. Hot paraffin wax is used as a mask that
leaves the hands (or feet) soft and smooth. And men can put
their nail polish fears to rest. Gone is the clear coat of polish
that used to cap off a man’s manicure. Now nails are buffed to
a healthy, natural shine that won’t tip off their buddies to their
time in the manicurist’s chair.
FYI: Pinehurst will welcome a new, full-service spa this fall when
FirstSpa opens for business. To be located in a new addition to the
FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness-Pinehurst, FirstSpa will offer an
array of body and facial treatments, massage, nail and waxing services, all
in a luxurious and calming atmosphere.
By Judy Morganthall
|Everyone wants to look his or her best, and more and
more people are turning to cosmetic surgery as a way to
It’s not just celebrities or the wealthy. Cosmetic surgery
has become more accepted among people who might never have
considered it in the past.
“We all want to reflect our best self,” says Jefferson Kilpatrick,
M.D., of Pinehurst Surgical Facial Plastic Surgery Center.
From surgery that can involve multiple procedures to nonsurgical
treatments that are relatively low risk and require no
recovery time, the options are endless for both women and
men of almost every age.
According to Dr. Kilpatrick, modern cosmetic surgery isn’t just
about erasing the effects of aging, it’s also about prevention.
Focusing on skin care is one way for a patient to look as good as
possible, he says.
People in their 20s, and even their teens, are seeing plastic surgeons
for microdermabrasion, a deep exfoliating procedure that
reduces fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars and unwanted pigmentation.
The more complicated surgical procedures are oriented
toward structural changes that result from aging.
Dr. Kilpatrick says that he listens to patients explain what bothers
them about their features before coming up with a treatment
plan to try to meet the patient’s goals and expectations.
“I try to have something for everyone,” he says.
Steven Zoellner, M.D., of Pinehurst Plastic Surgery Specialists
also offers a range of aesthetic procedures—from eyelid surgery
and chemical peels to liposuction and breast augmentation. While
media exposure—from makeover shows to documentaries about
patient stories—and Internet research have raised awareness
about procedures, patients need to talk with the plastic surgeon to
sort out what’s reasonable for them, Dr. Zoellner says.
“It’s very important when a person sits down with a plastic surgeon
that they’re getting the full scope of what’s involved and not
just how simple it is to have a procedure or surgery done,” says Dr.
Zoellner. “Safety risks should never be downplayed with any of the
aesthetic procedures or choices people are making.”
With more injectable fillers (such as collagen and Restylane)
awaiting FDA approval, patients will have even more aesthetic
products to consider in the future. “We try to have a comprehensive
approach to a patient’s aesthetic concerns,” Dr. Zoellner says.
According to Dr. Zoellner, liposuction is the most popular procedure
for body contouring, but he works with a patient on all of
the factors involved in reaching goals.
“Almost always, particularly in body contouring, it’s a combination
of looking at lifestyle—exercise and diet—as well as what the
surgical approach will do for them,” he says. “They all go hand-inhand
to get the best result.”
It’s also important for the patient to realize that he or she won’t
become someone different when they have a procedure. “Our
goal is to help them feel better for themselves,” Dr. Zoellner says.