That moment your body touches the massage table. The lights dim and your eyes seal shut, smiling still. The calming melody of spa music urges your mind to wander off to no place in particular. With every long, deep, sweet inhale, the aroma of fresh and powerful essential oils massages your insides from nose to toes. Your whole body begins to breathe, with no constraints, cozy and liberated under soft towels and spa blankets. As though a bouquet of colorful helium balloons is whisking you away on a perfectly secluded beach. Your shoulders and legs and feet and scalp tingle in anticipation. You taste bliss about to begin. OH, how I love that moment. That feeling of longing. Knowing something so wonderful is about to happen and knowing you are going to feel so good for the next hour or two, and then even better in the long run. It’s sort of like Spa Week. Today marks first morning of Spa Week Spring 2012! It’s that wonderful week where people all across North America get to experience moments like this in affordable abundance. We’ve been planning for months and months, but right now, it’s the calm before the calmer. And just like a good massage about to begin, I can’t wait for you to experience all the delightfully rich benefits of the spa lifestyle. One of the reasons? Because in that delicious moment before your treatment, it just so happens your massage therapist is just as excited as you are. “It is a very beautiful and powerful experience that I can create harmony and balance between my hands and people. I am exceptionally honored that I have this skill and can be rewarded every day for doing what I love.” — Soyoung Abbate, AVEDA Red Bell Spa in Hicksville, NY It couldn’t be truer: All You Knead Is Love. Massaging hands come with passionate hearts. News broke earlier this year about massage therapy making the list of top 10 professions in 2012 (it’s the best job on earth!), so we celebrated with a blog series to celebrate the people with those magical hands. “What do you love most about your job?” we asked. The quote above was just one of over 50 we featured. From combatting stress, migraines and insomnia to helping clients suffering from sciatica, cystic fibrosis and cancer, massage therapists share that they are all in this for one reason: To heal. To touch not just bodies, but lives. I strongly encourage you to read all 13 massage therapy blog posts if you haven’t yet. I have learned so much! These life-changing experiences are what make massage therapists as passionate about giving as we are about receiving. What an incredible honor it is to be part of this industry. This week, savor every moment with your massage therapist or esthetician. Ask questions. Let them not simply pamper you; let them help you. Let them heal you. That’s why they’re here. Enjoy, show your GRATITUDE (15%-20% of the original treatment price is standard Spa Week tipping!), and have a beautiful Spa Week. Yours truly, Michelle Joni Lapidos PS. Tell me below what treatments you’re getting!