Expert answers to your spa questions
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By Susie Ellis
September / October 2007
Q I want to have a spa treatment that will give my face a more youthful appearance. Is it typical to have a consultation to discuss the most appropriate procedure? Is there a charge for this? Can I have the procedure done the day of the consultation?
A For nonmedical treatments such as microdermabrasion or glycolic facials, the spa director or an aesthetician typically gives an informal consultation and then the treatment is performed the same day. For more aggressive procedures at medical spas?Botox and injectable fillers, for example?a consultation is customary and may or may not be followed by the procedure. The consultation is usually included in the price, but not always. Call to check. One thing I've noticed is that most doctors perform procedures right after the consultation, which I don't think is always ideal. For instance, to minimize bruising from an injection, you would want to refrain for several days from using substances that can thin the blood, such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (including Advil), St. John's Wort, or high doses of vitamin E.
Q It's my dream to write for a magazine such as Luxury SpaFinder. How would I start?
A Gary Walther, our editor in chief, finds that the number of writers aspiring to cover spas for travel publications far exceeds the number of assignments available. He says, "Developing a broad expertise in wellness and travel will give you more of a chance to break in." He recommends starting locally, perhaps with a regional magazine or local newspaper, so you have published writing samples. Before going to the trouble of proposing your story idea to a publication, check to see whether it accepts queries. And in typical Gary style, he adds, "Get an MBA as a backup."
Q I'm looking for a spa similar to Maine Chance. Any suggestions?
A Elizabeth Arden's Maine Chance was relocated from Maine to Arizona in 1946, and in the '80s the Phoenician took it over. It was one of the original luxury spa grandes dames. I visited once and remember it as intimate, luxurious, and popular for emphasizing beauty treatments. When it closed, clients looking for similar experiences often chose the Greenhouse, in Texas, or the Golden Door, in California. These days, the Mayflower Inn, in Connecticut, and Cal-a-Vie, in California, are good choices.