Relaxing Ritual: Where to Get a Good Massage?

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Ahhh, a good massage. We all want one, and in some cases, we really need one. Next to "What massage treatment should I get?" the other most asked question among those desperate to relieve stress is: "Where to get a good massage?" 

When it comes to a good massage treatment, I like mine the way I like a good conversation: easy and uncomplicated. While the fancy spa environment certainly adds to the entire experience, I personally believe the best massage treatment is one that is done in the comforts of home.

Why, you may ask? I would give up a fancy ambiance, especially on a very tiring day after work, if that meant I could skip the driving part and go straight to beauty rest after an "I'm as soft as Jello" kind of massage treatment.

Massage On-Demand

Growing up back in the Philippines where massage therapy is a widely embraced ritual of relaxation, it is common practice to set up an appointment with a trusted local massage therapist for an in-home appointment. This was, no doubt, one of the many comforts I missed about home after moving to the U.S.

So you can imagine my excitement after hearing the launch of a massage app called Soothe, massage on-demand service available in several major cities, including Orlando, and more recently, Tampa Bay, Bradenton, Sarasota and surrounding areas. 

Massage on-demand is slowly growing in trust and popularity, even celebrities like Sharon Stone, admitted to being a fan of Soothe. To the massage-obsessed, like me, this was a "Hallelujah type of news"—and I obviously had to book and experience Soothe right away!

If you haven't had an in-home massage appointment yet, I suggest you do your research before booking one to fully understand the unique experience and ease any apprehensions you may have regarding letting a massage therapist into your home. Here are a few helpful tips:

1. Research and read reviews.

In today's digital times, online word-of-mouth matters. Read reviews about the booking app service to help you make an informed decision on whether booking through an online service is the right fit for you. Soothe performs background checks and only hires professionally certified and trained massage therapists, so all therapists are thoroughly vetted—an added peace of mind for anyone booking through their service. You can customize the type of massage treatment you want and may even book a Couples' treatment so both you and your hubby may enjoy a relaxing evening at home. For my first appointment, I opted for a 90-minute Swedish massage treatment—good choice, no doubt!

2. Give yourself time to unwind and set up the massage area.

Perhaps the best part about Soothe is that you can set up an in-home massage appointment in as little as an hour's notice, making it possible to get a treatment on days when you desperately need one. After all, let's be honest, how many times have you felt deflated after trying to set up a spa appointment only to be told they won't be able to accommodate you until the next day? To put Soothe's same-day appointment promise to the test, I did exactly that. After a stressful day at work, I scheduled for a 9pm appointment. I figured it would still give me enough time to brew my favorite tea, chill by the couch, and set up the aromatherapy diffuser and scented candles while waiting for my therapist.

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If there's one thing I've proven that day, Soothe's customer service goes above and beyond to get you a same-day appointment. An hour after I filled out my online appointment request, their customer support called to inform me they are working their best to get a nearby female therapist to respond but also inquired if I'd be open to a male therapist should that would be the only immediate option. I ended up having Nicholas as my therapist, who was very professional and knowledgeable in targeting my problem areas.

3. Be detailed in providing online information.

This is something that may be easy to overlook because you don't have to worry of such things when booking in a spa, but for an in-home massage treatment, every information you provide is important. For example, double-check your home address before submitting the form since even the tiniest of errors could make it impossible for your therapist to locate you. In the comment field, add your phone number so your therapist can directly call you should there are problems locating your home, as well as include special instructions on where to park or how to access a gated community if you happen to live in one.  

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 4. If the service is good, be generous with your tip.   

Given the fact that a therapist actually drives to your home and hauls a massage equipment into your place, there's a little bit of labor that's required beyond the actual time to provide you a relaxing massage. With this in mind, be extra generous with your tip (a 20 percent minimum is always appreciated). By doing so, you also establish a relationship with a massage therapist and build that trust as you work on getting massage treatments at home more regularly.

An hour's massage starts at $99, but investing in our health is so important, which is why the question "Where to get a good massage?" is a valid one. There is no doubt, from a relaxing standpoint, the only thing better to a de-stressing massage is a massage treatment done at home where you don't have to deal with the outside world after an hour of full bliss.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Soothe, a massage on-demand app. To get a $20 off credit on your first massage, use the code UKCST. We only work with brands we love, so even if this post is sponsored, this blog offers an honest review on the featured service. All opinions are my own.

Jump-Start Your Skin: How to Do Microdermabrasion at Home

Does your skin look dull, wrinkled and flawed with dark spots? You may need to add at-home microdermabrasion to your skin-care routine in order to jump-start your skin. If you are a regular spa-goer, you may be familiar with the process of microdermabrasion since it is a treatment commonly offered in spas and salons. When done professionally, a microdermabrasion treatment deeply exfoliates the outer layer of the skin through the use of aluminum oxide crystals or a diamond-tipped facial wand which effectively peels off the outer layer to reveal a new and healthier skin.

While it's an effective and non-invasive treatment, regular trips to a spa or salon is, however, costly. Before I was a mom, I'd hardly feel guilty spending hard-earned money for a monthly diamond peel treatment. But now that I've become a more practical mom, it has become harder and harder to justify spending hundreds of dollars for a monthly microdermabrasion treatment, which may cost around $100 to $300 on average. Thankfully, I've discovered there's an affordable alternative to in-spa microdermabrasion after I came across Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish.

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If you are considering an at-home microdermabrasion treatment, here's a tip: Do your research. Here are a few important questions to ask before jump-starting your skin through microdermabrasion:

Is microdermabrasion right for you?

Microdermabrasion is ideal for you if you have sun spots, acne scars, large pores, fine wrinkles and dry skin. Avoid or take caution if you have sensitive skin or have skin conditions like redness, sun sensitivity and rosacea.

What are the benefits of microdermabrasion?

An at-home microdermabrasion face polish exfoliates deeper than most bead scrubs to remove the old layer of skin, rejuvenating it in the process as well as lightening dark spots and acne scars. Its rejuvenating benefits are clinically proven. A study published in the Archives of Dermatology indicate that microdermabrasion is similar to minimally wounding the skin, stimulating wound-healing and skin-rebuilding in the process. 

What's the best way to do microdermabrasion at home?

When doing microdermabrasion at home, be sure to use the right product. You want a product with pure and professional-grade crystals, a key ingredient in Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish. Because Exuviance is created by dermatologists who discovered the anti-aging benefits of glycolic acid and patented the first glycolic peel, the face polish also contains glycolic acid. When glycolic acid is combined with papaya enzyme and exfoliating crystals, the product offers a potent blend of skin rejuvenators.

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How safe is at-home microdermabrasion?

Most at-home microdermabrasion products are generally safe to use as they are often milder in formulation than their professional counterparts. However, always consult your esthetician or dermatologist before starting an at-home microdermabrasion regimen to ensure you don't trigger or exacerbate skin problems.

How often do you need microdermabrasion?

The answer to this depends on your skin type and needs. For instance, if you simply want to jump-start a dull-looking skin, a monthly routine should be enough. However, if you have stubborn acne scars, you may need to do a weekly or bi-monthly microdermabrasion.

What happens after a microdermabrasion?

Because at-home microdermabrasion products are often milder, don't expect dramatic results after a single application. Likewise, don't panic if you see mild redness, this should go away. The most important thing to keep in mind when doing an at-home microdermabrasion is to use sunscreen daily to protect the new skin. 

Have you ever tried microdermabrasion, whether at home or in a spa? How was your experience? Let's chat, shall we?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish. All opinions are my own.