Spa Spotlight: La Vie Zen Spa

La Vie Zen delivers a well-rounded spa experience with services that captive the senses.


I have some good news, I’m here to tell you that even in the heart of Manhattan, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg at a hotel spa to get the complete, thorough spa experience, but rather, there’s a day spa that does just that. Low and behold: La Vie Zen Spa.


Read Spa Spotlight: nuBest Salon & Spa

Situated in the hustle and bustle of Midtown East, La Vie Zen possesses a chic, polished aesthetic that can easily be mistaken for a dreamy, coastal sanctuary. Upon entering, the soothing sound of a beautiful waterfall is complimented by a combination of delicious aromatherapies care of the “eco-chic” line of Indie Lee essential oils. Opened in 2007 and then renovated under owner Albert Luk in late 2011, La Vie Zen comes complete with eleven treatment rooms including a Vichy Shower room, (a Vichy Shower in NYC!!) consultation lounge, relaxation lounge and locker/dressing area where I would soon change into my robe and slippers and let my stress from the outside urban world vanish.


I was going to be receiving the Zen Senses Facial; La Vie Zen’s signature facial experience customized to stimulate and enrich each of the five senses. Pre-appointment, the client first sets his/her intention setting: Balancing, Detoxifying, Energizing, Rejuvenating or Soothing. Since it’s been quite a while since my last facial and I‘m a fan of anything that endorses the word “detox,” I went with the Detoxifying setting.

Read Destination Spa Week—Enter Now!

Prior to my service, a delicious spread of organic apples and walnuts with cinnamon awaited me in the relaxation area as the first “taste” portion of the treatment. It was the perfect way to begin the unwinding process after a long day. I was then greeted by esthetician Marianna Jucan AKA La Vie Zen’s lady of luxury, to talk about the facial I’d be receiving and discuss my skin type and any allergies or concerns I may have (which is definitely a crucial step before receiving any professional skincare treatment).


It was now time to make way to my treatment room and get cozied onto the welcoming treatment bed. We began by cleansing my face with the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser that gave off a calming and sweet scent of strawberries. It wasn’t long before I began to drift into a complete state of relaxation. In addition to receiving plenty of steam, exfoliation, much-needed extractions, healing mask and a delightful hand and scalp massage, some of the more unique elements of the facial included Blue light chromo therapy, light Lymphatic Drainage and Myofacial Release with a focus on detoxifying organs like the liver, bladder and lower intestine – all while peaceful and gentle percussive music played in the background. It was a wonderful feeling to know that while I was not only pampering my face, my entire body from the inside out was undergoing a true, wellness experience.

Read Spa Getaway for Two at Two Bunch Palms

Once I awoke from my blissful nap, it was back to the relaxation area to savor in some “Get Clean” tea with Rooibos, Milk Thistle, Dandelion, Clover and Almond which was the perfect way to conclude my service. The Zen Senses Facial is successful in creating a head to toe experience that truly does captivate each of the five senses while creating an overall feeling of well-being that lasts far beyond your spa visit. Days later, I still feel relaxed, healthier and have a fresh-faced complexion to match.

What’s even better? La Vie Zen is participating in National Spa Week next month (October 14th-20th) when they’ll offer some of their most coveted services for just $50 each! Visit on September 16th to find out what they’re offering and book your appointment.

Kelly Verdi is the Public Relations Manager at Spa Week Media Group. She loves dogs, 80 minute facials and a good blowout worth bragging about.

Spa Deals – Body Scrubs for Memorial Day

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Can you tell that we’re excited to kick off summer this weekend?! We were bouncing out of our chairs in excitement over here…until we realized. We’re not ready! Summer is synonymous with showing more skin, which means it’s a season where our personal grooming habits need to be taken up a notch. Shaving or waxing more regularly (unless you took our advice and started laser a few months ago ;), exfoliating, moisturizing, remembering sunscreen…the list goes on.

Luckily, the spa can help with these tasks. When you’re exfoliating your skin with a vanilla scented body scrub that’s combined with a therapeutic massage, it starts to feel like way less of a hassle…

Spa Week’s picks for delectable body scrub deals to delight both your skin and your wallet this weekend:

$100 90 Minute Champagne and Rose Salt Scrub and Body Wrap at The Day Spa at Skin Deep in Media, PA (was $125)

$80 60 Minute Oatmeal Body Foliation at Serenity Day Spa in Jersey City, NJ (was $110)

$50 50 Minute Salt Body Scrub at Spa Mariana in Birmingham, MI (was $95)

$85 55 Minute Vichy Shower and Body Polishing at Panache Day Spa and Salon in Orange Park, FL (was $115)

$65 60 Minute Lavender/Vanilla Sea Salt Body Polish at The Center for Pain Relief & Wellness in Babylon Village, NY (was $80)

$60 60 Minute Honey Almond Body Polish at The Look Salon and Day Spa in Chesapeake, VA (was $75)

$75 60 Minute Salt Glo Body Polish at Novitá Spa on the Square in Georgetown, TX (was $125)

$45 30 Minute Creamsicle Body Scrub at A Better Body Salon and Day Spa in San Diego, CA (was $45)

$50 Body Nourishing Scrub at Da Noi on Fifth Salon & Spa in Brooklyn, NY (was $75)

Find a body scrub deal near you at – and Happy Memorial Day!


Travel Tuesday: Spa Treatments to Fight Jet Lag

Medically referred to as desynchronosis, jet lag is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms after rapid long-distance transmeridian (east–west or west–east) travel.

Jet lag may last several days until one is fully adjusted to the new time zone, and a recovery rate of one day per time zone crossed is typical. The symptoms of jet lag can be quite varied, depending on the amount of time zone alteration, time of day and individual differences. They may include the following:

  1. Migraines and headaches
  2. Fatigue, irregular sleep patterns, Insomnia, grogginess, irritability
  3. Dehydration
  4. Body aches, swelling and pain
  5. Constipation or diarrhea

Luckily, spa treatments are a fabulous remedy for jet lag, so now you have the perfect excuse to head straight to your hotel spa after landing. Here’s our guide to the best jet lag spa treatment for you:

1. Migraines and Headaches:
The symptoms of migraine headaches are debilitating: stabbing head pain, nausea, stomach cramping and migraine auras. This can leave a sufferer feeling weak, tired, and depressed long after the migraine attack has subsided. While a migraine attack can last for days, the psychological aftermath can be perpetual. Migraine ranks in the top 20 of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses and about 36 million people in the United States suffer from migraines. There are numerous methods used to try and help ease the unbearable symptoms. Conventional medicine and prescription drugs offer little relief from the condition some people cannot rely on pills, like pregnant women. Many are turning to alternative methods of treatment in order to manage the pain. Massage therapy is often used to complement other traditional medical migraine treatments or other alternative treatments. Tense muscles and stress can aggravate migraine headaches. Visiting a massage therapist for a massage while a migraine is in progress can reduce muscle pain and tension.

2. Fatigue, insomnia, irritability:
There is a simple correlation between sleep and massage: insomnia is associated with a lack of serotonin and massage increases serotonin levels. Studies have demonstrated the necessity of serotonin for healthy sleep. Serotonin is a precursor to the body’s rendering of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone released by the brain to quiet and reset the part of the brain that directs your body to prepare for sleep. Many over-the-counter drugs have melatonin in them, but why not encourage your body’s own production? The chemistry of sleep is relevant to massage because massage can directly influence the body’s production of serotonin and, in turn, melatonin. Massage therapy can improve the quality of life by not only relieving the pain; it can also impact mood and induce positive sleeping patterns. By relieving the pain that keeps you up at night tossing and turning, your body will get the much needed time it craves to restore and to heal. Additionally, lowering anxiety and improving mood can help a person get their life back in order. Massage therapy offers both immediate results, as well as long term.

3. Dehydration
There are two ways to fight dehydration at the spa: one is to hydrate your through your skin with water treatments, the second is to infuse rejuvenating oxygen into dehydrated cells on a nuclear level. Water treatments: A Vichy Shower is a unique aquatic therapy that invigorates your body while laying flat under powerful water jets, inspired by treatments used in the French city, Vichy. Watsu, short for Water Shiatsu, is a massage performed in a warm, shallow pool.  The water gently cradles the guest so the massage therapist can work the full 360 degrees of your body and your skin reaps the benefits of being saturated in water throughout the entire treatment. Oxygen treatments: Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy, which dissolves oxygen in the blood plasma and all body cells, tissues and fluids at up to 10 times normal concentration—high enough to sustain life with no blood at all. Oxygenating facials are also increasing in popularity, as oxygen continues to secure its reputation as the #1 skincare essential.

4. Body aches, swelling and pain:
Massage can eliminate muscle tension and improve joint mobility by stimulating the flow of synovial fluid. This also helps to free adhesions, break down scar tissue and decrease inflammation. As a result, massage can help to restore range of motion to stiff joints. Massage also brings in fresh nutrients and helps in purging the body of toxins accumulated due to long periods of stress and tension. It causes more oxygen to flow in the body, which helps the body to revive and rebuild itself. With this flow of fresh oxygen and nutrients to the entire system, the immune system is strengthened. Additionally, massage clears your mind of exaggerated anxiety and makes you capable of thinking with an unclouded mind. When you are bodily and mentally relaxed, you are capable of taking a more balanced and fresh perspective of your life situation.

Another spa treatment option to target swelling and aches and pains is Electro-lymphatic drainage (ELD), which uses gentle electric currents, massage, and heat to increase circulation and stimulation along the body’s lympathic pathways. The lymphatic system helps clear excess fluid from the cells and distributes powerful immune cells which work 24/7 to heal and repair your body. ELD treatment boosts immunity, relaxes the whole body and mind, reduce pain, evens skin tone, and increases energy.

Acupuncture was developed 3,000 years ago and is based on Taoist philosophy. Like the treatments above it focuses on energy meridians and permits the body to “heal itself.” It does involve inserting fine needles into key points of the body that relate to different organs in order to relieve muscular, neurological and arthritic problems, cure disease and relieve pain. Acupressure has been practiced in China for centuries and is believed to improve the flow of chi (energy) throughout the body. This massage releases muscle tension and promotes healing by applying pressure to “energy points” or “meridians” in the body. Pressure is applied to these points with the finger for a deep tissue feeling.

Cupping is a healing therapy that uses suction on the skin’s surface to “suck” stagnant blood from deep beneath the surface, mobilizing blood flow and delivering a range of benefits. Bottom line, it greatly improves circulation—the holy grail of spa benefits. Similarly, Gua Sha offers holistic healing, but is different in method and strength. Unlike the scraping technique of Gua Sha, traditional Ancient Chinese Cupping employs a glass dome that becomes a suction cup after a flash of fire. Scraping mobilizes blood just beneath the surface, while the mighty suction of cupping is able to stir up blood deeper within the body.

5. Constipation or diarrhea
The idea behind a colonic is that food enters the intestine and a lot of it doesn’t get flushed out (especially if you’ve overindulged on food and alcohol while on vacation), causing toxins to accumulate, which can result in illness. Especially in today’s world, where we’re breathing polluted air and consuming pesticides, our bodies are overwhelmed trying to get rid of it all. So a little “push” now and then from a colonic can really helps the digestive system do its job better. Colonics allow the nutrients and vitamins to be properly absorbed into the body again. If you have a sluggish colon (AKA are constipated often), a colonic gets the muscles moving, making your colon stronger and more effective at disposing healthy, solid waste. It is also believed that a clean colon helps your body fight disease, because instead of focusing on expelling built up toxins in the colon, it fights toxins elsewhere.



A Korean Scrub with Vichy Shower, Milk & Apples… It’s Perfect

Some may say that nothing in life is perfect, but at a place called Perfect Spa, would you be willing to suspend that reality?

In Midtown East in NYC, this little slice of Perfect-ion delivered a Korean Body Scrub with all the bells and whistles. It’s very easy for a scrub to just be a scrub, and I’ve had plenty of those. But the way they do it at Perfect Spa really rocked my bod, and entertained me too.

First, let’s get dressed. Well, undressed.

What I liked about this Korean Scrub most was the element of surprise. AND… that there was a lot of massaging involved. A “scrubassage,” my fave. I lost track of how many different scrubs and Vichy shower rinses there were over the course of 90 minutes, but each one was highly enjoyable and used some new ingredient. It started with a mitt scrub, then there were salt scrubs and sugar scrubs to follow. I’ve always been a salty-sweet kind of girl. (Chocolate covered pretzel lovers, you know what I’m talking about!)

Wash it all down… with milk, of course. The half gallon of Tuscan whole milk came out, as I flashed back to my milk bath in Tuscany, one that Cleopatra has taken so many times before. It says it right there on the bottle: VITAMIN D, but don’t be fooled, that’s only beneficial to your skin when you ingest it. The benefits of milk applied topically are plentiful. It’s moisturizing, soothes skin, and boosts cell regeneration. The alpha hydroxy acid contained in milk, called lactic acid, acts as a gentle cleanser for skin. It also acts as a natural skin brightener, can calm redness from a sunburn, and helps reduce some of the dryness and itching from various skin conditions like eczema.

Milk mixed with water was an essential part of this treatment, and yes, there’s my awkwardly deep belly button holding about a pint of it.

After rinsing and scrubbing some more, I heard the familiar sound of food-grating. (Okay fine, it wasn’t that familiar – I can’t even tell you the last time I grated anything but parmesan! But still – I recognized this sound.) Was this a mid-scrub snackeroo? It looked like an onion at first, which frightened me, whether it was snack or body garnish. But no, phew, it was actually an apple. Here’s why: Apples contain abundant amounts of both collagen and elastin, both great to promote firm, youthful skin. Braeburn apples, which is what Perfect Spa used, contain properties that can protect you from harmful UV rays.

After being lathered in American Pie, I was Vichy’d some more, then refreshingly misted with a toner. My winter skin had officially been removed, and layer of moisturizing lotion was massaged onto my body, sealing in the Korean ritual.

I loved the whole thing and left feeling like a new human being! You can see bits of it in the Wellness Gone Wild video. (Yes, I filmed AND Instagram’d the full thing and STILL enjoyed myself.)

It’s not too late to try them for Spa Week, and may I strongly suggest you do!

Perfect Spa
1100 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10022

  • 50 Min Deep Tissue or Hot Stone Massage
  • 50 Min Signature Yonka Deep Cleansing Facial
  • Ear Candling Treatment
  • 45 Min Natural Skin Smoothing Korean Body Scrub

Spa Glossary: Vichy Shower

By Shelby Jones, ISPA

Showers can be so boring. You lather, rinse, repeat… and repeat every single day. If you’re looking for the ultimate shower experience (and we know you are) then head to your local spa for a Vichy shower. This shower offers you a chance to relax through the healing element of water instead of rushing to get out of the door.

You might be surprised to learn you can actually get a decent massage from water jets, but it’s true. The Vichy shower is also used in many mud-related treatments since it’s a relaxing way to rinse off. The Kohler Waters Spa in Kohler, Wisconsin (participating in Spa Week this Fall) is an excellent example of a spa that’s made a name for itself by utilizing water elements in its treatments.

A Vichy shower treatment uses several water jets of varying temperatures and pressures that are applied while lying on a waterproof cushioned mat. It’s often followed by exfoliating treatments like a salt-glow scrub. And, just because it’s a shower doesn’t mean you have to be naked. A towel is draped over your lower body at all times, and your therapist will never compromise your modesty.

Deep Sea Spa-ing, including Vichy Showers, is one of Spa Week’s top 10 treatment trends for Fall 2011.

If you want to learn more about different spa treatments visit ISPA’s spa glossaryat

Shelby Jones is based in Lexington, KY at the ISPA headquarters, Spa Week’s exclusive trade partner. She has worked as ISPA’s Public Relations Manager for five years where she connects with top media outlets to promote ISPA members and the spa lifestyle. To get in touch with Shelby please email her or follow @ISPADoYou on Twitter. If you’re in the spa industry, we encourage you to become a member of ISPA; weekly e-mails with pointers like these are just one small part of the package to help you succeed!

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