Sunday, December 11, 2011

Calm before the Holiday Storm

As we began to inch closer to the holiday season that we're now in the middle of, I began to have some pretty severe shoulder and back pain... its holiday prep, right?  As someone who works with their hands, and occasionally, arms, legs, feet, and head (you have to wind yarn somehow, right?), random pain is part of the business. 

A few years ago, I visited a fantastic spa, called Aequis in downtown Portland.  At the time, it was in kind of a crazy location, upstairs in a kind of odd building, across from the Paragon restaurant and bar.  It had kind of a back alley, what is the secret knock kind of feel... and it was awesome!  I remember it had these really cool showers, and was all dark and mysterious.  All in all, it was totally cool.  It was also really expensive and I had a gift certificate.  As the years passed, they changed locations a few times, and are now really close to their original location.

First and foremost, as I've stated before, I don't promote businesses that I don't feel do good things for the community and I don't support businesses that I don't like.  This particular spa, however, does charitible donations, works with community organizations, has a great social media presence, and rewards clients.  I won a massage on Twitter not too long ago, and thought... "Ahhhhhhhhhh!" All of the yuckiness that was going on in my back? I'll be able to get it taken care of!

I made my appointment with Brittany.  Cancelled my first appointment with Brittany (I was REALLY sick) and rescheduled with no issue... I think she felt bad for me - I sounded horrible.  When I went in, I filled out the standard treatment form - which was on a laminated sheet that you fill out with a overhead marker so there is no paper waste - and awaited my massage therapist.  Now, I could care less if it is a guy or a girl that I'm scheduled with, but they do offer a choice.  I was scheduled with Isaac, and it was super awesome.  They start with a welcome ritual of a foot salt scrub/massage, then move into the treatment room.  Never once did I feel uncomfortable, or off-put. 

My only downside to the new location that they are in, is that (according to some Yelp reviews) they cannot use aromatherapy anymore due to complaints by their neighbors.  This makes me sad, as one thing that I associate heavily with Ayurveda is the use of fragrance.  Personally, I can't imagine anyone not wanting to have an office smell good as opposed to having it smell like toner, but that's just me.

The environment is dark, quiet, and unobtrusive.  Furnishings are tasteful and in an indochinese styling, with lots of dark woods, stone, candles, and Buddha figures.  Music is quiet, yet conceals outside noises from the lobby area... including from my four year old, who came to pick me up when I was done.  I didn't even hear him from the treatment area.

All in all, the experience at Aequis is fabulous and I will be back... hopefully they can work out an arrangement with the neighbors!

Aequis offers:

- Body Treatments
- Couples and Wedding packages
- Private event packages
- Facial care
- Massage treatments
- and more

More information is available here, including information about holiday specials

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