Got the winter blues? These unique spa treatments will cure what ails you

Jess Glazer, Personal Trainer and owner of FITtrips, teaches how to do an ultimate burpee, an exercise designed to work the entire body. Anne-Marie Caruso/

When it’s frigid outside and dehydrating inside, there’s no better way to pamper your body than by rewarding it with a massage, or a facial, or a body wrap.

There are a lot of new and different treatment options available in Bergen County, and the editors of (201) Magazine set out to find some of the best. We know…it’s a tough job, but we’re here to help.

If your idea of happiness is sunbathing at the beach: Volcanic Sand Bath at SoJo Spa Club in Edgewater

The Volcanic Sand Bath at SoJo Spa Club in Edgewater, NJ (Photo: Courtesy SoJo Spa) This multi-floor complex offers so many options that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed (in a good way). More than 140,000 square feet of pools, specialty baths, saunas, treatment rooms, lounging and dining areas are available to visitors. Though the water slide, rooftop garden and outdoor grill are closed during winter, all outdoor water settings, including the hydrotherapy and rooftop infinity pools, as well as vestibules and pathways, are heated and provide a great antidote to the cold. Indoors, the spa’s new volcanic sand bath provides an unusual warming experience.

What happens in a volcanic sand bath

According to SoJo, unless you want to travel to the southern Japanese island of Ibusuki in the shadow of the Kaimondake volcano, you’re not going to experience this treatment anywhere else. SoJo partnered with a luxury spa resort in that region to import more than 120 tons of black lava sand that was naturally warmed by geothermal activity. It currently fills what might be described as a giant, glassed-in sandbox on the spa’s sixth floor.

Guests trade in their SoJo-issued white robes for pink and purple yakatas (Japanese robes) and white neck towels. They settle down on top of the sand, resting their heads on wooden blocks and keeping their arms tight to their sides. Attendants then use hoes to bury them up to their necks; participants generally stay in this position for 10-15 minutes. Purported benefits include weight loss and alleviated soreness.

What it’s like

The sand feels pleasantly warm as it is being piled onto the body, and its weight feels like a heavy electric blanket — one that, after several minutes, you may wish you could adjust downward. If you’re the type of beach-goer who prefers running into the cold water to basking in the heat, there’s no shame in getting up early, rolling slowly onto your side and heading into the designated showers to rinse off any sand residue.

Extra points: The sixth floor location of the sand bath has floor-to-ceiling windows that offer lovely views of Manhattan to the east.

SoJo Spa’s Volcanic Sand Bath is available between noon and 6:30 p.m. daily. Sessions must be booked in person on the day of the visit. Cost: $10. 660 River Road, (201) 313 – 7200,

If you want to scrub winter off your face: HydraFacial at The Fountain Spa in Ramsey

The hydrafacial treatment at the Fountain Spa in Ramsey A regular favorite in Bergen-based customer reviews, The Fountain Spa has locations in Ramsey and Hackensack. Each offers nearly two dozen treatment rooms, Jacuzzis for individuals and couples, and an event space. Full and half-day experiences include body wraps and scrubs, massages and a variety of facial treatments, including the HydraFacial, which is offered at their Ramsey location only.

What happens in a HydraFacial

In this procedure, a medical-grade hydradermabrasion device — a machine that releases a jet stream of air and liquid at a high speed — gently cleans and exfoliates the skin, and infuses it with beneficial serum. (About the word "serum": In the spa world, it refers to light, fast-absorbing liquids that, unlike many creams and lotions, are generally oil-free.) As the skin is cleansed and moisturized and dead cells are removed, impurities are collected in a canister, and it’s actually possible (though maybe not desirable) to see the residue from your skin. The treatment is said to be soothing, refreshing and non-irritating. Typically, the results last for five to seven days.

What it’s like

Wearing no makeup, you shed the robe you’ve been given upon entering The Fountain Spa and settle between sateen sheets on a heated bed. Lotion is massaged onto your hands and feet, which are then placed in warm mitts and boots. A trained aesthetician manually cleanses your face, then uses the wand of a machine to treat the skin; the process has been described as feeling "like a wet vacuum." You receive moisturizer and sunscreen to protect your newly purified face.

Extra points: The procedure is fine for people with all skin types — dry, oily and sensitive.

Call or check online for prices and scheduling. 1 100 NJ-17, (201) 327-5155,

In Essex : HydraFacials also available at: The Spa at Mecca , 333 U.S. 46 West, Building A Suite 135, Fairfield, 973-737-1069,

If you want to feel as if your whole body drank chamomile tea: CBD oil massage at Araya Rebirth in Ridgewood

Araya Rebirth in Ridgewood, NJ (Photo: Bobby Bates Photography) CBD oil, essential to the CBD Oil Massage at Araya Rebith in Ridgewood, NJ This longstanding Ridgewood business offers a variety of skincare, hair removal and styling options. Glance quickly at the body treatments list, and you might mistake it for a food menu: varieties include coconut and lime, green tea, and pumpkin spice, and use body butter that the skin’s heat melts under a wrapped blanket. There are facials designed specifically for teens and brides; men can have their hair removed and their backs cleaned. Massage therapies range from Swedish and deep tissue to a standard massage using cream with CBD oil added to it.

What happens in a massage using CBD oil

The CBD oil — Cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating marijuana extract thought to have analgesic effects — is either mixed into Araya’s organic massage cream with a dropper or is an ingredient in a premixed balm from Lab Blends that contains menthol. "It’s a traditional massage," says owner Daniela Musano. "The CBD is absorbed through the skin. It’s great for joint pain, fibromyalgia and arthritis."

What it’s like

"There are no psychogenic effects–it has a calming effect similar to chamomile tea," says Musano. "I have mild joint pain, and I feel the benefit of it." The menthol variety, she says, leaves the skin pleasantly tingly for an hour or two afterwards.

Extra points: The massage cream is organic, so it’s safer for clients with allergies and sensitive immune systems.

Add $10 to price of massage for addition of CBD oil; call or check online for prices and scheduling. 10 Garber Square, (201) 445-7005,

In Essex : A number of pain management and skin care treatments using CBD Oil are also available at A Touch of Well Being , 356 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell, 973-228-4289,

If you’re looking for a massage technique dating back to ancient Egypt: Foot reflexology at Body Empathy Spa, Washington Township

Foot reflexology at Body Empathy Spa in Washington Township Body Empathy Spa may occupy an unassuming storefront in a strip mall, but its services are likely to transport customers to their happy places. Cupping, in which suction cups are placed on various parts of the body to create negative pressure, increases warmth and improves blood flow. Reiki, the Japanese method of "laying on hands," is also available, as well as Ashiatsu Bar Therapy, the ancient form of barefoot massage that originated in Asia. Body Empathy’s foot reflexology may be experienced as a standalone, or in combination with a chair massage or foot steam sauna.

What happens during foot reflexology

The client reclines in a lounger while the masseuse rubs, squeezes and presses her fingers and knuckles into the feet. She also massages the calves with long, gentle motions, and gives a brief soft pummeling to the arms and neck area. The overall effect is soothing and calming.

What it’s like

Even if you’re the type to burst out laughing when pedicurists attempt to pumice the soles of your feet, you’ll sigh with contentedness when the petite but deceptively strong-handed masseuse kneads your feet for 30-60 minutes. Somehow, the firm motions never seem repetitive, and though a smooth hot stone is used briefly to massage the skin, the stimulated circulation in your feet and legs make you feel warm without it.

Extra points: The overstuffed leather lounger and super-soft blanket used to cover the client are almost worth the price of admission by themselves.

Cost: $30-$39 for an hour. 261A Pascack Road, (201) 497-6100, In Morris : Foot reflexology and other traditional Chinese massage methods can also be found at New Foot Massage , 641 Shunpike Road, Chatham, 973-820-8227, If you’d like your massage to show lasting results: The High Precision Slimming Massage at Exclusive Day Spa […]

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