Massages were once thought to be an indulgence that only starlets and professional athletes had the privilege of looking forward to on a regular basis, while lounging around the pool at a luxury resort. Today the world has come to understand that a massage has long-term health and wellness benefits that may warrant many of us to make our way onto a massage table more often. Before we do that we must first take a look at the spa menu to make an appointment. Do you always know which massage to pick?

Now whether you are a spa newbie or a self-proclaimed spa addict, the thoughts of reviewing a spa menu to decide which massage can send your head spinning. Past spa menus may have only listed massages by length of service. Then the Custom Massage appeared on the menu, but without much direction for what to request. Thus leaving the treatment both requested and received up to the least knowledgeable person about massage; you the client. Many spa customers left without getting what was anticipated. Which is neither relaxing nor refreshing!

Today the wheels are turning again on luxury spa menus. This trend has delighted me with descriptive and helpful massage listings. Sometimes spelling them out to a “t” what is within a service and what it heals.

Take for example a seasonal menu offering from The Spa at the Four Seasons Atlanta. Are you a golfer? Their newest massage is touted “The Golfer Massage”. It utilizes warm golf balls and stretching techniques designed to release stiff tight muscles. Now the golfer part is not for me, even with the enticement of a bundled hotel package including a round of golf at the exclusive Heritage Golf Links and a complimentary bucket of balls along with a golf cart.

Reading further I find that the post treatment amenity is more up my alley. When you return to the lounge, a refreshing Arnold Palmer, the half iced tea/lemonade beverage named for the famous golfer is delivered. Also you do not leave empty handed, The Golfer Massage includes golf balls to take home. Taking home swag is always a lovely perk no matter what it includes.

So you may think this is not a spa travel gal’s top pick for a spa treatment? Think again. Upon speaking to the Spa Supervisor, Dana Northington she reminded me to read closely and one would realize it is designed to relieve the stress our muscles carry around daily. “This is the one for me!” With all the items I carry around in my Michael Kors purse it is almost the weight of a golf bag. So I marched myself to The Spa at Four Seasons this week and under my breath said “Fore” as I entered! I will never think of golf balls the same way again. The stretching aspects of this massage make this experience so much more than just relaxation. One of the therapeutic values is that it also realigns the spine. Something we all need these days from driving or sitting in front of a computer all day.

What’s the moral of the story? When reading description on a luxury resort spa menu look deep conditions it is designed to treat. The Golfer Massage may be just what a mom or tennis player needs. So pass me an Arnold Palmer!

This article was originally published on the  Exclusive Resorts blog, the online destination for all things luxury travel, from the world’s leading private club for luxury vacations.

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