Spas across AC are using ancient techniques for maximum effectiveness.
Now more than ever before Atlantic City is catering to savvy spagoers by offering services that go well beyond the standard Swedish massage and tap into the ancient healing properties of Eastern-inspired treatments.
I learned this on a recent visit to Bask by Exhale at Revel (500 Boardwalk, 609-225-9855), which is the only spa in AC to offer traditional Chinese medicine such as acupuncture, the 5,000-year-old practice that uses tiny pins inserted at different points on the body to help with any number of ailments, and cupping, which suctions the skin to bring blood to the surface. “Acupuncture is very popular as it benefits all diseases, as well as emotional and spiritual imbalances such as anxiety, depression, and even weight loss,” says Kim Kiernan, public relations director for Exhale. “Therapies like cupping increase circulation to heal.”
Exhale also offers Reiki, a healing therapy that originated in ancient Japan. I opted for Reiki for its high relaxation factor—essentially lying on a heated table while wrapped in blankets for an hour—and the promise of restoring your equilibrium by measuring the seven chakras, or energy centers, through touch. The Reiki therapist placed her hands at different points on the body—crown of the head, forehead, throat, chest, lower and upper abdomen, and the base of the spine—and asked questions about my stress level and personality type. I left feeling a little tired but very relaxed.
Targeted treatments help to alleviate stress.
Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Atlantic City (2100 Pacific Ave., 609-348-4411) incorporates elements of Reiki into their Chakra Balancing service. “After an initial assessment of the chakras using a crystal pendulum, one of the Ayurvedic oils is selected based on any energy blockages that a person might have. Then a massage is performed using the oil and accompanied by guided meditation audio that will help the client correct the body’s energy flow,” says Courtney Pimentel, spa manager at Qua Baths and Spa. “When the three body characteristics, or Doshas, get out of balance, it can have a negative effect on a person’s physical and emotional well-being.” Pimentel says, noting that the client base for ancient treatments continues to expand. “[Guests] are looking to get something more out of the experience than a basic massage, and these treatments are important because they address physical issues and bring balance to a person’s energy.”
The Water Club’s Immersion Spa (1 Renaissance Way, 609-317-1000) has offered traditional Indian healing methods, known as Ayurvedic, since opening in 2008. At first it was a way for the spa to set itself apart from the adjacent Spa Toccare at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, but over the years Immersion’s quartet of signature treatments has become a highlight of their many specialties. “These services are popular with a more seasoned spagoer—established and more worldly,” says Jennifer Aarons, director of spa operations at Borgata.
One of Immersion’s most popular Ayurvedic services is the Table Thai massage. Aarons likens it to “assisted yoga”: Clients are stretched by a certified therapist during 50-and-80-minute sessions. “Table Thai makes you feel like you’ve been put back together again,” she says, adding that people who visit the chiropractor regularly are most familiar with this particular massage.
Aarons says that getting clients comfortable with more Easternminded services remains a priority at Immersion. “Our intention is healing your body from the inside out.”