April 5, 2010 -- If you're worried about what you may owe Uncle Sam, tax time can be particularly stressing. That's why there's no better time to treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment.
Even if you're lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a sizeable refund this year, well then, you may want to use some of that hard-earned cash to reward yourself.
Here are 10 treatments that will help you forget your tax time woes:
The Warming Glow Massage ($135/50 min.) at Sundara Inn & Spa in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., melts away stress with candles made from organic oils and shea butter. Once you've chosen from eight different scents, the therapist lights the candle of your choice and then uses the warmed oil in a Swedish-style massage. You're then free to take home the remaining candle, which may come in handy when you burn the midnight oil crunching those final numbers.
Filing your taxes online? Then you might want to schedule a break from Turbo Tax with the WiFi Massage ($120/60 min.) at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. There you can revisit a time before technology played such a significant role in day-to-day life. Relaxing areas often strained by excessive computer use, this full-body massage focuses on your hands, arms, neck and shoulders. It even includes a soothing treatments to relieve eyestrain.
If you can't imagine parting, even briefly, with your BlackBerry or iPhone, you'll definitely want to check out the Techno-Stress Relief ($35/25 min.) at The Wellness Center at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte in North Carolina. Developed for tech-dependent individuals, this brief, yet calming, massage uses acupressure and Swedish massage techniques to soothe soreness in the thumbs, wrists, neck, and back. It's also ideal after a night spent poring over last year's receipts.
Finding out you owe the IRS can be particularly taxing on your stress levels. When even a massage can't ease the pain, you may want to try Hypnosis for Stress Relief ($160/50 min.) at Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Meet with a master hypnotist who can share relaxation tips to help you deal with the stress triggers in your life.
If a sense of peace is what you crave and a splurge is within your means, the Calming Sapphires Massage ($300/90 min.) at The Spa at Trump in Chicago could provide that and more. Relying on sapphire-infused oils that are combined with rare flower and herbal essences, this healing treatment quiets the mind and inspires tranquility. Sapphires are key to the treatment's calming effect in that they represent the third-eye chakra, which symbolizes wisdom and inner peace.
Sea Spa at Loews Coronado Bay Resort in California can help you soak your financial cares away with Watsu ($170/60 min.or $240/90 min.). A relaxing aquatic therapy that is often described as like being returned to the womb, Watsu combines the buoyancy of water with the pressure-point techniques of Shiatsu massage. While supporting your body, a trained therapist guides you effortlessly through the water in a series of dance-like moves.
Because time is of the essence during tax time, you may think you haven't time to meet with your accountant let alone schedule a timeout. However, the Scalp Treatment ($35/15 min.) at The SPA at Andaz Wall Street in New York serves as the ideal lunchtime treat. This Wall Street retreat offers the usual fare of facials, massages, and more, but lets you book in 15-minute SHARES, when you need a quick return, or STOCKS, for more long-term gain. A complimentary shoeshine, suit press, and the day's Wall Street Journal will leave you feeling anything but overtaxed.
Once you've balanced your checkbook and gotten your financial house in order, you may want to do the same with your mind, body, and spirit. A visit to Miraval in Tucson, Ariz., can be just the relaxing splurge you've been craving. The spa's most complete body renewal ritual, Nurture ($275/100 min.), involves a gentle exfoliation, a nourishing body mask, and a cleansing shower before concluding with a full-body massage using Arctic Berry Milk Cream.
Stress can take a serious toll on the skin, but you can put your best face forward with the Discovery Facial ($65/30 min.) at Tulalip Resort Casino's T Spa in Tulalip, Wash. This deep-cleansing facial not only helps you relax but also instantly improves your appearance. It's also half the time of most facials, so it leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the spa's facilities.
If the mere thought of your taxes has you tossing and turning at night, then you may be in need of the Close Your Eyes Sleep Ritual ($250/100 min.) at The Spa at Capella in Telluride, Colo. After a calming cup of herbal tea and oxygen inhalation therapy featuring a relaxing blend of bergamot and sandalwood essential oils, you'll be treated to a soothing steam shower, followed by a sugar and lavender scrub. A geranium mineral bath and a 50-minute massage will have you nodding off in no time.
Heather Mikesell is executive editor of American Spa.