Men and massages: this is what guys should be ordering when heading to the spa
More men than ever are getting massages, but apparently, they're missing out on the best treatment.
Remember when "metrosexual" was a thing?
Any man that was seen as giving his appearance too much attention was labelled as one, but the flash-in-the-pan reaction quickly receded once the majority of people realised that it was actually for the better.
Who doesn't want to look better, smell better, feel better? And who doesn't want to be around those people, too?
In the years since there are more and more outlets expanding their treatments further and further into the men's market, but there is still one major hurdle that the majority of men, especially Irish men, have yet to jump.
When heading into the treatment room at The Spa @ Muckross, there were a number of options given to the male customers, and the automatic, gut-response for men seems to be to get the shoulder and back massage. If the massage doesn't involve the masseuse digging their elbows into your spine, then was it even really a massage?
However, speaking to Noreen Middleton, the manager of the multi-award-winning Killarney-based spa, we're told this is not the mentality that we should be holding on to.
"Massages can often involve working out some tensions, and that can sometimes be a painful experience for some," she tells us, and even then, the majority of men won't get it done by themselves.
"I would say in the past two years there is a more of a male presence in spas and rightly so. Nine times out of ten, they will come to the spa with their partner, as opposed to on their own."
That being said, there is apparently definitely more and more men willing to get facials, despite also being the treatment that men are less likely to actually ask for.
"Skincare is becoming 'the norm', and it is just as important for men to have a daily skincare routine. [However], facials are still the less likely sole treatment for men to opt for. We try to encourage them to opt for facials as add-ons to a treatment. We have a spa package where you get a 50-minute full body massage and a choice of a 30-minute add-on, so for male customers, we always try to advise them to opt for the facial as part of this."
Which is exactly what we did.
The masseuse performed a long, intense massage on our shoulders, back and legs (which really did work out some of the kinks that go hand-in-hand with working at an office desk for eight hours a day, five days a week), before ending on a half-hour facial, which involved a quick skin analysis (telling us what was the best products to use for our individual skin types), and following on with a treatment that truly was far more relaxing than the massage itself.
However, according to Noreen Middleton, there is one particular spa treatment that not enough people - men or women - get for themselves:
"Wraps. In general, people don't understand how beneficial wraps are; from the skin exfoliation to boosting circulation, to skin toning and firming and detoxing, and wraps have an element of relaxation while its taking effect. I would love to see an increase in people, both men and women, booking wraps, because not only are they relaxing but they have amazing benefits for body aches and pains."
So there you have it.