“People are stressed because everything’s work, work, work. They forget to make time for themselves.”
So says Marijke Huizing, masseuse at Crowne Plaza® Den Haag-Promenade (The Hague). And Marijke should know. During the week, the Dutch masseuse deals almost exclusively with business travellers*.
“If people are working behind a computer or sitting at a desk all day, they don’t tend to think about posture,” she says. “Most of the business guests we get always have tension in the neck, in the shoulders, and in the back, especially the lower back. Tension headaches are also a problem. We want to make all that tension go away and get them relaxed. That’s what makes my day.”
According to a recent Crowne Plaza survey, while business travellers inevitably don’t prioritise relaxing on their trips, 65% of them nevertheless see it as an opportunity to focus on personal goals. For some that is about using their downtime to properly switch off, relax and recharge. We ask Marijke about the best spa treatments for doing just that.
Wellness massage: perfect to de-stress
“This is the perfect massage for stressed out business travellers,” says Marijke. “We work a lot on the muscles to reduce stress. Most of the time it’s a deep tissue massage, but guests can also ask us to combine it with something softer, like a Swedish massage, or ask us to concentrate on a specific area, like doing 25 minutes on the neck and shoulders.”
Swedish massage: it’s all about circulation
Where the Wellness massage might combine elements of deep tissue with Swedish, this is the Nordic classic, pure and simple, and a great way for business travellers to relieve tension and feel relaxed on their downtime. The Swedish massage doesn’t exert the same pressure as a deep tissue massage, concentrating instead on blood circulation, soothing the nerves and leaving the guest completely chilled. “After a massage like this,” says Marijke, guests are always saying, ‘My God, I need to do this more often!’”
Turkish massage: age-old heat therapy
Otherwise known as the Hammam, this massage is part of a Turkish ritual that dates back centuries. It doesn’t take place on a massage table but on a warm, flat, stone table. “We start with warm water to heat up the muscles a little bit,” says Marijke. “Then we use soap and scrub the whole body to get rid of dead skin cells. After that we use an oily soap and massage the body.”
This is a great massage for the skin and for those looking to detoxify, especially if your work trip involves socialising with clients and colleagues over plenty of food and drink.
Hot stones massage: relax the tension points
“If you have a lot of muscle tension or pain, I would suggest doing a hot stones massage,” says Marijke. “Hot stones go seven times deeper into the muscles and are brilliant at stimulating blood circulation.” Basalt stones are placed on different parts of the body and then used to massage the guest. Even though this massage is deeply relaxing, because of its effect on the circulation, it leaves the guest more attuned, alert and productive.
Infrared sauna: great for the neck, shoulders and back
This treatment uses infrared heaters to emit infrared light aimed at specific parts of the body. For the business traveller that tends to mean the usual suspects – neck, shoulders and back. “It’s very good if you have tension in those areas because the light goes deeper into the muscles,” says Marijke. “It really stimulates blood circulation and helps relieve tension.”
Finnish sauna: flush out those toxins
Saunas are a way of life in Finland. For a population of about five million people there are three million saunas – an average of one per household. “This is the type of sauna most people are familiar with,” says Marijke, “where you put the water on the hot stones to create the heat and steam.” Great for flushing toxins, cleansing the skin and all-round wellness, this is a great sauna to take after you’ve had a workout or simply to wind down after a long day of meetings.
According to Marijke, whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, taking time out for a massage, sauna or other spa treatment is not an indulgence but a necessity.
Any one of these six treatments will not only leave you feeling more relaxed, but will be genuinely good for your health. “What makes my day,” says Marijke, “is if, after a treatment, a guest is like, ‘Oh that feels so good, I’m totally relaxed now and there’s nothing on my mind.’ After all, life is quite stressful, y’know?”
To find out more about how Crowne Plaza is changing the face of modern business travel, or to book a room, visit crowneplaza.com/businessmostly.
* Massage and Spa services are available at selected Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts