Photo credit: Crystal Mountain

Snap, crackle, pop!

“Was that your back?” my massage therapist asked in disbelief. “Yes,” came my meek, muffled reply before I slipped into a deep state of zen. 

Relief for my tired and sore body came less than 60 seconds into my “restore massage” treatment at the Crystal Spa at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville. That crunching sound might have sounded ugly, but it felt glorious, like a lever releasing tension. As someone who has had back issues since I was a teenager, the only way to survive a recent golf-a-thon around Traverse City was to enjoy the spoils of the Crystal Spa and the Spa Grand Traverse at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme several days and rounds apart. Both spas are world-class places to unwind. I used the private saunas in the men’s locker rooms before and after each treatment to savor some extra downtime. The 18,500-square-foot, LEED-certified Crystal Spa, ranked No. 7 in the Spas of America’s Top 100 Spas of 2020, also offers a steam room.

Crystal Mountain Spa

Crystal Mountain

The same thought crosses my mind whenever I visit a spa: ‘Why am I always the only guy in the relaxation room?’ Dads deserve a mental health day as much as moms.

C’mon, man. Whatever’s holding you back from trying out the spa – false machoism, misplaced humility, concerns about cost - let it go. You’re missing out, big time. Your back, and whatever else ails you, will thank me later.