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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Disclaimer: This article is not sponsored by Elements Hot Tub Spa.

Visiting Elements Hot Tub Spa in Amherst is a form of self-care. Located on the PVTA 30 bus route at 373 Main Street, you can get the full spa experience just a short ways away from campus (and maybe just a few steps away from your house if you live in the area). I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Elements twice now and have experienced a few of their different services. And I think I may be a new spa fan. Before I dive into my Elements experience, let me just say that I am by no means an experienced spa-goer. I’ve done cryotherapy and been in a few hot tubs and saunas but Elements was my foray into the world of professional spa treatments. Some of their offerings do carry a bit of a weighty price tag, but it’s definitely worth saving up for that treat yo self moment!

Elements offers a wide range of treatments from massages to skincare treatments to spiritual healing. Depending on the treatment, YMMV on pricing and what spa experiences you get to try. Services and prices can be easily viewed on their website’s Spa Menu and booking can also be done online. I personally don’t have experience booking on their site as each Elements experience was given to me as a birthday gift, but from my observations, it’s hassle-free.

The waiting room of Elements Spa is warm and inviting, with woodsy colors filling the cozy space and herbal scents tingling your nose. Their front desk staff is calming and helpful with checking in, payment, and spa guidance. Sitting on their couch sipping a cool cup of water before my treatment was the perfect way to settle in and begin my spa journey. One of the staff members will find you and lead you to the correct room for you and provide you with any instructions. My first Elements experience was with their Tranquility Package, which included a 60-minute hot tub session, followed by a 60-minute couples massage, and ending with a 30-minute aromatherapy steam. I got to pick my aromatherapy scent from their list of offerings during check-in. The package gifted my boyfriend and me with a mesh bag, long robes, and a pair of flip-flops we were able to keep.

We were guided to an outdoor hot tub first, which was an exciting experience with the chilly fall temperatures. The outdoor tub was walled so it was just me, my boyfriend, and the trees above us (which was quite picturesque and serene). 60 minutes of hot tub time is seriously more than you think; we ended up taking a few breaks from the hot water to cool off before going back in. Then we were guided to a massage room where we each had individual masseuses talk us through their process. We were able to communicate our individual needs (such as if we had tension in certain parts of our bodies or had any former injuries they should know about), undress in privacy, and then settle into the massage table. Having a massage was truly an amazing experience. I could feel each tension in my body melting away in places I didn’t even realize I was tense in. I didn’t want the massage to end! Finally, we ended our session by entering a steam room that had already been prepped with the ylang-ylang aromatherapy scent I had picked earlier. The room itself had a large hot tub in it so we were able to alternate our time in the steam room with our time in the hot tub. The last hot tub was an unexpected surprise, and it made our experience even more enjoyable. As I exited through the doors of Elements Spa back onto Main Street, I felt like a brand new person; free of stress and worries. I felt pampered, calm, and refreshed.

My second Elements experience was a much more bite-sized one than my first. It was a simple, 30-minute infrared sauna treatment. I had heard about the health benefits that infrared saunas are said to promote, so I was excited to try out a sauna experience that wouldn’t simply have me itching to get away from the pure heat. The infrared sauna room featured a dark yet comforting setting with a shower setup and cedar infrared sauna. My boyfriend and I were told by staff that the lights would flash five minutes before our time was up which allowed us time to shower and dress. In all of my past sauna experiences, I never had the tenacity to sit in one long enough to feel the effects. This time, I was determined to embrace the heat and the sweat. My boyfriend and I shut the door, sat on the sauna’s toweled bench, and drank in the heat and the soft glow of the red light we were bathed in. We welcomed the heat as much as we could and every so often glanced at the digital thermostat. And then we began to sweat. Sitting at 146ºF for 30 minutes is no easy feat! It’s a strange feeling to just be sitting and then seeing sweat literally dripping off of your body. Despite the sweat, it was still relaxing to be in that environment. As we neared the 20-minute mark, the relaxation felt more like an endurance test, and my boyfriend and I were trying our best to power through the remaining minutes knowing that the release from the heat would feel even better the longer we stayed in the sauna. We didn’t actually make it to the full 30 or even 25-minute mark, but we made it pretty close. It felt so refreshing to step out and rinse off our sweat and it somehow felt wonderful to step back into our clothes and back into the world. Just like my first Elements experience, I stepped back onto Main Street feeling transformed into a being of calm and peace.

If I ran the world, I would make spa treatments just as important and necessary as health checkups and just as common as haircuts and nail appointments. It’s so easy to feel stressed and tense in the world today and sometimes just an hour of pampering and professional relaxation is what the body needs. Going to a spa can seem like a frivolous activity but I think it’s a nourishing one. I’m grateful for all of my treatments at Elements Spa and I am so happy I didn’t have to travel very far to experience them! Whether you want to splurge on a full body massage or spend $30 on a sauna visit, I recommend visiting Elements Hot Tub Spa for some well-deserved self-care.

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Vera Gold

U Mass Amherst '23

Vera is a senior communication major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the Facebook Coordinator of her chapter and loves writing about digital media, beauty, and entertainment.