Category Archives: Health

BosGuy reviews Cabral Wellness Institute

boston spa, pampering

Cabral Wellness Institute is located at 142 Berkeley St on the South End / Back Bay line

The winter months in Boston can be tough – even for natives like me. In years past I’ve posted tips on How to survive a Boston winter, but this year I thought I’d suggest some ways you can pamper yourself.

Boston spa

Cabral Wellness Institute prices for massage are in line or slightly more affordable than area hotel spas like bliss, which I reviewed last month, but the prices are really very affordable if this is your first visit because if asked for they will take $50.00 off the price of a massage.

Unlike some of the full service hotel spas in Boston, Cabral lacks space, which makes the initial impression not as luxe.  At the time of my visit I did not realize they had showers and sauna so I did not wash off . Should I go back, I’ll definitely check them out, because I love taking a warm shower after a massage and not having such facilities is a deal breaker for me.

I was scheduled to receive an 80-minute massage from Daniel who happens to be the Health Spa Manager and a masseur for (I believe he said) seven years. He is the first masseur I’ve had who looked at my posture – perhaps all masseurs do this without a client’s knowledge – and suggested very specific areas of focus, which I really appreciated.  The massage started with an aromatherapy journey of sorts where he let me sample three different scents – I opted for Tea Tree – which was a great way to further relax before he started. Daniel focused on the specific muscles we discussed and even the next day I could feel so much more relaxed. He was definitely one of the better masseurs I’ve had and the only reason I didn’t rate this experience five stars (wicked awesome) has to do with the facilities which I wish were larger with locker space and due to the fact that I didn’t check out their showers and sauna.

Massage Rates
Cabral Wellness Institute 50 minute is $99 / 80 minute is $148
First time visitors get $50 off so the price is a very affordable $49 / $99

BosGuy Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Awesome.ratings-awesomeWhile their rates may seem high, they are in line with hotel spas and other full service spas in Boston. To help defray the cost, look for online coupons. Since this was my first visit, and I booked an 80-minute massage I received a one-time only $50 off, which I’d recommend everyone take advantage of if they go.

Other Spa Reviews
bliss spa Boston 75-minute massage a.k.a. “blissage”
Miniluxe 60-minute pedicure a.k.a. “foot facial”

BMC medical study to help prevent anal cancer

big_butt_chairAnal cancer is no laughing matter. Rates are rising and people living with HIV are at greater risk. The goal of the ANCHOR study is to find the best way to prevent anal cancer among HIV positive men and women.  The Boston Medical Center needs HIV+ volunteers of all genders who are 35+ years old to take part in a paid study that is designed to prevent anal cancer.

To learn more about the study contact the Boston Medical Center at:
(617) 608-7020
amcstudies@bmc.org
anchorstudy.org/boston-bmc

BosGuy reviews MiniLuxe

miniluxe-seaport-bostonThe winter months in Boston can be tough – even for natives like me. In years past I’ve posted tips on How to survive a Boston winter, but this year I thought I’d suggest some ways you can pamper yourself.

For those who are unfamiliar with MiniLuxe, it is a Massachusetts-based company that provides nails, waxing and beauty services; salons are also in Los Angeles, Texas and Rhode Island. The company has plans to open five more locations in Boston in 2017 including one in the South End. For more details on that location read my post MiniLuxe to move into Emilio’s Pizza space

MiniLuxe Seaport pedicure stations

MiniLuxe Seaport pedicure stations

On this visit Sergio and I opted to try the MiniLuxe “Foot Facial” which costs $59 and took a little longer than 90-minutes from start to finish. In addition to the typical treatment associated with a traditional pedicure of scrubbing, clipping, and removal of dead skin (which by the way they did an exceptional job doing), they incorporate a “facial” component to treat your feet that starts with a scrub followed by a fragrant green peppermint lotion that makes your feet tingle as they wrap them not once, but three times – first in plastic baggies, followed by a heated black footie and finally with a white cotton-like sock.

miniluxe-seaport-boston-foot-facial

The “facial” component of the MiniLuxe Foot Facial takes some time but it is very pleasurable and leaves your feet feeling warm and tingling.

The administration of the lotion and then the warm booties takes time as they let the process go to work on your feet, which I have to admit is wonderful pampering for the feet. After the MiniLuxe clinician removes the lotion from the facial portion of the service they rub into your feet and lower legs their Be Natural facial cream to further moisturize your legs and feet.

While the entire process is a bit over the top, it is a great pampering option if you want to elevate your pedicure experience, and it is a fun treatment to get with a friend since you’ll have plenty of time to catch up. When one goes to MiniLuxe part of what you are paying for is their all-natural products, the minimalist and clean environment and the feeling that you are here to enjoy yourself. On our visit all of the above was accomplished.

Happy Feet

Happy Feet

BosGuy Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Wicked Awesome.ratings-wicked-awesome

While paying $59 for a pedicure may seem high, the entire experience was pleasurable from start to finish and left our feet tingling for quite a while. If you like getting a pedicure, this is a treatment I can assure you that you will appreciate. My only tip would be to pick a MiniLuxe location that isn’t busy so the process is not rushed.

Other Spa Reviews
bliss spa Boston 75-minute massage a.k.a. “blissage”
Cabral Wellness Institute massage

BosGuy reviews bliss Spa Boston

w hotel bostonThe winter months in Boston can be tough – even for natives like me. In years past I’ve posted tips on How to survive a Boston winter, but this year I thought I’d suggest some ways you can pamper yourself.  To that end I’m going to review different spas in Boston to try and identify my favorite.

w hotel bostonI started my ‘research’ at the full service spa, bliss Spa Boston on the second floor of the W Hotel Boston.  The spa is clean, spacious and very welcoming. Whimsical stenciling throughout the second floor greet you as you walk into the spa. My only knock against bliss Spa Boston is how tiny the men’s facilities are and the fact they only have one male masseur (his name is Vincent BTW).

Vincent gave me what bliss calls a 75-minute “blissage” their version of  a Swedish massage. When I met Vincent I asked if he would also incorporate some deep-tissue techniques in particular on my legs and back, which he obliged.  The massage also included a paraffin wax treatment on my feet that left them feeling warm and softer than most of my pedicures.

w hotel bostonThe knocks against the bliss Spa Boston is a lack of male masseurs and the tiny men’s lounge, which felt cramped. Having only one shower (that was being used) meant I was unable to wash off after my massage and changing back into my clothes proved a bit tight with others also using the lockers at the same time. However, the facilities in general are very nice, the masseur gave an excellent massage that had me sleeping like a baby later that night.

Rates
Blissage 75 minute / 100 minute cost $160 / $225
Extreme Sports 60 minute / 85 minute cost $155 / $220

BosGuy Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Awesome.
ratings-awesomeWhile the bliss spa rates may seem high, they are in line with most hotel spas and other full service spas in the city. To help defray the cost, look for coupons on sites like Groupon. At the time I booked my massage the bliss website offered $25 coupon for any treatment more than $150.

Other Spa Reviews
Miniluxe 60-minute pedicure a.k.a. “foot facial”
Cabral Wellness Institute massage

Goodbye 2016

2017, New YearA lot has been said about how crappy 2016 was and how many are looking forward to putting this year behind us, but upon further reflection I realized that despite some high profile losses – chief among them for me Prince & George Michael and other horrible events in the world – I’ve had a wonderful year.

I’m thankful for the time spent with my family and friends, the new friends Sergio and I made along the way this year and some really wonderful events / happenings including but not limited to the following:

Family

Caitlin was born on July 26 and Summer was born on March 18

I’m an uncle six times over now that I have Summer and Caitlin in my life. Although Caitlin (above left) is as big – if not bigger, Summer (above right) is actually four months older.  The photo was taken this fall when  Caitlin was about 4 months old and Summer was 8 months old.

Father, family

Mom and Dad both celebrated milestone birthdays in good health

My parents celebrated really big birthdays with friends and family this year. They both remain in good health and with their new home in Portsmouth, NH I hope I will be able to see more of them in 2017.

Sintra, Portugal

We had a blast visiting Portugal. Here we are in Sintra – an easy day trip from Lisbon.

Sergio and I took two international trips this year, visiting Portugal for the first time this past September (FYI – we loved it) and returning to family in Brazil in November / December. In addition to those trips I was able to visit friends in the following cities: Austin, TX in March; San Francisco and New York City. Sergio and I also escaped what turned out to be an incredibly mild winter by spending several days in San Juan, P.R. in February.

There is more to be thankful for as well including my aunt’s fight with cancer, a new job for my brother-in-law, a growing business for my other brother-in-law, we met several special people this year who we are lucky to have as friends and lest I forget, while I’m sad to see Obama leave office he concluded his 8 years in office in 2016 with a level of class and grace that I think will be left wanting in the years to come.

I wish and hope everyone has as wonderful a 2017 as Sergio and I had in 2016.

Massachusetts is second healthiest state in nation

Boston, MassWith New Year’s Eve just around the corner many people may be contemplating how they can make healthier decisions in 2017.  According to a new, comprehensive national health analysis, many Massachusetts residents are already living a pretty healthy lifestyle and much healthier than many of their fellow Americans from other states.

According to the annual America’s Health Rankings report, now in its 27th year, New England is a pretty great place to be. Massachusetts was ranked the second healthiest state in the country, followed by Connecticut at number three and Vermont at number five. Hawaii took first for the fifth year running, and Minnesota rounded out the top five.

Massachusetts Strengths
  • Low prevalence of obesity
  • Low percentage of population without insurance
  • Higher number of primary care physicians
Massachusetts Challenges
  • High prevalence of excessive drinking
  • High incidence of Salmonella
  • Large disparity in health status by educational attainment

You can read more about the overall health of Massachusetts residents based on the study by linking here.  If you live in another state or are curious to see how other states ranked link here.

PrEP studies highlight the importance of adherence

gilead, co-pay cardPrEP is a topic of conversation sexually active gay men should have with their doctor. While it may not make sense for everyone, understanding the impact the drug may have on you and our community is important.  Recently researchers from Gilead Sciences, Truvada’s manufacturer, presented findings from their analysis of several studies at the ASM Microbe 2016 conference in Boston. This was what they learned:

An analysis of 32 studies of Truvada a.k.a. PrEP found that almost all of those who contracted HIV had undetectable or very low levels of the drug in their bodies at the time. 

The takeaway message is if you choose to use PrEP and are engaging in sexually risky behavior you MUST make sure you take your medication as prescribed. You can read the full findings online here.

Recent blog posts about PrEP:
Gilead C0Pay Coupon Card will save you $: Read this post if you are taking PrEP
Join this local study: The Vacation PrEP Study at Fenway Health