Category Archives: Health

Coronavirus rant: Calm the f*ck down

Calm DownI’m veering from my usual topic and string of man candy posts for a momentary rant about our nation’s  response to COVID-19.  Guidance from the White House has been erratic at best, and I attribute the President’s failure to lead as the main reason for so much misinformation and general hysteria. After all Trump has gone from accusing Democrats and media of fear mongering and exaggerating, even suggesting this was a hoax and mortality rates shared by the World Health Organization as not that serious to implementing travel bans and declaring a national emergency. 

Due in large part to Trump’s failure to lead, there has been  a run on items like hand sanitizers and some are hoarding items like paper towels and toilet paper. Take 1-minute (well really 1:20) to listen to Judy Woodruff who closed the Friday night News Hour with a far more sane response than I’ve heard come from our President and a far more compassionate response that I hope will appeal to your better senses. Perhaps the White House can take cues from Judy and others in the media who have provided similar messages to help bring the nation together.

Fenway Health PrEP@Home study needs you

truvada, sexual healthFenway Health is recruiting people for a new medical study called PrEP@Home that involves testing a mobile app for men on PrEP to evaluate the effectiveness while minimizing the need for in-person follow up at clinics.

FENWAY HEALTH STUDY – EARN UP TO $240

Eligible participants should be between the ages of 18 – 49, HIV negative, assigned male at birth and interested in taking PrEP. Eligible participants will be eligible to receive up to $240 for completing all study procedures.

Interested? Call 617.927.6448 or click here to learn more: PrEP@Home.

Boston free summer fitness series

Boston Moves, Summer fitness programsStarting earlier this month on June 4th, Boston Parks launched their annual summer fitness series. Due to past success and interest the city is expanding the program this year and will offer 30 classes per week through September 29th.

Free fitness classes take place in the morning and evenings and include a variety of options like yoga, zumba and bootcamp. All classes take place outdoors in Boston’s parks around the city. The full calendar of activities can be found here: bphc.org/summerfitness.

You can follow what is happening and get updates by following @HealthyBoston.

Medical group forms to help connect LGBTQ community with wellness providers

Handsome, hunk, hairy, furry, doctorFew things are more important than taking care of your health and for that reason I touch upon the topic occasionally. A few years back I wrote the post, Many LGBT patients feel alienated by their health providersA few years after my post I shared the US News & World Report article, How to Come Out to Your Doctor as an LGBT Patient, which explained why this is important: the type of preventative care you should receive – esp if you are sexually active; questions you may want to ask your doctor; and most importantly for those who are not out to their health care providers – how to start the conversation.

So when I was recently contacted by Lighthouse, a network of LGBTQ affirming health and wellness providers, I knew I’d want to share this. According to the release I received, Lighthouse is a group of NYC-based providers who have devoted our careers to caring for LGBTQ+ patients. They are currently up and running in New York City and are expanding rapidly to serve the LGBTQ+ community nationwide.

For more information you can check out their blog at blog.lighthouse.lgbt or visit their website at www.lighthouse.lgbt.

BosGuy reviews G2O Spa & Salon

Boston spa, massageG2O Spa and Salon on Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood has been operating (initially under the name Giuliano Spa) since 1994, and it has been at its current location (278 Newbury Street) since 2010.

The full service spa offers all the traditional services you would associate with a spa and salon as well as several unique treatments you won’t find at other spas in Boston but for this post I want to focus on my 1-hour full body massage.

I will start with my only criticism of the entire spa experience – the somewhat chaotic surroundings on their ground floor where you first enter and pay before leaving. Fortunately once you leave the ground floor all the noise and chaos goes away. The facilities are excellent and I especially appreciate their spacious  men’s locker, which have private showers (which I used after my massage).

My masseur Bill Engvall met me as I came out of the men’s locker room and brought me down to the third floor.  After a quick consultation, he left the room so I could slip off my G20 robe and sandals and get onto the heated bed. I had mentioned to Bill I spend a lot of time hunched over my laptop at a desk job so he focused on my neck and lower back.

Boston spaI feel like every masseur has their own technique but I evaluate a massage based on how attentive they are to areas that need attention and ultimately how refreshed / relaxed I feel after the massage concludes. Bill did a great job and while I was showering off the massage oils, I noticed a marked improvement with my arms and shoulders flexibility. Even better I slept deeply and woke up uncharacteristically refreshed and less grumpy than usual.

A 60-minute massage at G2O starts at $125 and a 90-minute massage starts at $175 and while this may not be something you can do regularly, it is a wonderful treat especially in the winter when the air is so dry and it is so cold out.

BosGuy Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Awesome.

G2O Spa & Salon
(617) 262-2220
278 Newbury Street (thru the end of 2017)

NOTE: In January G2O will leave 278 Newbury Street and expand into space above the Tannery on Exeter Street. One assumes the new space will be even nicer. I look forward to visiting it in the new year and sharing an updated review.

Other Spa Reviews
Miniluxe 60-minute pedicure a.k.a. “foot facial”
étant 30-minute aromatherapy hand & foot massage
bliss spa Boston 75-minute massage a.k.a. “blissage”
Cabral Wellness Institute massage
étant 60-minuteSwedish massage

Massage at étant makes for a great holiday gift

south end spaétant is a neighborhood spa that has been in the South End since 1998, and I recently reviewed the spa when I took my father there for a 30-minute aromatherapy hand and foot massage for the two of us (you can read all about it here). As I said in my review, although 30-minute massage isn’t cheap, it is a more affordable option than a full body massage, making it a great treat if you’re on a budget. However, for those who are looking for more pampering étant offers an array of massage therapies in addition to facials, waxing, etc… On this particular trip I opted for a 1-hour Swedish Full Body Aromatherapy Massage ($120/60-minutes or $160/90-minutes).

A massage makes for a great gift for that hard to buy guy

There is something wonderfully relaxing about walking into a spa. The entire mood inside seems light years away from the hustle and bustle happening outside its doors and walking into étant is no exception. Jeanne greeted me with a smile as I walked up to the reception desk and offered me some water while I waited. A few minutes later my massage therapist, John Koran, walked in, introduced himself and guided me to the room for my massage. In less than 10-minutes I was on the massage table. With each knot that John worked out of my shoulders and back I started to relax more and more until I realized I had dozed off (something I tend to do off and on throughout any good massage I receive).

It is hard to describe how good I feel, mind, body and soul after a quality massage. If you’ve never had a massage I’d really encourage you to try it; and if it has been a while use the holiday season as an excuse to pamper yourself. étant provides consistently quality service and has a professional staff. My only critique is that I wish they had larger facilities that included saunas, lockers and showers for after a massage, but check it out and decide for yourself. étant is located at 524 Tremont Street in the South End and online at etant.com.

BosGuy Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Awesome.

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

BosGuy reviews étant in South End

étant is a neighborhood spa that has been in the South End since 1998. Over the years I have been there to get a massage and always enjoyed the professionalism and quality of their service. However, I do prefer to be able to shower after getting a full body massage and because they don’t have facilities to wash, I have in the past opted to go to other spas outside of my neighborhood.

The final week of September I took time off from work to spend part of the day with my father. My father has some circulation issues with his feet so I scheduled a thirty-minute aromatherapy hand & foot massage for the two of us; and asked the masseurs to focus on our feet. I’m not certain if my father has ever had a massage of any kind – let alone one that focuses on just the feet. He may have been a little nervous before starting but Keith Maddy (who worked on my father) was a pro because when my father emerged from his room he looked very relaxed and maybe even a little surprised by how much he enjoyed himself.

My masseur, Keelon Andrews, did an exceptional job, finding pressure points on the top, bottom and sides of my feet and even massaging my shins, which were surprisingly sore. The combination of the scented face mask, relaxing music and Keelon’s strong hands was magical and after it was done I was doubly grateful for the unseasonably warm weather that allowed us to walk out of étant wearing sandals. While the 30-minute massage isn’t cheap, it is a more affordable option than a full body massage, making it a great treat if you’re on a budget.

étant is a neighborhood spa with great staff. If they could increase their space and possibly expand to offer more facilities (e.g. saunas, showers, etc), they could be a destination spa in the city.

étant is located at 524 Tremont Street in the South End and can be found online at etant.com.

étant Aromatherapy Hand & Foot Massage 30-minutes, $65
with paraffin treatment forty-five minutes, $80

BosGuy Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Awesome.

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

Study suggests PrEP can be taken as needed to avoid HIV

gilead, co-pay cardEarlier this month Huffington Post Queer Voices published findings from a  study of gay and bisexual men where researchers found that taking four doses of PrEP around the time of sexual activity cut the risk of being diagnosed with HIV by 97 percent.  

The 361 men in the new study were enrolled from France and Canada after the completion of the IPERGAY trial. They were told to take two doses of Truvada between two and 24 hours before sex, another dose 24 hours later and a fourth dose 24 hours after that.

Taking PrEP is a personal decision and one you should discuss with your primary care physician. This is yet another example of how important it can be for sexually active gay men to have access to doctors familiar with LGBTQ health issues. Fortunately here in Boston Fenway Health and the South End Associates are two excellent medical practices gay men can access.

You can read the full article on Huffington Post here.

Marijuana yoga classes start in Boston in August

Marijuasana, marijuana yoga, Stacey MulveyMove over naked yoga – marijuana yoga is coming to Boston this August. Earlier this week Boston Magazine wrote about a new yoga class coming to Cambridge called “Marijuasana“. Before you look for a sign up sheet you should know that all six of the classes run by Stacey Mulvey have sold out. Although dates for September and October yoga classes remain available, Mulvey says she is looking into a larger space to accommodate the demand.

According to Mulvey, sessions begin with time for socializing followed by a 30-minute, beginner-friendly yoga flow. After that, students get a break to have more tea or cannabis, before finishing off the yoga sequence. For more information visit Mulvey’s website, marijuasana.com.

Daddyhunt: The Right Choice

gilead, co-pay cardWith Memorial Day Weekend starting in just a few days and the 2017 summer season starting I wanted to share this P.S.A. that Daddyhunt released recently which discusses the merits of taking PREP. While taking PREP may not be for everyone, it is something all sexually active gay men should think about.

Fenway Health ClinicTalk to your husband, your partner and your friends to help you decide what is right for you. And if you decide that you’d like to learn more about PREP or find a healthcare provider you can talk to who is near you visit, preplocator.org.

Lecture on the history of “gay cruising” at Fenway Health tonight

Earlier this month I published a post about this free lecture that will occur this evening at Fenway Health courtesy of The History Project’s Out in Public lecture series. This is the first event for the series and they will discuss the taboo subject of cruising;  how this evolved over time and what can we learn about the men who turned to the public parks of Paris three centuries ago?

Click here to learn more about the Boston-based The History Project. While the event is free and open to the public, seating is limited so reservations are strongly recommended. Reserve your tickets here.

When: Tuesday, March 28th at 6:30PM
Where: Fenway Health – 1340 Boylston Street (10th Floor), Boston

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