Taking a spa day in Williamstown

September 16, 2015 by Elizabeth Sullivan, Staff Writer

Stressed-out students may not need to look any further than Water Street for a special way to detox. InTouch Massage and Day Spa, located conveniently just off campus, just past Water Street Books and the Green River Bridge, offers a variety of luxurious treatments for stressed-out students.

InTouch began when founder Marc Freedman went on a two-year bicycle trip across the globe that ended up spanning eight years and six continents. While in Japan, Freedman taught English and decided to learn about Japanese Shiatsu massage and finger pressure massage techniques. Upon returning to the United States after eight years abroad, Freedman started looking for a job but didn’t want the commitment of many additional years of schooling. After enrolling in massage school, Freedman realized that he could pursue a career in massage and opened InTouch.

The spa is perched right above the Green River and offers spectacular porch and balcony views of the lush surrounding area. The outdoor wooden terrace is furnished with vibrant pink and purple flowers and is a great space to enjoy the outdoors and observe the beautiful natural scenery.

Walking into InTouch on Saturday, I had no idea what to expect. Exceptionally courteous staff greeted me and encouraged me to remove my shoes and replace them with cozy slippers. I enjoyed warm tea on the terrace while I waited for my treatment to begin.

Anthony S. Leo Jr., a certified cosmetologist and esthetician who has been working in the field for over 35 years, was extremely gracious and made me feel immediately comfortable. I received a microdermabrasion treatment with a signature facial. Microdermabrasion is a skin exfoliating treatment that uses a diamond tip wand to remove dead skin cells and resurface skin. Leo used gentle abrasion with the wand that is connected to a vacuum to remove the dead, outer layer of skin to leave a smooth texture and promote the growth of healthy new skin cells. The machine that InTouch has, The Altair Instruments Crystal Free System, features the original Crystal Free DiamondTome wand with natural diamond chips that scrub to get rid of skin congestion and open up pores. Leo was very friendly and made me feel completely relaxed during the treatment. He made sure to maintain open communication and ask if I was comfortable. Microdermabrasion can feel slightly rough on the skin, similar to being licked by a cat, but I had no problem and felt like my skin was being exfoliated and refreshed. With this microdemabrasion treatment there is no downtime, so you can immediately return to your normal activities after leaving InTouch.

Following the microdermabrasion, Leo did pore reduction using an implement to minimize pores and did a steamed mask with avocado and grapefruit. The mask smelled great and the steam was very calming and helped warm and moisturize the mask so it could work effectively. After removing the mask, Leo applied double vitamin C serum to the skin. Leo makes his own vitamin C serum that he sells at InTouch alongside his own moisturizing oil. He explained that his special recipe for the oil is “organic extra-virgin olive oil and organic grape seed oil infused with freshly dried lavender and rosemary for calming effects.” The ingredients are combined and heated at a low temperature for multiple hours to stimulate the infusion process and ensure everything is fully incorporated. While the avocado grapefruit mask was setting, I received a luxurious hand and foot massage using the handmade infused oil.

Leo finished the treatment with a daily moisturizer with SPF 15. He recommends Olay daily moisturizer for sensitive and smart skin that is available at most local convenience stores. Leo also gave me an additional insider tip that anyone can do to achieve clear, healthy skin. When washing your face, use a washcloth that has a textured material like a raised dot pattern to invigorate the skin, slough off any dead skin cells and stimulate fresh skin cell growth. It’s an inexpensive and easy way to take great care of your skin every day.

After my facial treatment, I received a manicure. InTouch has a large variety of nail polish ranging from matte to sparkly and from black to white with an especially large selection of pink-, red- and burgundy-hued polishes perfect for the transition from summer to fall. It also has purple polishes that are great for spirited Ephs wishing to dress up for the upcoming fall sports seasons and Homecoming. I chose the color Charged Up Cherry by O.P.I., which is a bright pink with neon undertones. My manicurist has been painting nails for over 14 years, and she told me how much she loves working at InTouch. She explained, “You can’t beat the beautiful view of the river. I love coming to work everyday and I’m excited to be around my coworkers and our customers.”

InTouch is only a quick five minute walk from the center of campus and has a lot of great services that are easily accessible for students. Whether you need to get a haircut during the week, or want to treat yourself to a massage on the weekend, InTouch has a variety of options available for the College’s students. Additionally, Stressbusters on Wednesday has massages available, usually in Goodrich, through InTouch that are free and available specifically for students. All you have to do is go to Stressbusters and write your name on the time slot you would like. InTouch is a great place to relax during a stressful week or go for a quick service like a manicure. It’s also a great gift for a birthday present for a friend as they offer gift certificates and can schedule group services in advance. Take time to relax and get away from the stress of work and visit InTouch.

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