Carrie Greenlaw, spa manager at Adam Broderick Salon and Spa, planned an incredible “spa day” for us, starting with a botanical facial, using 100 percent organic botanical products. Facials are not all about beauty, although smoother skin and a healthy glow are certainly bonuses. They actually help regulate the immune system, detoxify, reduce fluid build up, exfoliate and relieve stress. The body reacts to stress with a series of physiological responses. Among them are a rise in blood pressure, acceleration of the heart rate, an increase in secretion of adrenaline, and muscular tension. Others include a decrease or cessation of digestion, the release of sugars and fats from the stores in the body, elevated cholesterol levels and changes in the blood — making it more prone to clotting. No wonder researchers believe stress contributes to as many as 80 percent of all major illnesses. The facial treatment room was dimly lit with candles, the table warmed and incredibly soothing. My tension melted under skilled hands as they massaged fragrant products into my skin and wrapped my face and neck with moist, hot towels. Next we had “Ultimate Recharge Body Treatments” — full body scrubs to exfoliate skin with gentle pressure massage to release stress in the face and body. (Yum.) The body mask was to restore moisture balance and tone. Exfoliation is a process that removes the top layers of the skin. This normal process of “sloughing off” old skin cells slows as we age, and as environmental pollution settles onto the skin, it not only clogs pores but is absorbed into our bloodstream. Topping off our spa experience, was a heavenly, full body massage. Through manipulation of soft tissue and muscles, massage is beneficial for many conditions including injury soreness, muscle spasms and pain and headaches. It relieves these conditions by promoting muscle relaxation, increasing blood flow through the tissues, breaking up scar tissue and adhesions, and promoting lymphatic circulation. (The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in regulating the immune system by removing toxins from the body.) Adam Broderick, founder and owner of the spa, believes that coming in more frequently for shorter periods of time can be more beneficial than a full or half day.