Health: Peace and Peppermint to All

Ease tension with this perfectly Christmastime oil

I am nowhere close to being ready for Christmas morning. I’ve got a list a mile long of gifts to get, goodies to bake and parties to attend. Not to mention a thousand loose ends to tie up at work and a package of Christmas cards I haven’t even removed the cellophane from, let alone begun to fill out.

So, to say that I’m stressed would be accurate. And when my right eye began to twitch last week — an undeniable sign of too little sleep and too much tension — I knew my holiday anxiety had reached a breaking point. My body needed an intervention.

So I treated myself to a Peppermint Reflexology Treatment and Snowflake Exfoliation Facial at Pierre & Carlo Salon and Spa. Peppermint has long helped soothe everything from indigestion to headaches, and as esthetician Alexis Brown instructed me to inhale deeply, the cooling menthol filled my lungs while the pleasant scent pulled me into a moment of deep relaxation. A small drop of refreshing oil was then massaged onto the back of my neck. Five minutes later, my entire upper back felt cool and refreshed, as if a winter’s breeze had awakened and relaxed me at the same time. And after Alexis massaged my hands and feet with the cooling oil, I left the 90-minute sensory experience feeling calmed and completely Christmassy.

Even if you can’t make it down for a facial — although I highly recommend it — you can still reap the benefits of peppermint. Brew yourself a cup of peppermint tea, massage a small amount of the oil onto your temples or, as a last resort, crack open a candy cane and inhale the sweet scent. But whatever you do, take a few moments and care for your overworked holiday self. You’ll enjoy the holiday season that much more.

Peppermint Reflexology Treatment and Snowflake Exfoliation Facial, $90, Pierre & Carlo European Spa & Salon, The Shops at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut Sts., 215-790-9910