A Basic Massage in Beautiful Basel

When I travel, I like to check out the services offered at others spas to see how fibre is measuring up to well-known venues. In each case, I’ve found fibre offers exceptional, personalized service when compared to a European spa. The sessions also give me a chance to experience another therapist’s approach to massage so I can think about using them at fibre. And the best part is I get to relax and enjoy the many health benefits of massage.

This review focuses on a massage I received at the PÜROVEL SPA & SPORT in the Swissotel Le Plaza Hotel in Basel, Switzerland. Purovel provides a minimalist-type relaxation room, locker room and unisex sauna.

My massage therapist led me into the brightly lit and starkly decorated Treatment Room. She confirmed the service I wanted to receive, a 60 minute Classic Massage, then stepped out of the room so I could get the massage table.

Similar to other massages I have received in Europe, the session began with little or no discussion of the specific reasons for seeking a massage. At fibre, each session begins with an intake session. I want to know why you want a massage and if there are any specific areas needing attention or areas to avoid. By talking with you before the service, I’m able to give you a massage tailored to your needs.

The therapist gave me a Swedish massage which helped me relax. At the end, she stepped out of the room. I dressed and left the Treatment Room. She handed me the bill and then left me to enter the Relaxation Room or to return to my hotel room.

At fibre, clients are given the chance to linger and let their bodies and minds adjust to the idea of getting back into the “real world” outside the spa doors. Comfortable seating within reach of a stash of healthy or indulgent snacks and a refreshing carafe of alkaline water are available for you after any service offered at fibre. The after-session options at fibre are much nicer than the lounge chairs in the unattended Relaxation Room.

Overall, the session was effective. However, for the price (155 CHF/157 USD for 60 minutes), I expected more. At fibre, a similar service for Wellness Members costs 55% less and they receive so many more amenities (e.g., personalized massage, warm neck wrap, heated massage table, heated moist towels, comfortable seating).

If you’re in the Washington DC area, stop by fibre and get a personalized; yet, affordable massage with amazing amentiites.

Because the sauna is available to all hotel guests (no massage service required to use it), I didn’t consider it an amenity for the massage session.

Source: https://www.swissotel.com/hotels/basel/

Why Recurring Massage Therapy Sessions Improve Retirement

Planning for retirement, include regular massage therapy sessions in your plans. 

Planning for retirement, include regular massage therapy sessions in your plans. 

A few friends recently attended a retirement workshop which sparked discussions about Roth IRAs, survivor benefits and long term care.  One focused on the benefits of having long term care to remove a financial burden from family members while securing assistance with daily tasks if needed.  

Most of the discussion centered on persons outliving partners and possibly needing medical care in an independent living setting.   After our talk, I noticed the topic of loneliness or social isolation which stem from fewer interactions with others who provide emotional support or friendship didn't surface.   

I think it's important to consider loneliness or social isolation, which may occur at any age, because a person in an assisted living facility or aging-in-place may have less contact with friends and family members due to mobility issues.  Either the person lacks access to transportation or friends and family aren't able to visit frequently due to commitments. 

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In 2016, an article in Psychology Today referred to a study indicating a large percentage of elderly Americans have had hallucinations of their deceased partners while experiencing loneliness and isolation.   The article ends by noting "in the absence of actual human contact our brains may manufacture social experiences in an attempt to preserve our sanity."

To me, a regular still touch or Swedish massage through a wellness program would help reduce the social isolation.  By having a regularly scheduled visit, the impacts of social isolation would be minimized.  

In 2016, the International Journal of Older People Nursing, published, "Massage, a complementary therapy effectively promoting the health and well-being of older people in residential care settings", which focused on the possible benefits of massage for those living in assisted living-type facilities.   After looking at fourteen studies, the article points to evidence of massage enhancing the quality of life (i.e., health and well-being) for those living in these types of residences.  It specifically saw massage as having a positive impact on the following factors:

  1. Emotional Status
  2. Psychosocial health
  3. Pain
  4. Sleep
  5. Pharmacological intervention
  6. Necessity for restraint
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The article recommends using massage to promote health and well-being of those in residential care.  To me, the positive impact of massage on emotional status and psychological health directly aligns with reducing loneliness and social isolation.

When you consider your long term care arrangements, check and see if it includes massage services.  You'll gain many benefits when you schedule regular massages. 

How a Massage in Vienna Might Compare to a Washington, DC Offering

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When visiting a new-to-me city or country, I try to get a massage.  From the scheduling process to the closing of the session, I hope to find something unique during the experience to incorporate into my practice. 

The article "Air travel: effects of sleep deprivation and jet lag," presents some of the the side effects from crossing several time zones.  It mentions how jet lag impairs cognitive ability.  With this in mind, when I traveled recently to Vienna, Austria, I made an appointment for a massage to help combat jet lag.  The hotel's spa offered a variety of massage services; I selected the 60 minute "Be Well" service.

When I arrived 15 minutes before the start of the session, the therapist remarked on my early arrival then gave me a robe and slippers after walking with me to the locker room.  After changing, I returned to the lobby where the therapist ushered me to the softly lit treatment room furnished simply with a massage table, a comfy armchair and a floor lamp with shelving. 

Lobby in Fitness Center at the Vienna Marriott Hotel

Lobby in Fitness Center at the Vienna Marriott Hotel

The session proceeded as usual.  The therapist stepped out of the room while I got situated on the table.  After a few minutes, the therapist knocked at the door and asked for permission to enter the room.  She stepped into the room, adjusted the covering then initiated the massage. 

The massage session seemed very similar to a Swedish massage.  Lots of oil applied to my body before the therapist executed long, flowing strokes.  Most muscle groups received attention; my abdominal muscles, face, scalp and diaphragm were left untouched.  With minimal verbal communication, the session proceeded and succeeded in helping my muscles and mind relax into a deep sleep. 

At the end of the service, the therapist gently woke me from my slumber then left the treatment room. I slowly made my way back to the locker room.   I enjoyed the session and highly recommend the "Be Well" service.  The following week, I scheduled another "Be Well" session with a different therapist.  The second session with a male therapist  proceeded in the same manner as described above;  except, I arrived only five minutes before my appointment.

The following observations might be useful if you choose to visit a spa in Vienna:

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  • An intake process (i.e., therapist asking for your specific reason for getting a massage and any areas to avoid such as irritated skin) wasn't used. The therapist conducted the massage based on the selected service without asking about my current health (e.g., injuries, medical conditions).


  • I arrived early to complete the intake forms before the session began. Unlike in the USA where spas ask you to arrive early to complete required forms (click here to read some reasons why intake forms are used), I wasn't given a health history form, a consent form or any other form to be completed.


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  • In the Washington DC area, most massage tables are covered with sheets which are used to cover parts of your body which are not being addressed by the therapist. For example, when the therapist is applying massage techniques to your arms, then your legs and midsection are usually covered with the sheet. In Vienna, Austria, a bath towel was provided for covering my body. The therapists generally used the same draping principles as used in the DC metro area with a smaller cloth.

  • For me, music plays a major part in a massage session. For this session, a music player - like a "boom box" appeared on a shelf; however, it wasn't emitting any sound. When I asked for music, it was turned on. Please remember to let your therapist know what you want in your session to make it more relaxing for you.

These observations note differences in how massage services are offered in Vienna when compared to the DC metro area.  In my opinion, they underline the less litigious nature of the society (e.g., not required to complete numerous legal forms) and the reliance on the client to understand if they have conditions which are not suitable for massage and to communicate any concerns before the session begins.  

If you're staying at the Vienna Marriott, you might want to try their "Be Well" massage.

If you’re in the Washington DC area, stop by fibre and get an exceptional, personalized; yet, affordable massage and enjoy relaxation and other health benefits.



Source: https://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012...