Hands down (no pun intended) my favorite place in Amherst is Elements Spa and I am grateful for the massage therapists who play such an important role in our physical and emotional well being. Over a decade ago, we started getting an annual New Year’s Even massage and it is one of our favorite traditions. When we realized just how many benefits there are to a good massage, we decided to incorporate them into our overall wellness plan and now have four or five a year. I have a bad neck/shoulder due to muscle spasms so a medium pressure massage helps to get rid of the trigger points that end up like marble-sized knots in my trapezius. Bill also has a bad shoulder from having to film most of a 15 game season without a tripod, but more importantly, therapeutic massage helps him handle the stress and exhaustion of a typical football season. I’ve also had hot stone massage which are incredible and I want to try a cranio-sacral massage – it’s basically one that concentrates on your neck and shoulders; since you could Manchurian Candidate me by rubbing my scalp, I think that would be my favorite.