The ultimate goal of every party person when considering their personal body care should be the removal of toxins. It's just practical: You shovel 'em out so you can keep shovelin' 'em in. Everything else is gravy. If a massage feels transcendent, awesome. But I'm not satisfied unless I feel like I'm going to puke afterward--hey, that's just me. Sauna and steaming are great for these kinds of toxin flushes (and if you pace yourself you shouldn't feel like puking), and while for the everyday the sauna at the gym might suffice, a periodic trip to Loyly can be, well, transcendent (they offer massage services too, but they won't make you pukey unless you specify. I'm talking about puke here way too much aren't? Sorry, Loyly.) Since the dark winter months tend to make everyone more of a party person (maybe even more so once the new year has passed), retreating into the marvelously hot confines of a sauna can do wonders for body and soul. If your gym is fancier than mine, you might have access to a steam room, but the one at Loyly, usually infused with a lovely, herby scent is one of my favorite special treats when visiting. They've also got single-servings of body scrubs that will make you as soft as an infant, masks, foot soaks, detoxifying tea, plus salty snacks and beer and wine to ease you out at the end. Whether you're one of those gift-givers that insists on being practical or one who likes to do something that someone would never do for themselves, a gift certificate to Loyly can satisfy both--I bring it up because through December 30th, if you buy four $25 gift certificates (good for a three-hour visit), you'll get a fifth for free.
This isn't the Loyly of southeast Portland--they have separate hours for men and women with the exception of one co-ed period of time when you have to wear bathing suits (ugh), but if you did want to recreate this more enlightened scenario, Loyly can be rented out for private events. Hello, my next birthday party!