Our founder, Brenda Stansfield wrote a feature article in the January issue of ‘les nouvelles esthetiques & spa’. Click the link below to see what herbs to grow at your spa facility and some easy ways to incorporate them into your spa menu.
In the spa industry a customer certainly has many choices for treatments. Picking the right therapist, treatment and facility are important to your overall health and well-being and also to your overall satisfaction with your services. Of course the best way to be happy with your spa provider is to begin to communicate your needs even before you step through the door, and to continue to communicate with them to be sure your treatment goals are in line and on the same page with your spa professional. So, with that being said your ‘job’ during the treatment is to simply ‘breathe & receive’.
If you are new to the spa scene let us tell you a few ‘tips’ for receiving your best treatment. These are some tips straight from the Massage Therapists, Estheticians, and Nail Techs themselves. We are fortunate to get to chat with spa professionals all over the United States. Here are some of the things they’d love to tell you:
1. Don’t apologize to us before the treatments begin. We’ve seen it all and although personal hygiene is critical in our industry we don’t care if you didn’t shave your legs, have excessive hair, hangnails or any other small worrisome issue. We’ve seen the thinning hair, the bad surgeries and we’re okay with it. As long as you are clean and ready for our services, our job is to make you feel WONDERFUL. Come as you are – we want you to leave feeling amazing – your visit should transform you in some way. So let go of the superficial worries. We’re here because we want to make you feel wonderful.
2. Let us know if you’ve had a big change in life. This is so very helpful for any spa professional. If you have good news or bad, are elated with an engagement or grieving the loss of a loved one, believe it or not it can impact your experiences. The body remembers and responds differently to emotional needs. A client who may love deep work most of the times may be unable to tolerate it through a difficult emotional period. Sharing these ups and downs in life can help your therapist create a better treatment, offer you a service that may be a better fit or introduce a new modality – like aromatherapy, hot or cold therapies that may help your physical and emotional healing on a whole other level.
3. Tell us if it hurts. This shouldn’t even need to be said, but unfortunately many clients feel they need to tolerate deep work, so they suffer in silence. Let’s be clear, massage therapy can be intense but should never hurt. There is a difference between inflicting pain (‘Ow, get off me) and releasing pain (Ohhhhh, hurts so good). The former is an incorrect technique and the latter is deep tissue at it’s best. It’s common to feel some muscle soreness the next day. It would feel similar to going to the gym after a long absence and feeling the burn the next day. However, every client is different, so please, speak up. We always tell our new clients to use a scale from 1 to 10 – 1 being ‘are you even touching me?’ to 10 ‘GET OFF ME!’. Don’t make us guess what you feel, speak up. We do get clues when working on people, but you don’t need to suffer in silence. Every spa professional wants to get you results, but they want you to do so comfortably.
4. Let’s get ‘personal’. Most spa professionals have their favorite products in their facilities. It’s not uncommon for clients to want to bring in their own lotions, nail colors etc. Many spas will honor this, but it’s always a great idea to ask prior to the treatment. Your home facial care may not work with the estheticians equipment. Your massage therapist might require a lotion with more ‘slip’ than your body lotion you apply after a bath. We like to make your time with us special, but sometimes there are reasons we can’t honor your request. If you don’t like a product being used, simply ask if they have others available. You can also let them know your preference in music, warmth and lighting.
5. Ask us about the products we use. Many customers have a pet peeve about being strong armed about purchasing an entire expensive line of products and most technicians are aware of this. Although many facilities will try to sell you an entire ‘at home facial care’ system, the fact is if we turn you off from our facility because you felt pressured to buy, then we aren’t doing our job. We want you to have GREAT results at home, so if you DON’T want to purchase, it’s really okay to say ‘no’. A better option is to be honest with us. Perhaps you are happy with your skin care line, maybe you can’t afford the whole series of products in one visit, maybe you just don’t spend that much time on your skin care. Everyone is different. So, just ask us – ‘out of these six skin care items, which two will do the most for me and why?’. Your spa professionals KNOW their stuff, they take extensive training and learn the ingredients. Many do make a commission on the sale, but many would rather you buy your skin care from them and forgo a tip. Why? If you get great results, you’ll give us referrals. Referrals are the life-blood of our industry. We value our clients above anything else. If you look and feel great – we do too!
6. Ask about ‘homework’. If you are having regular treatments for a chronic condition please ask what you can do at home. We are dedicated to getting your body to maximum wellness, but often we rely on YOU to do some of the work. Often it’s stretching, exercises, body mechanic changes, even changing a sleeping position. If your therapist suggests something – give it a try – they are looking after your long term health and you might actually need to see them less. And that’s okay. A good therapist will get you results, and they know you’ll be back when you need them, they also know you’ll happily send others. We love those clients.
7. Ask about Loyalty Programs. In an age of Groupon and ‘deep discounts’ a true spa professional has to compete in ways they didn’t before. Those programs do not pay your therapist a living wage and many do so at the expense of regular clients. A better approach is finding a spa partner whom you like and building a relationship with them. One innovative spa offers ‘Loyalty Rewards’ and forgo the discounted services. ‘We value clients that value us. We have packages that will save them on a series of services with a particular provider, give birthday gifts and also keep regular clients service fees at the last service rate prior to any increase for a year.’ says the owner. We think this out of the box thinking is the way to be sure the client and the spa workers are valued and happy.
8. Let us know if you need to cancel. Many spa professionals come in by appointments booked, even if it’s 15 minutes before you are to be there, it’s nice for us to know how to use our time. Even better if you can give us a day or several hours notice. We can often book another client. Many spa workers are only paid when they are working on a client. A ‘no show’ will cost them not just time, but money. If your spa professional is using a babysitter to watch children and you didn’t cancel – it’s a double whammy.
9. Breathe and Receive. Allow yourself to just ‘be’. Allow yourself to receive. You can talk. Or not. You simply should ‘let go’ once you enter our doors. You are in the best care. Every therapist, esthetician and spa professional is truly dedicated to you. Allow us to make your day!
5 Easy Ways to Proper Breathing
1. Concious breathing – Become aware of how you breathe during different parts of the day. A practical tip for this is to let your phone alarm go off every hour or so and check your breathing each time it does. Are you breathing relaxed, rhythmically, silently and deeply through your nose? Is there room for improvement in this particular situation?
2. Breathe through your nose – A closed mouth, with the tongue placed up the palate ensures that the breathing happens in and out the nose. If your nose is stuffy, do a sinus rinse.
3. Extended exhale – An extended exhale increases the relaxation and makes the inhale deeper and more rhythmical. For optimal breathing the inhale should be 2-3 seconds, exhale 3-4 seconds followed by a pause for 2-3 seconds. The extended exhale also has a positive effect on the inhale which gets deeper.
4. Straight posture – An upright posture gives a deeper breathing where the diaphragm gets more space to work. Your thoughts and feelings are affected in a positive way and at the same time it gets easier to breathe through the nose.
5. Body consciousness – Be aware of your body and how tense or relaxed it is in different situations. A relaxed body makes it easier to keep a rhythmical and relaxed breathing.