Thursday, October 2, 2014

REDUX: FALL TRANSITIONING TIPS


As I write this, the weather is finally getting cooler with lower levels of humidity; both are a welcome relief.  I’m sure there will be a few last gasps of summer over the next few weeks, but for now, I’ll revel in this seasonal break from summer.

When a season transitions into the next, such as summer to fall, we need to be mindful of the need to change and adapt virtually every aspect of our daily lives; what worked during one season generally doesn’t work in the next one; routines and regimens need to be altered. 

The following transitional tips from summer into fall should help you to at least consider some of the aspects of your day-to-day regimens that might require some tweaking.


~ TIPS FOR SKIN, HAIR AND MAKEUP ~

Climatological changes, including cooler and drier temps both indoor and outdoor, consider changing your skincare regimen to ramp up product efficacy.  What worked well in the warmer and more humid months will probably be inappropriate in the cooler and drier months.  

Lighter weight lotions should give way to creams and butters. 

Colder, drier air will dehydrate the skin.  Skin still requires periodic exfoliation with some type of moisturizing soaps or cleansers.  Skin needs to be moisturized and rehydrated to replenish depleted moisture levels and also to maintain a healthy mantel of skin.  Using serums is a great way to treat and hydrate the skin.

Don’t over-exfoliate the skin; when skin is dry and aggressive exfoliation is done, it can harm the delicate tissue and irritate it.  Make sure to use serums and don’t discount the wonders of face oils (e.g. olive, almond, coconut, palm, jojoba, argan, marula, shea, cocoa, etc.). 

Continue using an SPF product to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Adjust your hair care regimen and the products used.  Since the air is dryer and less humid, it’s important to nurture your hair with the proper shampoos, conditioners and restorative masks to avoid damaging and drying out the scalp, hair follicle and hair shaft. 

Lighten up your color palette, whether that’s in your makeup colors, or the colors of your wardrobe pieces. 

Pale and light may have been great for the summer months to deflect the harsh rays of summer sun, however, an earthy color palette of burnished and vibrantly intense colors of fall, are more suitable. 

A fashion trend this year red lipstick, which adds a vibrant pop of color to the face.  Every skin tone looks good wearing red lipstick, but make sure it’s in the correct family of red to complement your skin tone ~ blue-red or orange-red, with varying hues in each family.

Lighter weight cotton, linen or gauzy material should be replaced with warmer wool, silk blends and heavier cotton and linen fabrics to keep the body heat in as an insulator from the cold.  Vibrant colors for fabrics to suit the season are always a fashion-must.


~ TIPS FOR HEALTHY EATING AND LIFESTYLE ~

Summer dining generally equates to lighter food fare, like salads, seasonal fruits and vegetables, herbal iced teas, iced fruit infused waters, etc.  These were ideal for summer, because they were less taxing on the digestive system, and also kept a person cool. 

The colder months of fall and winter call for heartier foods like hot cereals, stews, soups, casseroles and the like; all are ideal for those colder months.  These foods are nutritious, but also warming.  Consider adding more dried fruits and nuts to your diet and try making your own granola. 

Consider frozen fruits and vegetables, which are quick frozen right after harvesting, preserving more of the nutrient value; they’re a nice reminder of the fresher seasonal produce during the warmer summer months.

Seasonal constants are also synonymous with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  This includes sufficient amounts of water for hydration, sufficient sleep for rest and recuperation, physical exercise for strength and agility, and proper nutrition to stave off illness. 

~ TIPS FOR WELL BEING ~

Consider gathering up dried twigs, branches, leaves, etc. and try your hand at creating an arrangement for a seasonal tablescape, or your gatherings in a large basket and display by your entry.

If the colder weather and shorter days are giving you cabin fever, be sure to keep the spring and summer indoor with live plants and flowers. 

Take walks to shake the “blues” away and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you; there is beauty in the changing of all-things nature.

Don’t forget to open your windows every so often just to let some fresh air inside.


~ TIPS FOR SEASONAL TRANSITIONING ~

Consider making lists of warm weather tasks and cold weather tasks.  These can include goals in skincare and body care regimens, meal planning, wardrobe, fitness routines, etc.  Then review each list and streamline or adjust for your next seasonal transitioning.

~ END GAME ~

Every season brings a fresh start and new beginning.  It’s up to each individual to seek what works best for them and what will enhance and enrich their daily lives.  The circle of life is also the circle of seasons. 

That’s it for this edition.  Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.

By Terry Herman

Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In the 1990s, she authored an extensive "Glossary of Spa Terminologies" and holds two copyright registrations.  Consumer and trade publications have also interviewed her as an expert.  She also conducted an extensive nationally broadcasted interview tour on aspects of creating an at-home spa, interior design, stress and time management.  Her work has been published extensively in print and online in both consumer and trade publications.  In addition to writing, reviewing and being interviewed as an expert, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.  She currently serves on EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness Advisory Board, which is comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa.  She also served as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz.  Be sure to read her food, wine and culinary digital magazine, TERRY’S SECOND HELPINGS.  You can email her at terrysspabeautywellness@gmail.com.

ALL MATERIALS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

(Introductory photo from thehealthyapron.com; middle photo from vintage-spirit.blogspot.com; closing photo from ayurmantra.com.)

N.B.  Google’s blog platform is incompatible with my Mac OS X and Firefox browser latest software versions, which is why some web links appear in different colors and why when attempting to have embedded images their sizing is consistent and/or can’t be sized. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

ISPA SPEAKS



I first became familiar with ISPA (The International SPA Association) in the mid-1990s when my passion for all-things spa was growing stronger each day after my first destination spa experience in 1988.  I got “hooked” on the many benefits of health and wellness from that comprehensive weeklong experience. 

In 1988, very little information was available on the subject matter and what was available was found in print in obscure books and occasional articles in magazines and newspapers.  Trying to locate the information on the subject matter was archaeological in scope, especially given that the terms “World Wide Web” (www) or “Internet” weren’t even around.  I like to think of myself as a spa trailblazer, although I’m sure many younger types involved in the industry have never heard of me.  But, that’s another story….

ISPA began in 1991, and over the years, has become the definitive global organizational force for spas and spa professionals.  In the early days of ISPA, it had a member category for the press and wanting to immerse myself in industry aspects of spa, I became one in 1995.  The first ISPA Conference I attended was in 1995 and I was giddy and delirious in having found, what I thought back in the day, was another calling for me.  But that too, is another story…

Since that time, the press membership category was dissolved, although I think it should be re-instated.  To date, I’ve attended fourteen or fifteen of its Conference; each one has gotten more impressive than the next.

What follows in this article is a compilation of some of the recent information on what’s happening at ISPA.  I think it’s invaluable for non-industry types to gain exposure to the inner-workings of such a worthy organization and glean from the details that spa is much more than a romp in hedonism, and so, I enjoy sharing trade information with the non-trade.

~ The Heart of ISPA ~

Spas are places devoted to overall well being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit. Several International SPA Association (ISPA) member spas are taking that a step further and are focusing on educational programs, fundraisers, donations and other philanthropic gifts.

(Lynne McNees)
“Spas are great at customizing and responding to their customers,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “Consumers feel good about going to businesses that give back. Spas are successfully doing their part and supporting the communities that support them. The spa industry has been paying it forward for years and we are becoming more aware of the good deeds spas and their providers are doing.”

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Lantana, Florida, partners with the United Way of Palm Beach and Habitat for Humanity. In the process of renovation this year, Eau Spa will donate everything that still has value in Habitat for Humanity building programs, according to Owner Eva Hill. The spa also contributed to Family First and Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse during the holidays, donating toys and clothing.
“We chose these charities because they do a great job guiding families to reach goals, and in the meantime they help them to get through hard times,” said Carolina Griffith, head of Eau Spa’s children’s beauty at coast program. “It is very important to give back to the people in need, especially kids.”

The Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, New Mexico, chose a widespread approach to giving back and developed a philanthropic partnership with the Santa Fe Community Foundation after a membership survey demonstrated the spa’s guests’ dedication to the community. The partnership produced the Las Campanas Community Fund, a permanent investment of 5 percent disbursed annually to local charities—as much as 75,000 dollars in 2012. “Our programs are founded and supported by members and have become integral to our operation,” said Todd Show, Director of Fitness, Tennis and Spa.

Spa Shiki at the Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Missouri, requires that, upon interview and hiring, each associate understands he or she must give one complimentary treatment per month to one of four local charities. The Spa shares its initiatives with clients and asks for financial help during certain months, such as Domestic Violence Awareness Month“In giving I have received so much more back in return: Gratitude, great friendships, a sense of peace and fulfillment,” said Ann Brown, Spa Director. “I have also seen it truly change some of the staff’s attitude about life and being selfless.”

In addition to donating to philanthropic institutions and local nonprofits, Kurotel - Longevity Center and Spa and in Gramado, Brazil, also partners with schools to promote healthier lifestyles.  “Health is the greatest asset that a person can possibly have,” said Human Resources Manager, Deise Cristina Arend. “In the same way we hope to change bad habits in our customers, we also believe it is important for the people in our community.”

~ Media Matters ~


Cultural traditions are deeply rooted in many countries’ language, religion, food and art. Some of these traditions were apparent at the recent ISPA Media Event. Spas from around the world highlighted their newest treatments, many of which stemmed from historic customs.

“It is important to remember that spas are not only committed to physical renewal, but also that of the mind and spirit,” said ISPA President, Lynne McNees. “Spas are dedicated to the restoration of the whole person. At this year’s ISPA Media Event we see spas incorporating all components of this shared mission, by way of cultural touches, into their spa experiences.”

~ Culture & Heritage Treats ~

Unique healing techniques and religious practices are often defining cultural characteristics. At the ISPA 2014 Media Event, spa properties founded in distinct cultural traditions showcased treatments that draw inspiration from these native rituals.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group tapped into their roots by offering Chinese medicine inspired Calm Mind Guided Meditation, to offer calm mind therapy.
Mii amo offered Hozhooji, the Mii amo Blessing, which uses a turquoise clay in massage therapy to reduce stress and awaken positive energies within the body, mind, soul and spirit. 
Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa shared the healing power of Nicaraguan volcanic clay used as a body mask in their Six Spa Sanctuaries treatment.
Omni Hotels and Resorts demonstrated their Grove Stone Healing Hand Treatment, keeping the historic tradition of massage fresh.

~ Food Treats ~

Food is a simple way to bring people together to share in a culture. At this year’s Media Event, many spas used food ingredients as a means of tying a native tradition to a classic treatment.

Massage Envy Spa treated guests to a spa cuisine, Sugar Foot Therapy.
Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program discussed the link between diet and overall health and showed that healthy cooking is easy with a healthy food prep demonstration.
Miraval Resort & Spa gifted their new cookbook, “Miraval’s Sweet & Savory Cooking" to attendees.
Rancho La Puerta’s Salsa y Salsa combined a salsa tasting and a salsa dancing class offering a peek into what guests can experience at their property.
The Essex Resort and Spa mixed up a refreshing summer treat for the media with their Watermelon Vodka-tini Hand Treatment.
The Lodge at Woodloch partnered with Dogfish Head Brewery to create beer-inspired spa treatments.
The Spa at the Hotel Hershey incorporated their signature ingredients into their Chocolate Spa Eye Refresh Treatment.
Travaasa Experiential Resorts demonstrated their Blender Bike which channels physical energy created during a workout to power a blender for a fresh smoothie.

~ Water Treats ~

Water is a founding component of the spa industry.  Many exhibiting spas at this year’s event tied this element into native and water-based practices.

Aspira Spa showcased their Sacred Waters Massage and discussed how indigenous traditions can inspire spa experiences.
Jason Hydrotherapy offered their MicroSilk Treatment, an oxygenated bath that benefits the skin.
The Spa of the Rockies demonstrated their Mineral Spring Water Therapy that showcases the property’s 125-year history of mineral-based treatments.

~ Body Treats ~

A healthy body is encouraged as part of an overall healthy mind, body, and spirit. These companies showed attendees the latest trends in keeping your body healthy.

Hilton Head Health showed how one could perform MyoFascial Release techniques on themselves.
Matrix Fitness showcased their 7xi Console, equipment that allows you to be connected while exercising.
Tiger Tail USA demonstrated their signature Tiger Tail, a hand held rolling device designed to roll over muscles, relieving soreness and tension.
ResortSuite was the software provider facilitating all appointment scheduling online prior to the event. Each attendee also received a Haiku tote bag, sponsored by SpaWeek.

~ By The Numbers ~

(The Big 5 statistics from the ISPA 2014 U.S. Spa Industry Study are showing growth in all areas, indicating that the spa industry will continue in this progression. Total revenue, spa visits, revenue per visit, total number of employees and the total number of spa locations are the statistics collectively known as the “Big 5. ) 
The ISPA 2014 U.S. Spa Industry Study “Big 5” statistics reveal positive trends in 2013 that will continue to stimulate the economy and generate revenue in the United States in the months ahead.  

The total number of spa visits climbed to an all-time high in 2013, reaching 164 million (2.5 percent increase on the previous year). Combined with a 2.5 percent increase in total revenue per visit, total revenues generated by spas in 2013 rose to $14.7 billion, an increase of over five percent on the 2012 level.  Nearly 350,000 individuals are employed by the spa industry nationwide, close to a two percent rise from the previous year.

ISPA President Lynne McNees commented on the positive growth:
“We are excited to see a continued positive growth trajectory and a record-setting number of 164 million spa visits achieved in 2013.  It’s even more refreshing to hear that our members are also experiencing these trends within their spas.  This year marks the 15th anniversary of the initial launch of the ISPA industry study in 1999.  Since that time the size of the U.S. spa industry has soared from an estimated 4,140 spa establishments in 1999 to 20,180 in 2013.  Over the past fifteen years, ISPA has captured the changing landscape of the spa industry through its annual industry study including the five-fold increase in the number of spas.  Today’s consumer has greater access to spas and more choices than ever before.”

According to Colin McIlheney, PwC Global Research Director:
“What we are seeing with this year’s study is the reflection of continued growth. With the key indicators, including total revenue and spa visits increasing, this study highlights the positive trend across the board in the industry. The respondents to the survey also expressed confidence that growth will continue in the coming months."

The complete study, funded by The International SPA Association Foundation and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), will be released on September 30, 2014.

~ Noteworthy ~


ISPA has announced this year’s ISPA Innovate Award winners. Due to the success in 2013, ISPA has expanded the ISPA Innovate Awards to now encompass three categories: business practices, experiences and products.  

“Innovation is the driving force behind growth in the spa industry,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. Recognizing the innovation that is occurring within ISPA’s membership will encourage and inspire future ideas.” 

Business Practices Innovate Award winners:
COOLA Suncare, located in San Diego, Calif. represented by Chris Birchby, founder and chief executive officer, focusing on “mobile POS for products and spa poolside.”
East Village Spa, located in Des Moines, Iowa represented by Cassie Sampson, owner, focusing on “employees with disabilities find perfect spa employment.”
Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa, located in Corona, Calif. represented by Brad Jensen, operations manager, focusing on “leadership development process ensures employee’s performance success.”
SpaEquip Inc., located in Calistoga, Calif. represented by Philippe Therene, founder, focusing on “the gift of spa experiences for all.”
The Spa at the Breakers, located in Palm Beach, Fla. represented by Amy Retay, director of spa operations, focusing on “measurement tool to reward service provider’s performance.”

Experiences Innovate Award winners:
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, located in Tallebudgera Valley, Queensland, Australia represented by Tracy Willis, marketing and public relations director, focusing on “sensory spa experience with live drumming.”
Montage Resort & Spa, located in Laguna Beach, Calif. represented by Michael Conte, spa director, focusing on “hand crafted experiences with organic garden ingredients.”
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, located in Ojai, Calif. represented by Gloria Ah Sam, spa director, focusing on “safe treatment modifications for oncology spa guests.”
Spa Gregorie’s, located in Newport Beach, Calif. represented by Amanda Manwaring, spa manager, focusing on “inspirational letters inspire spa guests to pay it forward.”
The Spa at Pinehurst, located in Pinehurst, N.C. represented by Jennifer Roche, spa director, focusing on “contemplative sand painting: a mindful group workshop.”

Product Innovate Award winners:
Belmond the Inn at Perry Cabin, located in St. Michael, Md. represented by Denise Haddaway, spa director, focusing on “honey-based, all natural bee products.”
Body Bliss, located in Sedona, Ariz. represented by Nick James, owner, focusing on “technology that makes authentic aromatherapy truly personal.”
Mio Skincare, located in Hunington Beach, Calif. represented by Mara Stern, marketing, focusing on “liquid yoga restorative bath soak treatment.”
Osea Skincare, located in Malibu, Calif. represented by Jenefer Palmer, chief seaweed officer, focusing on “skin and body-care made like fine wine.”
ResortSuite, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada represented by Frank Pitsikalis, founder and chief executive officer, focusing on “spa guest check-in and questionnaire tablet app.”

~ Spa’s Generosity ~

The global spa community will provide food for 17,000 hungry children by attending the 2014 ISPA Conference & Expo. All attendees will receive a ResortSuite sponsored FEED Bag. The proceeds for each bag supplies ten meals for the World Food Programme.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to give back as a part of our annual event by partnering with FEED and ResortSuite,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “FEED’s initiative to provide meals to children through the World Food Programme is a valuable contribution that we are now able to share with our industry. We are proud to work with ResortSuite, a longtime supporter of ISPA and the spa community.”

ResortSuite is thrilled to be associated with FEED and support this meaningful cause at the ISPA Conference & Expo this year,” said ResortSuite founder and CEO, Frank Pitsikalis. “We have been involved with ISPA for many years and are honored to make a direct contribution to those in need through our sponsorship.”

ResortSuite is a hospitality software company used by some of the most prestigious spas, clubs, hotels and resorts in the world. All ResortSuite software is “guest-centric” in technology design, allowing hospitality properties such as spas, clubs, golf courses, ski lodges, and more to be run more efficiently.

FEED is a social business with a mission to create good products that help feed the world. Founded in 2007 by Lauren Bush Lauren, after Lauren traveled around the world and witnessed the effects of hunger first hand as a student ambassador with the World Food Programme. Every product sold has a measurable donation attached to it. FEED has been able to provide more than 84 million meals globally through the WFP and Feeding America. FEED has also supported nutrition programs around the world, providing more than three and a half million children with Vitamin A supplements through UNICEF."
Lauren said, "I am so appreciative of ISPA and ResortSuite for their decision to make a huge difference in the lives of children and families around the world through giving FEED bags at the ISPA Conference & Expo. It's exciting to know that everyone will leave with a bag that gave 10 meals, and that collectively, 1,700 meals were donated. On behalf of FEED, thank you!"

~ In Closing ~

The International SPA Association is the spa industry’s leading professional organization.  By visiting its website, you can familiarize yourself with invaluable information about the organization, including obtaining more information on the spas mentioned above in the “Spa-Goers” drop down.  The 2014 Annual Conference & Expo will be held this October 13-15th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.  The event usually draws several thousand attendees from around the world, and features extensive continuing education workshops, keynote addresses, special events, presentations, and an Expo area with hundreds of spa service and product providers.  Lastly, it is with regret that finances prevent me from joining ISPA at its upcoming Conference again this year.  I’m sure it’ll be another stunning success! http://experienceispa.com

That’s it for this edition.  Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.

By Terry Herman

TERRY HERMAN is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In the 1990s, she authored an extensive "Glossary of Spa Terminologies" and holds two copyright registrations.  Consumer and trade publications have also interviewed her as an expert.  She also conducted an extensive nationally broadcasted interview tour on aspects of creating an at-home spa, interior design, music, stress and time management.  Her work has been published extensively in print and digital in both consumer and trade publications.  In addition to writing, reviewing and being interviewed as an expert, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.  She also served on the International Advisory Board for the former EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness; the Advisory Board was comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa.  She also served as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz.  Her social media outreach includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Cision Seek or Shout, Plaxo, Red Room, Pinterest, and Tripatini.  Be sure to read her food, wine and
culinary digital magazine, TERRY’S SECOND HELPINGS.  You can email her at terrysspabeautywellness@gmail.com.

ALL MATERIALS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

(Photo credits as represented by the specific brand.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

REVIEW ~ Spa 42 Swissôtel Chicago



(A Stunning Spa 42 View)

A few blocks east of the Magnificent Mile, the upscale Swissôtel Chicago now offers guests a restorative experience in its new Spa 42, which opened in the spring of this year.  Spa 42 is an urban oasis from the frenetic pace of day-to-day living.  Located on the forty-second floor, Spa 42 is adjacent to the Fitness Center, which includes a co-ed Pool, and Whirlpool; guests have access to these amenities, plus a spacious Dry Sauna in the shower/locker room area.  Swissôtel Chicago also has the distinction of being the only upscale Swissôtel location in the U.S. http://www.swissotel.com

Spa 42 offers a peaceful setting to its guests in an acoustically perfect setting, where sounds from the cacophony of the outer world can’t permeate the space, nor intrude on their senses, assuring guests an experience that is both restorative and relaxing.  Spa 42 guests can also unwind in the restful Relaxation Area pre or post treatment; post treatment, guests can also order healthy food fare from a specialty Spa Menu.  In addition to the Relaxation Area, there’s also a Facial Room, Massage Room, and Couples Massage Room.  The location of the Fitness Center and Spa 42 offers guests stunning views of Chicago, which further enhances the sensory experience. http://www.swissotel.com/hotels/chicago/spa-fitness/spa-42/

(Fitness Center Co-Ed Pool)

~ The Treatment Experience ~

Jet Lag Recovery Treatment ~ The Jet Lag Recovery Treatment is a full-body, comprehensive relaxation treatment that includes elements of inhalation therapy, dry brushing, moist exfoliation, moist heat compresses, traditional and hot stone massage, and hydration.  Following is a recap of each individual step of this exceptional multi-layered body treatment that was administered to me by the Spa Director.

(Hot Stone Massage Treatment Element)

Step One ~ Inhalation therapy using the Lavender Bath & Body Oil; a few times, I deeply inhale the Bath & Body Oil, which primes my olfactory and stimulates relaxation.  Step Two ~ A dry brushing using Loofah pads in a circular motion, begins the treatment; this helps to stimulate circulation, opens pores, and slough off any dead skin; after the dry brushing, a bit of water is rubbed onto the skin to moisten it and then the pads are used to go over the skin again; moistening the skin helps minimize any irritation, while further priming skin for the next step.  Step Three ~ A thorough application of the Turkish Body Scrub is applied, which is left on the skin to penetrate and hydrate the skin.  Step Four ~ An application of hot compresses onto the skin follows, which intensifies the exfoliation and hydration properties of the Turkish Body ScrubStep Five ~ Using hot toweling, any residue of the Turkish Body Scrub is removed.  Step Six ~ A full body massage follows that combines traditional and hot stone modalities; the Bath & Body Oil is used to thoroughly hydrate the skin and as a carrier oil for the massage strokes.  Once on my back, Fuß Balm is massaged into my feet, which are then covered with hot toweling; my body is also covered with a sheet and warming blanket.  A soothing eye compress is added and my scalp is lightly massaged.  Step Seven ~ After all toweling and covering is removed, a light misting of my body with the Body Spray completes this restorative and indulgent full-body treatment; total treatment time was one hundred twenty minutes.

After the treatment, I spent some time in the Relaxation Area sipping citrus-infused water for re-hydration.  I also enjoyed looking out the windows and feasting my eyes on the fabulous vistas of Chicago, while appreciating being totally relaxed, refreshed, and restored.

~ The Treatment Products ~

All products used in each individual treatment phase were from the iconic Kerstin Florian line, which is based on traditional European formulations of natural and botanical sustainable ingredients; products are gentle, restorative, and replenishing.  Products used throughout the treatment included Turkish Body Scrub, Lavender Bath & Body Oil, Fuß Balm, and Lavender Body Spray. http://kerstinflorian.com

Turkish Body Scrub ~ This extremely gentle and aromatic scrub thoroughly exfoliates while stimulating circulation; provides a mantle of anti-microbial and anti-bacteria cleansing properties as well; calming, balancing, while invigorating the olfactory.  Key ingredients include sea salt, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, cinnamon bark oil, hyssop oil, ravensara oil, safflower oil, and basil oil.  Recommended twice weekly applied to clean moist skin; use circular motions to stimulate circulation; concentrate on dry-prone areas; thoroughly rinse and gently pat dry; not recommended for overly sensitive, irritated or sunburned skin.

Lavender Bath & Body Oil ~ Deeply penetrates while hydrating delicate skin; infuses healing and protective essential oils onto skin.  Absorbs quickly without leaving any greasy or tacky residue.  Key ingredients include organic safflower oil, vitamin E, juniper oil, rosemary oil, fennel oil, and lavender oil.  Highly aromatherapeutic.  Recommended daily use, applied to dry-prone areas; or add a few capfuls to bath water and soak for twenty minutes; not recommended during pregnancy.

Fuß Balm ~ An ideal all-over healing balm that improves circulation, while relaxing sore muscles, legs, and feet; provides wonderful hydration with protective antiseptic properties.  Key ingredients include rosemary oil, pine oil, clove bud oil, lavender oil, cardamom oil, laurel leaf oil, camphor, and menthol.  Quickly absorbed without leaving any greasy or tacky residue.  Highly aromatherapeutic.  Recommended daily use, applied to legs, feet (especially heels), and onto sore muscle areas.

Lavender Body Spray ~ This is a perfect ending to any treatment ritual, or ideal when spritzed on whenever a quick pick-me-up is needed. This mist not only hydrates the skin, but it also imparts an uplifting and stimulating aroma.  Key ingredients include organic aloe leaf juice, jojoba oil, safflower oil, vitamin E, and lavender oil.  Recommended for use daily after showering or bathing; gently pat into moist skin to maximize hydration properties.  

 ~ At-Home Adaptation ~

I’ve always enjoyed taking the spa experience to an at-home experience.  Obviously, not all treatment aspects are adaptable to this type of setting; massage given by a qualified therapist, is much more effective than a person trying to replicate some of the techniques; it’s just not the same; heat related, when an integral part of the experience, is another aspect that is difficult to impossible to replicate; the closes thing to it would be a hot shower or hot soak in the tub, but too much heat can reverse any benefits if done in excess.  How treatment products are adaptive to the home experience is another area of concern, given that many products, excluding those used in this experience, are formulated with high percentages of ingredients where only a qualified and licensed spa professional has access to them, thus making them unavailable on a retail basis to the spa guest.

In terms of the different steps of this treatment, the only ones I wasn’t able to adapt were the hot compresses while lying down on a treatment table and the massage portions.  All other steps adapted well to an at-home setting, including use of these products.  Aspects that adapted well included the inhalation portion of the Body Oil, then the drying brushing, then going into a warm shower to perform the wet brushing, then turning off the water flow and then using the Turkish Scrub; allowing the Scrub to remain on the skin for a few minutes and then rinsing it off, then towel drying, then applying the Bath & Body Oil (for better results, keep the bottle in a container of hot water to heat up the Oil, then applying it to the entire body; rub the Oil gently into the skin, then rub a generous amount of the Fuß Balm onto the feet and cover the feet with either clean cotton socks, or cotton booties; and, to culminate the at-home adaptation of this treatment, spray your body with the Body Oil, and then wrap yourself in a comfy robe.  If you’re fortunate to have a deep enough soaking tub, an ideal pre-treat after the dry brushing is to take a brief soak in a tub of very warm water and do the wet brushing while soaking; then complete the additional steps in your shower.  To further your state of relaxation after your treatment has been completed, take some time to enjoy a freshly brewed cup of calming tea.

~ In Closing ~

Adapting this as an at-home treatment a few times a week is ideal, but if your time is limited, try scheduling it into your busy schedule and make sure to keep this appointment for yourself, even if it’s once a week or every other week.  Relax and savor your at-home experience, remembering to always take some time to invest in yourself.

That’s it for this edition.  Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.

By Terry Herman

TERRY HERMAN is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In the 1990s, she authored an extensive "Glossary of Spa Terminologies" and holds two copyright registrations.  Consumer and trade publications have also interviewed her as an expert.  She also conducted an extensive nationally broadcasted interview tour on aspects of creating an at-home spa, interior design, music, stress and time management.  Her work has been published extensively in print and digital in both consumer and trade publications.  In addition to writing, reviewing and being interviewed as an expert, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.  She also served on the International Advisory Board for the former EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness; the Advisory Board was comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa.  She also served as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz.  Her social media outreach includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Cision Seek or Shout, Plaxo, Red Room, Pinterest, and Tripatini.  Be sure to read her food, wine and culinary digital magazine, TERRY’S SECOND HELPINGS.  You can email her at terrysspabeautywellness@gmail.com.

ALL MATERIALS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

(All photo credits as represented by the specific brands.)