Archive for May, 2009

The Sound of Peace

Most people associate instrumental and New Age music with meditation and relaxation, which is one reason spas utilize this music in treatment rooms and relaxation areas. I’ve come to realize, however, that listening to this soothing music can also be beneficial while doing work, reading, or just getting ready in the morning, which is what I’ve become accustomed to. Every morning when I wake up, I turn the television on to Comcast’s Music Choice channel called Soundscapes. Unlike the news, which is often depressing, starting my morning with the soothing sounds of nature and musical instruments, puts my mind at ease and helps me begin the day with a calm mind and spirit. Here are two newly released instrumental CDs that are sure to leave you and your mind feeling safe and sound.

anne-trenningInstrumental pianist Anne Trenning decided to call her album Watching for Rain (Shadetree Productions, 2009) as a metaphor indicating a time of hopeful anticipation, in other words, “for rain to come and refresh the earth, for growth and positive change to occur.” This album is sure to provide spiritual inspiration for all who listen to it.

lisa-lynneTwo Worlds One (New Earth Records, 2009) by Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter is an instrumental album featuring the Celtic folk harp and Swedish nyckelharpa combined with the rich sounds of acoustic instruments to create heartfelt songs such as “Gone Away” and “Walk With Me.”

Spa Claremont Promotes Weekday Wellness

tibetan-spa-treatmentclaremontSpa Claremont at The Claremont Resort & Spa (Berkeley, CA) is giving clients a reason to pamper themselves all week long with the Weekday Wellness services. Available Monday through Thursday beginning June 1, Spa Claremont will offer a different signature treatment for $99 each day, designed to soothe and improve the mind and body. On Face It Mondays, clients can receive a Ginseng Herbal Facial; on Tips to Toes Tuesdays, a classic manicure and pedicure is offered; on Wrap Up Wednesdays, clients can indulge in the Moor Than Mud Body Wrap; and on Therapeutic Thursdays, clients can ease aches and pains with the Therapeutic Massage.

In addition, when clients come in for a Weekday Wellness service, they are
invited to partake in the Pre-Spa Hydrotherapy Ritual, which is a
combination of water-based treatment to help spa-goers increase circulation
and awareness and intensify the effects of treatments. While this promotion
is a great deal for all spa-goers, stay-at-home moms get even more for their
money because the resort offers complimentary childcare for up to three
hours with each spa treatment booked. Now that’s what I call money well
spent!

Bad Hair Days

basics_mainI’ve always been a no-muss, no-fuss kind of girl, which means that any hairstyle requiring more than a rudimentary brushing is definitely not for me. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally pull out the hairdryer and treat my tresses to their fair share of damage. However, considering the fact that my typical styling routine is limited to no more than five minutes a day, I’d like to think the harm I’m causing is minimal. According to a recent Dove Hair Care Study, it looks like my low-maintenance routine may be the way to go. Conducted by research consulting firm Strategy One, the online survey involving 1,000 women between the ages of 18 and 64 found that, on average, their daily hair routine took approximately 35 minutes, 30 of which were spent on damage-causing activities. Unfortunately, hair brushing (of which I engage daily) topped the list with 82 percent of the women reporting they brush daily, if not more. Sixty percent of the women blow dry, curl, or flat iron their hair at least once a week, which can cause up to 33 percent more damage. Ponytail holders, used by nearly half the respondents, also proved to be a major culprit when it comes to causing damage. While I don’t foresee many women giving up their blow dryers or flat irons any time soon, there are no shortage of products available to treat the breakage, split ends, and damage caused by every day styling. With that in mind, no one need ever suffer another bad hair day.

Red Mountain’s Zion Celebration

Mt. Zion National ParkZion National Park

Red Mountain Resort & Spa (St. George, UT) is throwing a birthday bash of sorts in honor of Zion National Park’s 100th anniversary with the Zion National Park Adventure package. This four-day, three-night package, which starts at $259 per person per night, allows resort guests to enjoy the majesty of the stunning national park with a number of cool perks, including a complimentary day trip to Zion, as well as with deluxe accommodations, three daily meals, complimentary fitness classes and hikes, and more. The resort is also offering a few Zion-themed specials, including hikes, bike, rides, and Tai Chi in the midst of the Park’s stunning red rocks. It’s a great way to combine a creative marketing promotion with the bounty of the region. What are you doing to capitalize on your spa’s locale? Email us at spablog@americanspamag.com, and we’ll post your tips here.

Taking the Plunge at Spa Montage

The sauna, Jacuzzi, cold plunge, and steam at Spa Montage.

The sauna, Jacuzzi, cold plunge, and steam at Spa Montage.

I recently spent a weekend on the west coast in the OC at the divine Montage Laguna Beach. My arrival was prefaced with cross-country air travel, an hour drive in traffic, and a recent month-long bout with insomnia. So when I was invited to kick off my weekend with the Art of Spa experience at Spa Montage, I was intrigued—but a little scared. The signature service involves a guided circuit between heat in the sauna, steam, and Jacuzzi and a cold plunge. While I realize that shuttling between hot and cold experiences is great for your circulation and overall health, I hate being cold and was not looking forward to dunking myself several times in a chilly plunge pool. But after spending some time with my therapist and guide, the lovely Diane Okamura, I was ready to dive right in. The contrast between the heat and the cold wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be—I actually felt quite invigorated and refreshed. And as Diane promised, I slept like a baby for the first time in weeks. In fact, she convinced me to end all of my future showers with a blast of cold water, something I never thought I would do. But my hair and skin look better, and I’m definitely catching a lot more zzz’s. I’ll be writing more about my incomparable Spa Montage experience in an upcoming issue. We’ll also give you the scoop on the newest Montage outpost—Montage Beverly Hills, so stay tuned!

SpaFinder Reflects on Sunscreen Use

SpaFinder's "I Will Reflect" bracelets

SpaFinder's "I Will Reflect" bracelets

It finally feels like spring in New York City. The sun is shining bright and it seems like everyone is trying to enjoy the outdoors today. I decided to leave my coat in the office as I went outside to grab some lunch, and while I admit that the warm sun felt great, it was also a reminder that I did not apply sunscreen this morning.

Some people, like me, sometimes need a reminder to apply sunscreen before going outdoors, which is what makes SpaFinder’s Melanoma Initiative “I Will Reflect” photosensitive wristbands so cool. These bracelets change color from white to a shade of purple when exposed to harmful UVA rays in hopes the wearer will apply sunscreen immediately. In addition, the bracelet features the Melanoma Initiative’s motto, “I Will Reflect,” and includes these five melanoma prevention tips in the bracelet’s packaging:

1. Be sun and skin smart
2. Wear sunscreen year round
3. Use a minimum of SPF 15 sunscreen, providing UVA protection
4. Have an annual full-body mole check
5. Share this important message with others

What’s more, proceeds from the bracelets go toward melanoma research and programs that raise awareness of this disease. For more information on the “I Will Reflect” bracelets, visit www.spafinder.com.

Bliss Gives its Marketing a Java Jolt

Bliss-sponsored coffee-cup sleeves are an innovative way of product sampling.

Bliss-sponsored coffee-cup sleeves are an innovative way of product sampling.

I stepped out for a quick break today and picked up a cup of tea across the street. Turns out that I could not escape the spa world for even five minutes because what was on the hot cup’s sleeve? An ad for Bliss! Smiling back at me was one of the spa’s signature whimsical designs along with a message, “Wake up and smell the coffee. Your skin needs protection to face the day.” The back of the sleeve also offered a deal—if people bring in the sleeve into a Bliss spa or a Sephora store, they would receive a free sample of the line’s Best of Skintentions SPF 15 Daily Moisturizer, while supplies last. Clever marketing moves such as this are the key to surviving this delicate economy. If you can attract one new customer or convince one more person to walk into your spa or try your product, then any effort you’ve made is worthwhile. Email us at spablog@americanspamag.com and let us know about any innovative marketing ideas you’ve recently employed.

On the Road With Dermalogica

Jane Wurwand Talks CoolBrands

Jane Wurwand talks CoolBrands.

Nowadays, it’s easy to get bogged down with the doom-and-gloom of bad economic news, so it is downright refreshing to encounter someone with a positive and proactive outlook. Last week, I attended Dermalogica’s 16th-annual May Education Week at the company’s Carson, CA, headquarters, and after sitting in on some great sessions and talking to company founder Jane Wurwand, I found it almost impossible not to adopt an optimistic outlook.

In spite of (or perhaps because of) the current recession, Jane and her team at Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute are keeping the company’s focus on education and providing clients with the knowledge they need to help their businesses thrive. As such, more than 120 educators from more than 50 countries were flown to California for a week of classes, bonding, networking, and fun. The main message? The spas, skin clinics, and salons that are thriving in this economy are the ones that are being proactive and pushing limits.

May Week classes offered tips for building business, spelled out the importance of retail, and filled attendees in on the latest in technology, treatments, techniques, and more. The event ended with a very inspirational presentation by Jane herself on CoolBrands. For the fourth year in a row, Dermalogica has been named one of the U.K.’s favorite brands for its style, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability, and uniqueness. The company was also part of the annual book, CoolBrands, an Insight Into Some of Britain’s Coolest Brands, sharing the spotlight with H&M, Aston Martin, Vivienne Westwood, and other hip companies.

Dermalogica has always been an effective, original brand, and I think we could all learn from Jane’s philosophy: “A therapist should give a client a treatment, not just a treat.”

Fake Bake Offers a Healthier Way to Tan

Fake Bake offers a range of self-tanning products.

Fake Bake offers a range of self-tanning products.

I must admit I’ve never been a sun worshipper despite growing up in a house full of them. Instead, I was the girl lecturing everyone in the neighborhood about the hazards of going without sunscreen. Annoying, I know, but true. I once called home for a quick catch-up session with my mom to discover that she had put my 10-year-old sister in the tanning bed to get a little color. (Don’t even get me started on the fact that she owned a tanning bed.) Outraged, I immediately launched into my well-rehearsed speech. Before I could get very far, she cut me off with an exasperated, “I don’t want her to burn when we’re on vacation.” Realizing I wasn’t changing anyone’s behavior, I eventually gave up my lecturing ways. I mean if they didn’t care about getting melanoma or aging prematurely, why should I? Of course that didn’t keep me from avoiding a tan at all costs. I’m still the girl who spends a week trekking through the desert and comes back as pale as she left. Well, this week I decided to change all that after receiving an invitation to experience a spray tan from Fake Bake, a healthy sunless tanning brand. Popular with celebs such as Kelly Ripa, Denise Richards, and Eliza Dushku, Fake Bake offers a natural-looking tan without the harmful effects of the sun. Containing no dyes, the products are now organically based and paraben-free. Although I was bit concerned to find my usually pale skin getting increasingly darker as the day wore on, I soon embraced my new healthy glow. While I have no plans to give up either my SPF 75 or shade-seeking status anytime soon, I certainly won’t hesitate to fake it next time I want to add a little color to my complexion.

Six Senses Drinks to Protecting the Earth

Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay in Vietnam

Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay in Vietnam

It seems like nowadays everyone is thinking green and looking to do their part in protecting the environment. Even the smallest changes in behavior can make a big impact on the Earth. Six Senses Resorts & Spas (various locations) has decided to do its part by discontinuing a range of trendy imported drinking water at all properties because shipping the water to great distances by air results in considerable and unnecessary carbon emissions. Six Senses made this decision as part of its move toward a greater use of local and seasonal produce to reduce carbon footprints and add value to community partnerships.

Six Senses drinking water is available in sparkling, still, and local water, and is processed on site at each of the group’s resorts using the Classic Crystal system. The system involves reverse osmosis, ultraviolet purification, remineralization, and aeration being added to the sparkling water. Water is then bottled in glass, which is costly, but it prevents crossover contamination. “We surveyed many guests across all our properties and held blind taste-testings with Six Senses water,” says Jamie Waring, chief operating officer of Six Senses Resorts & Spas. “The results were quite surprising with many people not able to distinguish between their favorite trendy water and the Six Senses water. And once the environmental implication of introducing our own water was made clear to them, the overwhelming consensus was one of full support for the initiative.” Six Senses Resorts & Spas proves that reducing your carbon footprint on this planet can truly be done one small step at a time.

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