Archive for the ‘Spa Reflections – Experiences, Rituals, History’ Category

Spa Trends to Look for in 2010

Friday, November 20th, 2009

The International SPA Association has just released their spa trends for 2010. As many people looking to 2010 (so that they can forget 2009), this report has been highly anticipated and will most likely change the way spas do business.

  • Social Media –Perhaps you’ve heard of a little website called Twitter? It’s helped to bust open the doors on a marketing revolution, and spas are leading the way. Now, it’s easier than ever for spas to offer up-to-the-minute deals by tweeting or posting a Facebook message. Cancellations are no longer a problem when you can re-book an appointment instantly.
  • Customer Service –Consumers are more aware of every penny spent, and with that comes higher expectations on the level of service they receive. Spas are responding by providing exceptional service and making each visit a customized experience for the guest. In fact, 87 percent of ISPA member spas are utilizing customer feedback mechanisms to ensure they’re exceeding consumers’ needs. And 48 percent of ISPA member spas have implemented customer loyalty programs, allowing them to offer discounts or rewards while incentivizing frequent visits to the spa.
    • Talk Spas-Customer Service for spas will also spread to social media. Many companies are already using social media (twitter) as an added option for customer service. The majority of users also prefer to use a social networking application for their customer service as well.
  • Spa Sampling Menu –Just like ordering tapas at a Spanish restaurant, now you can order up a sampling of spa treatments to try out. These mini services at lower price points are popular ways to get a taste of treatments offered at many spas. With 46 percent of ISPA member spas seeing an increase in shorter (30 minutes or less) treatment bookings, and 86 percent offering shorter treatments, it’s the perfect recipe for consumers seeking small treats to help lift their spirits.
    • Talk Spas- Smaller, shorter spa treatments have been taking off for years, and packaging these treatments together is a growing trend so you get more treatment in less time.
  • Preventive Care –Wouldn’t you rather go to a spa now to learn how to manage stress then end up in a doctor’s office a few years down the road? According to the World Health Organization, by 2020 the top five diseases will all have the underlying contributing factor of stress. Spa treatments like massage, acupuncture, and meditation have been proven to aid in stress reduction and recovery time for pre and post-op patients.
    • Talk Spas- This is another item we have written about as far as back pain is concerned. Keep an eye out for more spa related preventative health posts!
  • Spa Partnerships –Spas are becoming more accessible through partnerships with established franchises, hotels, and local businesses. Recent pairings like Murad Inc. and Massage Envy will allow consumers to enjoy the benefits of a total spa experience for an affordable price. Forty-six percent of ISPA day spa members partner with local businesses to incorporate spa into their workplace. Popular partnerships include: developing wellness programs at local hospitals, accommodating guests at local hotels without spa facilities, and service discount trades between spas and local business employees.
  • Cell Phone Applications –There’s definitely an app for that! Spa-ing is easier than ever with the convenience of doing it from your cell phone. The Four Seasons’ app allows you to browse spa services and check room availability for your next stay. The Hot Springs and Spa Finder – California app will guide you to road-side soaks, spiritual retreats, and commercial spas. Plan a spa vacation from anywhere with Tripology’s app. The Find a Spa app detects your location and displays search results for spas in your proximity.
  • Giving Back –Spas are offering promotions and free services to people who serve the community such as teachers, hospice workers, and military personnel. Some spas are teaming up with local hospitals and providing wellness education to help educate consumers on the spa lifestyle. Community outreach is a great way to generate business and show how easy it is to incorporate spa into your life.
  • The Millennials Take Over –This group now outnumbers the baby boomers, and they are flocking to the spa. They grew up in a culture where taking care of themselves, learning proper grooming techniques and leading a healthy lifestyle were not options, but the norm. Born during the exercise craze of the 1980s, they were the first generation to watch as their parents began turning to spas through the 1990s, when spas experienced significant growth. Spas are reaching Millennials through social media outlets and they are reaping the benefits.
    • Talk Spas- Don’t be shortsighted! We’ve also written about tweens and teens flocking to spas, so get ready for these new markets too and don’t overlook them.
  • Simplified Spa Menus – Everyone is cutting back and spa menus are no exception. You’ll notice fewer treatment options because spas are focusing on the core of their business—results-oriented treatments. No-frills treatments that offer a return on investment are what the consumer is demanding. The No. 1 spa treatment that people seek out worldwide is massage because of its healing and stress-reducing benefits. And the No. 1 reason people go to the spa is to relieve/reduce stress and relax.
    • Talk Spas- It’s better to do a few things great, then to do a bunch of things badly. Focus on your top treatments and cut the rest.
  • Beauty Rest – Catching some zzz’s has never been harder in our sleep-deprived society. The spa makes rest a priority by offering treatments targeted to get you some shut eye. You can actually book time to sleep at the spa or stay after a treatment to nap when you’re feeling relaxed.
    • Talk Spas- Some spas do well with a low price point, hurried approach. If you are not in that market then adding a sleeping treatment or a less hurried approach the way that Lydia Dicello has with her business.

Giving the Gift of Spa – Top 10 Spa Gifts

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Now that Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving looms on the horizon, now might be a good time to start thinking about gifts for the holidays. There are different levels of spa treats you can give to your friends, family or loved ones, depending on how much spa you want to dish out. Here is a top ten list of spa gifts you can start to think about for the holidays!

Boon Flow10. Scented Bath Candles -Scented candles are a nice gesture for a friend or relative that you know will enjoy them while soaking in the bath. Be careful as to who you give this gift too though, as it could appear as a very generic gift for someone that wouldn’t typically enjoy this gift.

9. Bubble Bath DispenserOur favorite bubble bath dispenser is the Boon Flow bubble bath dispenser which also serves as a faucet protector for the kids. This is a great gift that I’m sure your recipient will have never heard of and will enjoy for years to come. Perfect for the bubble bath lover of course!   One of our editors just purchased this product and has told us that this bubble bath dispenser does not produce good bubbles, but it is good as a faucet protector for the kids. 

hydrosol-aromatherapy8. Aromatherapy Hydrosols and Essential Oils – Hydrosols and Essential oils are perfect for those that have a steam shower, or that are serious about relaxing in their bathtub or home spa. This is great gift for a loved one, because then you can actually hand deliver the treatment in a sweet way by drawing the tub for your loved one, starting the steam shower, spraying the hydrosol mist or dripping the essential oils on the steam shower head. Take this gift to the next level by following through and setting your loved one up with a romantic time for relaxation.

7. Thermal Spa Bath Mat – This is another excellent gift for someone that loves to be in the tub. If someone you know spends a lot of time soaking, then let them take their soak to the next level with this Thermal Spa Bath Mat. This gift has an a adjustable neck massager pad, dual back massager, footrest with bubbles, vibration, massage and rotating rollers for sore achy feet, soft, comfortable padding throughout, allover bubbling action with level selector and comes with a remote control.

ugg-slippers6. Slippers -Buying that special someone a new set of very nice slippers is an amazing gift that they can use when indulging in a home spa. This is one gift that you absolutely cannot cheap out on however, because there’s nothing worse than a pair of cheap slippers that only last a month, or worse yet, are never ever comfortable. We recommend a pair of Ugg designer slippers that typically cost around $100 a pair. When you are picking out this gift, make sure you choose between slippers that will be used at home vs. slippers that will be used out, at a day spa.

5. Bath Robe – A nice, new robe can be expensive, but if you really want to give someone something that they would never spend money on for themselves, then a new robe might just be perfect. This is another item you cannot cheap out on, because there is nothing worse than a cheap robe. You will have to spend at least $100 for a good quality robe, and really nice, designer robes are more around $300-500. Robes are perfect gifts for those that like to relax at home and for those that spend a lot of the time in the home spa or master bath.

4. Day Spa Gift Certificate – Now this may seem like a very generic spa gift, but if you get someone a $100-$200 gift certificate to an amazing, high-end spa that is known for its architectural values, treatments and customer service… your gift will be well received. Make sure you don’t just get a gift certificate from some place down the road, and really research the best spas in and around. Nothing is better than sending someone to a swanky, luxury spa that they would normally never get to experience.

girls in sauna3. Spa Party – Most spas now have “Day Spa Party” packages that allow you to buy a gift for one or two people that will also allow them to bring a friend or two. Enjoying the spa with friends or loved ones is a great way to experience a new spa, and the same rules apply from the Day Spa Gift Certificate, make sure it’s a good spa that will leave them with a long lasting memory of delight. You can also have the spa party at home by having the equivalent of a catered “home spa party”. Both of these options will cost you a pretty penny, but are quite the spa experience that will not soon be forgotten.

ThermasolControl2. Hot Tub – Expanding your home spa is not a trivial task, nor is it easy on the wallet but if you’ve just had a major anniversary or are looking to improve your indoor or outdoor space or the retail value of your home, then a new Hot Tub might just be the perfect gift. Picture whether or not many romantic nights will be had in the hot tub before you decide to purchase one, as there’s nothing worse than an expensive gift like a hot tub that never gets used.

1. Steam Shower – The ultimate spa gift is having your own luxury steam shower. A steam shower will bring with it an added luxury that will not only increase the value of your home, but also increase your enjoyment and add endless home spa options to your home relaxation. Steam showers can be affordable, but make sure to have the pros install it if you don’t trust yourself with the installation because no gift should turn into a project gone wrong.

What is Thalassotherapy?

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

The word “Thalassotherapy” comes from the Greek word thalassa, meaning “sea”, which is a type of medical and therapeutic use of sea water and the ocean’s organic byproducts and vegetation such as algae, seaweed or alluvial mud.   The organic properties of seawater are believed to have beneficial effects on the pores of the skin, as well as restoring natural minerals to your body through osmosis. While the therapy is relatively new to the US, the idea of Thalassotherapy is ancient, although the term and therapy itself was discovered in France during the 19th century.

The elements that are used in this type of therapy are as old as the sea. Such elements include magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, and iodide which are all found in seawater and are all absorbed by the skin in showers of warmed seawater, sea mud or algae facials or even a sea fog mist or fog as an inhalent.

There are not many Thalassotherapy spas in the US, but many spas offer a few services such as a seeweed wrap or salt water soak. The Gurney Inn & Spa in Montauk is a true thalassotherapy spa located in New York and has a huge menu of thalassotherapy treatments. These treatments range from everything from Active Green Argilite Mud Therapy, Marine Kur Therapy, Salt Water Massage, Sea Water Herbal Bath to an Algae Slimming Bath and more.

The Cal-a-Vie spa in Vista California offers a Seaweed Wrap which is 105 minutes long and costs $275. This is a signature, 3-phase treatment that begins with a gentle exfoliation made of roots, herbs, minerals and mud devised in
ancient India. Next a nutrient-rich mixture of freeze-dried seaweed, algae and bentonite are appiled before you are wrapped in a warm cocoon of thermal blankets to stimulate tissue toxin release as your face and scalp are soothingly massaged.

(more…)

Spa Night In

Friday, October 30th, 2009

In these shaky economic times, it seems everything’s been flipped upside down. Less is more, small is good, and staying home on a Saturday night is infinitely more chic than an evening at the hottest restaurant du jour. Especially when you light some candles, flip on the iPod, and make it a spa night in!

The key to your delightfully pampered evening at home involves some slight deception and a bit of trompe l’œil. Namely, that of tricking your house into believing it’s a spa! Even if you use your home spa on a regular basis, nothing feels more luxurious than adding little touches of escapism to your everyday space. Doing so really allows you to relax as fully in the environment of your home as you would when going to a spa.

Towel and candlesFirst, start by breaking out the Good Stuff. That’s right – I’m talking capital “G,” capital “S,” Good Stuff. Like towels from Restoration Hardware’s Ultimate Turkish Towel Collection. I promise, you’ll never want to leave your bathroom. And lotions and scents from the skin geniuses at Kiehl’s. The Ultra Facial Cleanser is to die for, but don’t overlook their bath products either, like the Lavender Foaming-Relaxing Bath with Sea Salts and Aloe. Just because it’s spa night in doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself! Here are some other little touches that make a big difference:
• Dazed and Infused. Try adding lemon and cucumber slices to your water pitcher for a delicious (and very spa-esque) touch to your normal H20.
cucumberwater• Eye Love You. While you’re near the fridge, don’t forget to toss your eye mask in to chill – it’s the perfect way to relax at the end of a luxurious spa evening in (and easier too, than cucumbers…which, of course, you’ve used in the water).
• Tune Out. Put together a spa-night-in playlist with songs that bring out the calm in you. And don’t worry if they’re not conventional songs-of-relaxation – Enya isn’t for everybody.
• Food for (Relaxing) Thought. Don’t spend spa night slaving over a stove! Pick up some of your favorite pre-made bites and appetizers and make a home spa spread. Goat cheese, grape leaves, fresh berries, roasted red pepper dip, edamame, and gelato are some of my favorite spa-night-in treats.
• Don’t Be Spa-ntaneous. Spa night loses some of its panache when the kids are watching cartoons upstairs or your spouse has friends over for drinks in the next room. Best to pick your spa night a few weeks in advance, mark it on the calendar, and make sure everyone has an activity to attend to that won’t interfere with your chillaxing.
• You Light Up Your Life. Nothing sets the spa mood more than little beacons of flickering light (especially when they smell like vanilla and clean linen). Dim your main house bulbs, load up on the candles, and put them all around.
• And…break! Now, all you have left to do is, well, relax!

Spa Week NYC 2009 Recap

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Spa Week was just held in New York City this past week (October 12-18) and was a great success. Many came out to treat themselves, or to get a break from the cold and damp weather that New York was receiving and others came out just to try something new.

If you didn’t make an appointment early, then you most likely missed out because everything was booked up weeks in advanced. The good news is that many of spas that were included in Spa Week, and even spas that were not in NYC are now extending the Spa Week $50 offers. If you still are looking to take advantage of these $50 deals then you should call one of the participating spas and you may be able to get the Spa Week deal. One such spa is the Crystal Resort & Spa in Thompsonville Michigan, where they have made all of their treatments $50. The Spa at Westwood in Westwood New Jersey has also extended the $50 deal to all massages and facials and if you’re in the Boston area you can visit the Adara Spa for $50 deals until the end of the month.

Some Spa Week highlights that were mentioned on Twitter include great treatments at a great price by Tribeca Beauty Spa and Haven, successful facials by The Red Door spa. Some people were wishing that every city in the country had a Spa Week while others were trying out new new treatments like eyelash extensions were tested out or going to the Hotel ZaZa for treatments with their girlfriends. Not all the talk was 100% positive as one reviewer tweeted that they had a nice facial but have had better in the past.

All in all it seems to have been a great Spa Week, as many enjoyed excellent treatments at great prices. We’ll be looking forward to the next Spa Week event!

How to Have a Home Spa Party!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

girls in saunaThere are plenty of reasons to have a Home Spa Party, whether it is a birthday party, bachelorette party, bridal shower or even just a great “Girls Night”.  Here are some easy tips to make sure your spa party is off the “robe” hook:

1. Invite The Right People – One sure way to have a good home spa party is to invite the right people. If you’re inviting all your caddy girlfriends, then don’t invite your grumpy old man neighbor because he might just show up. Also, remember not to invite two people that might end up in a hair pulling confrontation (although the men might like to dream about it). The best way to get the people you want to come to your spa party is to send out invitations. Everyone likes a nice, quality invitation… especially to a spa party! You can even attach little soaps or candles to the invitations if you plan on hand delivering them or if you don’t mind spending a few bucks on shipping.

2. Set Up Well Before Hand – There’s nothing worse for you or your guests to have waited to the last minute to get your home spa ready for your party. It is very uncomfortable for both the host and the hostesses to be subject to a mad dash to throw everything together while people wait, or feel obligated to help.

3. Have Door Prizes – Nothing gives a good first impression like free stuff the minute your guests walk through the door. Even if these prizes are as simple as bath salts or aromatherapy essential oils, your guests will appreciate the thought and the time it took you to go to the trouble to get something nice for them.

4. Decorate for Comfort – Make sure you’ve got the decor to please your guests. Now would be a great time to break out a dozen or so of your favorite candles, and you should also set up a few, small intimate seating areas around tables with hand creams, nail polishes and other mani and pedi tools to use while your guests relax and enjoy your hospitality.

5. Provide Spa Food – Don’t forget to surround your guests with plenty of refreshments including bottles of water (which you could print your own labels for), smoothies, small plates of chocolates and candy, fresh fruit and vegetables with delicious dips, or even some caviar or shrimp cocktail on ice if you want to make your cuisine as luxurious as a top resort spa.

6. Spa Music – You should have some soothing natural sounds or new age music playing in the background. If you need help choosing the right music we have an in depth post about spa music with plenty of top sellers here: http://talkspas.com/2009/07/07/music-for-the-spa/

7. Spa Treatments & Activities – Even though keeping company with a close group of friends will often be enough entertainment for a spa party, it never hurts to have professional treatments! You can hire an esthetician, nail technician or masseuse to come to your spa party. Other fun activities could include spa games such as spa trivia, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, or 80’s name that tune.

8. Kid Control – If you have children, or your guests want to bring their children, then make sure you have a kid friendly area set up away from your spa party. Provide the kids with fun activities that will keep them occupied, and make sure an older kid can supervise or else you should hire a sitter. Nothing will ruin a good spa party quicker then kids!  I have children and love them very much, just not at my spa party ;-)

9. Adult Drinks – It’s entirely up to you whether or not you’re going to provide alcohol, but if you do make sure your guest also have plenty of water. Some spa-friendly drinks include alcoholic smoothies, pina coladas, cosmos and pink daiquiris. We’ve compiled a list of spa cocktail recipes that are perfect for your next spa party: Spa Drinks

10. Don’t Forget About Yourself – Even the host has to take a load off and enjoy her own spa party. Make sure to have some food, chat and just have a good time. Some people need to be reminded to take care of themselves, so consider yourself reminded!

When your spa party is over, the fun doesn’t have to end. Put on a chick flick or get a game of cards going if you want to continue to have fun with your guests after the spa portion of your part has ended.

Spa Cocktail Recipes

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

spa-drinksFor many, a nice glass of wine or champagne is the perfect drink for the spa, but if you’re feeling more adventurous, or if you’re having a spa party, then here are some delicious recipes we have collected that are all perfect for “spa” cocktails:

Rainbow Brew

Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz Vodka
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Coconut Rum
2 splashes Peach Schnapps
4 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice

Pour ingredients slowly into a hurricane glass in the above order.

That Cosmo Girl

Ingredients:
1.5 Oz citron or raspberry vodka
.5 Oz fresh lime juice
.5 Oz Triple Sec
1 Oz cranberry juice

Chill a 6-ounce cocktail glass. Fill a cocktail shaker with the ice and add the citron or raspberry vodka, lime juice, Triple Sec, and cranberry juice. Shake vigorously to blend and chill. Strain the mixture into the chilled glass.

Pink Daiquiri

Recipe from www.epicurious.com

Ingredients:
9 Oz white rum
6 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1.5 Tsp grenadine
4.5 Tsp superfine granulated sugar

Stir together all ingredients in a pitcher until sugar is dissolved, then add about 2 cups ice cubes and stir until very cold. Pour daiquiris through a sieve into Martini glasses.

Chocolate Martini

Recipe from www.drinksmixer.com

Ingredients:
1.5 shots Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1.5 shots Creme de cacao
.5 shot vodka
2.5 shots half and half

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Strawberry Pina Colada

Perfect for the Spa! Recipe from www.drinksmixer.com

Ingredients:
1 1/4 oz white rum
1 oz strawberry liqueur
1 oz strawberry puree
1 1/3 oz coconut cream
3 oz pineapple juice
1 tsp whipping cream

Blend briefly with a glassful of crushed ice in a pina colada glass. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry, add straws, and serve.

Diamond Fizz

Ingredients:
1 oz gin
1 tsp lemon juice
sprinkle of powdered sugar
3 oz of chilled champagne

Shake the gin, lemon juice and powdered sugar over ice and strain into an ice filled highball glass.  Top off the glasses with the champagne.  For an extra kick, drop in a couple of frozen raspberries and serve.

Meditation On The Go

Thursday, October 8th, 2009
Urban Meditation

Urban Meditation

Just as exercise is good for the body, and laughter is good for the soul, to achieve a total balance of self, the mind needs something to chew on as well. And while I usually turn to my TiVo for the latest episode of Project Runway to give me my mental fix, I’ve come to realize that perhaps I need a little less reality television and a little more reality to give my brain the calmness it so desperately needs.

Now, I don’t know about you, but between my work life, home life, gym life, and social life (and, of course, Project Runway), there’s not a whole lot of time left to attend to my mental needs. And while a stay in the sauna or a massage never fails to bring my brain some inner peace, I needed to find another outlet – even when I wasn’t spa-bound – to soothe my mind. Meditation on-the-go, here I go!

Meditation is one of the world’s oldest spiritual practices – a proven source of mental and physical healing – and one that usually evokes images of cross-legged people sitting in incense-filled rooms, wearing leotards, and uttering “Ohmm”s to their hearts’ content. Not-so-much-anymore. While many who practice meditation do prefer a quiet, contemplative spot rife with sandalwood, meditation really has less to do with where you are than how you are. And achieving the how can be done even in the midst of a busy life. Are you ready to medi? Let’s do it!

Start off by identifying an activity in your life that brings you inner peace – when you feel calm, serene, unstressed. It could be mile five of your daily treadmill jaunt. Or while brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Are you the designated 10 p.m. dogwalker in your house? Otherwise known as “perfect time to meditate on-the-go”?

Once you’ve nailed down when you can meditate, here are some ways to achieve the how. Meditation revolves around a clearing of the mind and the senses, of finding balance in your thoughts (good and bad), and discovering a sense of peace. Repeating a mantra can help you concentrate your energy – even using something as simple as “I am” can keep you focused and get you in the right mood. Physicality is extremely important in meditation. Sitting is far from necessary, but whatever your position, try to be as attuned as possible to your posture. Walking or standing straight will increase your physical and mental balance. And don’t forget to breathe –deeply!

(Figured I’d give you a second to regain your mental self after your first meditation-on-the-go experience. Intense, I know.)

Meditation can be an amazing addition to your life – in the spa, or out. Try different techniques, times, and places, and see what works best for you. And best of all – when you meditate on-the-go, there’s still time for Project Runway.

Creating an Eco-Friendly Home Spa

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

There are a number of things one can do when remodeling their bath to not only make it more luxurious and spa-like, but to also make the entire process more sustainable and friendly for the environment. Here are some tips that you can use if you are considering a partial or full renovation of your master bath.

  • stone-flooringSustainable Flooring – Let’s start from the ground up! There are all kinds of sustainable flooring options on the market today, everything from sustainable linoleum to bamboo. Bamboo, although not a conventional choice for a bathroom or spa, is a great material to use as it brings a sense of Zen to your space and is also very sustainable. Bamboo grows so fast compared to any other woods, so if you are shopping for any wood products see if they too are offered in bamboo. Other sustainable flooring materials include:
    • Recycled Glass Tiles – They look great and are recycled
    • Linseed Oil Based Linoleum – Acts as a natural antimicrobial flooring
    • Recycled Metal Tiles –  These will add a versatile and textural design element
    • Natural Stone Tiles – One of the best choices for home spas because of their durability and resistance to water. Natural stone tiles will also retain heat, which is an added plus.
  • Caroma ToiletSustainable Fixtures – Luckily, style does not need to suffer when you are picking out a sustainable bathroom sink faucet or shower head for your home spa. There are many to choose from, and you can get sustainable fixtures in many shapes in sizes.
    • Low Flow Shower Head – Pick from hundreds of high end brands of shower heads and hand showers with low flow (but still powerful) streams
    • Low Flow Sink Faucet – Another area where you can save water is with your bathroom sink. The future of your sink may even show us sinks that are piped into the toilet to reuse the greywater
    • Greywater & Low Flow Toilets – Sustainable brands of toilets have made great progress in the past five years or so and dual flush toilets are available nearly everywhere. Now you can get even get a luxury toilet with a greywater sink in the back where the water tank is.
  • Steam ShowerInstall A Steam Shower – Did you know that some steam showers only require a gallon of water for a 20 minute steam bath? The ThermaSol Pro Series Generator is one such steam shower, and was even chosen as the steam shower for the home spa of the Eco Smart home that is currently being built in Florida. (Eco Smart Home Article.)
  • Energy Efficient Lighting – Energy efficient lighting will reduce your electricity bills, while saving valuable natural resources. The most Sustainable Lighting usually relies on LED lighting, but if you don’t want to remove your lighting fixtures you can also purchase CFL lightbulbs (consumer compact fluorescent).
  • Sustainable Wall Treatments – These materials are virtually the same as the flooring, except with your walls you probably wouldn’t use lanolium, and you may also want to just paint. FRESHAIRE is a line of sustainable paints that also promote a healthy life with zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds) being released into the air, providing you with better air quality. You can also use these paints for your vanities or other wood spa decor.
  • Shower curtain – Vinyl shower curtains can also contain VOCs and release them into your indoor air. For a healthy alternative, choose a shower curtain made from hemp, which is not only more healthy, but also sustainable, fungus resistant, and easily washable.
  • Essential OilsBathing Soaps and Products  – Personal bathing products should contain certified organic ingredients. This is particularly critical for all products containing essential oils, as some methods of extraction can include toxic solvents. Not all natural products are created equal and some that are not certified organic can still contain synthetic ingredients, as well as extractions from plants that are heavily contaminated with bacteria, pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
    • Certified Organic Soaps- They smell excellent and are good for you and the environment
    • Certified Organic Bath Gels – Don’t give up soaking in a bubble bath, just find a sustainable bubble bath or bathing gel to enjoy
    • Certified Organic Shampoo – There are many different kinds for all different types of hair, so try a few and find one you like. Organic baby shampoo is also much preferred.
    • Certified Organic Essential Oils – If it’s not a certified organic essential oil then it could potentially harm you. Make sure you don’t sacrifice your health for price.

Crystal Massage Therapy

Monday, September 28th, 2009
Amethyst Wand

Amethyst Wand

We’ve all heard of a hot stone massage, but a crystal massage? When browsing through a new age bookstore, I found a book written on this intriguing massage technique, which relays that massaging with crystals combines the relaxing benefits of massage with the healing vibrations of crystals and can result in an experience that relaxes and balances the whole body. Of course when choosing a crystal to use for the massage it is suggested to use smooth crystals like tumble stones, palm stones, spheres or the smooth end of a wand. One of the best crystals to use is Clear Quartz because of its variety of colors which are said to heal at all levels.

Here are some of the different types of crystals used in holistic therapy and their intended results:

  • Rose Quartz: Helps sooth irritated skin.
  • Amethyst: When used around the temples, forehead, and scalp it is said to relieve headaches.
  • Fluorite: When placed around the sides of the nose, temples, forehead and across the eyebrows it is said to relieve cold and sinus problems.
  • Clear Quartz: When used on the shoulders and shoulder blades it is said to reduce stress.

Where to get this type of treatment:

Crystal Massage

Crystalus Massage

Designed exclusively for Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, the Sodashi Crystalus Massage will leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and balanced in mind, body and spirit. This uniquely Australian treatment uses ancient healing stones and crystals derived from the heart of Sydney. The tiger iron crystal used in this treatment is one of the most energetically grounding stones and emanates a strong calming flow of life-force energy. The massage crystals work deeply into the muscles to relieve physical tension, while the powerful properties of the crystals have a harmonizing effect that re-balances and relaxes the entire body.

Moya Massage

Moya Massage

The Moya Crystal Massage is a signature treatment at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Sanctuary Spa in Cape Town. The treatment begins with an invigorating full body Ayurvedic salt rub, with specifically formulated essential oil blends, followed by a full body massage with warm crystals and facial drainage with cool crystals, to rebalance and re-energize. Breath-work is practiced to calm and soothe before the massage, then there is the placement of crystals on the seven  major chakras, incorporating both crystal healing and color therapy to balance energies and restore well-being. The body is then massaged with warm tigers’ eye crystals using a blend of Moya oils specifically formulated for the client. This is followed by a stress-relieving massage on the décolleté, crystal face drainage and a hair and scalp treatment. A gentle yet effective back massage includes placing the crystals on the 7 chakras again. Feet are then treated with crystal foot drainage.

At Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa in Thompsonville, Michigan their Crystal Balance treatment is an incomparable spa experience.  Prior to your massage you are asked to select an energy stone of your choice that corresponds with the matching vibration oil to be used in your massage. The warmed oil and guided deep breathing, along with a blend of massage techniques and hot basalt stones, release stress and slow down your mind, bringing you back into balance. The massage concludes with a calming, vibration sound used to usher in a deep, peaceful state.


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