Spa Glossary: Unlocking the Mystery of Reiki

By Shelby Jones, ISPA

Some spa treatments are a bit harder to explain than others. For most people Reiki would fall into the “I don’t know what that is, so I’m going to avoid it” category. We’d like to take this opportunity to change your mind (we’ve always loved a challenge). [Read more...]

Spa Glossary: It’s National Yoga Month

By Shelby Jones, ISPA

We all know the benefits of exercise, but when you combine that with meditation, stretching and a balanced diet you’re living what we call… a healthy spa lifestyle. September is National Yoga Month (as a pre-cursor to Spa Week Oct 10-16, of course) and spas around the country are offering classes to help you de-stress and clear out your mind. Stress is the No. 1 reason people go to the spa worldwide, and yoga is frequently a part of stress-reduction programs. If you need a reason to start stretching it might help to know that yoga helps improve muscle tone, flexibility and mobility, reduces stress and anxiety, and induces a sense of well-being.

According to ISPA’s research, yoga is the most popular mind, body and spirit treatment offered by spas; in fact, one in two resort/hotel spas offer these types of treatments. ISPA’s Medical Advisor, Dr. Brent Bauer, the director of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic recommends yoga and meditation for reducing stress. Dr. Bauer says, “When you slow your breathing through meditation, your autonomic nervous system (which plays a role in our ‘fight or flight’ response and also allows us to rest) slows down and you get a great relaxation response.”

Now that you know what yoga can do for you it’s time to find the type of yoga (there are several) for your lifestyle. Some of the more popular types of yoga include:

Ashtanga

This type of yoga was developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009), and involves synchronizing the breath through a series of postures. It’s also sometimes called power yoga and can be physically intense.

Bikram

This form of yoga is also known as hot yoga. Popularized in the 1970’s by Bikram Choudhury, it includes a set of 26 postures performed in a room heated to 105°. The heat allows for deeper stretching and injury prevention.

Hatha

A branch of yoga introduced in 15th century India. This is the most basic form of yoga and focuses on slow breathing and meditation. This is a great class to try if you are a beginner.

Iyengar

Developed in India by B.K.S. Iyengar, this type of yoga focuses on body alignment. Poses are held for a longer period of time to concentrate on proper placement.

Vinyasa

Literally translated this form of yoga means breath-synchronized movement. Your movements are matched to your breathing patterns. This is a more intense class, so seasoned yogis will want to check it out.

If you want to learn more about different spa treatments visit ISPA’s spa glossary at experienceispa.com.

Shelby Jones is based in Lexington, KY at the ISPA headquarters, Spa Week’s exclusive trade partner. She has worked as ISPA’s Public Relations Manager for five years where she connects with top media outlets to promote ISPA members and the spa lifestyle. To get in touch with Shelby please email her or follow @ISPADoYou on Twitter. If you’re in the spa industry, we encourage you to become a member of ISPA; weekly e-mails with pointers like these are just one small part of the package to help you succeed!

Spa Glossary: Vichy Shower

By Shelby Jones, ISPA

Showers can be so boring. You lather, rinse, repeat… and repeat every single day. If you’re looking for the ultimate shower experience (and we know you are) then head to your local spa for a Vichy shower. This shower offers you a chance to relax through the healing element of water instead of rushing to get out of the door.

You might be surprised to learn you can actually get a decent massage from water jets, but it’s true. The Vichy shower is also used in many mud-related treatments since it’s a relaxing way to rinse off. The Kohler Waters Spa in Kohler, Wisconsin (participating in Spa Week this Fall) is an excellent example of a spa that’s made a name for itself by utilizing water elements in its treatments.

A Vichy shower treatment uses several water jets of varying temperatures and pressures that are applied while lying on a waterproof cushioned mat. It’s often followed by exfoliating treatments like a salt-glow scrub. And, just because it’s a shower doesn’t mean you have to be naked. A towel is draped over your lower body at all times, and your therapist will never compromise your modesty.

Deep Sea Spa-ing, including Vichy Showers, is one of Spa Week’s top 10 treatment trends for Fall 2011.

If you want to learn more about different spa treatments visit ISPA’s spa glossaryat experienceispa.com.

Shelby Jones is based in Lexington, KY at the ISPA headquarters, Spa Week’s exclusive trade partner. She has worked as ISPA’s Public Relations Manager for five years where she connects with top media outlets to promote ISPA members and the spa lifestyle. To get in touch with Shelby please email her or follow @ISPADoYou on Twitter. If you’re in the spa industry, we encourage you to become a member of ISPA; weekly e-mails with pointers like these are just one small part of the package to help you succeed!

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Spa Glossary: Do You Watsu?

By Shelby Jones, Public Relations Manager, ISPA

With temperatures soaring around the country the only outdoor activity anybody seems to be interested in is lounging in a pool. If you’re in search of a break from the heat and a little relaxation, we know the perfect treatment: Watsu.

Watsu is a massage that uses shiatsu techniques and is performed completely in water. Since the body is weightless when submerged you can move more freely and manipulate limbs more easily. A therapist supports your body and gently stretches and massages you as you continually move through the water. You ears will be submerged but your nose and mouth will stay above the water.

Harold Dull is credited with formulating the technique in the early 1980s. While it’s not widely available at most spas, only about two percent of spas offer it in the U.S. (ISPA 2010 U.S. Spa Industry Study), it’s a great treatment to try anytime of the year. As Watsu gained popularity, several similar techniques were formed including water dance where the client is submerged, healing dance which incorporates dance techniques in the water and the Jahara Technique that utilizes flotation devices.

Many people find Watsu helpful if they are recovering from an injury, need to relieve muscle and joint pain or want to gain flexibility. We’re willing to bet that Rodney Dangerfield had a few Watsu sessions before performing his famous Triple Lindy.

If you want to learn more about different spa treatments visit ISPA’s spa glossary at experienceispa.com.

If you’re in the spa industry, we encourage you to become a member of our partner ISPA; weekly e-mails with pointers like these are just one small part of the package to help you succeed!

Shelby Jones is based in Lexington, KY at the ISPA headquarters, Spa Week’s exclusive trade partner. She has worked as ISPA’s Public Relations Manager for five years where she connects with top media outlets to promote ISPA members and the spa lifestyle. To get in touch with Shelby please visit experienceispa.comemail her or follow @ISPADoYou on Twitter. If you’re in the spa industry, we encourage you to become a member of ISPA; weekly e-mails with pointers like these are just one small part of the package to help you succeed!

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Spa Glossary: The Anatomy of a Facial

By Shelby Jones, Public Relations Manager, ISPA

It can be hard to know which type of facial to get when there’s a menu’s worth of offerings at your favorite spa. It all depends on how your skin feels, how it reacts to certain ingredients and what you want to accomplish. Celebrities like Madonna love an oxygen facial while supermodels Gisele Bündchen and Kate Moss opt for a deep-cleanse. If you’re clueless, it’s best to book a consultation with an esthetician to help you figure out exactly what your skin needs.

Some facials include extractions, where blackheads and whiteheads are manually removed from the skin. There is some debate amongst estheticians whether extractions should be done or not. It’s best to talk to your therapist before you begin your treatment to determine if extractions are right for your skin.

Deep-Cleansing Facial

This facial involves the use of machines or manual techniques to open pores, extract blackheads by hand, purify skin, close pores and revitalize skin. You should consider this type of facial if you have acne, or during warmer weather when skin can become more oily and prone to flare-ups. Read: Man’s First Spa Day and Facial


Microdermabrasion

This treatment is used to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin, treat hyperpigmentation and reduce or remove scars. It’s a popular cosmetic procedure where the face is sprayed with abrasive crystals to remove dead cells. In fact, of the medical services offered at spas, microdermabrasion is the most popular (ISPA 2010 U.S. Spa Industry Study). Microdermabrasion can help to reduce fine lines and age spots. It can be performed in less than an hour, so you can get back to your normal routine immediately following the treatment. Read: 4-step Microdermabrasion in NYC.

Photo-facial/Intense Pulse Light Therapy

Photo-facial or Intense Pulse Light (IPL) therapy ranks fifth among the medical services offered at spas in the U.S. (ISPA 2010 U.S. Spa Industry Study). It works to stimulate the deeper tissues of the skin with concentrated light. This is a great treatment if you have redness, light acne scars, rosacea, broken capillaries or hyperpigmentation. Best of all, it’s a quick treatment that can be done on a lunch break so you can return to work after it’s over. Watch: IPL treatment in Spa Merge’s Organic Plant Stem Cell Facial.

Oxygen Facial

An oxygen facial delivers pure oxygen at a high pressure and anti-aging serum through an airbrush to the face. This treatment stimulates the skin so new collagen growth can occur. It’s designed to plump and smooth the face immediately. It’s perfect if you have a big event to attend or if you’re planning to have your photograph taken. Read: An alternative type of oxygen facial at The Pod Spa.

If you want to learn more about different spa treatments visit ISPA’s spa glossary at experienceispa.com.

Shelby Jones is based in Lexington, KY at the ISPA headquarters, Spa Week’s exclusive trade partner. She has worked as ISPA’s Public Relations Manager for five years where she connects with top media outlets to promote ISPA members and the spa lifestyle. To get in touch with Shelby please visit experienceispa.comemail her or follow @ISPADoYou on Twitter. If you’re in the spa industry, we encourage you to become a member of ISPA; weekly e-mails with pointers like these are just one small part of the package to help you succeed!