Announcing: Spa Week® 2012 Official Dates

Happy, healthy New Year to you! Let’s take a look back: In 2010, over 150 million Americans visited the spa (according to ISPA). We are still waiting on the exact numbers for 2011, but with the growth of the industry reported in ISPA’s 2011 report, we’re pretty sure a lot more of you experienced the wonderful healing powers of the spa this past year. How many times did you visit the spa in 2011? An even better question: how often do you plan to take some time out for yourself and visit the spa in 2012? We’re hoping you resolve to make regular spa trips a integral part of your health and wellness regime in 2012! Or, at least twice a year…

In support of your 2012 wellness goals, Spa Week is here (and has been since 2004) to help you keep your healthy spa-going resolution with our bi-annual national events, when thousands of spas across North America offer their most coveted health and wellness treatments for just $50 each. And – for the first time ever – Spa Week’s directory of participating spas and their $50 treatment offerings will launch not 4, but 5 weeks in advance of the week-long event so EVERYONE will have enough time to choose and book the treatment(s) of their choice, and ample time to get ready and excited.

Mark your calendars! The 2012 event dates are as follows:

SPRING 2012 SPA WEEK®: April 16 – 22

The directory of participating spas and treatments will launch on March 12, 2012 at spaweek.com, when you can start to book your appointments directly with the spa.

FALL 2012 SPA WEEK®: October 15 – 21

The directory of participating spas and treatments will launch on October 10, 2012.

Make sure you’re subscribed to the Spa Week newsletter and stay tuned to Spa Week Daily too for all your Spa Week® news and updates. See you at the spa!

Stop and Smell the Essential Oils

By Shelby Jones, ISPA

A fresh, invigorating and instantly calming scent fills your nose as soon as you walk through the door – you must be at the spa. You know the smell, it’s the aroma of well-being. Everyone wants to re-create that scent and take it home. The good news is – you can!

Essential oils used in treatments like massage, facials, body wraps and hydrotherapy baths (pretty much anything on the spa menu) have been used for thousands of years. This ancient healing art dating back to 4,500 B.C. is better known as aromatherapy.

In aromatherapy, plants, leaves, bark, roots, seeds, resins and flowers are used to create essential oils that not only smell fantastic but have healing powers. The oils are used to treat emotional disorders, organ dysfunction and skin problems through a variety of internal and external application techniques. The best part is that they smell fantastic since most of the oils are extracted from rosemary (memory booster), lavender (stress reliever), roses (fights depression and anxiety), chamomile (antiseptic and acne fighter), eucalyptus (enhances concentration and helps with respiratory issues) and peppermint (digestive aid).

One of the most popular treatments in spas today is an aromatherapy massage, offered by 85 percent of U.S. spas that have massage offerings (ISPA 2011 U.S. Spa Industry Study).  A lot of these same spas sell essential oils so you can take the experience home.

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!

Gorgeous on a Dime: A Guide to Spa Week’s Most Popular Massages

By Jenna Nicole Levine

Speaking as someone with a high pressure job who drinks too much coffee, stress is an aspect of my daily life that is hard to avoid. Work, social, and financial pressure can translate to increased risk of illness, ulcers, and depression (and people constantly saying my favorite sentence, “Wow you look tired!”) While it is impossible to cut out all the stress in your busy life one of the easiest ways to ease the effects is massage therapy. Stress is the #1 reason Americans go to the spa. Not only does a massage relieve the initial feeling of stress, but it also relieves the most pressing symptoms stress causes, such as stiffness, lack of energy, and insomnia.  In addition, a good massage can improve posture, increase circulation, and lower blood pressure.  The best part is that with Spa Week right around the corner you now have the ability to get an A+ massage for only $50!

If you are a little overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the Spa Week menu, below are a few of the most popular massages available, and the benefits that come with them.

 

1. Swedish Massage

The Swedish massage is the most popular type of massage in the West, and a great introduction to massage for all you newbies out there.  During a Swedish massage the therapist uses oils combined with a series of stokes to relieve tension, break up muscles knots, and increase circulation.  Before you start your session tell your therapist of any injuries you may have, and what you are looking to achieve from your session.

(Try: the 50 Min October Harvest Swedish Massage with Choice of Cinnamon-Ginger Essential Oils or Cranberry Body Butter at The Spa at Boncaldo’s in Quincy, MA)

 

2. Hot Stone Massage

The basic principal of the hot stone massage is simple. The therapist uses smooth heated stones in varying shapes and sizes to loosen your muscles and aid in the flow of energy. This is generally accompanied by a Swedish massage to increase circulation and promote healing.  Additionally, the heat from the stones allows the therapists to work more quickly and efficiently because it loosens your muscles for them. It’s a win/win for all.

(I, personally, will be getting my Spa Week Hot Stone Massage at Magdalen’s Pure Skincare in Rockville, M.D.)

 

3. Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy massage relies on essential oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus to either promote healing, breathing, or relaxation. The therapist can tailor their treatment based on the experience you wish to have during your session. Aromatherapy has been shown to relieve the symptoms of asthma and can even assist in the prevention of hair loss. It’s the most relaxing Rogaine on the market.

(TRY: 90 Min Body Massage, with Choice Aromatherapy… or Thai Traditional Yoga Massage, Japanese Shiatsu, Thai Deep Tissue,  Thai-Oil Combination Therapy or Foot Reflexology at Bahn Sabai Day Spa in Los Angeles, CA)

4. Acupressure Massage

Acupressure follows the same principals of acupuncture in which the therapist applies pressure to certain meridian points of the body to relieve pain. The only real difference between these two Ancient Chinese practices is acupuncture uses needles, while acupressure uses the gentle but firm pressure of the hand.

(TRY: Both acu-pressure and -puncture with the 60 Min Acupuncture with Cupping and Auricular Acupressure at Cinnabar Acupuncture Clinic & Spa in San Diego, CA)

5. Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles and is great for those with persistent pain and a physical lifestyle (if you are a runner or a mom who is constantly holding a 10 pound infant this is for you).  Deep tissue is often confused with deep pressure which involves sustained strong pressure throughout the full body, and not to address a specific area.

(TRY: 50 Min Customized Massage with Choice of Deep Tissue, Trigger Point, Relaxation or Muscle Therapy Techniques and Warm Foot Cleanse at one of the 78 LifeSpa locations participating)

Visit Spa Week for a list of the participating spas in your area, and remember Spa Week is the perfect time to get YOUR well deserved massage. On top of your massage why not indulge in a facial, some laser hair removal, or a spray tan. As Michelle always says, make it a spa adventure! This week is designed for you to pamper yourself at a low cost, so take advantage and take care of yourself.

Jenna Nicole Levine is a native New Yorker turned Washingtonian. When she isn’t writing about ways to save you cash on your favorite beauty treatments, you can find her living the low cost life. To read more from Jenna Nicole please visit Woman Around Town, Gal Time, or just stop by and say hello on her twitter @Jenna_Nicole.

Going Green at the Spa – What’s the Big Deal?

By Kristen Arnett, Green Beauty Team

In hectic cities like New York, spa go-ers are looking for a relief from the stresses of urban life.  In just about every place, not only big cities, people want to feel transported from their daily discomforts to somewhere tranquil.

Many spas are constantly searching for unique and exotic treatments from all over the world such as Bali, Hawaii, Thailand, Iceland, etc. to include in their menus.   The sensory experience of having treatments with birch branches, flowers, honey, mud, stones and other natural elements has become an incredibly popular way of creating the feeling of leaving city, if not the country, for a brief but precious time.

As spas continue to look to Mother Nature and older traditions of various cultures for healing treatments (two trends that are very popular this fall), they inevitably become more “green” in their approach. What’s interesting is to hear each spa’s reason(s) for choosing  to walk the eco path.  Some began as described above, others purely wanted to save on utilities such as water and energy, and some want to separate from the pack by offering holistic services, and others because they had an automatic desire to practice conscious methods.

As a spa-enthusiast, I am a complete pushover for pampering treatments, pools of thermal and fresh waters, and just about every type of massage available.  Since I’ve started paying more attention to the importance of incorporating natural, holistic ingredients in beauty products both personally and professionally, finding spas that share my values has become a priority.

I have this reoccurring fantasy that in some remote place an attentive farmer is carrying a straw basket in a pristine field harvesting herbs, flowers and plants that will be mixed together in a unique batch of an organic skin potion and sent to the very spa I am attending. A dreamy feeling takes over as I imagine that these fresh botanicals will renew me with the purity of air and soil in which they were grown.

Thankfully that fantasy is actually a reality in green spas all around the world. Take for instance the often-ignored state of Wisconsin, mostly known for its dairy products. It’s the home of two beautifully green facilities, the Aspira Spa and Kohler Waters Spa (participating in Spa Week this Fall!).

From the edges of a lake, on what is said to be sacred Native American land, staff from the Aspira Spa collect flowers and tree branches used in their chakra balancing treatments. Over at Kohler, the spa invested a $12,000 to create an underground piping system that would utilize the hot water from their production facility (where they make the kitchen accoutrements we are so used to seeing at Home Depot) to heat the water in their spa facility in order to save over 3.2 million gallons of water annually.

As part of the experience of feeling well-cared for and relaxed, a growing number of consumers want to know the spa they visit incorporates complete well-being from the products they use, to how the therapists approach their practice, to how eco-conscious the facility is.

A few years ago, it was difficult to locate “green” spas, but thankfully with sites like Spa Week, this rapidly growing class of spas is now much easier to find and enjoy.

International makeup artist Kristen Arnett has been immersed in the world of beauty for over 14 years, with roles ranging from product development to high-profile fashion work. As a beauty educator, she appears on television, writes articles, speaks and trains people around the globe. Now Kristen is focusing her talents and personal ethics to educating people everywhere about “Green Beauty,” and how they can choose products that are not only effective as cosmetics, but also beneficial to the skin. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of GreenBeautyTeam.com, Kristen is respected in fashion circles worldwide for her skill at enhancing beauty without the need for harmful chemicals and has been featured in Whole Living Magazine, Kiwi Magazine and on Style.com, to name a few.From the runway to real life, Kristen is looking to make a positive difference in how people of all ages consider their own self-care.

ARIA Las Vegas: All You Ever Wanted in A Spa

By Mary Rambin

To me, Vegas is more than poker and all-night parties. I’m really only there for Spearmint Rhino. Kidding! I like to spend all night wining and dining at one of the many fabulous restaurants and all day melting away at the luxurious spas. For years I’ve headed straight to Canyon Ranch on the top of the Venetian. If you’re a “spaddict” and haven’t experienced one of their resorts (Michelle blogged Canyon Ranch Miami last winter), you’re missing out. However, when the Aria finally opened, I thought such a expansive property must have a spa facility to knock my robe off.

I will not tell a lie and say their spa is THE BEST on the strip, but what I can tell you, is that you can pinch EVERY PENNY out of your treatment fee.

Let me explain. I called ahead to see what facilities (steam room, sauna, etc) they have. The kind receptionist said, “you will have access to the pool, the gym, and all of the specialty rooms.” SCORE!  My 5 star hotel, I won’t name names, had a small gym and no pool to speak of (if you know Vegas, you’ll guess it). So I planned to spend my whole day at the Aria for the price of one massage!

First I hit the gym. As an avid gym rat, I’m not happy without at least an hour workout to detox after a night of heavy Vegas intox. Most gyms in Vegas will charge you an entrance fee, even if you’re a guest of the hotel. More importantly there are two unique qualities to this gym: natural light floods through the wall of glass AND it’s populated. Other people are there working out so I could fuel myself off of their motivation. Because let’s be honest, in Vegas, no one really wants to be in the gym. The equipment is new and clean, and even had a legit spinning bike for me to conquer my cardio. If you really need an extra kick in the butt, they also offer group fitness classes.

I’m sure you’ve guessed my next move was to the pool where I ordered a lime beverage to recharge my energy (gatorade, margarita, they’re the same color). An hour nap by the pool would have been nice, but I decided to people watch instead. It’s Vegas; the crazy characters walking around there are priceless!

When I went up to the spa itself, I found it to be modern and minimal. Spas these days don’t really have an ambiance, have you noticed? I slipped on my delicious robe and found my way to the steam room where I sprawled out and commenced detox 2 for the day. After my muscles were thoroughly heated and I gave my body a quick rinse, I headed into the massage with John. As an athlete, I often opt for the intense deep tissue massage that often can be more painful than pleasurable. John was able to find a nice middle ground so I could doze off as he rubbed my aching feet. They offer an array of Thai massages but sometimes the straight ahead deep tissue or aromatherapy wins me over for its simplicity.

Afterwards he led me to the Shio Salt Relaxation room which cleans out your lungs, but it was too bright in there for me. Instead I de-robed again in “hot stone room” which is technically called the Ganbanyoku beds. The Aria is the only facility in the US to offer these traditional Japanese stone beds that enhance your circulation and metabolism. Wait, there’s more!  Other relaxation areas include: soaking pools, a fireside lounge, and co-ed infinity pool.

Needless to say, after the entire day at the Aria, it’s a miracle I was able to walk out of there on my own two feet.

Bottom Line: If there’s availability, book the reservation and enjoy an entire day at the Aria.

And this isn’t the first time a guest blogger recommended this!  Check out Sarah Berkley’s review of the Spa & Salon at ARIA.

Their $50 Spa Week treatments this Fall are:

  • 50 Min Seaweed Wrap
  • 50 Min Signature Exotic Manicure

The Spa & Salon at ARIA is located at 3730 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada. Call 702.590.9600 to book your appointment (and all-day relaxation) now!

Mary Rambin of MoreThanMary.com is a professional blogger and travel features writer for The Houston Chronicle. In NYC, she co-founded NonSociety and produced a weekly web series called TMI Weekly. Now she trains small businesses in the basics of social media amidst her travels all over the world.  Follow Mary on Twitter at @MaryRambin.

Gym photo via