Many have heard the term “mindfulness,” but what does it mean? To me, mindfulness means being in the moment and enjoying where you are, right here, right now. What’s interesting is that most of us think we are already doing that, but if you really took a good look at your life, you might find that you are not living in the fullness that you could be. And, that means, you are missing out on all the wonderful benefits that come along with it.
Let me share how I found mindfulness. I had heard so much about it, being in the spa world, and thought I knew what it was. But it wasn’t until I got a very special Christmas gift a few years back, that I discovered real mindfulness. My daughter got me a four-month-old rescue puppy as a gift that I immediately fell in love with. Was it practical? No. I am on the road more than I am home. But it was something that I had longed for and my daughter delivered! I named this little bundle of joy Halle, short for “Hallelujah, I finally got a dog!”
So, in my busy life as a business owner, building a new business and wearing 18 plus hats, this little dog came into my life. On one of our early walks – a walk I had fit in between all the different things that I needed to accomplish that day –I was in a hurry. But dogs are naturally mindful and there is no hurrying, only experiencing everything as it comes in the present moment. So, as I have the leash in one hand and my cell phone in the other hand, we quickly walked down the road until Halle stopped abruptly. As small as she was, she almost threw me off balance. I stopped to look at what the issue was, only to find that she had her nose on the most beautiful red maple leaf that I had walked right by. She looked at me and then at the leaf and then back at me again. She was sharing nature’s beauty with me and it was a profound moment in my life.
That experience made me take a good look at my practice and how I was interacting with my clients. Think about your process when clients come into the spa. How does it go?
Is it something like this?
- Greet the client
- Get them settled into the treatment room
- Ask a few questions
- Proceed with the appointment that they scheduled on estie auto-pilot
- Talk and share throughout the entire appointment
Sounds good and is what most of us probably do on a regular basis. But in my line of work, I am dealing with clients that are in some sort of crisis. Either they or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. Their life is turned upside down and if they come to the spa, they need more than what we normally give. They need the professional to show up and use their healing hands to help them deal with the chaos of cancer.
This is what mindfulness looks like:
- Greet the client and find out how they are, really listening to their response
- Walk the client to the treatment room and make them comfortable
- Find out what their concerns are and, then, come up with a custom treatment plan suited just for what they need that day
- Proceed with the treatment while being with them every step of the way
What’s the difference? Although the steps might seem the same, there is a very big difference. And, the difference is presence and how you show up. Mindfulness is being present and paying attention to the client in a unique and special way. And, when you do that, your client will know the difference.
Mindfulness in the treatment room:
- Start with big deep breath, having joy and gratitude in your heart, realizing that this client has given their precious time and money to be there today
- Listen to your client, not talking the entire time
- Focus on each move of the custom treatment
- Touch with intention
- Share your energy with another human being
- Look at and think only about the client and their needs (not your grocery list or what you want to say to your partner or boss)
- Check in once in a while to be sure that the client is enjoying the experience and the touch and pressure level
- End the session by thanking them for sharing their time with you and asking how you can assist them with homecare, to ensure they get the most out of the treatment
When you implement mindfulness into the treatment room, you will change the outcome of the treatment for the client and you!
Becky Kuehn is the founder of Oncology Spa Solutions, now the leading oncology training for spa, salon, and medical professionals in the United States. She travels, teaching, training, and working on her mission to build a team of Aesthetic Angels, so that there will be an oncology-trained spa professional available in every cancer center or hospital. Kuehn’s journey started at the age of 18 when she was diagnosed with cancer. She had already lost friends and family members to cancer, so she was very familiar with the chaos and trauma associated with diagnosis and loss. As a cancer survivor for over three decades, she has made it her mission to discover and develop ways to turn around the devastating side effects of cancer treatments.