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Wellness: Wholistic Therapies

HOLISTIC: The word implies healing and wellness. It is a word that we are seeing more and more in the spa industry. The word actually does refer to healing. When a person is out of "balance", they are literally feeling "torn apart" by their perceptions of the pressures of their life. Because of this, their body manufactures different kinds of chemicals that aid in their perceived defense. This is called the "flight or fight" response. Whenever we feel fear, our body produces adrenaline and cortisol to strengthen our limbs and improve our vision for flight and/or fight.

When this stress response is created, these chemicals can feel very toxic to our bodies; especially when it is consistently constant. Holistic refers to helping that person feel balanced and "whole" again. Therefore, the treatments we offer in the spa that helps re-establish balance is usually referred to as holistic.

However, keeping in mind the imbalance of daily life in all of our lifestyles, the individual treatments such as a facial, a massage, a pedicure become more of a band-aid to the problem. What the client is so hungry for, is a place to go where they are not just offered a service, but offered a program. A program that address's overall wellness which helps them become more balanced on a consistent basis.
Day Spas have always offered packages usually labeled Days of Beauty. This concept took hold back in the late 80s and 90s and became very popular. Many Day Spas still offer these packages. However, in this new millennium, people are subconsciously and instinctively looking for more wellness oriented services and less of beauty. Today's spa is becoming a sanctuary for health and wellness. The savvy spa of today will realize that yesterday's Day of Beauty has now become today's Wellness Retreat.
Services such as therapeutic touch, reflexology, reiki, chakra clearing, are services that 10 years ago, would have been considered "way out there." Today, however, they are becoming mainstream. In The Wellness Revolution, the author, Paul Zane Pilzer offers information on the huge expansion of the "wellness" industry. He feels this industry is the next major boom. People are becoming savvier about their health and are tired of quick fixes. Pilzer believes "wellness" will become a trillion dollar industry by 2010.
Our role is changing from one of Beauty Therapist to Wellness and Healing Coaches offering "Wholeistic" services which help balance the "Whole" person, not just band aids. When someone is "well" they feel good and look healthy. Our society is beginning to see this as the ultimate beauty. What does this mean for today's spa? Great News! The trend is moving to services that offer long term, and ongoing results keeping the client continually coming back.

Mind/Body/Soul Balance services:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Energy Work such as Chakra balancing
  • Reiki
  • Qui Chong,
  • Ayurveda,
  • Indian Head Massage (also known as Champissage)
  • Nutrition Counseling

As 64 percent of adults are overweight and spend $33 billion a year attempting weight loss, spas can find a unique niche in personal care services.

Wellness Retreat
What is a Wellness Retreat? A series of services that help create balance in the guest's life, not just the day they are in the spa, but after they leave to re-enter their world. These are sold in a program. In other words, in a series of massages, a series, of facial skin treatments, a series of pedicures and/or manicures; not just a package for one day. These Wellness Retreat Series also offer a package of take home products to continue their new "retreat" lifestyle at home. Products such as aromatherapy bath oils, meditation CD's, skin care, body care, and hair care items. These packages can be as diverse as the Day Spa packages with themes. However, the themes should encompass Wellness, and not just beauty.
The packages you offer can be as creative as your former Day of Beauty Packages. Create small packages as well as larger ones. Keep in mind the people with the busiest schedule who need these services the most are the ones with the least amount of time. Make your package series easy to start and build up to larger packages. Combine Natural Nail Services as well as Spa Pedicure Services. Use words in your descriptions that relate to health and wellness as the goal, and beauty as the result of health. Keep them in a series, so that each month or every few weeks, the guest returns on a regular basis for their Wellness Retreat services.

Creating your Wellness Retreat Menu
Before you add any wellness services, make sure you and/or your staff supports this new approach to services. If you and/or your staff don't really believe, or more importantly practice wellness treatments and their benefits, don't jump in with both feet. Without this support, there is no credibility and the service doesn't survive.
Spas and Salons today are a little like department stores. If each spa staff member is aware of how each of the spa services serves the client, they can begin to look at all of the services as solutions to the whole client. This becomes a winning philosophy for both the client, as well as the bottom line. This philosophy encourages multiple sales for each client and is a most efficient vehicle to increase service sales as well as retail sales.
Begin with what you already do and expand. By repackaging your holistic treatments under wellness therapies, you will be surprised at how just re-labeling can create new interest.
As you will see, they are very healthy for building a returning clientele, as well as a healthier bottom line for your spa.

Patricia Heitz, CIDESCO DIPLOMATE, has been in the beauty industry since 1975, as a Cosmetologist and Esthetician. She has worked as a manufacturers representative and trainer for Skin and Hair product manufacturers, and more recently as an Esthetics School Director and Instructor.
Having earned the prestigious title of CIDESCO Diplomate, is also an educator and contributing author for Milady/ Thomson Learning with both the Standard Text and Comprehensive Text for Estheticians. Currently, she owns Patricia Heitz Consulting, -Dermatech Academy offering online and onsite Skin Technology Training and Consulting for Schools, Spas, and Distributors, and is an exclusive Industry consultant to Gerson/Lehrman Financial Analysts Council of Advisors in New York. She can be reached at (518) 261-1236 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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