Get to know Conny, LMT

Conny Beard joined our massage team in 2017 and as a native German, brings a unique perspective of massage and wellness to her clients and colleagues. Thank you for helping us to welcome her!

How long have you been in this industry? Where did you go to school?

My interest in massage started over 20 years ago in Germany. I’m certified in Foot Reflexology and Therapeutic Massage in Germany along with Shiatsu and Infant Massage. After moving to Iowa I finally was ably to get a professional license in 2017. I went to school at Body Wisdom Massage Therapy School in Urbandale, Iowa.

Why did you go into the massage therapy field?

My mom was a pediatrician all her life and exposed me to a lot of gently healing methods. One of it was gentle touch and just being present for someone need. I think that sparked my interest in massage.

What is your favorite service to give?

Relaxation massage is my favorite for sure. I believe a lot of illnesses in our modern world have their roots in stress. If I can give my clients some minutes of zooming out of their stressful life, that makes me happy and I hope them too. I love their faces after a massage.

What is your favorite retail product?

Since I’m a native German I love the Kneipp products, especially the salt. As child I suffered from severe asthma and attended a 6 weeks cure in a salt mine. It was hard to be away from home for so long as a 6 year old but it healed me completely!

What is your favorite way to reduce stress?

Since I’m a big believer of hydrotherapy I can relax wonderful in a warm bath with salt, a book, nice music and candles. Or a long walk on a lake.

What is your favorite self care suggestion for clients?

Try not to sweat over small things, notice stress and let it go. Be positive and enjoy little things every day.

What is your favorite relaxation quotation?

Do more of what makes you happy. ~ Carmel McConnell

What is an interesting fact about you clients might not know?

I love to travel and have friends and family all over the world. So far I visited all continents beside Asia and Antarctica (too cold!). I enjoy learning about other cultures, customs and if I can, traveling to interesting places.

If you’d like to schedule a massage with Conny, click here and choose “Specific Therapist” and her name from the drop down menu!

So you think you want a Brazilian wax?

Thank you to our guest contributor (who shall remain nameless) for a “Real woman’s” account of her first Brazilian wax.

Have you ever thought such things as:

“A lot of people I know get Brazilian waxes, there must be something to it!?”

“I hate shaving my bikini area. A lot.”

“I have waxed my eyebrows a million times, a Brazilian wax can’t be THAT bad, right?”

“I haven’t shaved in so long, I might never shave again…”

Dramatization of tropical vacation to protect the author’s identity. Actual events included lots of empty cocktail glasses.

These thoughts are what eventually talked me into getting my first Brazilian wax. I had returned from a fantastic tropical vacation, which forced me to keep things trimmed up “down there”, because that’s what we ladies like to do when we are in swimwear. And each morning I went to tackle this issue, I grumbled and complained to myself about how much I absolutely despised shaving this area! The angles, the tiny razor nicks, the razor BURN! Why on earth WOULDN’T I try waxing!

When I returned home, the temperatures topped out at 30 degrees for a couple weeks, I became lazy and had no need to shave. I can’t be the only one right? A little over 4 weeks from when I returned from the beautiful tropics, I decided I was going to take the plunge. I scheduled my first ever Brazilian wax at the spa one morning while I was at work. I didn’t even flinch. I had 3 days to prepare my nerves, which were oddly nonexistent. I talked worriedly to probably every esthetician we have on staff about my concerns, and always received the typical “It’s really not that bad” response. So for the last 2 days leading up to the procedure, I was ready. It can’t be that bad. It just can’t be. I’m sure it seems to last 5 minutes, and you’re done, and everything is smooth and great and the world’s a better place!

Fast forward to brave little me, lying in the treatment room, awaiting the first “pull”. When that first pull happened I realized, I wasn’t ready. Nothing could have prepared me for this! How on earth is this classified as “not that bad”!? I now completely understand the “AHH KELLY CLARKSON” situation in The 40 Year Old Virgin. Holy smokes.

I spent a bit of time trying to figure out how I had made such an extreme mistake on my expectation of the pain vs. the actual pain. I realized the reason I initially thought it was so incredibly terrible was because I had absolutely no expectations whatsoever. I had no clue it would hurt on that level, because in my mind I thought, “how bad can pulling a few hairs out really be? My eyebrows aren’t terrible…” In reality, it is pulling hundreds of hairs out at once, so of course it’s going to hurt! A lot.

However, within about 10 seconds the discomfort is completely gone. With each pull, it became more and more bearable. I was in and out of the treatment room in under 30 minutes! We do book the treatment for 40 minutes here at the spa, but sometimes it can take much less or a little more time. It just depends on the person, the hair growth, etc. Brazilian waxes can only be done with at least ¼ inch of hair growth. If you arrive for your appointment and your hair is not long enough, the therapist will let you know. Typically this is about 4 weeks of hair growth, but can definitely vary depending on the person. It has been 2 weeks since my wax and I have almost no regrowth at all. I could literally attend a last minute pool party comfortably. (Granted, it’s still March… in Iowa… so a last-minute pool party is not likely.)

I had no discomfort after the treatment, aside from one tiny ingrown hair that lasted about a day. There was no rash, no “razor burn”, really no discomfort at all afterwards. These are the reasons I am now a forever Brazilian wax receiver. Any amount of discomfort felt during the treatment could never outweigh the amazing outcome of receiving it.

If our guest writer has you convinced that a Brazilian wax is really “not so bad” you can click here to book yours online! Have more questions! Click here for another post on waxing.

Top 3 reasons to wash your face twice a day

Cassandra Lacina-Griffin has been a licensed esthetician for over a decade and recently I asked her to share with me one piece of advice she wished our guests knew. Without missing a beat, she said “I wish people understood how important it is to wash their face twice a day.”

According to Cassandra, there are three main reasons you should wash your face both in the morning AND before you go to bed. If you exercise or sweat in the middle of the day, you might have to add another cleanse to remove sweat and bacteria.

1: Cleansing prevents excess oil. Sometimes people with dry skin hesitate to cleanse twice daily because they feel that it can be more drying. On the flip side, sometimes people who have oily skin use too harsh of a cleanser which can dry the skin out and cause it to produce MORE oil!  In those cases, Cassandra recommends that you check with a professional to make sure you are using the right cleanser for your skin type.

2: Cleansing removes dead skin cells that build up overnight. Even though YOU are sleeping, your skin is hard at work turning over skin cells.

3: Cleansing in the morning removes the night time serums and chemical exfoliators. Serums and exfoliators do their best work at night when you are resting and not sweating or wearing make-up, but they need to be removed before you start your day, especially before sun exposure or applying make-up.

If you have more questions or would like to get recommendations from a professional esthetician, schedule a facial with Cassandra or any of our great licensed skin care providers here.

Get to know Brandi, LMT

Brandi Munch, LMT

In February 2017, we welcomed Brandi Munch, Licensed Massage Therapist and soon to be yoga instructor to our team. Thank you for taking the opportunity to get to know her better!

How long have you been in the industry?

I have been a massage therapist for over a year. I graduated from the Aveda Institute in West Des Moines.

Why did you go into the Massage Therapy field?

I’ve always been a helper and discovered my passion for health and wellness after pursuing my own journey to healing.

What is your favorite way to reduce stress?

Yoga, meditation, journaling, floating (I recommend Fadeaway Floatation Therapy)

What is your favorite self-care suggestion for clients?

Stretching! Our bodies are meant to move. Find what feels good and do it daily.

Do you have a favorite wellness resource?

Yoga with Adriene on Youtube and the book, “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise L. Hay.

What’s a fun fact that clients would enjoy learning?

I was a social worker for 10 years before starting massage therapy school and I am currently in training to become a yoga instructor.

Why should clients visit you?

I know how stress impacts our physical bodies and would love to help you relax so you can be your best self.

If you would like to schedule a massage with Brandi, click here to book online and select the “specific therapist” option from the drop down menu before selecting her name.