What’s the best way to wax yourself at home? Don’t.

We’ve gotten questions from clients who aren’t ready to venture back out to the spa asking the best way to wax themselves at home. Our top tip: DON’T! Here’s why:

Wax quality matters

The wax we have is high quality and we’re comfortable using it. The wax you can order for yourself online or pick up at a store that doesn’t require a professional license is not stellar. Not only will a low quality wax hurt, but it could tear, burn skin, or be really hard to remove.

Not every type of wax is right for every person, or every body part

Your hair type, skin type, and any products or medications you take will determine the kind of wax (or combination of waxes) you need to use. Using the wrong kind can cause excess irritation, dryness, bruising or even skin tears. We have several kinds of wax on hand and our licensed estheticians will select the right wax for your hair type and any products you’re using at home.

Waxing hurts: ESPECIALLY when you DIY

Estheticians that are seasoned waxers are able to remove hair as painlessly as possible with different techniques that you won’t be able to do yourself at home. Inexperienced waxers are likely to just break hair off instead of pull it from the root. This leads to ingrowns, uneven results, bumps, and increased risk of infection.

Take it from one of our non-esthetician team members who shall remain anonymous. The first time she tried to wax herself, she applied the wax, started to pull the strip, saw stars and then panicked for a LONG time wondering how she’d get the wax strip off without ripping it (Call a neighbor, live with a strip of wax on your bikini area, or tough it out?) Sadly, once the wax is on, there is only one way to get it off and that’s to pull! It is REALLY hard to do that to yourself!

Remember the 90’s?

We’re STILL helping many of our clients with weird brow shapes courtesy of 90’s trends. If you try to wax your own brows, it could go very, very wrong. Worst case scenario, tweeze sparingly if you really can’t get in to a pro. Thankfully, full brows are in now!

Look for a safe esthetician

If you’re ready to take the wax out of the microwave (YIKES!) and put down the plastic butter knife, look for a safe esthetician. Our licensed estheticians wear gloves 100% of the time, pandemic or not, when waxing. Your esthetician should never dip the wax stick back into the wax after it has been used, and the space should look clean. You should also expect to complete a short health history so your esthetician knows if you are taking a medication, using a product, or have a health condition that could impact your service or make your skin more likely to bruise or tear.

During the COVID19 crisis, our estheticians will wear a mask and expect their guests to as well. For services where guests would have to remove their mask, like a lip or chin wax, expect your esthetician also to wear a face shield and work in a room with a HEPA air filter for your protection and theirs.

When you’re ready to book:

If you’re ready to book, visit www.EVDaySpa.com to book online. Not ready yet? This is the PERFECT time to grow out your hair for waxing. Remember, hair needs to be at least 1/4 inch long for the wax to pick it up and give you a smooth wax. If you’re isolating at home, there is no better time to grow hair you normally wouldn’t to get a great wax when it is safe for you!

Our COVID19 Risk Reduction Plan (last updated 8/5/2020)

We’re dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest developments in COVID19, including what we can do to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID19 to our guests and employees. There is no perfect solution and every service will come with risks, despite our best efforts. We feel confident that, short of staying closed, we are doing everything within our power and we’re confident our guests will serve as our partners in risk management.

Physical Distancing

This is a key to managing virus spread, but we won’t lie, this one tears at our hearts a bit. We went into these high-touch careers because we’re nurturers. We long for the “old days” when we’d spend a hectic Friday morning sharing treats (when will it be safe to offer someone a bite of your pastry again), laughing, and falling over each other as we set up for a day packed with our favorite guests. These days are temporarily on hold. Instead:

  • We’re limiting the number of employees who can work at a given time, though we’ve extended our hours and are temporarily open 7 days a week.
  • We’re limiting the number of guests in our spa at a time, and are adjusting appointments so check-in times are staggered.
  • We’re reducing the number of receptionists on-site at the spa and will often have another person working from home behind the scenes.
  • We’re temporarily asking guests to wait in their cars and not bring others with them to their service to minimize the number of people in the spa at a time, in adherance with new guidelines for spas.
  • We split our cozy nail room into two separate nail rooms. Only one guest and one provider will be in a nail room at a time. It’s actually pretty awesome, we’re very proud of the safety measures we have in place for nails.
  • We’re temporarily unable to offer couple’s massages. While we know that couples are likely not distancing from each other, our employees are, and couples services make that tricky.
  • We are not able to accommodate parties or group bookings at this time.
  • We have a great webstore so customers who can enjoy our products with quick shipping or parking lot pick-up!

Managing virus spread in the air

Our biggest concern is that viruses can linger in the air so the best thing we can do to reduce risk is to reduce the risk of inhaling droplets.

  • All employees will wear masks in public areas of the spa and treatment rooms.
  • Guests and visitors to the spa are required to wear masks or face coverings at all times, including during services. If you need a disposable mask, we’ll provide one before you enter.
  • Starting in August, we’ve resumed 60 minutes or less facials and lip/chin waxing , but with extra safety precautions. We require guests to wear masks into and out of the treatment room and our providers will wear surgical masks, shields, and use large HEPA room purifiers to quickly exchange the air.
  • We have to suspend our complimentary beverage service temporarily, but feel free to take a hot or cold drink to go!
  • We’ve installed plexiglass barriers at the desk and in the nail room at manicure and pedicure stations as an added barrier in addition to masks, especially as guests and providers will be in prolonged close face-to-face contact.
  • In-room HEPA air purifiers to increase air exchange.

Hand hygiene and reducing surface contamination risks

We’ve always used recommended cleaning protocols and gloves for services where we could come into contact with mucus membranes or blood, but we’ve kicked it up for your comfort and we’ll be more visible about it.

  • We’ve switched to wipes exclusively instead of sprays and wipes to clean surfaces. These hospital grade wipes have a shorter surface contact time to kill COVID19 and other viruses and bacteria.
  • We will continue to wear gloves when it makes sense (waxing, manicures, and when we offer them again, facials) but we don’t plan to add gloves to massage. Proper handwashing and hand sanitizer is more effective for services where there isn’t a risk of coming into contact with blood or mucous membranes. If you’d prefer your massage therapist wears gloves, let us know. We certainly can, but we massage with our hands, forearms, and elbows (then properly wash thoroughly) so it isn’t really helpful.
  • Table coverings: We’ve added waterproof coverings to all pillows including body pillows, and to our table warmer. All can be thorougly sanitized with our disinfectant wipes. We switched out heavy blankets for heavy towels so we can launder them more rigorously.
  • The front desk area and common supplies like ipads and pens will now be cleaned with hospital-grade wipes regularly.
  • We’ll require a credit or gift card on file for no-contact check out.
  • As always, our in-spa restroom and common area surfaces will be cleaned frequently.
  • We’ve got hand sanitizer everywhere you turn and guests will be expected to use it before and in some cases, during services. We will do the same!
  • We’ve always had an amazing evening cleaning employee, she’s back and continues to deep clean our treatment spaces each night.

Employees won’t work sick, please don’t visit us when you’re sick!

  • I can’t stress this enough, we’ll need guests to cancel when they are even a bit sick. We’ve always asked clients to do this, but it is a matter of utmost importance now. We are waiving cancellation fees for any amount of notice if guests cancel for COVID19 reasons.
  • If our employees are at all under-the-weather or have been exposed to COVID19 in or out of work, we will cancel or reassign their services until we have more information. We’ll be erroring on the side of caution, so please understand if this impacts your service.
  • We’ve got a detailed plan for testing, tracing, and notification if an employee is suspected of having COVID19 or has been exposed.
  • All guests must agree to contact us ASAP if they learn they may have had COVID19 at the time of a visit so we can follow our testing, tracing, and notification protocols while maintaining confidentiality.
  • We are not doing temperature checks unless we have a concern. We do have a no-contact thermometor at the ready. Here’s why: The majority of people who have COVID19 will not present with a fever or will be PRE-symptomatic at the time of a visit. We worry that fever checks cause people to let their guard down. I’ve consulted with salons and spas who are open and doing temperature checks. Most have found the only people with a “fever” are those who have been waiting in a hot car, and their temperature drops after a few minutes in the air conditioning. We’ll assume every person we encounter is an asymptomatic carrier to ensure we use best practices.
  • We are temporarily asking all guests to complete a COVID19 intake prior to all sessions. We appreciate your patience as this quick form will help make everyone (including YOU) safer.

Understanding health risks after COVID19 recovery or with lesser understood symptoms

The last thing that’s kept us on our toes with our reopening preparation is reading up on potential contraindications with some of the vascular symptoms and issues caused by COVID19 and what that could mean for our services.

  • Our massage therapists will be asking additional questions of people who have had COVID19 to check for potential modifications they need to make due to blood clotting and other vascular challenges.
  • All of our providers will will be on the look out for skin changes and potential symptoms on the extremities and toes.
  • We are committed to continuing to read and research the latest information on how we can help people who have recovered from COVID19 in the safest way possible.

Thank you, if you’ve read this far, you’re probably as concerned as we are about health and safety. If you have any questions before or during your session, please let us know. We’re eager to serve you again and we are sincerely grateful for your patience as we start over and continue to fine tune our processes in this ever-evolving situation.

TEMPORARY: COVID19 Changes for East Village Spa Guests

Updated 8/5/2020

We’re so excited to welcome our guests back in a limited capacity. In order to operate during a pandemic, we had to make changes. We thank you in advance for your patience with us as we figure everything out in our first weeks back. Our guests are our partners in risk management. Some of these are state requirements, some are due to professional best practices and CDC guidelines. If you don’t feel you can adhere to these policies, we understand that you might choose to wait to schedule with our spa until a later date.

1. Guests must wait in their cars until we call or text to let you know your provider is ready. 

This is fairly standard for salons and spas right now, it enables us to adhere to our capacity limitations for social distancing and helps your provider have the time they need between services. Please be ready on time. As we are still learning our new systems, we promise, you will still get your full service time if you arrive on time, even if we’re not able to bring you in a few minutes before like you’re used to!

We can’t wait until we’re able to relax this because one of our favorite things is chatting with our guests at the desk.

2. All guests and providers must wear a mask throughout the duration of your visit.

If you don’t have a mask, let us know before you come up and our receptionist will have one waiting for you on a table outside the spa. We are temporarily unable to provide facials, lip, chin, and nose waxing because of this requirement. We’ve all had massages in our face masks when training to reopen, it isn’t bad! If you think you’ll be uncomfortable laying face down, book the side-lying massage instead.

Masks protect those around you which is why both providers and guests need to wear them for them to be effective. Because of the amount of time droplets linger in the air and the high percentage of asymptomatic people, we can’t waiver on this policy as it isn’t fair to our providers or the guests in the room after you. Even if you feel fine, many people are PRE-symptomatic and highly contagious for several days before they know they’re sick.

The only exception: if you’re receiving a facial or lip/chin wax you can remove your mask as needed in the treatment room and replace your mask when your service is over. Consider bringing a clean mask to put on after services.

3. We require a credit card or gift card on file to charge at the completion of your service to minimize contact at the desk.

You’re welcome to add a gratuity to a credit or gift card. We do accept cash as well, but as always, need a card or gift card to hold your spot. A contactless check-out is preferred and it is also a bit quicker to allow us to reduce the number of guests in our lobby so we can adhere to physical distancing guildlines and local gathering rules.

4. We cannot permit guests to bring others to their services

If you are accompanying a guest who requires assistance to get on or off the table or who is a minor, please let us know in advance so we can make adjustments, otherwise only guests are permitted in the spa when we reopen so we can adhere to our temporary occupancy limitations.

5. Please use the provided hand sanitizer before entering.

We’ll be asking you to wash your hands or use sanitizer frequently during your visit. All of our service providers will be doing the same. We always have! But we’ll make sure you see us now.

6. If you have any potential symptoms of COVID19 or believe you were recently exposed, or have engaged in a high-risk activity we need you to cancel or wait to schedule.

This not only keeps our employees and guests safer, it helps prevent another closure of our spa. We are temporarily waiving cancellation fees for illness or COVID19 exposure-related cancellations as long as you let us know. A lengthy and costly closure of a service business would be especially devastating if it could have been prevented by a cancellation. We promise, we will be closely monitoring our employee health status and risks as well and we will cancel in a heartbeat if we worry they could have COVID19.

If you’ve recently flown or have attended an indoor event or visited a crowded indoor space, please consider waiting to schedule for two weeks. We ask this courtesy as a consideration for the health of your provider and the survival of our business.

7. We must temporarily require all guests to sign a COVID19 treatment and release form in the 24 hour period prior to every appointment.

This is a must and is pretty standard practice for any responsible personal service business now. We prefer you to do this form via a link we’ll e-mail to you prior to your session. We cannot provide your service without this form.

8. Please understand that our schedules will be changing

Our schedule is (hopefully) going to be quickly changing based on the local COVID19 situation and employee illnesses or potential exposure. Whether that means more temporary closures or the ability to add additional employees we aren’t sure when and how this will impact our future bookings. School schedules, and daycare availability will also impact our bookings. We thank you for understanding as we do our best to navigate these changes as best as we can.

We missed you, but we understand if you aren’t ready to return!

While we’ve been very deliberate in our safety and risk management plan, no personal service received in a pandemic is going to be risk free. By booking and receiving a service with our spa, our guests acknowledge and accept this risk. If you aren’t ready or able to return, we completely understand. If we can support you virtually or through our web store, please let us know! Please, take the time you need. Don’t feel pressured because you have a gift card or 2020 voucher, we’ll extend the date.

Feel free to e-mail us with questions at EVSpaDesk@gmail.com, we are happy to explain any policies or precautions we’re taking. See our temporary limited menu here.

Predicting the future for our spa

I wish we had a crystal ball to tell us exactly what things would look like 3 months, 6 months, and a year from now for spas. All we have have to go by is ever-evolving information from trusted health authorities and advice provided to other other health professions. We’re closely monitoring countries that are further down the road in battling the COVID19 pandemic.

We’ve been doing the heartbreaking task of cancelling all appointments on our books through July (and will likely continue to do so further out.) Realistically, I’m not sure if we can open in any safe capacity by July. When we do open, the existing appointments on our books won’t match the new realities of our schedule. I promise, WE WILL REOPEN.

We aren’t sure of every safety measure we’ll need to implement, but these are a few ways the spa will be a bit different for awhile:

  • The biggest change: Two distinct teams that don’t overlap any shifts, providers, or receptionists. We see this in some essential offices like veterinary clinics. This ensures that if a team member is exposed to COVID19, we won’t need to 100% close our spa again. We can at least operate at half capacity, especially if widespread testing isn’t available.
  • We will offer longer hours to reduce the number of employees and guests in the spa at a time, increase the time between services, and stagger check-in and check-out times to keep you safer.
  • We won’t be able to book groups of more than two until the COVID19 threat is under control.
  • You can still shop online to save a trip into the spa!
  • We will require masks for providers and guests, which could pose a challenge for some services (facials, lip waxing) if can’t work around a mask.
  • We may have to do enhanced health screenings and lean into low-contact check-in/check-out (online intakes, cards on file, etc…) options.
  • We’re researching alternatives to table warmers. While they’re under multiple layers of linens, they can’t be cleaned in the way we’d like when facing a pandemic. We will not use them until the risk of COVID19 has passed or until we find a safe solution.

It isn’t all doom and gloom!

Check out this video I filmed with my dear friend, Tricia Rivas, owner of Trixie’s Salon and founder of the Dreamcatcher’s Foundation. When this is all over, you’ll see some positive changes in the spa and salon professions.

Spa professionals like massage therapists and especially estheticians have been named some of the professions with the highest risk of contracting COVID19 at work. I would rather wait to open until we have a better idea of safety modifications than put my employees, their families and guests at risk to make money. This might mean we don’t open the day we’re given the legal “go ahead.” I PROMISE we will be back and you can rest assured that when we return, it will be with a very comprehensive plan for safety.

East Village Spa Covid-19 FAQs

We’ve had quite a few questions about our COVID-19 closure and we’ll do our best to keep the answers updated here. Thank you for your support so far!

How long are you closed?

While Iowa is currently allowing spas to open, we’ve chosen to stay closed in accordance with CDC and medical provider recommendations. While we miss our guests and providing services, we know the best thing we can do for their health is to remain closed until we see a 2 week decline in cases in Polk County, when there is adequate testing and tracing, and when we can reliably source the items we need to provide services (this is a challenge for a business our size). Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for the most current updates.

We know that most other spas, nail salons, and massage therapists will be seeing guests before us, as they are legally allowed to do. Every business has different financial circumstances and every guest has different health needs. We absolutely understand if you choose to go elsewhere until we feel confident that risk is reduced enough for us to provide treatments. We’ll welcome you back with (metaphorical, because social distancing!) open arms.

How can I book an appointment?

We have to temporarily disable online booking because we have to ensure only one guest is checking in or out at a time. Once we re-open booking, we will do so by call or text to (515) 309-2904. I don’t anticipate we will have our new schedule and temporary service menu hammered out until at least June 1, so we aren’t able to pre-book appointments just yet. Once we are able to relax some social distancing guidelines, we’ll reopen online booking.

Will I be able to book my same schedule as before?

Due to social distancing guidelines, we are making changes to our shifts and hours. It is my goal to bring back every employee that wants to return. This is no small feat with limited hours in the day and our capacity reduced to less than half. We will be adding Sunday hours to increase availability.

We will have to split our team into two non-intersecting groups. If you’re accustomed to seeing the same massage therapist and esthetician when you come for a massage and facial visit, if they are not on the same team, you’ll get to enjoy another one of our amazing providers. Being diligent about isolating teams means that we won’t have to close entirely if an employee or guest is diagnosed with or exposed to COVID19.

Will you still honor my gift card?

YES! Our gift cards have a 5 year expiration. On the gift card, we have a suggestion that you please use them within a year (we don’t want you to lose them and we want you relaxing sooner, rather than later.) For the few gift cards that are outstanding that expire during our closure, we’ll extend the date by the number of months we were closed.

What about my holiday vouchers?

Every year, from late November though December we have a gift card sale where we offer an extra $20 weekday service voucher with every $100 gift card purchased IN the spa. If you have some of these 2020 vouchers, we’ll extend them for use throughout 2021, so hang onto them! You’ll still need to present them in person since we don’t track them.

Do I have to wear a mask?

Yes. Masks protect others and all of our employees will be wearing masks properly to protect you. We will temporarily require guests to wear masks to protect employees (and therefore future guests). If preferred, we are happy to provide a disposable mask to you prior to entering the spa. While masks aren’t a perfect solution, their use by all employees and patrons of a business significantly reduce the risk of an outbreak that will harm the community and close our spa. Repeated business closures are expensive and the cost of outbreaks could force permanent business closueres. We can’t risk our health or careers.

Cassie Sampson, BA, LMT, Spa Owner

Will your menu be the same?

At first, we’ll only be able to offer services that permit a face mask, so unfortunately we can’t offer facials or lip, chin, or nose waxing when we first open. We have most of our regular massages and modifications available for massage therapy, including side-lying massage techniques, for those who feel claustrophobic wearing masks face-down. We have been practicing with immediate household members and find that masks are not as uncomfortable as you might think! Your provider will be more comfortable working with you if you wear a mask, which will make the service much, much better.

We’re developing a few new treatment protocols for things like anti-aging hand facials, foot peels, back facials and more to offer a wider array of cool new services while we are temporarily suspending facials.

Can I book a party at the spa?

Unfortunately social distancing guidelines will not permit the ability to host spa parties. We have created two separate nail rooms so we can still do two pedicures or two manicures at a time, but they will need to be done separately. We’re pleased with how great the two nail rooms look and are excited to help make getting a nail service relaxing and Zen in a private space.

For the same reason, we had to temporarily suspend couple’s massages so we don’t have 4 people in a small room for an extended period of time. Again, these changes are temporary until social distancing guidelines are relaxed.

Can I get products from the spa while you’re closed?

We have a new web store courtesy of lots of hard work from Kelly. Almost every product we carry is available online! Even after we re-open, we will strongly encourage guests to order online for pick-up or shipping because we will need to limit walk-ins to the spa, which will include retail browsing.

Is it safe to buy a gift card right now?

Absolutely, and they’re valid for 5 years. I promise, we will reopen. As a business that has been around for quite awhile now, we’ve been able to develop an emergency savings fund. Instead of investing in fancy spa amenities (locker rooms, saunas, etc…) we’ve invested in our team and our future. The funds from gift cards help us to pay our ongoing expenses like rent and employee health insurance. We will be required to significantly reduce the number of guests we see for awhile, but we promise, you will be able to use your gift card with some advanced planning.

East Village Spa and our team thank you all for your support and well-wishes! We have appreciated providing your wellness services since 2008 and are so eager to continue again as soon as we can!

How you can support East Village Spa during the COVID-19 pandemic

Most of what I could say about my feelings as a business owner and employer during this pandemic have been said, far more eloquently, by others. I’m not alone in my fear, anxiety, overwhelm, and sadness. Whether your job is slammed, you’re bored and lonely, or you’re working in close quarters with children while also being their cook and teacher… this is, as mom would say when we were kids, “the pits.”

As we’ve been reaching out to guests to cancel months worth of spa services that, oh the irony…everyone suddenly has the time and SUPER need for… our guests have been fantastic. Many have asked what they can do to support us. Here’s a simple list, not just for supporting East Village Spa, but many small businesses.

  1. Reach out! Literally, just by checking up on us, we know you care and you give us hope that things will eventually be ok when we re-open. It means the world.
  2. Send a note or post a review for us to share with your providers. The CARES act will ensure that they are financially set throughout their furlough (a huge relief for owners) but many are struggling because their career is their passion and they’re wondering (and worrying) about their guests. We’re checking e-mails every weekday. We’ll forward well-wishes and any Yelp or Google reviews to them!
  3. Shop online! As long as we’re allowed to come in and ship, we are doing whatever it takes to get you products to help you reduce stress and pain while you’re isolating and feel confident for all of those Zoom meetings. We have an amazing new web store with almost every product we carry!
  4. Engage with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’re keeping our skills sharp and minds occupied by generating lots of content in our downtime. We can help via knowledge until we can physically help again.
  5. Purchase a gift card: We PROMISE we will re-open. We were in a fortunate spot as we were saving for some big non-essentials for a few years. We will definitely reopen, but any online gift card sales now not only help us financially, but give our spirits a boost.
  6. Avoid temptation to ask providers to work in secret. Many people see this as an offer of help. The CARES act has made sure providers receive good compensation during their furlough. Asking them to violate the law and risk their health makes them uncomfortable. Whether it is your hairdresser, esthetician, nail tech or massage therapist, know they’re thinking about you and WISHING they could help. There is no safe way to do services because of the nature of this virus and if you DID get an amazing manicure right now, everyone would know you’re not following the rules. By the end of this, crazy hair, unruly cuticles and bushy brows will be “Covid-Chic” Take this opportunity to grow your leg hair long enough to try waxing when we open again!

We look forward to seeing all of you when it is safe. We’re realistic and cautious, so we don’t expect to reopen soon. We most recently pushed our open back to May 1st, but a summer opening would probably be the best case scenario. Baby steps. Deep breaths. We’ll connect with all of you virtually until we meet again (and we promise to save you some chocolate at the front desk!)

Our COVID-19 response

To Our Amazing Guests,

We closed our spa to protect public health on March 16th. On March 17th, the Governor announced that health spas needed to close as part of the COVID-19 emergency declaration. We strongly agree with this. No amount of cleaning and caution can stop the spread of this challenging virus in a spa setting, especially with so many people asymptomatic, yet contagious.

I personally want to thank you for the kind words, online gift card sales, and support during this very strange and scary time. I can assure you that we will be back in business, as soon as we are allowed to AND as long as we do not feel we would jeopardize health of our team, guests, and community. Our providers are like family to me and each other. We’re chatting frequently and eating too many cookies. Our dogs are thrilled.

As people who are drawn to caring professions, it is a challenge when the best way we can care for others is NOT to provide services to them.

This is a temporary setback and the business was prepared (as well as we could be) for an emergency. I can assure you, we will survive this shut down. Please keep in touch with us while we are closed, we’ll pass on any well-wishes to your providers. We’re checking e-mails, texts, and voicemails on weekdays. Tune into our Facebook and Instagram feeds. We have quite a bit of time on our hands to create content we hope will make the time at home a bit easier for all of you! We’re working on building a webstore and making some other updates we’ve had on the back burner.

We wish you good health and moments of peace and calm. We’ll save some of our yummy chocolates for you to enjoy when we’re back!

Cassie Sampson, LMT

Owner, East Village Spa

East Village Spa Chocolates

Top 5 things your massage therapist wants you to know about couple’s massages

The weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day always bring lots of questions about couple’s massages. These are a fun way for people to enjoy time together, but ridiculous and unrealistic “reality” TV show portrayals of couple’s massages can leave people baffled about what they can actually expect. Here’s are the top 5 things our therapists want you to know if you’re thinking of booking a couple’s massage.

1. Couples massages aren’t just for romantic couples.

At East Village Spa we see mother/daughter and BFF duos in the couples room frequently. Particularly heartwarming for our LMTs  are the times our licensed massage therapists get to treat family members together when one person is looking after a loved one with an intellectual or memory impairment and chooses to relax with their family member in the same room to help them feel comfortable. A couple’s service is appropriate as long as both parties are comfortable disrobing (to whatever level they choose) in front of each other and sharing health information with their massage therapist in front of the other party.

2. Let your partner relax without judgment

During a massage, people fall asleep and snore. Your massage therapist sees that as a compliment (and if the session is geared towards relaxation massage, this is the goal!) During a couples massage, let your loved one be themselves, even if they are sawing logs next to you. One of our therapists’ pet peeves during couples massages is when one guest scolds their significant other for snoring during a session. This startles not only your partner but both of the massage therapists too. Don’t wake your sweetie, let them snore! If snoring will interfere with your ability to relax, you might consider booking your services in separate rooms.

3. Don’t stare (or glare) at your partner’s massage therapist!

Licensed massage therapists are health care providers with extensive training and high ethical standards. Nothing is more awkward than one when a guest receiving a couple’s massage stares (or in some cases, glares) at the therapist providing a service to his or her significant other. This makes us incredibly uncomfortable and self conscious. When someone stares at a massage therapist, it is difficult for us to focus on the task at hand: attending to your loved one’s muscles and tissues, watching for subtle signs of discomfort or relaxation to help us provide the best therapeutic service we can.

4. Couples massages on reality TV are far from real!

We’re amazed by the number of couples who want to hold hands during their session. If your tables are close enough for you to hold hands, then they are too close for your massage therapists to work around. Nobody wants only half of their body massaged! Hold hands on your walk to and from the treatment room, but enjoy your own relaxation space on the treatment table. Rose petals on the table might look pretty on camera but in reality, they’ll stick to you and smash into the carpet and your therapist will end up having to pick them all off as he or she goes. Lastly, you won’t be staring longingly st each other, deep in conversation. You’ll be resting quietly face down in the face cradle or face up looking at the ceiling, much safer, more comfortable positions for your neck.

5. Do you! Couples massages don’t need to be the same.

Some people think a couples massage will be perfectly synchronized, but in reality, they are completely customized for your unique preferences in pressure, technique, and focus area. For example, one person can get a sports massage and another can get a prenatal side-lying massage in a couples service. As long as the massages are the same length of time and we know in advance which services you want so we can pair you with the appropriate specialists. Some services like hot stone massage or our barefoot bars aren’t available in the couples rooms due to space and equipment availability.

Robes at East VIllage Spa
Couples receiving multiple services like massages and facials will receive a robe to change into for easier transferring between rooms. Otherwise, you will just disrobe in your treatment room.

Ready to book a couple’s massage? Give us a call at (515) 309-2904. Online booking isn’t available for couple’s services, but we’re happy to help over the phone. We look forward to helping you relax together! Be aware that these services are so popular they are often booked several weeks out for evenings and Saturdays so please plan ahead! We do keep a waitlist for last minute cancellations, so don’t hesitate to add your names to the list for those who like to be more spontaneous. Learn more about our services online!

Blog by Cassie Sampson, LMT, Owner and Justin Behanish, LMT, Managing Massage Therapist at East Village Spa in Des Moines, IA.

Gift card FAQ and troubleshooting

We love the simplicity of online gift cards and for those who are new to purchasing from our Zenoti online store, we’re happy to walk you through the process. First things first, PLEASE create an account. We don’t use this to market to you, but it is imperative if the recipient loses the gift card or accidentally deletes the e-mail. We can use your name to help find it. If you check out as a guest, it is really awkward when someone calls to ask for our help locating a gift card they’ve lost and doesn’t want to fess up to the purchaser. Click here for our online booking and gift card store.

Get to the online gift card page

Step 1 (desktop or laptop computer): Click the green “Book now or purchase gift card” button. From there, click the tab on the top right for “Gift Cards” and that will take you to our online gift card page.

If you’re using a phone or tablet, it will look different (see below). Go to our home page and click the green “book now or purchase gift card” button on top, then you’ll get to the mobile enabled page which has the menu as 3 bars in the top right corner. Click that for the menu to appear.

The menu on the phone will then look like this:

Select your amount

Once you’ve selected the “Gift Cards” tab, you’ll choose an amount. We have several pre-selected amounts, or if you scroll to the bottom there is an option for a customized amount.

We do not sell gift cards for specific services as our menu changes seasonally.

Complete your order and e-mail your gift card

Once you’ve selected your amount, you can choose where the gift card will be sent. If want to print and hand-deliver or mail your gift card, enter your own e-mail address to have it sent to you. If you want to e-mail it to someone else, use their e-mail address. Remember, please create an account. I promise it will be worth the extra time if the gift card is lost or accidentally deleted. You’ll usually get the receipt right away but it takes a few minutes to get the actual e-mailed gift card.

Troubleshooting

If you have an issue with your online gift cards, fear not (especially if you created the account like we asked you to!) These are the most common issues and solutions.

  • The recipient (or I) never received the e-mail! It is probably in a spam folder or security net. Tell them to search for an e-mail from info@evdayspa.com. Some work e-mails from government agencies, law or financial firms sometimes catch our gift card e-mails up in their security settings for a few days.
  • Your online booking system won’t accept my gift card number to reserve an appointment. As it states on our online scheduler, a credit card is required to hold your reservation, but you can pay with your gift card at the time of service. We won’t charge the credit card used to reserve the appointment unless the appointment is missed without adequate cancellation notice. You can use your gift card to reserve an appointment over the phone.
  • I sent the gift card awhile ago but we lost it. You can re-send it! Keep your receipt, you’ll need the gift card number and the e-mail address. You can re-send it or check the balance to see if it has been used. Go back to the gift card tab and click the green button to “resend my gift card”

If all of the above don’t work, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (515) 309-2904 or e-mail EVSpaDesk@gmail.com with details about the date of purchase, your name, the recipient’s name, and the amount of the gift card. We sincerely appreciate you thinking of us for your gift and can’t wait to take amazing care of your loved ones at East Village Spa!

FAQ: When should I come back?

A question we’re frequently asked is: How often should I get a (insert your favorite spa service here)? As far as how often you should get spa services, it depends on the service and why you are receiving it.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GET A FACIAL?

  • For general relaxation and routine skin wellness: typically a monthly facial will suffice, though we understand sometimes you have to stretch it out to every other month or quarterly. As long as you are using the products your esthetician recommends in between visits you should be fine. At a minimum, each season it is good to get checked out in case you need to change your routine due to changes in the weather and your activities.
  • For peels or Minus 10 protocols: you may need to visit in shorter intervals (perhaps 2-3 weeks) based on the treatment goal and where in your skin cell turnover cycle your esthetician wants you to repeat the service.
  • For acne facials like our “Clear Relief” facial: a monthly facial to assess skin, perform extractions, and do a deeper cleanse along with recommended home care between visits is necessary until the acne clears up.
  • For Hydrafacial: Monthly is a great starting point, but if you your esthetician may suggest a period of more frequent visits to address certain concerns.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GET A MASSAGE?

You can typically get massage therapy as often as you’d like, but any of us who have spent a day getting massage in school or testing massage students or job applicants can attest that there IS such a thing as too much massage! Your body will let you know when you’ve had enough! A few good suggestions for spacing your services:

  • General stress management and relaxation massages: These are fine in whatever interval you can manage with your schedule. We have clients in weekly (sometimes twice weekly), lots of every other week and monthly massage clients, as well as some who are able to treat themselves on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Sports massage: If you’re training for an event, regular massage at weekly or every-other week intervals are helpful to prevent injury and keep you on your training schedule. The type of massage your therapist recommends during training, shortly before an event (1-2 days) and shortly after an event will have different session goals, techniques, and duration.
  • Injury or specific focus work massages: The frequency will vary for these services based on what you and your therapist are addressing. It is possible to overwork an area and for most kinds of massage, we don’t want to further inflame an area so your therapist will suggest rest periods between massage. Typically we’d ask a client to come more frequently at the beginning of treatment for a specific issue until it has subsided (2 sessions in a week is not uncommon at this stage), then maintenance massages. Your therapist will gauge frequency based on how long the benefits of the treatment seem to last. Sometimes even a quick 30 minute treatment here or there can help maintain progress.
  • If you are seeing multiple providers to treat the same condition: We often partner with chiropractors and physical therapists for greater treatment effectiveness. Do make sure your massage therapist knows all of the treatments you’re receiving for the injury or health concern (i.e. physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc…) and make sure your other providers know you’re receiving massage so you don’t over treat a condition and all providers are on the same page with scheduling service frequency.

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO WAX?

Wax intervals vary greatly depending on the person, hair texture, ethnicity, hormones, and heredity play a role in how often you’ll need to book your follow-up waxes. It is important to grow hair to at least 1/4 inch before waxing to make sure the hair catches in the wax.

  • Facial waxing:Typically 3-4 weeks is common between waxing for brows, upper lip, and chin.
  • Brazilian/bikini, back and chest waxing: 4-6 weeks is a typical interval for Brazilian, back, and chest waxing.
  • Leg waxing: Leg hair needs a bit more time to grow in enough to wax, most people need to go 6-8 weeks once their hair is on a good growth schedule.

Are you ready for a rebook or looking to schedule your first service? Learn more and book online. Don’t hesitate to give us a call with your questions at (515) 309-2904.