Top 5 reasons we love Rapid Fire

Rapid Fire, locally developed and produced pain relief spray and roll-on products, have been gaining popularity in Iowa in recent years. In fact, Rapid Fire works so well that when our massage therapists attended a conference last year, they all came back begging me to replace our long-time, big name (that I shall not mention) pain relief spray with Rapid Fire. I dragged my heels for a bit, but kept stealing sprays from their Rapid Fire for my own aches and pains so I figured we needed to have this awesome product at the spa since it was what we were all using, even though we had shelves full of another product that was easily available. Here’s why we love it:

  1. Headache relief: This stuff is potent, so if you’re using it for headache relief at the temples, apply a tiny amount to your finger tips first, then massage into your temples and scalp. If your pain is at the base of your skull, feel free to spray or use your roll on. Be sure to wash your hands after touching it so you don’t get it in your eyes!
  2. Pure ingredients: Rapid Fire is made with wintergreen, a natural form of aspirin, peppermint for a counter irritant (to draw your attention away from underlying pain), spearmint and camphor which are analgesics (numbing agents). The active ingredients are blended in coconut oil which slows the absorption so it lasts longer than most products. It doesn’t contain alcohol found in many drug store pain relievers because alcohol makes the effect wear off faster.
  3. It passed the “Disney Test!”: Kelly suffers from horrible migraines and she swears that Rapid Fire is how she survived long days at the park on the rides, standing in lines, and walking for miles.
  4. It reduces soreness after deep pressure massages: If you feel like you need firm pressure to enjoy massage but experience soreness the day after, ask your massage therapist to use a spray of Rapid Fire over the area he or she worked to reduce inflammation and the likelihood of pain the next day. (As an LMT, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that you can also ask your therapist to use less pressure, but we know not every client is cool with lighter pressure, though sometimes reducing the pressure a bit is more effective!)
  5. It is locally crafted by an individual who is incredibly passionate (maybe even a bit intense) about pain relief: Kevin Burns, a central Iowa MMA fighter, created an essential oil blend to help with his own pain, but quickly found himself helping other fighters. Eventually his business was born. There is something really satisfying about using a product that is so passionately and whole-heartedly backed by the person who created it, especially when the product actually works as well as he claims it does. Learn about Kevin and the company here.

In pain? Book a massage! Before your service starts, ask your massage therapist to grab a bottle of Rapid Fire to use on any sore areas. In a hurry? Stop in and ask our front desk to let you sample the product to see if it is the right pain reliever for you!

 

5 “Awkward” summer issues to mention to your spa provider

We’ve all been there, you show up for a spa service and realize you are wearing your stinky sandals, or you spent a day at a pool party and got some extra sun a couple of days before your massage. The good news is it is fine, and expected, for our guests to mention these and other common summer issues to their provider BEFORE the session so we can make accommodations!

Stinky Feet Situations:

If you are worried your feet are not as fresh as they could be and it is going to bother you so much that you can’t just relax, it is fine to mention it to your provider before hand! While you’re getting ready, they can prepare some hot towels with tea tree oil to freshen up your feet so you can relax into your session! Other spas and massage therapists are likely to have solutions as well.

Plantar Warts:

Tell your therapist if you have plantar warts, especially because some rooms are pretty dark and we don’t always see them. While plantar warts are not super likely to spread between people in a massage situation, we don’t want to spread on your feet and we know they might be painful to massage. Your therapist can also do deep compression work on your feet or hit reflex points through a sheet over the immediate area (assuming it isn’t painful) so not to worry, you’ll still get a great foot massage and we promise we won’t be weirded out! (Get more info about plantar warts here.)

Post-sun flaking skin:

Summer is the season of “bonus exfoliation” in massage treatments. Dry, sun-exposed skin will sometimes ball up as we massage the back, but fear not because we have a solution. Once this starts, we’ll add some extra oil to the back and buff it with a dry towel, this usually takes care of the layer of dead skin so we can get back to massage! If you suspect this will happen, let us know in advance so we can start the session this way and your massage can have a better flow to it. If you have big pieces of peeling skin or a serious burn, that is different. In that case, it is best to reschedule your massage with plenty of advanced notice or ask your therapist to avoid the area.

Foot or nail fungus:

Let your therapist know before the service starts. While people with a healthy immune system have better luck avoiding person-to-person infection from a fungus, people who are pregnant or who have certain health concerns may be especially susceptible to infection so they will want to avoid the area or work with gloves. If you are booking a nail service but have a nail fungus, your nail technician can complete all of the service safely except that if you want polish, you will have to bring your own or purchase a bottle of polish and any base or top coat you wish to have used for the safety of other guests. Unfortunately, a pedicure can’t cure a fungal infection. Learn more here.

Mystery Rashes:

If you have a rash that is more than on just one small area of the body away from where your therapist or esthetician will be working, please reschedule your service. If you have poison ivy, you definitely need to reschedule! The risk of transmitting poison ivy to your therapist and to many clients they see is too great. Please give as much notice as possible and believe us, we’ll thank you for rescheduling. Click here for our blog post on poison ivy.

Whew, see, that wasn’t so awkward, was it? It is important to have an open dialogue with your massage therapist, esthetician, and nail technicians. They are experts at what they do and are eager to help you feel comfortable, but they need good communication and feedback from you to make that possible. Ready to schedule a visit? Click here!

 

The top 4 reasons we switched to Himalayan Salt Stones

I admit to being a skeptic on lots of “new and exciting” products so I didn’t give Himalayan Salt Stones much thought when they started appearing in little pockets of the industry last year, replacing traditional basalt or jade massage stones. Fast forward to September 2016at the International Spa Association conference, when I was captivated by a bowl of warm stones that appeared to be glowing. Every day, I’d return to booth and play with varieties of warm salt stones, testing them for heat retention, heat consistency, overall feel. I could not get over these stones!

I ordered a set for the spa “just for fun” and after months of using them with our regular clients and for special events, we’re all hooked and have now changed over our Heavenly Hot Stone Massage sets to from jade to salt stones and are in the process of adding enough stone sets to include a few Himalayan Salt Stones in our EV Signature Massages in lieu of the basalt stones we have been using for 9 years.

We are so excited for you to try them and these are the top 5 reasons we fell for the Salt Stones:

4. The heat is consistent and unlike stones in water roasters, they won’t get TOO hot so there is less down time for your therapist making sure they are a safe temperature mid-session.

3. In the past, we couldn’t offer hot stone massages in the couple’s room because the roasting units generated too much heat and used too much electricity. With the new stones, we can FINALLY offer a couple’s hot stone massage! Look for this new service to be available before May 2017.

2. The salt stones will help us in our goal to be more environmentally conscience. Unlike the jade stones which require a couple of gallons of water for warming and cleaning, the salt stones warm on a dry mat and require only a safe EPA registered Thymol oil cleaner. PLUS, the salt stones have natural antibacterial properties.

1. The texture is AMAZING! Even our long-time hot stone regulars who loved the Jade stones were impressed by the slight hint of exfoliation with some of the salt stones. The texture allows the therapist to get a better grip to work a bit deeper as well because they have more control of the stones.

We can’t wait for you to try our new and improved Heavenly Hot Stone Massages, we know you’ll love them as much as we do!

Click here to book online or give us a call at (515) 309-2904!

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!

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.

 

 

Our predictions for the top 2017 spa trends

It is always fun to see the changing trends in the industry. We’re especially excited for some of the trends we’re seeing leading into the new year.

Nails:

Our nail technicians have mostly been getting requests for natural rounded or oval shaped nails leading into the new year. They are glad to see fewer requests for sharp, squared off nail looks.

Nude shades are still in, but with a modern twist. Our nail technician Cyerra said that the most popular nude shades they are using for CND Shellac are Field Fox and Rubble.

On the opposite end of the color spectrum, bright neons reminiscent of the 80s have been so popular that the spring 2017 shades were released early and have been a huge hit over the holidays!  Ultra bright colors like Blue Eye Shadow, Pink Leggings, and Jelly Bracelet are reminiscent of a playful time. With many people finding 2016 to be a rough year, people are finding a bright spot with fun nail colors.

Massage and Wellness:

With a big push back against fake news coming into 2017 including upcoming warnings on facebook posts featuring fake news stories, we all hope the same holds true for online health information.  We predict that in 2017, people will take a harder look at their sources and become more savvy when researching massage, health, and wellness online. Earlier in 2016, we posted a blog about the best ways to find reputable health information.

Skin Care:

The biggest trend our estheticians see industry-wide is a movement away from manual exfoliation (like abrasive scrubs and microdermabrasion) toward chemical exfoliation like peels or acids. Harsh manual exfoliation risks spreading bacteria and can be too abrasive. Recent news of a class action lawsuit against Unilever, maker of the St. Ives Apricot Scrub, a long-time fixture in drugstore beauty departments may help to further public awareness of other forms of exfoliation that are safer and more beneficial than harsh scrubs.

What trends do you hope to see for 2017?

Massage Updates

We want to let you know some exciting massage therapy updates for our team!

Teresa, a massage therapist at East Village Spa, provides a craniosacral massage to Kelly.Our long time LMT, Teresa, is moving to Dubuque. Before she could finish her last month with us, she broke her foot and has to bid farewell to the spa sooner than any of us had hoped.

We expect she’ll be back for frequent visits and if any of you are ever in Dubuque, you can book an appointment with her at Body and Soul Spa where she’ll be providing her healing massages to the lucky people there!  She wants to thank her clients for 4 wonderful years.

heathereastvillagespamassageHeather Brown is a soon-to-be graduate of Body Wisdom School with a natural gift. Heather brings many of the same characteristics, both as a therapist and a person, to our team that we loved about Teresa and after receiving a massage from Heather, Teresa said she would be very confident referring her clients to her.  Heather will join us in Mid-December, but we promise she is worth the wait, when I received a massage from her this week, I almost shrieked with happiness because her firm pressure, divine neck work, kind spirit, and total concern for my comfort and experience were the EXACT qualities what we hoped to find in a therapist to help continue care for Teresa’s clients and new spa guests.

TwoFeetDeepMassageEastVillageSpa1To help accommodate more guests while we wait for Heather to join our team, our dear friend and former East Village Spa Massage Therapist Allison Peterson will be helping out.  She’ll be at the spa weekday hours starting next week through early December.  This is a special treat for her clients who have been missing her!  She’s a great fit for athletes, people in need of pampering, or people who love Two Feet Deep barefoot massage.

 

eastvillagespa-kellyjo_smMany of our guests don’t realize this, but both Kelly Parker (pictured), our manager, and I are licensed massage therapists.  Kelly initially got her massage license in 2009 and I received mine in 2005.  Because of our “running-the-spa duties,” we no longer accept pre-booked appointments but we both are excited to jump in and help out in a pinch, so you might see us donning our massage aprons more often in the next month or two.

Stay tuned for more updates as we add a new therapist to our team before Thanksgiving. To book your appointment, call (515) 309-2904 or visit our website!

Try massage therapy first for pain!

eastvillagespa-tishaforearmmassageWhen I was 22 (so, awhile ago), I turned my head funny picking a very unlucky penny off the floor.  My neck ached for a couple of weeks so, being right out of college and not having a doctor in my new town, I went to an urgent care clinic for advice. The doctor felt my neck, did some range of motion exercises, and declared that I had arthritis, wrote me a painkiller prescription, and sent me on my way.

Not once did this doctor tell me, an otherwise healthy and active 22 year old woman to consider massage therapy, chiropractic, osteopathic manipulations, or other conservative forms of pain management.  When I did seek out massage on my own and realized how powerful it was, I knew I needed to become a massage therapist to help others.

I’ve been researching the nation’s opioid addiction crisis and wondering why traditional health providers are still not more widely educated on the benefits of conservative measures of pain relief for non-specific pain (i.e. back pain that is not caused by an underlying factor such as cancer) when massage therapy has been proven in multiple studies to be effective in relieving many kinds of pain.  I can almost give the doctor I saw back in 2002 a pass because massage therapy wasn’t as well-researched as it is today, but I feel like with our current information, there are no excuses.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (drugabuse.gov):

  • From 1991-2013, opioid (Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Oxycontin) prescriptions rose from 76 to 207 million.
  • From 1990-2010 overdose deaths from prescription opioids tripled (and were more common than deaths from heroin or cocaine).
  • 14.4% of women are prescribed an opioid drug during pregnancy

eastvillagespa-juliemassagecloseupOver 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, 38 million of those need relief from persistent moderate to severe back pain (drugabuse.gov).  Massage therapy has been proven effective in treatment of non-specific chronic low back pain (The Annals of Internal Medicine).

  • 401 patients between the ages of 20 and 65 who had non-specific chronic low back pain for at least 3 months (rating a minimum of 3 out of 10 on a pain scale) received either general relaxation massage, structural (injury-specific) massage, or traditional medical care for 10 weeks.
  • After results measured at 10 weeks after treatment and 26 weeks after treatment, participants who received massage fared significantly better than those who received traditional medical care without massage.
  • There was no statistical difference between those who received general relaxation massage techniques and those who received structural massage techniques.

Massage Therapy Magazine cites several studies showing the efficacy of massage therapy for various types of pain and proposes that massage therapy can be a major player in helping to combat the opioid addiction epidemic by offering a conservative first line of treatment for pain.

While pain medications including opioids certainly have their place in patient care and are necessary for many people, we need to find a way to educate traditional healthcare providers that conservative treatments like massage therapy are effective. One way to start is by discussing massage therapy with your primary care provider.  Last year, 16% of respondents in the American Massage Therapy Association 2015 industry study indicated that they discussed massage with their physician.  If you have had positive benefits from massage, let them know!  We also need to encourage teaching hospitals and massage therapists to continue to conduct sound research to further share what many people who get massage already know: It works!

Ready to try massage? Click here to book with one of our experienced and licensed therapists.

Sources:

Massage Industry Fact Sheet 2015: American Massage Therapy Association https://www.amtamassage.org/infocenter/economic_industry-fact-sheet.html

Massage Magazine: Can Massage Help Combat the Opioid Epidemic? https://www.massagemag.com/can-massage-help-combat-opioid-epidemic-36842/

National Institute on Drug Abuse https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse

The Annals of Internal Medicine: A Comparison of the Effects of Two Types of Massage on Chronic Low Back Pain. 2011. http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=747008

Get to know Julie, Licensed Massage Therapist

julieJulie Accola joined our massage team in 2016.  She has spent much of her career as a Registered Nurse, so massage is a career change for her.  She continues to provide nursing care in-home to children and is assisting our spa guests part time.

Julie has a great sense of humor and is frequently joking about her “big peasant hands” which provide an AWESOME and nurturing massage.  Thank you for taking the opportunity to get to know Julie!

How long have you been in the industry?

I received my massage license in 2014 after graduating from Body Wisdom School. (Julie has been a registered nurse since 1998!)

Why did you go into this field?

To relieve pain for people without a doctor’s order or a possible addiction to pain medications.

What is your favorite massage service to give?

I love doing head and neck massage and including Acupressure (Jin Shin Do) in sessions.

What is your favorite service to receive?

The same!

What is your favorite spa retail product?

The Kneipp sleep and pain relief aids work great without side effects.

What is your favorite way to reduce stress?

Prayer and meditation

What are your favorite suggestions for home care?

Drink plenty of water, rest, ice, and stretch as needed

What is your favorite relaxation or stress relief quotation?

If it no longer serves you, let it go.

What might clients find surprising about you?

I come from a very large family, the 9th of 12 kids raised on a dairy farm.  I’m a karaoke queen waiting for NASCAR to call…lol (Did we mention that Julie is hilarious?)

Why should clients visit YOU?

I have excellent assessment skills. I work with medium to firm pressure and can target your specific areas of concern.

To schedule your massage online with Julie, click here! You can also book at www.EVDaySpa.com

 

Kneipp Wellness: A Fascinating History

Before we invest in a product line, we like to know the story and get a feeling for the company.  Kneipp, a German line we carry, has an awesome story and long history of offering balance, pain relief, and relaxation naturally. The rare instances we have German spa visitors, it is a blast to see them rush the Kneipp product display. It shows that many have the utmost respect for the founder, Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897)

dpag-1997-sebastiankneippHistory

Sebastian Kneipp was a priest, naturopathic doctor, and is widely considered to be the father of hydrotherapy. He believed he cured his tuberculosis with regular dips in the icy Danube river. He worked with a pharmacist to develop a line of medicinal cures and many of the formulations are included in today’s Kneipp remedies.  He continued to share the benefits of water in wellness treatments, including wading pools, baths, and using water in other ways to ease pain.

People walking in a Kneipp pool

Kneipp pools such as this exist today. Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/simpleinsomnia/

kneipphistoryProduction

Today the Kneipp salts are still mined using traditional methods from Europe’s last remaining salt cave, which is 250 million years old and 1500 feet deep so the salts are not exposed to environmental pollutants.  Products are planted derived, free of animal products, free of preservatives and mineral oil, eco-friendly, and dermatologist tested for skin safety.

The Kneipp Philosophy Today

Sebastian Kneipp believed that the five pillars to health were water, plants, exercise, nutrition, and balance.  This simple philosophy is embraced by spas and wellness providers today.  In the foothills of the Bavarian alps, there is an entire town dedicated to Kneipp wellness, “Kneipp town.” The spa village of Bad Wörishofen features Kneipp treatments at all lodgings and doctors practice Kneipp wellness. In Kneipp wellness communities, you’ll find many hydrotherapy tubs, walking paths where people walk through streams and in nature, and more!

mandarin_oriental_hong_kong_kneipp_pool_and_ice_fountain

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Spa in Hong Kong features a Kneipp walking pool and ice bath.  (Wikimedia Commons)

Our East VillageSpa Best Kneipp Sellers:

Kneipp products are incredibly popular, especially with clients who hope to continue their relaxation and pain-relief benefits post-massage. The Kneipp Bath Salts are our top seller, with the top three scents being:

  • Arnica joint relief
  • Juniper muscle relief
  • Eucalyptus Cold and Sinus relief
  • Red Hemp and Poppy “Pure Bliss”

Our top-selling Kneipp oil is the Devil’s Claw, which aids in pack pain, neck pain, and headache relief.  Our massage therapists love incorporating this oil, plus the arnica products into treatments.

Our best selling bath salt from Kneipp is ideal for people who have joint and muscle pain or arthritis.

Our best selling bath salt from Kneipp is ideal for people who have joint and muscle pain or arthritis.

Learn more about Kneipp through their website, or visit us at East Village Spa to smell and feel the different products, pick up literature, or ask our team for guidance on hydrotherapy and aromatherapy!

Source:

My Water Cure by Sebastian Kneipp

Kneippus.com