Celebrate National Iced Tea Day!

I’ll admit to being a few cups of coffee in (early morning) while driving to work when I heard on the radio that it is National Iced Tea Day so I couldn’t resist a stop at my favorite East Village neighbor, Gong Fu Tea for an iced herbal tea.

Can’t decide which kind of iced tea you’d enjoy to help you cool off today?  I got some suggestions from tea expert, George Taylor at Gong Fu.

Herbal Tea Suggestion: According to George, a fruit-flavored herbal tea like Fruit Fantasia (my pick today!) with a Rooibos base is a great choice.  He explained that because rooibos absorbs flavor well, it is frequently used as a base for many herbal teas.  Because it does not contain caffeine, it is a good choice for an evening beverage or for kids. These teas are high in vitamin c and antioxidants.  The fruity rooibos blends like raspberry delight, peach rooibos, or fruit fantasia might even work as a juice substitute for kids, especially if you add a touch of natural sweetness from honey.

Green Tea Suggestion: George recommends Moroccan mint.  It is great hot, but when iced, the mint really pops to make it super refreshing and cooling on a hot day.

Black Tea Suggestion: In the midwest, a good, straight black iced tea is popular.  George suggests the ceylon black tips tea.  He recommends it because while it is a nice standard black iced tea, it is a much better quality version than the mass marketed brands.  This tea is not too light or too strong and doesn’t become astringent when iced.

Gong Fu Tea Collage

Left to Right: Gong Fu Awning, My Fruit Fantasia iced tea in progress, our friend George Taylor, who is one of our favorite reasons to visit Gong Fu, and the beautiful vibrant red Fruit Fantasia.

Visit Gong Fu, just a block north of East Village Spa, at 414 East 6th Street.

 

 

 

Ideas for Dads

Did you know that 47% of spa goers are men?  According to the International Spa Association President, Lynne McNees “The number one reason both men and women visit a spa worldwide is to learn how to manage their stress. Men and women may deal with stress in different ways, but surprisingly, they both find spas as an outlet.”

Father’s day is a perfect opportunity to share the benefits of stress reduction and pain relief with the men in your life.  The following our are top suggestions for gifts for dads (or grandpas!)

Products for Pain Relief:

tiger balmTiger Balm patches and salves are great for guys who complain of soreness.  Our massage therapists incorporate tiger balm into many sports massages as well.  The patches are great self-care and really popular with men.

kneipp arnicaKneipp arnica products are another popular choice for guys. The joint and muscle active gel has an instant cooling effect, while the arnica cream is unscented and absorbs into skin quickly.  They are great for arthritis pain, bruising, inflammation or tenderness.

Stress Relieving Products

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Whether he tosses and turns all night or needs some general stress relief, Kneipp herbal baths have lots of solutions.  The Sweet Dreams bath includes Valerian and Hops and is a perfect prelude to a good night of sleep.

Gift Certificates

East Village Spa gift cards are a perfect gift for father’s day!  You can purchase them in a denomination or for a specific service.  Some of the most popular treatments for men are:

  • The EV Signature Massage which is great for stress relief
  • The Athletic Edge Sports Massage which addresses specific injuries are areas of tension
  • The Wellness Massages (30, 50, or 75 minutes “no frills” therapeutic massage)
  • The Men’s Hand and Foot Treatments (a relaxing nail grooming service)
  • The Wellness Facial is perfect for men with dry skin or shaving irritation.

Gift cards are available in the spa or through our website!

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We aren’t joking, men LOVE pedicures!

Resource: ISPA Male Consumer Insights Study, 2014.

Our “Spa Moms” share their mother’s day picks

Not sure what to gevintagepedicuret mom from the spa for mother’s day?  The moms on our team shared what they’d most like to receive as a gift!

Teresa: An indulgent EV Signature Facial is not only relaxing, but will make any mother’s skin glow and give her some pampering!  This is a great way to show her you love and care.”

Tisha: “An EV Signature Massage is a great way to unwind, specifically I love the soothing aromas of honey glaze and sweet cream. It is a good way to release tension in muscles from all the daily running with children.”

Camdine: “Aches and pains are unavoidable being a mom, let a heavenly hot stone massage melt them away!”

Jamee: “A gong fu chai scrub has the relaxing effects of massage while exfoliating your cares away.”

Cammie: “The longest massage I can get! I just want my body to feel better and be taken care of and it isn’t too likely a mom like me would get an 80 minute treatment for herself”

Cassie: I’m not a mom, but I have a mom that LOVES spas!  She doesn’t live in the area so I can’t treat her to services, but she gets to try all of our products and she shared some of her favorites.  From “Mama Chris:” I love my sweet cream and fluffy bunny lotion from Farmhouse Fresh, and the new Citrine Beach sample you sent!  You know I love my bath salts too, the Kneipp Pure Bliss smells so good!”

There you have it!  Stop in to get mom a gift card from April 25th through May 8th to take advantage of our gift card sale, and pick up a little something fun to wrap up with it so she can get a taste of the spa at home. Can’t make it in?  Click here to buy a gift card online (gift card voucher sale does not apply to online gift cards)

 

Perfect Easter Basket Fillers

Whether you need a perfect hostess gift or some Easter basket fillers, we have lots of cute options…including some on sale!

For the Easter Brunch hosts: This Bunny Loves You Gift Set (15% off through April 30th, 2016)

This Bunny Loves You set includes a Fluffy Bunny (lavender mint) hand cream and a sweet cream salt scrub.  It is so pretty it doesn't need a basket!

 

This Bunny Loves You set includes a Fluffy Bunny (lavender mint) hand cream and a sweet cream salt scrub. It is so pretty it doesn’t need a basket!

For sisters and nieces: Nail polish minis (Zoya sets are 15% off through April 30th, 2016.

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The Zoya lips and tips quad includes 3 spring minis and a coordinating lipstick.  The Vinylux Flirtation gift set includes 4 polishes minis and fast dry topcoat mini.  These sets are perfect to give whole or split to fill Easter eggs!

For moms, co-workers and your BFF: Farmhouse Fresh spring scented shea butters.  These scents are 15% off through April 30th, 2016!

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Farmhouse Fresh has tons of delightful scents, but our two favorites for sprin are their Fluffy Bunny (lavender mint) and Rainbow Road (pear).  They come in a beautiful jar and a purse size hand cream tube.

For YOU: A visit to the spa

East Village Spa Spring Specials

Whether you’re hosting a big Easter gathering or worn out from getting your garden beds ready for spring planting, you deserve a trip to the spa.  Check out our fun spring specials and book YOUR spa visit here!

Ingredient Spotlight: Arnica

Arnica is a healing herb from the sunflower family found in a diverse array of our home care and treatment products.  Arnica is popular as an ingredient in skin care and body care products for its healing and medicinal properties.

Arnica is commonly used in topical preparations to assist with skin irritation, bruising, burns, inflammation and joint pain.  According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, arnica products, when used topically, are generally considered to be safe.  Arnica should not be ingested as it could be toxic, though may be safe in extremely diluted homeopathic formulations under the guidance of a healthcare provider (this blog post does not constitute healthcare advice!)

In an online post about arnica, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center explained that while arnica hasn’t been widely researched, a small body of research has emerged showing it may be effective against osteoarthritis, swelling, and bruising, though more research is warranted.

Our estheticians use and recommend the Rhonda Allison Arnica Therapy cream after waxing services and when skin is healing post-peel to help with calming skin.

RAARNICA

Our massage therapists will often use a Kneipp arnica cream and cooling arnica gel when working on people with tissue inflammation or bruising.  Many of them use these products on their own bruise relief and as self care.   Our best-selling Kneipp product is the Arnica Joint and Muscle Bath Salt blend, which people report to be helpful for pain in hips, knees, low back, feet, and other joints when mixed into a hot bath for a relaxing soak.

kneipp joint and muscle

For more information about our products featuring arnica, be sure to ask your massage therapist, esthetician, or our receptionists at your next visit and check out the resources below.

References:

University of Maryland Medical Center: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/arnica

Rhonda Allison: https://www.rhondaallison.com/Arnica_Therapy_lp.html

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/arnica

2015 Highlights

The 2015 spa year wraps up in 3 hours and like always, I’m a sap for reminiscing.  The year has seen more growth, which means more people in Central Iowa are experiencing some much-needed stress relief!  It is always good to have a year with far more ups than downs (I’m sparing you photos of the ceiling collapse and floor drain explosions of 2015). I thought I’d share 10 memories from the year that make me smile.

  1. Early in 2015, I had the honor of presenting my friend (and super cool human) Dr. Chris Lorang with the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award from the East and South Des Moines Chamber.

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I also got to enjoy a fun evening with some of our team at the chamber’s annual dinner.

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2. I love teaching and I had the privilege  of teaching TWO amazing classes of students at Body Wisdom School this year.  So many great massage therapists entered the profession in 2015.image16

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3. Our team celebrated many “Best of Des Moines” wins again in 2015.  We truly appreciate your vote and we aim to live up to our “Best Spa” designation every day.

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4. Maybe the coolest thing we did in 2015 was provide free facials and skin care products to 12 women from the Beacon of Life Shelter during the spring and summer.  One of these awesome women chose to share her story with Channel 13 news.  I’m forever moved by the power of human touch and the confidence boost of proper skincare.image10

5. We got to enjoy Allison dancing with EVERY SINGLE MASCOT at the SW 9th Open Street Event that the spa volunteered for.

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6. Kelly and I had a great educational experience at ISPA conference and returned invigorated and full of ideas.

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7. Adding Rhonda Allison Skincare to our spa services and retail was the best decision we made in 2015.  Our skin looks and feels amazing and our clients are thrilled.  rhonda-allison-2

The Rhonda Allison line also allowed us to incorporate more corrective peels to our menu and I personally loved the results from mine!  Check out my blog post on it here.

Rhonda Allison Vitamin A Peel Before and After

8. We raised almost $2500 for Fluffy Butts Animal Rescue at our annual Spalloween fundraiser and had a record turnout!  The funds helped to cover several surgeries for the dogs in the rescue, like my new buddy Linus (pictured) who found a brand new “fur”ever home shortly after the event.

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9. We celebrated our 7th birthday!  I spent the day choking up because I get emotional at the spa’s birthday.  I just lost it when my dear friends at Ephemera posted this sign in their window.  It reminded me of over 7 years ago when we just had 2 itty bitty baby businesses across the street from each other.  We used to post cheery signs in the windows to say hello.  My how we’ve grown!

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10. We closed out the busiest year yet with this delightful little view of the capitol from our nail care suite last week.

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Thanks for everything, 2015.

Top Thanksgiving Host Gift Ideas

Thanksgiving and other winter holidays  are just around the corner and it is time to start thinking of a nice way to thank your hosts! We have a few fun alternatives to wine or flowers.

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  1. A donation to their favorite charity. Whether an animal rescue like one of our favorites, Fluffy Butts, or a donation to your local food pantry in their name, this is a gift that your host AND a great charity will appreciate!
  2. Locally crafted goods like Morphew Designs Earrings. We carry a beautiful assortment of Morphew Designs jewelry, but a gift from a local artist is a lovely gesture for both the recipient and as a way to support a small business or artist.
  3. Kneipp bath salts are a wonderful gift for a host who is preparing an entire meal! Nothing better than an aromatherapy bath to unwind after a busy day cooking.
  4. Pure Inventions drink mixes for a healthy and delicious alternative to wine, especially if you don’t know whether the host drinks. Our favorite for the holidays is the Cranberry Elderberry packaged with cloves and cinnamon sticks from Allspice.
  5. An East Village Spa gift card is a great way to thank a local host, especially one who has overnight guests! A massage is a great way to recover from the full house frenzy. You can even purchase one to email or print from home at www.EVDaySpa.com!
  6. Farmhouse Fresh Candles. Not only are these candles perfectly scented for winter holidays, they come wrapped in cute festive sweaters that can be reused as coffee coozies! Plus Farmhouse Fresh donates a portion of their sales to animal charities, which we adore.

Are you the harried host this season? Be sure to book yourself a spa service or two after the festivities. Having something relaxing  on the horizon is a great way to manage stress. You can get through just about any crazy meal if you know you have a massage a few days away!  Book yours online!

Check out our fall favorites!

Whether you need jewelry or nail polish to complement your favorite fall sweater, a unique host or hostess gift for Halloween and Thanksgiving gatherings, or want something sweet, spicy and delightful to nourish your skin, we have the perfect fall finds in our gift shop!

  1. Caramel Lovers Rejoice!

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The Backcountry Caramel Body Milk and Triple Shot Caramel Coffee Scrub are retail favorites every fall.  This year we’ve incorporated them into some of our seasonal services.  Don’t forget to stop up at the desk for your complimentary caramel truffle after your services (we know you’ll be craving one!)

2. Zoya Fall Nail Polishes

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These fun colors are available in full size bottles ($9) and mini bottles ($5) and are perfect to complement your favorite fall boots and sweaters!

3. Morphew Designs Jewelry

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Heather, the designer behind Morphew Designs Jewelry, lives in Central Iowa and regularly updates her collection of earrings and necklaces at the spa.  She’s also happy to do custom orders and has a fast turnaround time.

4. Pure Inventions Cranberry Elderberry Drink Mix

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Pro tip! Mix the cranberry elderberry drink mix into hot water and add a cinnamon stick, orange peel and cloves for a delicious and healthy no-cal alternative to heavy holiday punches and ciders.

5. Pumpkin for your skin

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Pumpkin is a popular skin care ingredient because it contains vitamin A, which soothes and softens skin, and antioxidant rich Vitamin C. Our Farmhouse Fresh Splendid Dirt Mask includes pumpkin puree and our Rhonda Allison Pumpkin Cleanser is a best-seller.  Both are suitable for many skin types, but ask your esthetician if you aren’t sure.

6. Hot Spiced Rum

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Farmhouse Fresh Butter Rum Sugar Scrub is a year-round favorite, but the Spiced Rum and Bunny Slippers Cozy Candle is a new product just in time for crisp fall evenings. Also perfect as a hostess gift for Halloween or Thanksgiving gatherings!

What is your favorite muscle to massage and why?

I took a little survey of our massage therapists to find out what muscle or muscle group they love working on and why.  The answers may surprise you!

Teresa Sage: Neck/cranial base release because it is such a nurturing area and because the tension ebbs and flows from the neck to the upper shoulders, almost always laden and heavy with tension on most people, especially females in my experience.

Teresa Sage demonstrates Craniosacral Massage techniques

Teresa Sage demonstrates Craniosacral Massage techniques

Allison Peterson: Erectors because of how they run the entire length of the spine and when they relax, we notice that surrounding larger muscle groups will open up with more ease.

Tiffany Jackson: The neck muscles because I think that is when people relax the most.

Jamee Koopman: The Psoas!  For more information about psoas massage, click here.

Many muscles in the abdominal area contribute to pain and tension, including the psoas and diaphragm.

Many muscles in the abdominal area contribute to pain and tension, including the psoas and diaphragm.

Clair McClintock: The Diaphragm!  It is often a place that gets left out of treatment for many different ailments.  For example: radiating pain across the ribs, breathing issues, trauma from an accident, and more.  It is not the most relaxing massage but I’ve had so much instant improvement in people’s back pain or some people that have come in with pain they’ve been dealing with for years.  It can be a huge emotional release spot for people.

Cassie Sampson: The Piriformis.  People who have severe pain from sciatic nerve issues can often find relief with massage to the piriformis and surrounding glut and hip muscles.  It wasn’t until I had injured myself and experienced the horrible pain caused by a sciatic nerve issues that I knew just how limiting and painful sciatic nerve issues could be and I liked knowing ways to help.

The piriformis and gluteal muscles can be accessed directly on the skin with proper draping, through sheets or clothing. Gluteal and piriformis massage is extremely beneficial.

The piriformis and gluteal muscles can be treated directly on the skin with proper draping, through sheets or clothing or via stretching. Gluteal and piriformis massage is extremely beneficial.

Justin Behanish: The quadratus lumborum (QL) muscle because it it is the cause (or partial cause) of pain in at least 1/4 of the people who have back-pain.  I think it is too often neglected by massage therapists.

The QL is a small muscle in the lower back that is the root of many peoples' back pain.

The QL is a small muscle in the lower back that is the root of many peoples’ back pain.

Kristiana Moore: The muscles in the feet because many of us stand all day and people find it the most relaxing.  When I get to the foot massage at the end of the session, so many people tend to fall asleep!

If any of our therapist’s responses are tempting you to book a massage to relax your sorest muscles, click here to schedule online!

5 Great Mother’s Day Ideas

Mother’s Day is a fun excuse to pamper the women in your life (moms, grandmas, wives, sisters, godmothers, dog-mothers, fill-in mothers…you name it!)  Here are a few of our favorite ideas!

1. A spa gift card.  We make it easy!  Pop into the spa and we have 2 great packages ready to go with popular service combinations.  Can’t make it in or pampering mom from a distance?  Purchase a gift card online and print it to include in your mother’s day card or e-mail it to mom!

Wellness Facial at East Village Spa 22. Two treats for tired feet: Our Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze is a great mask for rough calluses on the feet (and dry hands) and is one of Oprah’s favorite things.  The Derma E Intensive Therapy Foot Cream is a great pick-me-up for moms who are on their feet all day, providing a zippy mint scent and circulatory boost.

honey glaze3. Relax at East Village Spa and Beautify at Blo: We still (as of typing this) have 4 openings for our Mother’s Day “MOMosa” event at the spa, enjoy 2 hours of indulgence (mimosas, pastries, a special lavender honey massage and lavender honey facial) for just $200 all inclusive. Our neighbors across the street at Blo Blowdry Bar also have a great Mother’s Day Special!  Book a blow out for you and mom on Mother’s Day and mom’s is only $30!

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4. A Kneipp Bath Set: The healing properties of water can’t be overstated.  A soothing soak in the tub with aroma-therapeutic oils or mineral rich salts and it is like a mini vacation for stressed-out moms.  We have a variety of bath sets, plus single scented salts and mineral oils.

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5. Pamper moms-to-be: Purchase a gift card for a Pampering Pregnancy Massage, a fun bottle of non-toxic Zoya nail polish to paint her toe-nails (especially if she can’t reach them herself!) or a Farmhouse Fresh hand cream for a scent-sational treat in her hospital ready bag.

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