Get to know Brandi, LMT

Brandi Munch, Licensed Massage Therapist, yoga instructor, and reiki practitioner joined our team in February, 2017. Brandi has a loyal following of clients seeking a peaceful, quiet relaxation service. She spent 10 years as a social worker prior to seeking a calmer field where she could truly make a difference in the lives of her clients.

How long have you been in the industry?

I completed my massage therapy education at Aveda in 2016 and have been working full time in the field ever since. I became a certified yoga instructor in 2017.

What are your specialties?

Relaxation-focused massage sessions and reiki. I also offer prenatal and hot stone massage.

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.

Describe your treatment style in 3 words:

Nurturing, restorative, peaceful

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to give?

I love the indulgent foot massages we offer because we incorporate yummy scented products!

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to receive?

I love all of them!

What is your favorite retail product?

Rapid Fire locally produced pain relief spray

What do you do in your free time?

I spend time with my old grumpy puggle, Sophie. We love to be outside exploring trails and parks.

Why should guests visit YOU?

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

What are guests saying about Brandi?

“Brandi takes such good care of me. This is my regular “me time” spot! I feel so much better after going to her services.”

“She is an excellent massage therapist. She knows the muscles and how to relieve stress and pain. She is nice and responsive.”

“Friendly, professional and simply amazing. Explains everything she does so I understand the massage and the good it does for my mind and body.”

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.

 

 

Get to know Molly I, Licensed Massage Therapist

Thank you for helping us welcome Molly Ihde to our team! Molly joined our team in 2016 and has been a great addition to our sports and deep tissue therapists.  In addition to her passion for deep tissue and athletic massages, her Aveda training helped her develop a place in her heart for relaxation and spa therapies like our Gong Fu Chai scrub, which she loves doing!

How long have you been in the industry?

I graduated from the Aveda Institute in 2015 and have been working full time as a massage therapist ever since.

Why did you go into massage therapy?

I became a massage therapist because I have an interest in health and wellness, specifically in sports therapy and preventative care.

What is your favorite service to give?

I enjoy athletic massage and deep tissue work.

What is your favorite spa service to receive?

I love our Gong Fu Chai scrub because the Farmhouse Fresh Clementine oil smells amazing and my skin feels so smooth afterwards.

What is your favorite spa retail product?

Unfortunately, I haven’t tried everything yet, but some of my favorites are the Farmhouse Fresh face masks, Sweet Cream Body Lotion (we use this in the EV Signature Massages), Rhonda Allison Ultra Hydration Lotion and Farmhouse Fresh Plum Chiffon Balm.

What is your favorite way to reduce stress?

When I’m stressed, I like to go for a run, do crossword puzzles, read, or listen to podcasts.

What is your favorite self-care suggestion for clients?

I’m a huge fan of foam rollers and lacrosse balls for more specific trigger point relief. These tools are probably the closet thing you can get to deep tissue and broad pressure body work at home and a great habit to get into between appointments.

Do you have a favorite relaxation or stress relief quotation?

“Our bodies communicate clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen.” Shakti Gawain

Why should clients visit YOU?

I really work hard and do everything I can to be a positive part of someone’s day. If my client leaves with a smile and even just a little bit better than when they came in, I’m happy.

To schedule a massage with Molly, click here or call (515) 309-2904. If booking online, be sure to select “specific therapist” and choose her name from the drop down menu if you wish to make a request to see Molly.

 

Get to know Heather, LMT

Thank you for helping us to welcome Heather Brown, LMT to our team! Heather joined us in 2016 after our long time therapist Teresa Sage moved to Dubuque. Heather has a similarly nurturing style to Teresa and we are confident she is a great fit for many of Teresa’s regulars and clients looking for a great combination of relaxation and specific work.

How long have you been in the industry?

I graduated from Body Wisdom Massage Therapy School in 2016 and began my career with East Village Spa right afterward.

Why did you go into this field?

I practiced infant massage on my children and have been told over the years that I would make a great massage therapist because I am a natural. It makes me very happy to be in the wellness profession. I have worked and volunteered with children, animals and geriatrics my whole life. Being of service has been my life calling.

What is your favorite service to give?

I love aromatherapy and pampering you with whatever massage technique is called for in the session. We have so many options to choose from depending on what the you request. If you have a specific issue going on with your body, I will help determine what will give you the most relaxation and relief.

What is your favorite spa service to receive?

Everything we offer at the spa is a favorite. It’s nice to try new services depending on what I need at the time.

What is your favorite retail product?

The Kneipp products are wonderful! Try the arnica gel or cream for aches, pains or bruises. I like to mix a dab in with my cream or massage oil. Arnica gel speeds up the healing process. The Kneipp salts are also helpful to have on hand or give away as gifts.

What is your favorite way to reduce stress?

During the summer I enjoy swimming outdoors with my sons. Hiking with my Golden Retriever, Shadow, at Brown’s Woods or Walnut Woods is another favorite. Meeting up with friends at Gray’s Lake or the YMCA in the winter to work out and get in the sauna makes me very happy. For quick de-stressors I enjoy epsom salt baths, listening to music, stretching and cooking.

What is your favorite self-care suggestion for clients?

Stay hydrated with water, daily walks, eat a healthy diet, keep your sense of humor, get a good night’s sleep and do your stretches. If you’re having a bad day a nap, a massage or ice cream makes everything better. All three is a trifecta!

Tell us some fun facts about yourself!

I’ve camped at six national parks with my family plus we drove to Alaska and visited with friends there for a month, camping through Canada there and back–Banff and Jasper National Parks included. We also volunteered and lived on several organic farms for about 4 months as part of an education experience.

Why should guests visit YOU?

Guests should visit me because I am genuinely interested in helping each guest get back to feeling better through either relaxation massage, alleviating specific troubled spots or both.  

If you would like to schedule a massage with Heather, click here to book online or give us a call at (515) 309-2904!

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!

Get to know Julie, Licensed Massage Therapist

Julie Accola joined our massage team in 2016.  She has spent much of her professional career as a Registered Nurse, so massage is fun addition to her healthcare work. She continues to provide nursing care in-home to children and is assisting our spa guests a few days a month and as needed, filling in for bigger groups, maternity leaves, or special events.

Julie has a great sense of humor and is frequently joking about her “big peasant hands” which provide an AWESOME and nurturing massage.

When and where did you receive your training?

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. I’m comfortable assisting guests who have complex medical needs due to my nursing background.

What is your favorite service to receive?

The same! I love facials and pedicures too now!

What is your favorite spa retail product?

The Kneipp sleep and pain relief aids work great without side effects. I drink my Pure Inventions Tranquility tea at bedtime too.

Tell us something interesting about yourself:

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?). I love time with my grand kids as well.

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.

What do guests say about Julie?

“Julie was absolutely wonderful! I recommend her hands down for any massage needs you may ever require. She had purpose behind every touch. Her hands are truly magic. She gave me a bigger gift than I’m sure she will ever realize. I left relaxed and beyond satisfied with the services she provided me.”

Please note that Julie has a limited schedule as she typically only works 2-3 days/month or fills in on short notice. If you would like a recommendation for a therapist with a similar style to Julie’s please call us at (515) 309-2904 or e-mail EVSpaDesk@gmail.com.

 

Get to know Cori

Cori HuginsCori Hugins, licensed cosmetologist, joined our team in July 2016 to provide safe and relaxing manicures and pedicures.  We’re excited for you to get to know her and are confident you’ll enjoy her as much as we do!  As a fun bonus, Cori has also attended massage school so the hand and foot massages she gives in her nail sessions are amazing!

Why did you go into this field?

To heal people and make others feel like their better selves. It’s a very rewarding career when you are able to have fun and help people at work!

What is your favorite service to give?

I enjoy pedicures and making your toes look beautiful!

What is your favorite spa service to receive?

I absolutely love facials! They’re relaxing, yet I know my face is being cleaned, and cleaned right!

What is your favorite way to reduce stress?

Yoga! I feel at least 10-15 minutes of yoga a day can reduce stress and tension in your back, shoulders, and wherever else you may be feeling uncomfortable. Breathing is a big one for me.  Take the time to just stop, relax, and breathe.

Do you have a favorite relaxation quotation?

“Smile and the world will smile back.” Whenever I”m feeling down or stressed, I think of this and live by it.  It makes me feel better knowing I may be impacting someone’s day, no matter how small, in a positive way.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I’m a HUGE astrology nerd!

Why should clients visit YOU?

I’m caring, a great listener, and will give you an excellent service.  I will make sure to give you the nail service that is exactly what you are looking for.

To schedule a relaxing manicure or pedicure with Cori, click here to book online!

You’re not cheating!

Imagine this:  You are about to leave for a weekend road trip with your friends and wake up with a crick in your neck.  You call the spa hoping to squeeze in a bit of pain relief with your therapist but he or she has the day off.  The receptionist suggests another great therapist, but you decline because you think you’ll hurt your therapist’s feelings.

When you return, you book with your regular massage therapist, tell them you were miserable on your trip, and they are shocked at how tense your neck and shoulders are from that painful road trip.  You need to book 3 weeks in a row just to feel normal again before you can get back on your monthly schedule.  Your therapist tells you they wish you’d have seen one of their colleagues for some relief before you left. After all, they trust them with their own massage therapy sessions and think they are great!

painWith summer so near, it is a good time to remind clients that our employees encourage you to see their colleagues for services to keep up with your progress.  We know your schedule gets crazier in the summer and our employees are also planning upcoming travel, races, and family events.  If they aren’t available when you need in, they want you to see one of their co-workers that they trust immensely with your care (and their own!)  Here’s why:

  • Our spa is a “team treatment” spa and the majority of our clients see multiple providers for more booking options and treatment styles to choose from.
  • We have been open almost 8 years and our experienced employees are fortunate that they don’t have to compete for bookings, they are always comfortably busy!
  • Our employees can rest easier when they plan a vacation or have an unexpected illness knowing that their regulars can keep on their treatment schedule with one of their co-workers.  Believe me, it stresses them out when planning a trip knowing someone they’ve been treating will skip a session (or complain that their therapist is leaving) rather than see a trusted colleague.
  • Our employees know that because they are all so busy, it is hard for clients to get in to see them as often as they need to.  We’d all rather have you see 2-3 people and get in on the schedule that is recommended than wait too long between services and not get the results you could.
  • You might find it beneficial to experience different styles of work or different opinions from other providers!  I personally have two therapists I book with at the spa when I need relaxation or want a hot stone massage, one therapist I book with for shoulder pain, and another I book with for general deep tissue.
  • Last but not least, our services providers care about you and hate to think you are in pain when they know someone who can help you!
No need for disguises! Most of our clients see multiple providers, we won't be upset!

No need for disguises! Most of our clients see multiple providers, we won’t be upset!

Next time you can’t get in with your regular provider, let the front desk know specifically what you like about that person and we can pair you up with someone who has a similar approach instead of waiting longer than you or your body wants to between services. You might also ask your regular provider who he or she would recommend if you ever need to get in when they aren’t available. Click here to learn about our skilled treatment team and click here to book your next appointment!

P.S. Our team had a good laugh at this picture, because it sometimes feels pretty accurate!

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Caring for the Caregiver: Teresa’s Story

A question we’re frequently asked is “How often do you get a massage?” or “Who does your massages?”  I decided to ask our team to share stories of how massage and complementary medicine have impacted them personally.  Our massage therapist, Teresa, was the first to share her story.  Stay tuned for more stories in the series!

From Teresa:

Teresa, a massage therapist at East Village Spa, provides a craniosacral massage to Kelly.

Teresa, a massage therapist at East Village Spa, provides a craniosacral massage to Kelly.

For the past 5 + years, I have been a dedicated client/recipient of myofascial/deep tissue massage and chiropractic adjustments.  I believe I would not be able to sustain a career in massage therapy without receiving this therapy myself.

For years before moving back to Iowa, I sought help through massage and chiropractors, with some success, but I would describe it more as hit-and-miss. When I moved back to Iowa, I learned about myofascial massage methods used with deep tissue with the help of a knowledgeable, skilled and gifted therapist, James Kozuki. I began regular sessions, and we have been able to peel back the layers of restrictions and “stuck” tissue that had resulted from soft tissue trauma I sustained many, many years ago, not to mention any other sprains, strains and “normal” tension (like pregnancy) that were layered on top!
In those early-in-life accidents, I had been jarred, whip-lashed, bruised and twisted up (no broken bones) and as the years went by, stiffness and soreness in my neck and low back became more pronounced.  Now, with the help of massage therapy and chiropractic care, I can turn my head in all directions without pain or stiffness, and my low back is better than ever.  I am forever grateful for the gifts of massage therapists (and gifted chiropractors, too), especially when you find one that fits exactly what you need!
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Thank you to Teresa for sharing her story! To learn about our massage therapists, our services, or to schedule an appointment online, click here!

Get to know Camdine Cox, LMT

Camdine (Pronounced “Cam-den,” she also goes by “Cami”) joined our team in February 2016, but her massage career started long before we were fortunate enough to cross paths! She’s one of our most requested sports therapists but also provides relaxation therapies. Her style is ideal for people seeking a solution for injuries for problem areas. She has many long-time “regulars” with standing appointments for up to a year out, so her guests know that to get on Camdine’s schedule it is best to book in advance.

 

How long have you been in the industry?

I graduated from the Iowa College of Natural Health and received my massage therapy license in 2009

What are your specialties?

Sports massage, deep tissue, trigger point therapy, cupping (silicone cups), prenatal massage, and foot reflexology.

Why did you go into massage therapy?

I have always loved helping people feel better. It is important for me to help my clients get back to doing the things that they love if they’ve experienced an injury or setback.

Describe your treatment style in 3 words:

Stretching, relaxing, results

What is your favorite service to give?

Sports Massage

What is your favorite spa service to receive?

Hot Stones or Two Feet Deep Barefoot Bars Massage

What is your favorite retail product?

Kneipp’s Juniper muscle relief bath salts

What hare your hobbies or interests?

I speak Spanish and French, love reading and listening to music.

 

Why should clients visit YOU?

I focus on relieving the cause of pain and stress through sports, prenatal, and hot stone massage. I can incorporate stretching, improve range of motion, and can incorporate deeper work for people who like very firm pressure.

What are clients saying?

“Camdine has a gentle presence, which translates through her work. Competent and calming – what I consider the two great qualities of a massage therapist.”

“She listens to you and gives great advice on how to feel better and take care of your body!”

 

Want to schedule a massage with Camdine?  Click here to book online! If you wish to make a specific request to see Camdine, please select “Specific Therapist” and her name from the drop down menu.

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.