Get to know Hannah M!

We welcomed Licensed Massage Therapist Hannah Mapes to our team last month and within a month, she has already developed a loyal following of athletes and people who love a deep massage AND won our team’s employee of the month for her incredible attitude! She joined us from a spa primarily working with male clients and is happy to offer more diverse treatments and work with different health concerns at East Village Spa. Thank you for getting to know her better!

How long have you been a massage therapist?

I received my license in early 2017 after graduating from Body Wisdom School and started working full time immediately.

Why did you choose to be a massage therapist?

I had chronic back pain growing up. I had been in a few car accidents and had fallen on my back. I started receiving massage therapy when I was a teenager. I was amazed by what it can do for pain. I had always wanted to help other people, and going into massage was the right fit for me to do that.

What is your favorite massage service to give?

I love doing specific injury work so the Athletic Edge Sports Massage, which is also my favorite kind of massage to receive.

What is your favorite retail product?

Rapid Fire is pretty great!

What is your favorite self-care suggestion?

Never underestimate the power of an amazing bath with a cup of tea by your side!

Do you have a fun fact or talent that clients might enjoy knowing about?

I was born in Ghana, West Africa and I lived most of my childhood there until I was 14.

Why should clients visit YOU?

My passion and goal in massage is to help you with chronic pain relief and injury management. I genuinely care about your pain and I want to help!

Want to book with Hannah? Click here and choose “Specific Therapist” from the drop down menu, then click Hannah’s name to register your booking as a request. Or, call (515) 309-2904 and we’ll get you scheduled! She offers sports and deep tissue massage, EV Signature massage, seasonal specials, hot stone massage, and body scrubs.

Pumpkin, cranberries, and spice…our fall specials are pretty nice!

Print available in the super cute ALittleLeafy Etsy shop

I hate to be a cliche, but fall spices (and the gourds they fraternize with) are pretty awesome. We took stock of our favorite pumpkin, cranberry, and spice products to make our top picks for cozy fall recommendations.  All of these products will be 10% off in October to help you cozy up to the season of pumpkin, spice, and everything nice.

Rhonda Allison Pumpkin Cleanser

If you are a pumpkin spice lover, you must have the Rhonda Allison Pumpkin Cleanser. This is a powerful anti-aging cleanser so depending on your skin type, you can use it a couple of times a week or once daily, alternating with a gentler cleanser. Ask your esthetician to advise you. This cleanser is available in a travel size and full size. I love using it before bed because when I work out in the morning, I can STILL smell the yummy fall scent on my skin.

Rhonda Allison Grapeseed Serum

This serum is great to firm, tone, and hydrate skin. It is safe for most skin types and can be used as a moisturizer for people who have oily skin, or in addition to a moisturizer for extra antioxidant benefits for people who have more dry skin. This serum has clove oil and smells like fall in a bottle.

Farmhouse Fresh Splendid Dirt Mask

This face mask is great for people with clogged pores and oily skin. The vitamin rich pumpkin nourishes skin, clay draws out impurities, and yogurt soothes inflamed skin and helps with bacteria.

Farmhouse Fresh Honey Chai Steeped Milk Lotion

This is a lightly scented lotion available in two sizes that makes a beautiful fall gift and would be a perfect hostess gift for autumn events or Thanksgiving!

Farmhouse Fresh Ginger Sorbet Body Milk

This is a zippy gingery lotion that absorbs quickly into hands and body so is great to keep at the office or apply after your morning shower for a pick-me-up. It is one of our best selling scents year round but is especially fun in fall.

Pure Inventions Cranberry Elderbery Mix

This mix is so easy to use! Just shake the bottle and add a dropper full of concentrated cranberry elderberry fruit to your hot, cold, or sparkling water! Our FAVORITE way to serve this is hot with a cinnamon stick and a few cloves from allspice for a festive fall drink with no sugar or calories. I personally like to serve it this way at parties with a splash of Jameson and an orange wedge for a pretty, seasonal hot toddy.

Clockwise from left: Farmhouse Fresh Splendid Dirt Mask, RA Grapeseed Hydrating Serum, RA Pumpkin cleanser in full and travel size, Farmhouse Fresh Ginger Sorbet glass jar and hand cream tube.

Stop in to take 10% off of all in-stock fall pumpkin, cranberry, and spice items in October 2017! Learn more about our services or book online at www.EVDaySpa.com.

See you at the spa!

 

Breaking Out: Before and After

I’ve been lucky to have decent-enough skin for the moderate effort I put into it. I had some pimples as a teen, but definitely not acne. I have the rare hormonal breakout and my skin definitely shows signs of sun damage and aging, but I think I’ve been fortunate. Recently, a ton of changes at once caused my skin to freak out in a painful way.

Yikes! I have never had breakouts this bad, this was actually a bit painful.

I recently cut heavier bangs and switched shampoos. I’ve increased the amount of  sweat, gross lake water, heavy duty sport sun screen, and dog-slobber my skin sees. In hindsight, skin-rebellion was a sure thing.

To be fair, I should have gotten bad breakouts long before now considering the gross things I do to my skin!

My breaking point came the day laying down for a massage became too uncomfortable with the breakout on my forehead. I asked our esthetician Cassandra to overhaul my Rhonda Allison home care routine. She’s struggled with breakouts off and on and has lots of empathy and experience in treating them. She looked at what I was doing, subtracted a few products, and added some more. Surprisingly, she INCREASED the moisturizing I was doing.

My recommendations from Cassandra, which I followed pretty well (though sometimes used my BB Creme as my SPF.) I kept the image of the instructions on my phone to have handy while I got ready am/pm. The only fairly pricey product was the Mandelic Arginine and I decided it was worth the cost for the results.

Instead of masking just once, I used the wasabi mask twice in the week per Cassandra’s suggestion. She was right…it does start off a bit hot and tingly but it cooled off quickly and I think it really kick-started the healing for me the first night.

My first time using the Wasabi Mask. It was a bit toasty for a few minutes!

Within a couple of days the pain was gone and the hardest thing was not picking! I admit that I picked one area, which you’ll notice in the “after” image, but overall, I was thrilled with my results in a week of being very diligent with the home care. Too often we hear people say they don’t see results, but then they confess that they only used half of the recommended routine, or only did the routine for a couple of days then gave up.

In typical business-owner fashion, I decided to look on the bright side and see my skin “freak out” as a test of our professional advice and products and be glad I could document my progress for others who might be struggling. I tried guessing at a routine on my own for a few weeks, but it wasn’t working even though I was using good products. That’s where a licensed, professional esthetician comes in. Obviously what worked for me won’t work for everyone and I’m honestly surprised things cleared up so quickly.

After photo, totally smooth skin (minus the spot I couldn’t resist picking) just over a week after I started my home care.

If you are struggling with a breakout, or you have a history inflamed and uncomfortable acne, we have a few facial services that can be helpful in kicking off the healing when partnered with a good routine at home. The key is to stick to the advice and keep in touch with your professional esthetician. Want more information or to schedule? Consider starting with the “Clear Results” facial for true acne or the Wellness Facial for occasional breakouts.

How do massage therapists manage their own pain?

One of the most frequently asked questions I heard when I was practicing massage was “how often do YOU get a massage?” As massage therapists, we learn to get a good read on our bodies and learn what works well to prevent or manage our own pain.  Some of the LMTs on our team shared what works best for them, and their favorite referrals.

Camdine: I use a Lacrosse ball on my hips, back, and neck to massage painful spots. Camdine also uses locally produced Rapid Fire to reduce pain.

Julie: Daily stretches, epsom salt and Kneipp arnica bath soaks 3x week, a glass of warm Pure Inventions Tranquility tea (with magnesium) before bed, Rapid Fire to control small areas of pain, regular massages and chiropractic care as needed.

Julie’s favorite nighttime  drink is the Pure Inventions Tranquility which contains chamomile, passion flower, and magnesium.

Jamee: I use acupressure as a cure for everything but death, and I haven’t died yet. I see my personal massage therapist (co-worker Tiffany) regularly. I also purchased a Yoga trapeze that is a miracle for low back pain.

Heather: Massage 2-3x a month, regular visits with chiropractor Dr. Pulley (East Village Chiropractic)

Our employees massage each other and also see therapists outside the spa when their co-workers are booked. We all know the importance of “practicing what we preach!”

Hannah M: Staying active after a hard day reduces tension for me.

Jamee (cont’d): …On second thought, I should get a med alert bracelet made up that says in an emergency, call my massage therapist (Tiffany.)

Brandi: Yoga and using a foam roller, a 30 minute daily walk, get adjusted at Shine Chiropractic weekly, Fadeaway Flotation monthly.

Tisha: Rapid fire for aches, pains, and headaches, cupping therapy, foam roller, yoga, and a monthly massage (more often when needed!)

Most of our employees swear by Rapid Fire for muscle aches and tension headaches.

Conny: I’m not in pain often, but if it happens, I either overworked something or an emotional issue came up. For physical pain, I use rapid fire and a soak in a hot bath with epsom salts, receive massage twice a month. A good book, a glass of wine, and a friend for heartache.

 

Conny is especially partial to Kneipp bath salts because like her, they are from Germany.

Cassie: The older I get the more my joints act up, especially after running, biking, and swimming. In addition to regular massage, I see Dr. Pulley for chiropractic care when I overdo it or something feels “off.” I have done regular pilates at Gigi’s Pilates for about 6 years. Sometimes stretching isn’t the answer (or isn’t the only answer). The strengthening techniques in Pilates really help my low back and knees from screaming after longer runs.

If I miss to many pilates sessions, my body rebels and I get low back spasms that make it hard to run. I have learned the importance of strength training to keep everything working like it should!

Want to try massage therapy or one of our favorite pain relieving products for your own aches and pains? Stop into East Village Spa at 601 East Locust or book online!

Managing Workplace Stress

One of my best friends had been solidly in the “Massage is weird, I’ll never get a massage” camp for years. He finally confessed that this year he tried massage and has been getting them regularly ever since. I asked him what prompted him to try, when all of my prodding for years didn’t convince him. His reply “work was getting to be too much and I didn’t know what else to do to manage it.”

Even if you love your job, work can be stressful! In fact, 65% of Americans cited work as the #1 contributor to stress in their lives (2012 APA’s Annual Stress in America Study). The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has increased focus on stress as a workplace safety and health concern.

Even working in a spa, which would seem to be a low-stress job (to people who don’t work in a spa!) requires our team to carefully monitor their emotions and manage stress levels, both at home and at work. We see people at their most vulnerable and need to be sure we can be calm and present with them so we’ve become not only experts in relieving stress for others, but in practicing self care to keep our stress at bay and not absorb the stress from clients we’re working with.

At the spa, we hear anecdotal evidence from our guests that stressful issues at work (unclear demands, limited growth opportunities, time management concerns, supervisors, even workplace bullies) are a main reason they visit the spa. While our providers can’t change your work situation, we can offer coping mechanisms. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) studied the effects of massage therapy on ICU nurses and found statistically significant benefits to nurses who received massage therapy to manage stress over those who did not.

A Canadian pilot study of seated workplace massage showed short-term benefits of 20 minute weekly seated massage on employees in stressful work environments and suggested further research is needed to see long-term benefits of such a program. The Touch Research Institute of Miami showed that a 15 minute chair massage was more beneficial than a typical 15 minute break in reducing anxiety and also improved cognitive performance. Forbes recommends that executives regularly receive massage to reduce workplace stress, increase productivity, and increase sleep.

Work stress is serious! Don’t take it from us, take it from the American Psychological Association. This is a great article on tips to manage your work stress from the pros.

When it feels like too much, sometimes a visit to the spa can help you feel like yourself again, whether it is a stress relieving massage, facial, or both. Learn more about our services or schedule time to refresh and de-stress here.

 

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 will 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.

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.
  • 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.

 

 

Get to know Lindsay Crowe!

Lindsay Crowe joined our team in 2017 to provide nail, skincare, and waxing services as a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician. Within her first 3 months at the spa, she was named Employee of the Month TWICE! Her clients and co-workers love her and we know you will too.

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

I’ve been doing hair, waxing, nails, and facials for about 3 years.  PCI Academy in Ames, Iowa.

Why did you go into this field?

I wanted to be fulfilled in my career and help others in a better way from healthcare.  When I lost most of my hair in my 30’s due to my childhood auto-immune disorder, Alopecia Areata, I wanted to know more and help others like myself feel and look better.

What is your favorite service to give?

Facials and Body Waxing

What is your favorite spa service to receive?

Facials and Massage

What is your favorite retail product?

Rapid Fire, Anything FHF, and Thistle Farms Bath Salts….wait, I love it all, especially smelly goods!

What is your favorite way to reduce stress?

Sing and dance

What is your favorite self-care suggestion for clients?

Take the time to take care of yourself and recharge so that you can better care for the things you have going on in your life.

Do you have any fun fact or talent that clients might enjoy knowing about?

I am a crazy Girl Scout Leader for my daughter’s troop and mom to a boy who believes he is Batman.

Why should clients visit YOU?

I am caring and want what is best for my client.  I believe they have the right to get the best care while they are in my hands.  My main goal is to help them feel better overall and give every guest an exceptional experience!

If you’d like to book with Lindsay, click here for our website. When you go to book online, choose “Specific Therapist” and then choose her name from the drop down menu to mark your service as are request.

Talk to your doctor about massage

When I was 22 (in about 2002), I picked up a small item from the floor as someone called my name. When I turned my head to see who it was, my neck caught. For a month, I had a stiff neck. Growing up, we never used chiropractic or massage therapy so my first instinct was to go to a walk-in clinic doctor. The doctor briefly assessed me, then told me I had arthritis and needed long term pain medication to treat this condition he presumed would plague me for life. That was that. I was too inexperienced to question him, but the visit literally took 10 minutes and I left thinking I had serious arthritis at 22. I took the medication for months, even though the pain had subsided after just a few days. When the medication was pulled from the market after dangerous side-effects emerged, my pain never returned.

I haven’t had any other issues related to that little injury and I truly believe, knowing what I know now as a massage therapist, that a trip to a good chiropractor coupled with a massage would have managed the pain I experienced at 22 just as effectively as the medication. Fun fact: that experience is one of the reasons I became a massage therapist!

I believe that had I experienced the same kind of injury today, doctors would have responded differently. In fact, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012 showed chiropractic care and specific exercise were more effective than NSAIDs or Narcotics for treating neck pain.

For acute or subacute low back pain, one of the most common reasons for physician visits, physicians are changing their tune as well. The American College of Physicians recommends in a 2017 report that physicians FIRST recommend treatment with heat, massage therapy, spinal manipulation, or acupuncture BEFORE resorting to pain medications. For chronic low back pain, physicians are instructed to recommend rehabilitation, spinal manipulation, stress management, exercises like yoga or Tai Chi, in addition to other non-pharmaceutical interventions.

Where does massage therapy fit into the mix? Many studies have shown massage therapy to be an effective treatment for pain, especially low back, neck, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and more. A summary of some of the research is available through the National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health. The Touch Research Institute has many studies about massage therapy available online as well. Because more research is always beneficial and because the guidelines for physicians are evolving, you can make a difference.

If you have had positive experience with  massage therapy for pain management, be sure to let your physician know what you are doing. It is always important to let your physician know all of the wellness services you are receiving so they have the whole picture of your treatment. Because some are less familiar with the benefits of massage therapy or see it as “merely” a pampering service, hearing first hand from their patients about the relief they get from massage is helpful in shaping how they might approach others with similar conditions or how they might answer questions for patients who broach the subject of massage for pain relief.

Haven’t tried massage for pain? We’d love to visit with you! Visit our website to learn more about our service and providers, or Book a service with one of our experienced, licensed massage therapists to see if massage therapy could be part of the solution for your own wellness and pain management.

Comfortable ways to run, bike, and swim in Des Moines for Newbies

When I was in my early 30s, I knew I needed to get fit. I grew up swimming but didn’t know how to ride a bike and couldn’t run a mile. The first time I ran a full lap around Gray’s Lake (1.9 miles) without stopping was as exhilarating as my first half marathon. I learned how to ride a bike in in my quiet neighborhood after dark so little kids wouldn’t seem me wobbling around on two wheels. While I crave regular workouts now, I totally get how awkward it can be when you are just getting started so I wanted to share a few ways I’ve found that are comfortable for people of all fitness levels, especially people just starting out or getting back into the swing of things after a long hiatus.

Des Moines City Ride: A safe, comfortable bike ride

I still swim, and I learned to love running. I can bike well enough to complete triathlons, but biking on streets terrifies me. Not learning how to ride until late in life means I still almost fall off my bike every time I stop and can’t stand up to pedal, weird things most people take for granted. My friend Katy gently nudged me to try the Des Moines City Ride last night after several people told me this was an awesome way to get comfortable biking around Des Moines. Last night we met at Westchester Park on Aurora Avenue and biked as a group to Dogpatch Urban Gardens which will be my new favorite place for produce! It was awesome!

The ride was a nice slow pace so nobody was left behind, great practice biking on streets, family friendly, and everyone was encouraged to use proper signaling. I was able to meet new people and catch up with friends while biking. The group meets most weeks on Mondays to explore a different neighborhood, but check their facebook page and website for the up-to-date schedule.

Lap swim at Ashworth Pool

During regular pool season, Ashworth pool offers lap swim only hours from 12-1 daily. The hours are not well-published so there is usually not a crowd. For newer swimmers, Ashworth’s lap swim time offers a comfortable space to practice without dodging kids and families. The 50 meter length is great if you dread turns and swimming outdoors helps make getting in a workout more of a treat and less of a chore, especially if you use the last part of your visit to enjoy quiet time on the pool deck while you dry off. When I make it to lap swim, I usually notice a range of abilities, from new swimmers and senior citizens just covering a couple lengths of the pool, to triathletes and college athletes training in the off-season. Everyone just does their own thing and has plenty of space.

Fleet Feet run programs and social runs

I’ve always been a fan of Fleet Feet Sports and their run programs and social runs. The employees and volunteer mentors for Fleet Feet are the kindest, most supportive people you’ll ever meet and they welcome both new and experienced runners and walkers to their programs. Whether you’re running to get ice cream or beer, training for your first 5k or your 50th marathon, they have something you’ll enjoy at just the right pace. They’ve even started doing social runs in other areas of the city. Check the Fleet Feet Website page for their upcoming events or stop into the store where they will be happy to invite you to join the fun!

Visit the South Suburban YMCA

Prefer an indoor workout? I’ve found the team at the South Suburban YMCA to be exceedingly welcoming to people of all fitness levels. Some of our spa guests who have never gone to a gym have found a great home at the South Suburban Y and look forward to lap swim, water aerobics, spin classes, and individual workouts. If you’ve never been a “gym person” this might be a good place to start.

Wherever you start out, we’re happy to help you on your journey! Book a massage to help with aches and pains, or any spa service as a healthy reward as you progress toward your fitness goals!

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!