European Spa Tour Part 2: Avert your eyes!

Have you read part 1 of my European Spa Tour entries? Click here to get caught up!

Before I get too deep into any other entries, I’ll address the elephant in the sauna: nudity. I think it is fairly common knowledge that in Germany and some other European countries, children aren’t raised with the same body shame we are in America. This is referred to as Freikoerperkultur or Free Body Culture (Click for a GREAT recent article on the background of nudist culture in Germany).

This way of life and body acceptance is definitely a very cool, but very foreign concept to this Iowa lady. Even parks in Munich have large nudity areas, though they were more widespread before the Munich Olympics. (Our bike tour guide: “Germany didn’t think worldwide tourists would be great standing in line for a beer with naked strangers”).The sauna complexes we visited in Switzerland, Austria and Germany were part of the Free Body Culture, with nudity being a normal element.

This is a dramatization of my anxious brain’s image of the European sauna before my visit. Obviously I didn’t take photos in the saunas we enjoyed. I promise, they were nothing like this.

I wondered aloud for months how I’d handle the nudity and get over my own issues, growing up swimming 3-4 hours daily wearing practically translucent competition suits, I’m not sure how I acquired so much Midwest prudishness about nudity, but I did. I even joke about my issues at work. I realize this normally would not be workplace appropriate, but remember, I own a spa that does Brazilian waxing. I’ve been a massage therapist since 2005 but still keep my undies on when I get a massage (I know, I know…but WHAT IF THERE IS A FIRE?) Our German massage therapist Conny cornered me before my trip and urgently pleaded with me “Promise me you vill NOT vear your bathing suit in za sauna. Vee think zat is very unsanitary!”

That being said, you can wear a towel and you most definitely should sit on a towel in saunas and steam rooms. In fact, during the pool and sauna facility tours we received, the guides expressed that the reason they are so anti-bathing suit is that they don’t feel bathing suits are properly cleaned in the wash and that they harbor bacteria. It is quite a contrast in policy to the spa and thermal waters complex my friend just checked into in New York where the website clearly stated “Bathing suits are required. If you do not bring one, we will provide one free of charge.”

Now, in all but one of the complexes visited on the group, bathing suits were fine (and required) in most pools, but there were some separate pools where they were not allowed. I’ll be honest, I stuck to the bathing suit pools. They were more fun anyway. I mean, LOOK at this thermal pool that shoots you around like a high powered, warm water lazy river!

As far as the saunas went, I was fine being wrapped in a towel and didn’t feel judged. Honestly, I max out at about 3 minutes in a Sauna anyway. The facility we visited in Austria even had a female-only sauna and steam facility in addition to the co-ed sauna complex. The co-ed complex was age 15 and older but they have hours where families and children of all ages are welcome. I skipped the smaller more urban sauna complex in Munich (to visit a different spa) but that pool and sauna were all nude, with showers and lockers all around the pool’s perimeter so privacy wasn’t an option there.

The spa facility in Switzerland had two saunas that permitted bathing suits, but the gist of what we heard on the tour was was “I mean, if you want to sit in the ‘basic’ gross saunas for people in dirty, bacteria-ridden bathing suits, go ahead. But the cool nude saunas have a day of activities including a person cooking SOUP on the sauna coals! Bamboo Massage! Free refreshments! But whatever.” I was surprised how fast I made a beeline to the cool nude sauna because REFRESHMENTS!

The pool and sauna complex in Bad Zurzach Switzerland. This pool is indoor/outdoor. To the top right is the “cool” detached sauna complex where the nude people get to hang out and eat snacks.

As much as I was anxious about the culture shock of being around lots of naked people, I found it fascinating to hear from one employee at a thermal pool facility about the modern day issues they face in their long history of body acceptance and open nudity. With international tourism and new residents who come from countries with a far less of an acceptance of public nudity than even this Iowa lady, it sounds like they face a delicate balance between honoring traditions and helping all guests to feel comfortable. I’m curious to see how, over time, these facilities manage to do that and hopefully it won’t be too long until I’m able to go back for another visit to find out!

Continue reading part 3: Public Sauna and Pool Complexes here!

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!

 

Which facial is best for me?

We have so many great facial options, sometimes it can be hard to decide which one is the best choice for your needs!  I hope this guide helps to narrow it down for you. Our estheticians are able to customize many services and have no fear, if you select a facial that is not the best choice for your needs, they can often make a last minute change to a more appropriate facial that is the same length of time or can substitute products as needed to customize your service.

EV Signature Facial: MOST POPULAR FACIAL!

  • Our most relaxing facial for those who are looking for great skin care results AND relaxation
  • Includes a longer masking time than the Wellness Facial so skin receives more benefits that way
  • Extra relaxation benefits like more massage techniques incorporated, plus a softening honey foot mask and foot massage while the active professional products are working their magic on your face..

Best for: Adults who have concerns to address including acne, dryness, aging, rosacea, and hyper-pigmentation

Not recommended for: Anyone who can’t lay on their back for over an hour, younger teens, pregnant guests (book our Pregnancy Glow facial instead)

Minus 10 Facial: MOST CORRECTIVE FACIAL

  • Our most corrective facial for anti-aging results as this facial utilizes 3 different acid exfoliants to firm and brightening the skin
  • This facial is recommended to our clients as a series of 3, performed every 2 to 3 weeks for optimal results
  • Clients may experience very light flaking and/or slight dryness after this facial due to the rejuvenating exfoliants

Best for: Adults who want to see age-defying results, people willing to complete the series and home care for best results

Not recommended for: Teens or people without aging skin concerns, anyone with acneic skin, pregnant guests (book our Pregnancy Glow facial instead!), or anyone who can’t lay on their back for over an hour.

Clear Relief Acne Facial:

  • An hour long healing facial for people who have cystic or inflamed acne
  • Designed to reduce bacteria, soften and dissolve cellular buildup, and reduce inflammation

Best for: People who want to get a start on treating inflamed or cystic acne

Not recommended for: Pregnant guests (book the Pregnancy Glow Facial), guests who do not have cystic or inflamed acne, or guests who are already under a dermatologist’s care for their acne.

Wellness Facial:

  • An hour-long facial that includes skin care for face, neck, and decollete, some extractions if needed
  • Can address any and all skin concerns

Best for: Everyone! This is a great option if you aren’t sure you are the right candidate for our more clinical facials or as a consultation facial if you are considering peels.

Not recommended for: This is a great facial for everyone, but if you are pregnant, please schedule a Pregnancy Glow facial so we can be sure you are scheduled in the room with an incline table.

Express Facial:

  • A quick 30 minute cleanse, mask, moisturizing facial that includes professional skincare recommendations.
  • Does not include extractions or exfoliation.

Best for: Anyone in a time crunch, someone just wanting an introduction to the Rhonda Allison line or professional product recommendations. Can serve as a good consultation facial before scheduling a peel service. This is a great starter service for younger teens.

Not recommended for:  Someone wanting to address multiple skin concerns as there aren’t many corrective products (like exfoliants or masks) used in this facial, someone looking for a more pampering and indulgent service. We recommend scheduling the Wellness or EV Signature Facial.

Pregnancy Glow Facial:

  • An hour-long pampering, pregnancy safe facial that addresses a variety of skin needs from changing hormones.
  • Includes a hydrating foot mask and foot massage
  • Performed on a treatment table that allows our guest to rest with her head elevated.

Best for: Pregnant guests, this is the facial we require our pregnant guests to schedule as we can be sure the products are safe and that we have the service scheduled in a room with a table that allows our pregnant guests to rest in an inclined position.

Not recommended for:  Anyone who isn’t expecting. However, if you have a concern laying flat on your back during another facial, mention this at booking and we can reserve this room for you!

Click the title of any facial we’ve described in this post or click here to book your customized facial with our experienced and licensed Estheticians at East Village Spa!

Online Booking Tutorial

Effective November 14, 2016, we switched to a new online booking company. For your security, account information was encrypted and did not transfer between companies. Below is a step-by-step tutorial of our new system, with an intro to the cool new features available to you as you manage your account. Check out our video or  the step-by-step photos below to get started booking online.

  1. When you enter your e-mail under user name, if you have not used our NEW online booking program, it will prompt you to check your e-mail for a verification code.  Enter that and you are on your way!onlinebooking2
  2. Search for services by clicking Home or Services, OR you can do keyword searches in the box on the top right. With the new system, we can highlight our seasonal features or recommended services.onlinebooking5
  3. Click through a service and open it to read a description, see pricing, and book it by selecting “Book Now.”  You can also add to cart if you are choosing multiple services. You may wish to check options on availability FIRST if booking multiple services. onlinebooking6
  4. Select a date and time to narrow down options. You have the choice to see availability for every therapist, only males, only females, or a specific therapist. If you want to make sure you only see one specific therapist, you MUST select their name from the drop down list or our system will not register that as a request and your service can be moved to another qualified therapist.onlinebooking7
  5. Select a window of time that works best and it will open more specific times. (note, I selected “ANY THERAPIST” so it will not register the therapist I’m choosing below as a specific request, meaning my appointment can be moved to another qualified therapist.)onlinebooking8
  6. Choose the best time for you to start your service.onlinebooking9
  7. Create a new account when promptedonlinebooking10
  8. You must check the box to indicate that you understand and agree to our cancellation and no show policy (this is linked under the “pay at store” button and will be linked in your confirmation e-mail as well).  Then click the green “Pay at Store” button.onlinebooking13
  9. Your credit card will not be charged at this time. The card is just required so that we may enforce our no-show and cancellation policy. You may pay with a different card, cash, or gift card in the spa. If you are booking this appointment as a gift for someone else, please reply to the confirmation e-mail to indicate that you wish for us to charge your card and whether or not the guest you are booking for can add gratuity to it at check-out.onlinebooking14
  10. You will receive a confirmation e-mail once you have submitted payment information to hold the appointment. You may also receive a link to complete forms for your services. Even if you have received services in the past, we are working to update all client records as not all of our information transferred over from our old system to our new system. We appreciate your understanding as this is something our therapists require.
  11. If you do not receive an e-mail within 15 minutes, please call us at (515) 309-2904 to ensure that your appointment has been scheduled.
  12. Now that you have your account set up, you are able to access your history by clicking on your account when you click over your name on the top right of the online booking screen.onlinebooking15
  13. You can see gift cards, products, and past services. You are also able to rate your provider and complete your forms in advance from services through your account. You can change your credit card and contact information as well!onlinebooking17

We hope you find this information helpful!  Click here to get started on your online account. If you are still having concerns, please call us at (515) 309-2904.  We also recommend calling if you are trying to do the following:

  • Book for a couple’s massage (only available by phone at this time)
  • Cancel an appointment
  • Book for more than 2 people
  • Book more than 2 services online

 

What your massage therapist is REALLY thinking!

Awhile back, a client asked me to blog on things that clients are too embarrassed to ask their massage therapists and wanted me to ask our therapists what they are *REALLY* thinking during potentially awkward situations.  Here goes:

Q: Do you prefer clients rest with their eyes open or closed when they are laying face up?

A: Closed! 100% vote closed. If your eyes are open, we worry you’ll be looking up our nose when we’re doing neck work and when we are doing a relaxation style massage, most of the time we’re in a zone and it is awkward if someone stares at us.

Q: Should I shave before a massage? Will you judge me if I don’t?

A: We don’t care. Honestly. We don’t shave for each other.  I personally say “Why should I shave my legs for my massage therapist if I’m not going to shave them for my husband?” Also, we are totally fine massaging people who have back hair. We’d far prefer to massage someone with a hairy back than someone who just attempted to shave their back and has cuts and ingrown hairs we need to work around.

massagethoughtsQ: My feet are gross, will my therapist judge me?

A: Most of us are in need of a good pedicure.  Don’t stress about chipped nail polish, calluses (shoot, runners and walkers NEED calluses!), or cosmetic issues. Feet are feet. They contain 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles/ligaments/tendons.  Things are bound to be wacky!

Q: I’m breastfeeding, what happens if I leak?

A: Don’t worry! We LOVE pampering new mamas.  We have plenty of towels, don’t be afraid to ask for one. We also have many tables that have breast cut-outs that are softer so please feel free to mention this at booking so we can ensure you’re scheduled in one of the rooms with cut-outs.

Q: What happens if I pass gas?

A: We won’t mention it if you don’t! And it just means you’re relaxed. We won’t go telling everyone because we likely won’t remember it by the time the session is over. P.S. Your therapist is afraid of passing gas during your session too!

massagethoughts2

Q: Do male clients ever get an erection?

A: Sometimes, it is natural. Usually the client is asleep and I’m guessing they don’t notice it. We prefer that if it happens, our client doesn’t bring attention to it. We certainly will not point it out.  We use sheets and a thick blanket for modesty. Please do not let this fear keep you from getting a massage.  Like passing gas, it is one of those things that if you don’t mention it, your therapist will have forgotten it by the time the session is over.

Q: What does “Undress to your comfort level” really mean? What does my therapist prefer?

A: We are fine with underwear off or on.  It is best if women remove bras.  If men leave on *longer boxers, we aren’t able to do some kinds of massage on the upper legs. If women have brief shape wear style underwear that go up farther on the back, it will make low back work trickier, but we can work around anything.  Glute work is easier sans undies, but if it makes you uncomfortable, please keep them on!  I’d say personally my clients are about 50/50 everything off/underwear on.

massagethoughtsNow that we’ve hopefully put your fears to rest, it is time to book your massage at East Village Spa! You can learn about our services here and when you’re ready to schedule, call (515) 309-2904 or book online!

 

5 things your esthetician wants you to know about summer waxing

I was recently chatting with one of our estheticians about leg waxing and how it just isn’t the kind of service that provides the instant gratification clients want and expect.  As is often the case, the topic snowballed into a list of things we wish people knew about summer waxing to make their wax experience better.

1. Often, your first wax, or your first wax in a long time, won’t get you the baby smooth results you are expecting.  Why?  Because of the growth cycles of your hair.  Especially if you have been shaving, your hair is on different growth cycles.  For example, if you regularly shave your legs but grow it out for a few weeks for a leg wax, you’ll still feel stubble from the hairs on a different cycle that were too short to catch in the wax.  It will also seem like hairs are growing back sooner after some waxes because of the hairs that were on a different cycle are growing, not the hairs that were removed.

This has nothing to do with the skill of your esthetician,  and everything to do with how our bodies work.Your best bet for super smooth, hairless skin?  Regular waxing without shaving between visits.  Or letting your hair grow out a long time before waxing.

leg wax

2. Where a woman is in her cycle will affect how much her wax will hurt.  The week before your period many women are the most sensitive.  Often we’ll hear someone say one of our esthetician’s waxing is more painful than one of our other esthetician’s waxing. But then the next guest will say the exact opposite.  In the hands of a skilled esthetician using the same high quality wax and proper techniques, the level of pain variance is likely due to where you were on your cycle, not the esthetician.

Because women who wax regularly typically come in about every 5-6 weeks, they will hit different points of the cycle so back-to-back waxes might feel entirely different due to the variance in pain tolerance, blame mother nature, not your esthetician!

3. If you are planning a body wax and a massage, plan them on different days.  We’re talking leg wax or back wax here…  It seems like a good idea to save time by booking a leg wax right before a massage, or a massage right before a back wax, but saving yourself a second trip isn’t worth the potential discomfort.  Your massage therapist doesn’t want to introduce products and oils into a freshly waxed area and irritate already inflamed skin.

Likewise, your esthetician would prefer not to wax over an area that has just been massaged because it isn’t ideal to wax over skin that has been introduced to oils…plus the sting of the waxing usually takes away from the benefits of the massage!

4. Keep freshly waxed skin clean!  That means not going home and putting on your oldest hockey pads to play a game after a chest wax, not getting a leg wax the night before you plan to spend a day swimming in a lake, and not waxing your brows and lip right before going for a run.  This can introduce bacteria into freshly waxed skin and cause infection and irritation.

On that note, if you come for your wax right after a workout and plan to put on the icky workout clothes you came in, you’re asking for an unpleasant skin reaction.  It is best to have clean skin for your wax and clean, breathable clothes to put on after.  We have had to turn people away for this very reason…we value your safety!

5. Please don’t fib on the wax intake form.  I have heard people say (outside of the spa) that they don’t admit to using medications like Retin A or Accutane because they know they’ll get turned away for a wax.  The risk of omitting important information is that your skin can burn and tear.  Even if you haven’t applied or taken the medication for a few days, this can still happen.  Even if you’ve been fine previously during a wax while using these medications, a burn or tear can happen and can be serious. This is not something your esthetician is willing to risk and it is not fair for you to put them in that position by not disclosing risk factors. Tweezing, shaving, and other hair removal techniques are safer for some people.

browwaxIf you have never had a wax before or have questions, click here for answers to our frequently asked questions.

To book your wax online, click here.

Top 5 reasons an honest health intake is important

We know it can feel like we’re inundated with paperwork and forms these days, so we really do empathize when our clients groan about having to fill out a health or skin care history. These forms were developed by our employees to help them get the information they need to give you an amazing service.  If you’d like a preview of our health history form, click here.   We keep all health information confidential and do not share it unless we have your written consent to do so.  Here are 5 of the main reasons we require a health history or skin care history before your service:

5. We need to know what products to use.  If you are booking a facial, our estheticians have many options for cleansers, toners, masks, scrubs, moisturizers, serums and more. The information on your skin care intake in addition to their assessment of your skin guides their choices.  If you are investing time and money in your facial, you deserve a wonderful service customized for you.  If you are scheduling a massage, we need to know if you have any allergies or sensitivities so we can select the best massage cream or oil.

East Village Spa Products

4. We might need to modify a service based on health concerns or preferences.  Certain medications require a change in pressure or technique due to a risk of bruising or tissue damage.  For example, some medications make skin more sensitive to waxing and can cause skin tears.  Some health conditions contradict exposure to heat so we might suggest changing your Hot Stone massage to a Sports or Signature service so as not to to exacerbate symptoms or cause burns. Some symptoms might seem harmless, but could indicate a serious problem like an infection or blood clot requiring medical attention.

3. We need to know which techniques to use.  There are literally hundreds of styles of massage therapy.  Many of our therapists have over 1000 hours of initial training and are required to take continuing education regularly, so our technique “tool boxes” are far bigger than what you can tell by looking at our brochure.  Letting your therapist know injuries you have, areas of pain, and pressure preferences will make a world of difference in the effectiveness of your service.  Just because you had a light and relaxing massage with a therapist once, doesn’t mean he or she isn’t able to give a good injury-specific focused treatment another visit or visa versa.  You just have to let us know exactly what you need so we can raid our massage “tool box” for the best techniques to for you.

massagetechniques

2. Some of your answers clue us in to ways we can go above and beyond for you!  Have allergies or a headache? We can add a cold compress to your face rest to help relieve the pressure.  Work long hours standing on a cement floor? We an add a cooling mint foot cream instead of the regular massage cream.  Under an incredible amount of stress and struggling to calm your mind before your massage? Your therapist can add a couple of drops of lavender oil into your massage cream and have you do some breathing exercises. We can even re-position to an incline or side-lying position for recent abdominal surgeries or breast tenderness. The possibilities are endless, but we can’t help you if we don’t know what you need our help with!

1. Your current concerns may be caused by issues you wouldn’t have suspected.  A thorough intake could lead to underlying causes of current issues you may not have thought of.  An old surgery or injury may be contributing to current pain in a completely different area of the body.  Your current skincare regimen could have unintended side-effects you didn’t know about that could be causing dry patches or clogged pores.  Your favorite hobbies may be taking a toll on your body over time. All of this information will help us to provide the best results possible for a better treatment value.

clues

If we don’t have the information we need,  your service provider will need to take time out of your treatment to ask questions and you won’t be able to relax as fully.  If you come a few minutes early to complete your form, it will give you a time to decompress and shake off the day, relax with some hot tea or water, and focus on your treatment goals so you can be sure you are getting the best value for your time spent at the spa and a the best service and recommendations from your expert provider.

 

Please believe us when we say…

Many of us have been practicing massage, esthetics, or nail care for a LONG time, but we were all clients before we were practitioners and we know how easy it is to ignore the advice of a pro.  I polled our team to get their feedback on the top 15 things they wished clients knew (or rather, they wished clients would believe their esthetician, LMT, or nail tech about!)

15. If you are indecisive about nail polish colors, bring an article of clothing you want help matching for a special event or come with at least a basic idea of the color family (i.e. red, blue, pink) and whether you want cream or sparkle.  Your nail tech has seen how all of the colors look with lots of different skin types so if you are torn between a few shades, defer to her for the color that will look best and get you the most compliments!  If you arrive a few minutes early, ask the receptionist if you can walk back to the nail room for extra browsing time!

14.  Sometimes the most effective massages aren’t the ones with the heaviest pressure.  Lighter touch might do wonders for tension and services like Cranio Sacral Therapy are incredibly gentle but effective.

13. Shellac is a name brand gel polish from CND, but like most people call all kinds of tissues “Kleenx” even if they are a store brand or “Puffs” brand,some places just call all gel polishes “Shellac.”  Real Shellac can remove gently in under 10 minutes with no damage to the nail, but if what you are wearing is an off-brand, it might take our nail techs longer which will cut into your other service times.  Please be understanding with our nail techs if they have to adjust your service  due to longer removal process of non-Shellac gel polishes.

12. While we love that people think we’re just naturally gifted, our professions do require quite a bit of education and continuing education.  Many of our employees have over 1,000 hours of industry training, some over 2000 hours!   All of our licensed employees are required to attend regular continuing education (which is awesome because our classes are so cool!)

11. Men visit the spa and not just for massage!  Guys need skin care and facial treatments even more than women because of how irritating shaving can be on the skin.  Did you know that lots of pro football players regularly get manicures and distance runners often get pedicures to keep their toenails healthy so they can survive the abuse of training?

10. You will enjoy your service more if you arrive 5-10 minutes early to relax and shake off the day’s stresses so you can start your service in a place of relaxation.  Arriving late sets the wrong tone, means it takes you longer to get “in the zone” and means a shorter session.  If you just can’t seem to make it on time, book 15 minutes later.

9. Real change takes time.  While our LMTs, Estheticians, and nail techs are experienced and well educated in their specialties, it usually takes more than one visit to help you achieve your goals.  If you have had pain from your posture at work for years, it will take more than one massage for relief.  If you have been a nail biter working to grow your nails, a series of manicures can do wonders.  Working to see big improvements with your skin?  It will take more than one facial.  While one spa visit is great for an occasional indulgence, for real change, doing the recommended home care and visiting on a regular schedule will really improve the health of your skin or nails or decrease your pain.

8. We really do book up, especially for evenings and Saturdays.  Our happiest clients are those who set aside a regular time for sessions and book standing weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly services so they have something to look forward to and aren’t stressed when they can’t get in last minute.  It is easier to give us a day’s notice to cancel than to get in at a popular time on a day’s notice.

7. Everyone’s skin needs change regularly, especially with seasons which is why monthly facials are good.  Plus it is really nice to come regularly for a deeper cleanse with steam and extractions.

6. It is totally fine not to chat during your services!  You’ll get to a deeper state of relaxation and your therapist can focus more on his or her work for a more effective session.  If you snore, even better!  We consider that our highest compliment!

5. If your nails are dry or brittle, your hands are frequently in water or you have a job requiring lots of hand washing, or you don’t regularly moisturize nails with cuticle oil, your polish (including CND Shellac) will chip sooner.  Really, cuticle oil and starting with healthy nails will make a huge difference in how long your polish lasts.

4. Don’t plan a big night out drinking before (or after) your massage.  Trust us, it is very hard to relax with a hangover and massage will not help.  If you have a massage on the books and plan to go drinking afterward, you might feel extra crummy the next day.  Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

3. All bodies are awesome.  Trust us, we see pre-teens, great-great-grandmas, people with severe injuries, people undergoing cancer therapies, pregnant women, people of all heights and weights and we are not judging our clients on their bodies.  Your therapist is not focusing on your weight or your body hair, or blemishes.  He or she is focusing on how to help you feel great in the body you have and it is a really, really wonderful job.

2. Yes, our significant others are lucky (because we are awesome people) but no, they don’t get massage all the time.  In most cases, they have to schedule appointments like everyone else.  And often, they see our co-workers who are focused more on their therapy needs and not whether or not the dishes got done at home. 😉

1. Having regular massage will assist in strengthening the immune system by lowering stress levels and helping to keep stress in the body to a minimum.   And, considering that stress is a huge risk factor for many major life-threatening diseases, reducing stress can save your life!

What is a facial and why do I need one?

A very common question at the spa is “What IS a facial?  Why would anyone pay someone to just wash their face?”  The easy answer is you really have to experience one of our great facials and you’ll understand just why they (and our estheticians) are so popular!

An eye treatment upgrade during a facial at East Village Spa.

An eye treatment upgrade during a facial at East Village Spa.

What is an esthetician?

Estheticians are licensed skincare professionals who are able to provide esthetics services defined by the State of Iowa Board of Cosmetology code as:

  • Beautifying, massaging, cleansing, stimulating, or hydrating the skin of a person, except the scalp, by the use of cosmetic preparations, including cleansers, antiseptics, tonics, lotions, creams, exfoliants, masques, and essential oils, to be applied with the hands or any device, electrical or otherwise, designed for the nonmedical care of the skin.
  • Applying makeup or eyelashes to a person, tinting eyelashes or eyebrows, or lightening hair on the body except the scalp.
  • Removing superfluous hair from the body of a person by the use of depilatories, waxing, sugaring, tweezers, threading, or use of any certified laser products or intense pulsed light devices. This excludes the practice of electrology, whereby hair is removed with an electric needle.
  • The application of permanent makeup or cosmetic micropigmentation.
Hot towel wraps and steam help to remove products and open the pores.

Hot towel wraps and steam help to remove products and open the pores.

Not every esthetican is trained in every one of these services (above), but you can see that esthetics covers a broad range of skill sets!  In Iowa, estheticians are required to have the same amount of educational hours as massage therapists.

What is a facial:

A facial can range from extremely relaxing to pretty intensive treatments (the most intensive or uncomfortable facials would be those performed in a doctor’s office or medical spa, not at a spa like ours).  At our East Village Spa during a Wellness or EV Signature Facial, you can expect your esthetician to look at your skin health history and your skin to assess your skin type to determine the best products for you.

She will cleanse, exfoliate, steam, perform pore extractions (our estheticans do this manually with gloved hands as they do not want to cause scarring and want to make this as comfortable as possible), massage the face, neck, and shoulders (and depending on the facial may massage the hands, arms, scalp, and feet while your mask works!), apply a mask to the skin, and finish with eye creams and moisturizers for your skin type.

Yes!  Men do enjoy great and relaxing skin care...and because of the damage and irritation caused from shaving, men actually need facials MORE than women!

Yes! Men do enjoy great and relaxing skin care…and because of the damage and irritation caused from shaving, men actually need facials MORE than women!

It is certainly more involved than someone “washing your face.”  Also, our clients are shocked when they experience the incredibly relaxing and skilled massage techniques included in the facials.  Most people don’t realize how stress-relieving these services are.  Our receptionists and even massage therapists suggest facials to their clients who are experiencing jaw tension, sinus congestion, or just need major stress relief!  These massages are great to relax the muscles of the face reducing the appearance of lines and stress and are also important for boosting circulation and lymphatic flow.

Our estheticians can help  with all of your questions about products, self care, and can help you decide what is the best skin care regimen for your skin type and lifestyle.

Our estheticians can help with all of your questions about products, self care, and can help you decide what is the best skin care regimen for your skin type and lifestyle.

Another benefit of getting a professional facial is that our experienced estheticians can recommend the right products for you.  Before I owned the spa, I used to have drawers, cabinets, and a shower full of different skin care products.  Now that I have guidance from pros, I have streamlined my routine and only have about 5 products in my house and stick to a really easy routine with no guesswork and am not wasting my money on products that don’t do what I need them to!

If you want to book at facial at East Village Spa, or would like more information, visit www.evdayspa.com!