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!

5 ways we respect the earth

Traditionally, the spa industry has found ways to reduce waste and help to offset the use of energy, water, and disposable products required to provide services. Spa and wellness providers understand that caring for our planet to ensure we have clean air, water, and places to enjoy beauty of our natural surroundings is important for physical and mental health. At East Village Spa we are always working on finding new ways to reduce our environmental impact. Here are 5 of our favorite ways we’ve been working to reduce our footprint:

  1. We partner with Recycle Me Iowa to recycle. Most of our products come in recyclable packaging and Recycle Me Iowa helps make it easy for us to recycle the packaging and shipping containers required to run a spa by providing us with containers to keep our recyclables and coming on a regular schedule to pick them up for us. They are affordable and provide excellent customer service. If you live or work in a building that doesn’t offer recycling, reach out to Cigi and her team. They take great care of us, and the Earth.
  2. We switched to Himalayan Salt Stones from Jade stones for our hot stone massages. Not only do our clients get the benefits of Himalayan Salt, but these stones require less energy to heat and save gallons of water per use as they don’t require a water bath to soak in and gallons of water for cleaning. Instead, they are heated on a temperature controlled mat and are cleaned safely with an eco-safe, EPA registered Thyme oil spray. According to Saltability, a 10 room spa (that’s our size!) can save 20,000 gallons of water annually by switching from traditional water bath stone heaters to salt stones.
  3. We don’t use whirlpool soaks for pedicures. First, we value your safety (the bacteria in many whirlpool basins is gross) so we use one-time-use disposable tubs. These tubs save an estimate of 10-20 gallons of water depending on whirlpool size. For every whirlpool tub, it not only needs filled for the service, but then filled again and run with cleaning chemicals that go down the drain. That’s lots of water.
  4. We only offer robes for people getting multiple body or skin care treatments as a convenience when switching treatment rooms. I know, it is fun to slip into a robe, but people do not realize the environmental impact. Only about 4-5 big plush robes can go into a wash/dry cycle which uses lots of water and energy. If people are coming for one service, say a massage, they would have to undress, put on a robe for a couple of minutes, take off the robe, get on the massage table, and then put their regular clothing back on again. Not only would this shorten service time as in our rushed world, guests tend to run a bit behind (ahem, pot calling kettle black here since I’m chronically 5 minutes late) but the main reason we forgo robes for single-service visits is the environmental impact.
  5. Our products are safe, not only for you, but for the Earth. We carefully choose our partners so we know the products you are enjoying are ethically produced and healthy. Our Rhonda Allison Skincare is European Certified Organic (a tougher standard than in the US), our Farmhouse Fresh line is partially crafted out of herbs grown on their farm, which includes a farm animal rescue sanctuary. The Kneipp line uses salts sourced from an underwater salt cave in Germany that has been used for over 100 years so the salts are pure and haven’t been exposed to environmental pollutants. The Rescued Jewelry line we carry includes recycled jewelry components and gives all profits to an animal rescue. Our Rapid Fire pain relief products are produced locally in central Iowa, thus reducing shipping waste as they are delivered by the man who developed the line himself. Our nail polishes from Zoya and CND are free of harsh, toxic, chemicals and always have been.

Please help us this Earth Day by finding a way to reduce a bit of waste, making choices for sustainable, ethical, and non-toxic products, and enjoying some time outdoors for your mind, body, and spirit.

Top Valentine’s Picks for 2017

If there is one thing that the world needs more of, it is love. Whether you want to shower your significant other with TLC for Valentine’s Day, or you’re feeling the need to give yourself the gift of stress relief, love, and care (because you deserve it!) we’ve got some ideas that are healthier and more indulgent than a box of chocolates!

A spa gift card:

Whether you want to treat your sweetie to a couple’s massage or you are looking for TLC for someone who could really use some love this Valentine’s day, we offer gift cards in a variety of denominations online, or visit us in the spa to pick up a gift card and (and enjoy an organic chocolate treat while we put it together for you).

Something fun for the bath:

Need something perfect for a romantic or healing bath? We’ve got lots of great options!  For a fun bubble bath that will leave skin super soft, try the Farmhouse Fresh Whoopie Cream Wash, a hydrating bubble bath/shower gel (that is also an awesome shaving cream!) Farmhouse Fresh just released several new scents in this decadent formula that will be arriving at the spa on by 2/3/17! WE ARE SO EXCITED!

For someone looking for an array of wellness bath care, the Kneipp line is perfect and has solutions for uplifting mood, opening sinuses, inducing sleep, and relieving pain. This line is available in a variety of sizes of salts, bath oils, and gift sets and is a favorite of our massage therapists for their own self care.  A glass of wine and a soak in a Kneipp bath is a perfect way to love yourself.

Massage Oils:

Ready to try to copy some of your massage therapist’s skills on your partner? We’ve got lots of great options for massage oils to use at home.  Our favorite suggestions are the Farmhouse Fresh massage oils (also great to add a bit to the tub for softer skin!)  We have a variety of scents, but the Red Hot blend is a great warming scent for Valentine’s Day and would be a thoughtful addition to a gift of red roses.

Jewelry:

We carry assorted locally crafted jewelry from Heather Morphew Designs (especially popular are Heather’s beautiful earrings).

We also feature Rescued Jewelry, a line of jewelry featuring some repurposed and recycled components, with 100% of the profits donated the Basset and Beagle of the Heartland Rescue. A perfect gift for someone who loves animals!

Something to feed the spirit:

Wholesome food prepared in creative ways is a perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s day. Two of our favorite picks in the East Village are Hoq and Alba. Both use seasonal, fresh, ingredients and artistically craft delicious and indulgent meals. While Valentine’s reservations are hard to come by, pick a quieter time to enjoy a more leisurely dining experience. Hoq and Alba offer great options for vegetarian and gluten free diners as well! Going solo? Both restaurants offer bar seating that is perfect for taking yourself on a date. You deserve it!

Book yourself some time for TLC!

The best gift you can give yourself or your loved ones, in our opinion, is time to relax and renew your spirit at the spa. Schedule online or call (515) 309-2904 for assistance with booking. We look forward to seeing you!

Kneipp Wellness: A Fascinating History

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

dpag-1997-sebastiankneippHistory

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

People walking in a Kneipp pool

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

kneipphistoryProduction

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

The Kneipp Philosophy Today

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

mandarin_oriental_hong_kong_kneipp_pool_and_ice_fountain

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

Our East VillageSpa Best Kneipp Sellers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source:

My Water Cure by Sebastian Kneipp

Kneippus.com

Ingredient Spotlight: Arnica

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

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

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

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

RAARNICA

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

kneipp joint and muscle

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

References:

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

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

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

7 Fun Valentine’s Day Ideas (that are not couple’s massages!)

For the second year in a row, we’re sharing our favorite Valentine’s Day gift and activity ideas that are not couple’s massages!  We have 3 couple’s massage rooms and all of them have been booked since mid January for Couple’s Massage because Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year.  You aren’t out of luck though, Des Moines offers lots of great date spots and we offer lots of great gifts for an at-home spa day!

vintage valentine

1. Spa day at home

Draw a bath and soak in one of our Kneipp bath salts or liquid baths.  We recommend a blend of the Pure Bliss and the Almond Soft Skin for a bath that will make your mood and your skin feel beautiful.  Pick up one of our Kneipp or Farmhouse Fresh Massage Oils and trade massages.  All of our massage oils are 15% off during February!  Finally, at the end of your spa day at home, surprise your sweetie with a gift card to visit East Village Spa for the services of their choice.

2. Lunch at Trellis and a romantic stroll through the Botanical Center Gardens

It is cold and snowy white outside right now but warm and colorful in the lush gardens inside the Des Moines Botanical Center.  Grab a romantic lunch and sip from the great wine and beer selection at Trellis inside the Botanical Center and stroll hand-in-hand while you look at the beautiful gardens.

3. Get your heart racing!

Join Fleet Feet, our neighbors across the street, for their Saturday Morning Social Run at 8 am on Saturday, February 14th.  Single?  Who knows, you might just meet your soul (or sole…get it?) mate!  No registration needed, Fleet Feet hosts lots of free, fun social runs!

The annual Red Flannel Run is also on Valentine’s Day this year, starting and ending at the NEW Wellmark YMCA.  Registration is still open!

4. Book her a blow out hairstyle at Blo and enjoy Hoq’s Valentine’s Day menu.

Visit our neighbors across the street at Blo for a blow-out hairstyle (I recommend getting the scalp massage upgrade!) and then take her to show it off over an Iowa farm-to-table dinner at Hoq.  As of 2/4/15 Hoq still had openings after 8:30 pm for Valentine’s Day and had openings for their same prix fixe Valentine’s Menu on Friday 2/13.  Blo had a few openings both Friday and Saturday.  Reservations required for both!

Check out Hoq’s menu and contact info here, and book your Blo appointment online here.

5. Dinner at home

Purchase all the ingredients for a delicious dinner at home including spices and oils from our East Village Neighbors Allspice and add a fun surprise by including a special gift from Kitchen Collage that can be used to make the dish.  Need recipe inspiration?  Two of our favorite cooking blogs are Budget Bytes (easy, delicious and you can use the savings to buy higher quality spices!) and Iowa Girl Eats.

6. Movie and drinks

Fleur Cinema is a great place to catch a flick and if you bring your ticket stubs to neighboring Mezzodi’s, you get two for one drinks and the perfect opportunity to discuss the movie you just saw!

7. A perfect pair: Fruit Fantasia Tea from Gong Fu and something pretty from Amour

Amour in the East Village has lots of lovely underpinnings, jammies, and robes in a beautiful and inviting shop.  Heather, the owner, and her team are great at making recommendations and helping even the most timid of gift-givers feel comfortable shopping for their sweeties.  They also recommend Gong Fu Tea’s Fruit Fantasia blend as an aphrodisiac.  With a rosy hue and sweet tart fruit flavor, it certainly is delicious!

The beauty of a bath

Just typing this blog post makes me long for a soak in the tub with a good book and my favorite Kneipp bath liquids.  Baths are not only indulgent, but as any bathing aficionado knows, the health benefits can’t be denied!

Okay, I did get inspired by my own post and filled my trusty tub with beautiful blue Deep Sleep liquid bath from Kneipp. :)

Okay, I did get inspired by my own post and filled my trusty tub with beautiful blue Deep Sleep liquid bath from Kneipp. 🙂

Relief of joint and muscle pain:

According to the Arthritis Foundation, a warm bath benefits people who have fibromyalgia, low back pain, and arthritis.  For added benefits, try using a muscle soak in your bath like Kneipp’s Arnica Joint Relief or Juniper Muscle Ache bath soaks.

Bedtime benefits:

The Mayo Clinic suggests trying a bath at bedtime as part of your night time ritual.  For added benefit, we recommend trying the Kneipp Valerian and Hops Deep Sleep bath blend or the Lavender Bath blends.  Kneipp recommends scheduling bedtime 15-20 minutes after a soak in their deep sleep bath.

Flexibility benefits:

A warm bath is a great place to gently stretch or massage easy to reach muscles like your calves, quads, or in your feet.  Scheduling a massage or chiropractic adjustment, gentle yoga or stretching after a bath is great too because muscles are warmed up and loose.

Circulatory Boost:

For people with  poor circulation or to warm up in the winter, a warm bath will help arteries and veins to expand and increase blood flow.  I especially love (and need!) a bath after a winter run outside.

To enhance the circulatory benefits, add an aromatherapy bath with warming oils like Kneipp’s Spruce and Pine bath.

Soften Skin:

While bathing in overly hot water or salts can dry out skin, a bath in a softening or hydrating oil can nurture and moisturize skin, especially hard-to-reach skin on the back.  A tablespoon of almond or jojoba oil added to the bath or some of Kneipp’s skin soft almond bath will leave skin feeling great.

Bath Safety:

The arthritis foundation recommends soaking in warm (not hot) water between 92 and 100 degrees.  They caution that anything hotter can stress the cardiovascular system, particularly for people predisposed to heart problems.

Adding oil to the tub will make it slick so be careful getting out of the bath and use caution the next morning if you hop in the shower to make sure it isn’t still slick!

Lastly, don’t add essential oils directly to your bath without a carrier oil or salt!  There are many great soaking blends from companies like Kneipp that have proper instructions and dilutions, if you don’t have ample aromatherapy training or background, stick with those.  Essential oils won’t mix with water so if you put drops of them “neat” (right out of the bottle undiluted with oil or salt) in your tub, you may end up with a burn (possibly in a sensitive spot!) because the oil won’t dissolve.  Trust me, I can attest to this.  Ouch!

What are your favorite bath rituals, products, or blends?

 

Our favorite holiday gifts at all prices

It was hard to narrow down our favorite gift choices at the spa, but we certainly have noticed trends in what clients are wanting for themselves…and picking up to give to others.  Here are our favorites!

$10 and Under

Kneipp travel baths and travel massage oils are just $5.50 each!

Kneipp Travel Baths and Massage oils are just $5.50 each!

Zoya nail polishes are just $9 each and Vinylux Polishes and their awesome fast dry top coat are just $9.95 each

gift 13 zoya

$20 and Under

Farmhouse Fresh Hand Cream comes in a variety of delightful scents and whimsical packaging.  This is a perfect gift for teachers, coaches, day care providers and anyone that deserves a fun pampering treat at just $14 each. gift 8 hand cream

Zoya Color Lock Kit Includes everything you need for a flawless Zoya manicure.  Combine with your favorite color. Just $19.95

gift 6 zoya colorlockTherapearl Face Mask looks silly, but is a great gift for anyone who suffers frequent sinus headaches, migraines, or general facial puffiness.  Keep it in the friedge and it is ready to go for instant relief, and it is just $19.95.

gift14 therapearl faceZoya Mini Trio These fun mini polishes are just $12 for 3 (or you can buy individual bottles for $5 each) and make perfect stocking stuffers!  We have assorted trios and lots of individual minis.

gift 5 zoya mini setFarmhouse Fresh Whoopie Cream Candle is the perfect go-to for hostess gifts, friends, work exchanges, and more.  This is Farmhouse Fresh company’s most popular scent.  $20

gift 7 whoopie candle

$30 and under

Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze is our most popular Farmhouse Fresh product and works miracles on dry skin on the hands and heels.  $24

gift 11 honey heelKneipp Bath Benefits Kit Enjoy 5 aroma-therapeutic mineral baths with this set of 5 assorted salt bath sachets.  This is a great gift for people who love natural wellness and home remedies. $24.95

gift 2 kneipp bath benefit kit

Farmhouse Fresh Ginger Lemondrop Gift Set: This zippy set will help beat the winter blues and includes ginger sorbet body milk, citrus grass body scrub, and two peppermint champagne bath bombs, all in one pretty package (also available in Whoopie Cream scent).  $24

gift 8 ginger lemondrop

Pure Inventions Drink Mixes ‘Tis the season of high calorie snacks and beverages! Pure Inventions drink mixes are healthy and delicious, all with no calories, artificial sweetener, or caffeine.  Two of our seasonal favorites, Cranberry Elderberry and Apple Wild Cherry are great served hot with a cinnamon stick to help avoid tempting sugary holiday cocktails.

gift 12 pure inventions

$100 and under

Kneipp Zen 10 Kit is a great gift to help someone help themselves with winter blues, aches and pains, colds, and congestion with enough product for up to 20 remedy baths.  $49

zen10Clarisonic Mia is a great gift for teens, men, and women.  Buying it for a couple?  Grab another cleansing head and they can share the device and just rotate out brushes.  Stop in for pricing and information!

gift 9 clarisonic mia$100 Spa Gift Card What’s better than getting a $100 gift card to East Village Spa?  Enjoying an EXTRA $20 treatment voucher!  When you visit the spa to purchase your gift cards now through Christmas Even 2014, you’ll receive an extra $20 voucher for every $100 in gift cards you purchase.

New Product Line: Kneipp Hydrotherapy and Aromatherapy products

We are beyond excited to present the Kneipp (pronounced ka-nipe) line of aromatherapy and hydrotherapy products to our clients.  Tiffany and I discovered this line while at the ISPA conference this fall and the products we took and tried were phenomenal.

Kneipp was founded by Sebastian Kneipp, a 19th century priest and naturopath and that has been fine-tuned with many years of botanical competence and pharmaceutical experience.  The salts used in the Kneipp pine are from an ancient underground salt water sea in central Germany that is the last remaining salt works in Europe.  These minerals are free from chemical additives or environmental pollutants.  They are high in magnesium, calcium, and zinc which absorb through the skin during bathing.

We will be able to incorporate their arnica, joint, and muscle formulations into our sports massages and deep tissue work and we’re thrilled to have some home remedy options for our guests just in time for winter cold and arthritis season.

A small selection of the great new Kneipp products we have!

A VERY small selection of the great new Kneipp products we have!

We were going to hold off on putting our the Kneipp products until we move the retail area to the expansion and have more space, but our team has already been raiding the order for their own use so we’ve started putting out what will fit in our current retail space, if you’re curious about anything else, don’t hesitate to ask…we might just have the product or solution you’re looking for hiding in waiting and we’d be happy to grab it for you!