What is your favorite muscle to massage and why?

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

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

Teresa Sage demonstrates Craniosacral Massage techniques

Teresa Sage demonstrates Craniosacral Massage techniques

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get to Know Cassandra Lacina-Griffin!

Cassandra_lacina_griffin_blogCassandra Lacina-Griffin has been a wonderful part of the East Village Spa team since mid-2013.  She came to the spa from a resort spa in Tama when she moved to Des Moines to get married.  Cassandra provides skin care, manicures, pedicures, and some waxing services to our guests at the spa and is a wealth of information about our products.

What are your licenses and how long have you been working in this industry?

I have been licensed for over 9 years as an esthetician and nail technician.

What made you decide to pursue a career in skin and nail care?

I have been interested in skin care and products since my teens.  I’ve always had a love for makeup!  I also enjoyed the relaxing environment that a spa provides for clients and me.

What are your favorite services to give and receive?

I love to give facials and also receive them!  I enjoy getting massages as well.

What is your favorite product at the spa?

Derma E’s Very Clear Cleanser is amazing for acne prone skin.

How do you get involved in your community?

I volunteer every Monday morning at Animal Lifeline.  I love helping out and giving the dogs the attention they need and love.

How do you reduce stress?

I do a combination of spending time with my 2 rescue dogs and 2 rescue cats, I try to do some yoga, take a bath, and read.

What is your best skincare advice for clients?

Always wash your face at night and wear sunscreen!

What is your favorite inspirational quote or book?

One of my favorite books is Making Faces by Kevyan Aucoin and I like the quote: “When anxious, uneasy, and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused,” By Rainer Maria Rilke.

What might clients not know about you?

I graduated from Wartburg College with a degree in Communication Studies and an emphasis in Theater.  While at Wartburg, I designed the makeup and hair for the theater.  I enjoy baking and I like to paint, although I don’t make much time for it.  Many already know this, but I love to visit Hawaii!

(Note from Cassie: When we see one of Cassandra’s Tupperware in the break room, it is a good day because it means she has brought us baked goods!)

Why should clients visit YOU?

I aim to provide the most relaxation during my services as well as great skin care tips.

Thai on the Table Massage Workshop

At East Village Spa, we value education.  We were so thrilled to be able to bring an excellent teacher and presenter, Jennifer Barnett to the spa to provide a workshop on Thai Massage techniques we can incorporate on the massage table.  For some of our team, this class was a great review.  For other therapists at the spa, learning the compressions and stretches was new.

thaiclasscollage

If you are interested in experiencing some of the Thai massage techniques on the table, book an Athletic Edge Sports Massage with Justin, Stacy, or Clair and indicate in the notes that you’re interested in Table Thai massage.  They’ve got the most experience with these techniques and have been using them for quite awhile!  You might find your regular therapists slipping a few stretches or compressions into your session that are new to you and feel AMAZING!

We appreciate that all of our clients were understanding that we all had to take some time off to enjoy this course and we’re confident that you’ll appreciate the new skills we learned!

Copyright © East Village Spa 2014 All Rights Reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced without East Village Spa’s express consent. Our photography may not be used in any manner without our express written consent. Backlinks and sharing with the buttons at the bottom of the page are allowed.

Meet Mallory!

We are excited to introduce you to our newest team member, Mallory Roghair.  Mallory is a Licensed Massage Therapist with experience managing a busy spa desk.  She will be spending half of her time with us providing massage therapy and the other half helping out at the desk and getting to know all of our guests.

Mallory was one of Cassie’s favorite students.  She also has previously worked with several of our massage therapists and when they heard Mallory would be joining the team they were thrilled to be working with her again!

Mallory’s massage interests run the spectrum.  She has been employed at a massage clinic and also worked as a massage therapist for Hospice.  She has studied relaxation techniques and also sports and deep tissue massage and is excited to be able to work our clients as they have very diverse treatment needs and goals.

Mallory starts training with us next week so you will be able to meet her at our front desk soon.  Her first day seeing clients will be April 30th.  Want to be one of the first people to enjoy Mallory’s great work at our spa?  Click here to schedule!

Copyright © East Village Spa 2014 All Rights Reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced without East Village Spa’s express consent. Our photography may not be used in any manner without our express written consent. Backlinks and sharing with the buttons at the bottom of the page are allowed.

Des Moines Best!

We were so honored to be named Des Moines’ Best Spa for the 4th year in a row at the Cityview Awards last night!  Not only did we win top honors as their readers’ choice for Best Spa, we also won Best Nail Salon and our massage therapist Justin Behanish was recognized for his many years of providing great massage in the area by readers who named him Best Massage Therapist!



Thank you to all of our clients for their support.  We are honored to be able to do what we love every day…which is helping you to stay healthy and stress free!

Copyright © East Village Spa 2014 All Rights Reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced without East Village Spa’s express consent. Our photography may not be used in any manner without our express written consent. Backlinks and sharing with the buttons at the bottom of the page are allowed.