Top 4 ways to feel better when you have a cold (that are NOT visiting the spa!)

We love helping people to feel great and we know that the temptation to visit the spa when you are miserable with a cold or infection to seek some relief, but please do call and reschedule your appointment.  If not for the health and safety of our employees and other guests, but because you run the risk of feeling more fatigued and exacerbating your symptoms creating the exact opposite effect you were hoping for!

Instead of going to the spa, try these home care remedies for some relief until you are no longer contagious.

1. Take a hot aromatherapy bath or steam in a hot shower:  The steam and aromatherapy will help open your sinuses and the warm water will ease achy muscles.  Our favorites are the Kneipp eucalyptus baths in liquid or mineral salts.

2. Sip a hot tea or hot toddy.  The Pure Inventions drink mixes we carry are great because they contain the antiohot teaxidants of 8 cups of green tea in just one serving of their green tea extracts plus they are caffeine free so won’t dehydrate you.  Add a small amount of honey, a cinnamon stick, cloves, and a shot of whiskey to your hot Pure Inventions green tea and enjoy a flavorful hot toddy to soothe a scratchy throat.  Another great tea to try when you’re not feeling well is the Silver Needle Tea from our friends at Gong Fu.

3. Try a compress to reduce sinus pain or headaches, ygift14 therapearl faceou can use a wet washcloth and keep a bowl of ice water near or use something created for sinus and migraine relief like the therapearl full face wrap (pictured) right out of the fridge.

4. Massage your foot and hand sinus reflex points.  A research project at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine showed that after 2 weeks of regular stimulation of the sinus reflexology points, study participants found as much relief as they did using other natural remedies like nasal irrigation.  Of course, this is best for ongoing sinus concerns when combined with a doctor’s orders, but there is no harm in trying out reflexology!  Click here for great free foot and hand reflexology charts and to order resources to learn more about reflexology.

Again, if you are sick, please reschedule.  We only require 4 hours notice to avoid a cancellation fee and we know often our guests know way before those 4 hours that they are feeling crummy.  We want our employees and other guests to stay healthy and we don’t want you to leave feeling even worse.  We’re happy to help you get back on track after you are no longer contagious (especially if you have been shivering with the chills or coughing, both of which can cause lots of pain).


Too much of a good thing?

We know that there are many benefits to our services and the products people can use at home for self care, but sometimes it is possible to get too much of a good thing!  Here are a few times when it is best to ease up during a treatment or during self care at home.

1: Foam rolling

Foam rollers are great for relieving aches and pains, for myofascial release, and stretching but sometimes people over-do it and can cause injury or tissue damage for excessive or overly aggressive foam rolling.  If foam rolling hurts, you might be bruising or causing tissue inflammation.  Check with your chiropractor, a trusted massage therapist, experienced trainer, or physical therapist for tips.

2: Exfoliation

Who doesn’t love the smooth feeling of their skin after a good facial exfoliation?  Once or twice a week is the perfect amount to exfoliate, but if you do any more than that, your skin can become dry, irritated, and overly sensitive.  Ask an esthetician if you aren’t sure whether you are exfoliating the right amount or with the right consistency product.

3: Pressure during a massage

A bit of “good hurt” is helpful, but massage pressure that causes pain, makes you tense up, or grit your teeth is counterproductive and can actually bruise your tissue and create inflammation.  The ideal working pressure for your body to actually create lasting change (at least when dealing with trigger points) is about a 6-7 out of 10 on the pain scale.  More than that and the body tenses up to defend against the pain, causing even more tightness, potentially bruising and injury.

In most cases, if you are told by a therapist that massage has to “hurt to work” or if you experience soreness that lasts for more than a day after a massage, you might need to try a different therapist or treatment style.  Please, don’t go into a massage and issue your therapist a challenge stating “Bet you can’t hurt me!” because we do not WANT to hurt you and we’d rather give you a great massage than spend 20 minutes explaining why we shouldn’t just pummel you with an elbow.

4: Aromatherapy

Essential oils are a great way to help ease stress, boost focus, and relax sore muscles but they should be used with caution and by following the instructions.  Essential oils should not be used “neat” or directly on the skin without being mixed into a carrier oil or cream.  Some oils can cause irritation, over-exposure to oils can cause side effects (any of us who have made too many blends and bath products at home in a sitting can attest to the headaches, insomnia, or other side-effects we’ve experienced from over-exposure), and some oils are not safe for all health concerns.  The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy has some great safety info on their site.

 “Throw moderation to the winds and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains.” ~Democritus

Tips to get the most benefit from each massage

There is nothing better than waking up on the day you have a massage scheduled and knowing you are about to get a big dose of much needed relaxation and TLC.  I talked to long time massage therapist, Justin Behanish, for his tips on how to get the most benefit out of your massage before, during, and after your treatment.


  • Finish work or get any home projects or stressful tasks out of the way
  • Get in your workout
  • Drink plenty of water and eat a light meal, it is hard to relax with a full (or empty) stomach and your muscles will respond better to the work if they aren’t dehydrated.
  • Find a way to make things easy for after your treatment so the rest of your day can run on “cruise control.”  For example, set up a healthy meal in the crock pot in the morning so you can get home after your massage and dinner is ready!


  • Speak up!  No massage therapist is a mind reader and our favorite clients are the ones who will honestly give us feedback when we ask if the pressure or temperature need adjusted.
  • Take some slow deep breaths and try to think of nothing but how your body is feeling.  Take time to just enjoy how good the massage feels!



  • Do things to help continue to relax your muscles and mind like light stretches, reading a book, or relaxing with a cozy blanket.
  • Relax in a hot bath with aromatherapy or bath salts from Kneipp, or try tiger balm on any areas your therapist worked deep before you go to bed to keep muscles loose and reduce the likelihood of soreness the next day.
A soak in a warm tub to keep muscles warm and loose is perfect to extend the benefits of your massage.
A soak in a warm tub to keep muscles warm and loose is perfect to extend the benefits of your massage.

Top 5 products your skin needs this winter

It happens to all of us…you finally settle on a great skin care regimen and your skin feels awesome.  Then the dry winter air strikes and it seems like your products are no longer working like they should.  To get the best skin care results in the winter months, Camille Arbegast, our managing esthetician, shared 5 tips:

1. Switch up your cleanser.  A gel based or acne cleanser may have been what you needed during the humid summer months, especially if your summer activities lead to dirt and debris on your face.  In the winter when skin is more irritated, a switch to a soothing cream or hydrating cleanser may be the ticket to calm down skin that feels itchy and tight.

2. Use a microdermabrasion scrub.  This scrub can be more abrasive if used dry, or gentler if used in the shower or by adding water.  It is ideal to slough off dead skin so you are better able to absorb moisturizers, serums, or masks.  Do not over-do it though!  Once to twice a week is all you need to exfoliate!

Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub East Village Spa3. Try a hydrating mask designed to nourish and replenish skin.  This is a great switch for a hydrating boost, especially if you have regularly been using a drying mask like a clay mask.  Derma E’s Hydrating Mask with Hyaluronic Acid can work as a face or hand mask.  And Farmhouse Fresh’s Honey Heel Glaze is like a miracle mask to soften and hydrate dry feet and hands.

Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze hand and foot mask4. Use a proper moisturizer designed for the face.  Hydrating day and night creams are great for daily moisturizing.  Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid which draws moisture to the skin like a magnet.  Avoid creams with pore-clogging petroleum derived ingredients like mineral oil or paraffin.

5. Don’t forget your cuticle oil!  Dry cuticles are not only unsightly, but tears around the nails can lead to pain and even infection.  Use cuticle oil morning and night to keep your nails and the skin around them healthy.  And don’t forget gloves to help protect skin from dry, windy winter weather.  Cuticle oil and protecting nails with gloves will also go a long way to preserve a CND Shellac manicure so you can get a full two weeks wear!  Dry, brittle nails and cuticles make it easier for the polish to chip.

Our favorite cuticle oil: CND Solar Oil
Our favorite cuticle oil: CND Solar Oil

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.

Think you got a steal on your favorite brand at a big box store?

I was home visiting my mom for Thanksgiving last week and she shared with me that her hair felt gross after using the “new” bottle of salon brand shampoo she bought at the grocery store.  Her hair felt like it was coated in baby oil.

I grabbed the bottle and explained diversion, the practice of big box retailers selling salon products that have been funneled through the “gray market” that are either expired, counterfeit, or stolen.  And guess what…this is not illegal!  So long as the products state “guaranteed only when sold by a professional” you have to do the research yourself and make sure you are getting real products!

A telltale sign is that the bar code printed onto your bottle has been covered with a sticker, including another bar code.  People who make money by diverting products often wait until the bar code expires or cover it up to avoid being caught.  Mom and I then played product “CSI” in her bathroom and looked for other tell-tale signs of diversion.

Two of the products we found at mom's house with telltale signs that they were diverted.
Two of the products we found at mom’s house with telltale signs that they were diverted.

One interesting thing is that I explained to my mom that the cost from the grocery store products was about the same as the product that her hair stylist was selling.  People THINK they are getting a great deal when they see a product they perceive as expensive in the salon in a grocery store, but in actuality, it is likely to be close in price, or even less, than your salon or spa professional would sell the product.  And you would be supporting a professional you have a relationship with instead of chain stores  and unethical people.

Mom ended up throwing out several full bottles of product that LOOKED like what her stylist sold but worked nothing like them.  She has vowed to purchase only in salons, even if the convenience and perceived deal in grocery stores was tempting.  She said she knew something was wrong with how horrible her hair felt and I was all too happy to share the info!

Diversion isn’t just about hair products.  If you purchase salon or professional quality nail products from unauthorized distributors, you are also at risk for getting counterfeit products.  CND Shellac is only authorized to be used by licensed nail technicians and cosmetologists but we know that some clients purchase what they THINK is Shellac online and are excited to try applying it themselves at home (trickier than you might think!).  This is an alarming article about counterfeit Shellac.  Completely not worth the price  when you don’t know what you’re getting and it is unfortunate that these diverted products tarnish the reputation of great brands by masquerading in similar bottles but performing poorly.

This 2008 article by Consumer Affairs gives more information about Diversion and this news report from 2013 shows that nothing much has changed since 2008 AND that typically diverted products sell for more than you would pay in a salon because they have to change hands so many times to hit drugstore/grocery/big box shelves!

The best bet is to trust your licensed spa and salon professional and question items that don’t seem like they belong in a big box store and don’t be fooled into thinking that because something is in a discount store that you are getting a deal!

We are an authorized distributor for all of our brands, and our employees have great training on the lines, ingredients, and how to use each product.
We are an authorized distributor for all of our brands, and our employees have great training on the lines, ingredients, and how to use each product.