East Village Spa continues to require masks at all times (except when receiving a facial or lip/chin wax) if you are not vaccinated.
Effective Tuesday August 3rd, masks will again be required in common areas including the nail room. These are occasionally close quarters and we have mixed vaccine-status of individuals sharing these spaces.
Masks are required for unvaccinated massage guests and preferred for vaccinated massage guests. If you are vaccinated and prefer to remove your mask in the treatment space during your massage, you may need to provide proof of vaccination.
If guests are unvaccinated or are masked for any reason, rest assured your provider will also mask (even if vaccinated.) If a guest who is fully vaccinated opts to unmask during a massage, we’re permitting a fully-vaccinated provider to have the same option in that service. Otherwise, masking will be our default, regardless of provider vaccine status.
All estheticians will mask to provide facials, regardless of their vaccine status. Guests will obviously be able to unmask during facials, lip and chin waxing regardless of vaccine status.
While we respect employee privacy, we are beyond happy to honor your request for a vaccinated provider. We won’t disclose a list of “who is and isn’t” but call and Kelly and I can schedule you with someone who has signed a consent to disclose that they are vaccinated. Frankly, if you’re concerned about COVID19 transmission or have higher risk factors, this is a wise option.
As health and wellness providers, it is our job to improve community health. The situaion in Polk County is concerning and we don’t want to contribute to strain on our healthcare system. Thank you for your cooperation and kindness as we navigate an unfortunate situation that doesn’t have a “great” answer to fit every guest.
Every year during cold and flu season we do a bit of education on massage and illness. This year we’re getting some different questions due to COVID19 and the wide community spread in Iowa.
Every year during cold and flu season we do a bit of education on massage and illness. This year we’re getting some different questions due to COVID19 and the wide community spread in Iowa.
Q: I have a fever, but tested negative for COVID19, can I get a massage?
A: No. Fevers indicate inflammation. Your immune system is fighting something and you need to rest. Right now, everyone is so focused on COVID19, that we’re forgetting other illnesses like strep throat, the flu, or even a kidney infection can knock us down for a bit. In addition to spa services potentially making you feel worse, some of these illnesses are very contagious and we do not want to get them or risk spreading them to other guests. Please wait for at least 48 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications) after your non-COVID19 related fever is gone before scheduling a service. Your body and provider will thank you.
Q: My household member tested positive for COVID19 but feels fine. I’m asymptomatic and tested negative. Can I keep my appontment?
A: NO! We answer variations of this question at least daily. Please understand that we owe it to our employees to provide a safe workspace. We are following the most up-to-date CDC quarantine guidelines. This means that if you’ve had a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID19, you cannot book for at least 14 days since that contact. If you live with this person, that means 14 days since the last contact you had while they were considered contagious-EVEN IF YOU TESTED NEGATIVE.
We know this is a long time. We know this is frustrating. We are committed to following the same procedures for our providers to keep YOU safe too, so if we let them see you, we’d have to take them off of our schedule for 14 days. No spa service is worth that health or financial risk.
Q: I had COVID19 awhile ago and I feel pretty crummy, can I still come in?
A: Yes! When your healthcare provider has determined you are no longer contagious (which might be longer than 2 weeks for more severe cases) we are happy to see you. We currently see several guests who have struggled with longer-term complications from COVID19, the “Long-Haulers.” While there’s still much research needed, we know that this is a source of stress, anxiety, and physical discomfort. We’re here to listen to your needs and do whatever we can to assist you through your recovery.
Learn more about our COVID19 risk reduction procedures here. We look forward to taking great care of you at East Village Spa and pandemic or not, will continue to strive to ensure your services are safe, relaxing, and therapeutic.
I wish we had a crystal ball to tell us exactly what things would look like 3 months, 6 months, and a year from now for spas. All we have have to go by is ever-evolving information from trusted health authorities and advice provided to other other health professions. We’re closely monitoring countries that are further down the road in battling the COVID19 pandemic.
We’ve been doing the heartbreaking task of cancelling all appointments on our books through July (and will likely continue to do so further out.) Realistically, I’m not sure if we can open in any safe capacity by July. When we do open, the existing appointments on our books won’t match the new realities of our schedule. I promise, WE WILL REOPEN.
We aren’t sure of every safety measure we’ll need to implement, but these are a few ways the spa will be a bit different for awhile:
The biggest change: Two distinct teams that don’t overlap any shifts, providers, or receptionists. We see this in some essential offices like veterinary clinics. This ensures that if a team member is exposed to COVID19, we won’t need to 100% close our spa again. We can at least operate at half capacity, especially if widespread testing isn’t available.
We will offer longer hours to reduce the number of employees and guests in the spa at a time, increase the time between services, and stagger check-in and check-out times to keep you safer.
We won’t be able to book groups of more than two until the COVID19 threat is under control.
We will require masks for providers and guests, which could pose a challenge for some services (facials, lip waxing) if can’t work around a mask.
We may have to do enhanced health screenings and lean into low-contact check-in/check-out (online intakes, cards on file, etc…) options.
We’re researching alternatives to table warmers. While they’re under multiple layers of linens, they can’t be cleaned in the way we’d like when facing a pandemic. We will not use them until the risk of COVID19 has passed or until we find a safe solution.
It isn’t all doom and gloom!
Check out this video I filmed with my dear friend, Tricia Rivas, owner of Trixie’s Salon and founder of the Dreamcatcher’s Foundation. When this is all over, you’ll see some positive changes in the spa and salon professions.
Spa professionals like massage therapists and especially estheticians have been named some of the professions with the highest risk of contracting COVID19 at work. I would rather wait to open until we have a better idea of safety modifications than put my employees, their families and guests at risk to make money. This might mean we don’t open the day we’re given the legal “go ahead.” I PROMISE we will be back and you can rest assured that when we return, it will be with a very comprehensive plan for safety.
We love the simplicity of online gift cards and for those who are new to purchasing from our Zenoti online store, we’re happy to walk you through the process. First things first, PLEASE create an account. We don’t use this to market to you, but it is imperative if the recipient loses the gift card or accidentally deletes the e-mail. We can use your name to help find it. If you check out as a guest, it is really awkward when someone calls to ask for our help locating a gift card they’ve lost and doesn’t want to fess up to the purchaser. Click here for our online booking and gift card store.
Get to the online gift card page
Step 1 (desktop or laptop computer): Click the green “Book now or purchase gift card” button. From there, click the tab on the top right for “Gift Cards” and that will take you to our online gift card page.
If you’re using a phone or tablet, it will look different (see below). Go to our home page and click the green “book now or purchase gift card” button on top, then you’ll get to the mobile enabled page which has the menu as 3 bars in the top right corner. Click that for the menu to appear.
The menu on the phone will then look like this:
Select your amount
Once you’ve selected the “Gift Cards” tab, you’ll choose an amount. We have several pre-selected amounts, or if you scroll to the bottom there is an option for a customized amount.
We do not sell gift cards for specific services as our menu changes seasonally.
Complete your order and e-mail your gift card
Once you’ve selected your amount, you can choose where the gift card will be sent. If want to print and hand-deliver or mail your gift card, enter your own e-mail address to have it sent to you. If you want to e-mail it to someone else, use their e-mail address. Remember, please create an account. I promise it will be worth the extra time if the gift card is lost or accidentally deleted. You’ll usually get the receipt right away but it takes a few minutes to get the actual e-mailed gift card.
If you have an issue with your online gift cards, fear not (especially if you created the account like we asked you to!) These are the most common issues and solutions.
The recipient (or I) never received the e-mail! It is probably in a spam folder or security net. Tell them to search for an e-mail from [email protected]. Some work e-mails from government agencies, law or financial firms sometimes catch our gift card e-mails up in their security settings for a few days.
Your online booking system won’t accept my gift card number to reserve an appointment. As it states on our online scheduler, a credit card is required to hold your reservation, but you can pay with your gift card at the time of service. We won’t charge the credit card used to reserve the appointment unless the appointment is missed without adequate cancellation notice. You can use your gift card to reserve an appointment over the phone.
I sent the gift card awhile ago but we lost it. You can re-send it! Keep your receipt, you’ll need the gift card number and the e-mail address. You can re-send it or check the balance to see if it has been used. Go back to the gift card tab and click the green button to “resend my gift card”
If all of the above don’t work, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (515) 309-2904 or e-mail [email protected] with details about the date of purchase, your name, the recipient’s name, and the amount of the gift card. We sincerely appreciate you thinking of us for your gift and can’t wait to take amazing care of your loved ones at East Village Spa!
On October 1st, we debuted our new, revamped massage therapy menu that offers more flexibility to help you get exactly what you’re looking for. Because the expanded menu means more choices and more customization, this post will help you sort through your options to pick the best service for your needs from the options that are the most popular:
EV Signature Massage: This is a 60 or 80 minute full body relaxation-oriented massage with a few fun upgrade options including a variety of hydrating Farmhouse Fresh products in rotating scents. Choose from a warm hydrating honey back mask and a few hot stones incorporated into your session OR a back scrub to boost circulation and a hot towel compress. Available with every therapist. Best for:
Total stress relief
Light to firm pressure
Feeling pampered and relaxed
People who love fun scents, warmth, a circulatory boost
Targeted Therapy Massage: This is a 30, 60, or 80 minute massage focused on a few areas of pain to help you achieve your wellness goals. Your therapist has the flexibility and discretion to incorporate more specialized orthopedic techniques, stretching, tools for myofascial work like massage blades or cups, heat or cold applications. Only available with sports or orthopedic trained therapists. Best for:
Athletes looking for pre or post event work
People seeking to enhance athletic performance or improve activities of daily living
People who have a specific injury or issue to focus on (i.e. frozen shoulder, plantar fasciitis)
People seeking specific results
Pressure can be very firm, but this isn’t necessary for some of the most effective techniques.
R&R (Relax and Recover) Massage: This 60 or 80 minute massage is no frills, all skills. A full body moderate to firm pressure massage. Think of it as the happy medium between the EV Signature Massage and the Targeted Therapy massage. All of our massage therapists offer this service. Best for:
People who prefer a totally unscented massage lotion
People who want to “feel” the massage but still just zone out and relax
Full body work, with perhaps a bit of extra focus in one spot.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Q: 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!
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.
Now 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!
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.
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.
If you have never had a wax before or have questions, click here for answers to our frequently asked questions.