Category Archives: Uncategorized

Spa Industry Trend Forecast for 2016

By: Jaime Hall

With each new year comes a cycle of new trends and spa features to look out for. Whether you work in the industry or simply love to maintain your spa lifestyle, we have created a list highlighting the top 4 trends to keep up with in 2016.

1) Medical-oriented Spas

via Oceanview MedSpa

Flickr image via Oceanview MedSpa

Spa treatments are not just meant to achieve aesthetic goals! Now, spas nation-wide are broadening their treatment range to include medical treatments focused on activating inner beauty and vitality as well. “Consumers want to support health and prevent problems, rather than address issues once they become problematic,” says Allan Share, president, Day Spa Association. The real difference is that instead of a traditional spa which focuses on relaxation, medical spas focus on achieving results. Also, because of the increasing price of high-quality cosmetic surgeries which contain a certain level of risk, many clients are leaning toward noninvasive, nonsurgical cosmetic treatments instead.

 

2) Tech Innovations

Hand-sports-landscape

When it comes to technology innovations for the spa industry, one recurring trend on the rise is spas “on-demand”. On-demand services are are changing the game for a multitude of industries, including spas and wellness. Up and coming  “on-demand” options allow clients the convenience of flexibility and immediacy regarding beauty and wellness treatments such as “on-demand” massages and facials in the comfort of your own home.

 

3) Wellness Communities

Medini-Lakeside1

Until recently, spa visits have been confined to a singular event in which the client is removed from the distractions of everyday life and placed in an environment that evokes serenity and calmness. With wellness communities on the rise in popularity, the limitations of “spa life” are being stripped from existence and replaced with new-found communities where the idea of wellness is integrated to maintain entire lifestyles designed around the goals of a spa. The concept of a wellness community can range anywhere from the inclusion of residencies at spas that are already in existence, to the addition of spa-like amenities within new living communities.

 

4) Science-Backed Treatments

Flickr image via Ta

Flickr image via Ta

In terms of the transparency behind the products and types of treatments offered at spas, clients are becoming more demanding in wanting proof that a service or treatment claim will actually work. This means that transparency will be a bigger part of spa operations in 2016, and beyond. For example, in the last few years there has been a lot of interest and critique surrounding the increasingly popular spa treatment regarded as Halotherapy. This is a treatment that involves inhaling salt particles and is said to be beneficial for a number of respiratory conditions.

What science tells us: The Himalayan salt rocks emit negative ions, and injured or diseased cells are electron-deficient, so submitting the body to an electron-rich environment benefits and heals cells through absorption. The salt helps your cells consolidate inflammation and mucus so that your body can get rid of it.

 

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ComfortSoul

Incorporating Essential Oils In Your Spa Practice

By: Jaime Hall

Essential to your spa…

 

Honolulu Media

 

According to a Global Spa Report, the top reason people visit spas is to experience relaxation. One of the most pleasurable and natural ways in to induce the feeling of relaxation to spa treatments is by incorporating essential oils to your service offerings. Though essential oils are highly conducive to relaxation through aromatherapy, they also contain numerous valuable qualities through topical use.

By utilizing essential oils in your spa practice, you can increase the overall experience and pleasure your clients receive. These oils have the power to stimulate feelings of euphoria and happiness and also provide relief to physical symptoms potentially caused by an underlying emotional issue. Improve your spa experience by introducing to power of essential oils to all areas of treatments.  

Find out below which oils can provide a natural boost to your spa’s services:

 

1) Aromatherapy

Use oils with diffusers, mists, eye/face pillows, and massage oils

Majoram: dissipates nervous tension and stress

Eucalyptus: aids mental exhaustion and rejuvenates an uplifting mindset

Clary Sage: boost self-esteem and balance mood

Bergamot: calming and uplifting

Swallowtail Garden Seeds (clary)

clary sage Flickr image via swallowtail garden seeds

2) Manis + Pedis

Use oils in dilution while soaking hands and feet

Tea Tree: antibacterial and antiseptic

Bitter Orange: anti-fungal, anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory

Geranium: deodorizing,anti-fungal, and antibacterial

Tea Tree

tea tree Flickr image via swallowtail garden seeds

3) Massage Therapy

Dilute essential oils in massage oils and creams 

Eucaplytus: relieves stiff muscles, muscle pain, nerve pain, and anti-inflammatory

Peppermint and Rosemary: improve circulation and relieve symptoms of acute and chronic pain

Pine: relieve muscle fatigue and nervous exhaustion

Rosemary

rosemary Flickr image via swallowtail garden seeds

4) Skin Care

Dilute oils into facial serums and creams

Eucalyptus: antiseptic and anti-inflammatory

Tea Tree: anti-bacterial (good for acne prone skin)

Frankincense: anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, restores tissue, prevent skin damage, and natural toner

Chammomile: diminishes blemishes and puffiness

eucalyptus

eucalyptus plant

5) Sauna/Hot Tub

Diffuse in saunas or dilute in soothing hot tubs

Eucalyptus: antiseptic and refreshing  

Bergamot: antiseptic and uplifting

Geranium and Clary Sage: relaxing, harmonize emotions, euphoric

bergamot

bergamot plant

 

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ComfortSoul

Easy DIY Holiday Spa Gifts

By: Jaime Hall

 

Share gifts from the heart this holiday season

LornaWatt
Flickr Image via LornaWatt

It’s finally the start of the season we all look forward to—thinking up the perfect holiday gifts for our loved ones. Many people will wait until the last minute and (in a panic) get stuck purchasing the lackluster gifts left on the shelves at the end of December. If you’re smart and plan ahead, you can shower your friends and family with sincere gifts that they’ll actually enjoy using.

We know from experience that hand-made gifts are always the most beloved and cherished, and we’re not talking about the macaroni art you made for your mother in the 2nd grade. This year, try doling out some homemade, all-natural spa gifts that will be just as delightful to receive as they will be to use! Not only are these DIY gifts extremely easy and cheap to make, they’re also completely Earth-friendly and filled with delectable flavors that will ensure your gift is one to remember.

DIY HOLIDAY SPA GIFTS

 

Peppermint Sugar Scrub

This body scrub smells positively delicious and will help to fight that awful dry winter skin. Don’t forget to add beet or raspberry juice for all-natural coloring! Recipe here

Logan Brumm (2)
Flickr Image via Logan Brumm

Aromatherapy Body Spray

This super easy-to-make body spray is a perfect gift for all ages, men and women alike. Do a little research to personalize each bottle with an essential oil mix to suit each recipient’s individual needs. Replace distilled water with rosewater for an extra-fragrant mix. Recipe here.

Khadija Dawn Carryl
Flickr Image via Khadija Dawn Carryl

Eucalyptus Mint Body Butter

Another perfect gift to fight away dry winter skin, this yummy body butter features a stress-eliminating essential oil mix. Recipe here.

kid missile
Flickr Image via kid missile

Brownie Batter Lip Scrub

This irresistible lip scrub will have friends and family running back to you for more! For a holiday touch, add 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil to the mix. Recipe here.

Sylvia Chan
Flickr Image via Sylvia Chan

 

Chocolate Oatmeal Face mask

Make all-natural skin care easy for those who may be unfamiliar by gifting them this delectable face mask! Replace the cream with almond or jojoba oil at half the amount for a more shelf-stable, gift-friendly product. Recipe here.

Isabelle Boucher
Flickr Image via Isabelle Boucher

 

Note: Some products may have shorter shelf lives than others. To ensure your gift stays fresh as long as possible, make in small batches or add an all-natural preservative such as vitamin E T-50 oil and geranium and cinnamon essential oil.

 

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ComfortSoul

Benefits of Massage Therapy for Anxiety and Depression

via Alternative Medicine Zone

Don’t let the stressful holiday season burden your health

Massage therapy is known to have several health and other benefits for humans. Massage is known to simulate the blood circulation and thus treat various types of aches, pains and physical difficulties. Moreover, it is also known to treat anxiety and depression, which happens to be one of the most important benefits of massage therapy. The following are some of the main benefits of massage therapy for anxiety and depression:

Close-up of a young woman receiving back massage at spa

  • Massage treatment directly helps with the feelings of depression and anxiety. It tends to increase the feelings of energy and helps alleviates anxiety. It targets the physical symptoms which occur due to the reaction of a person to the anxiety.
  • Another reason why massage therapy is so beneficial for curing anxiety and depression is because it reduces the cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, which when reduced leads to reduction in heart rate, anxiety and the problem of increased blood pressure.
  • Massage therapy or treatment can also affect the neurotransmitters found in the brain which thereby leads to an increase in the serotonin dopamine levels. This increase helps in the reduction of depression.
  • Massage therapy also leads to an increase in energy which infuses a sense of confidence in the person, thereby decreasing a certain degree of anxiety and the feeling of depression.
  • The combined effect of caring attention and focused hand massage treatment can lead to the shift in the brain signals to a more calm state, thus reducing anxiousness in a person. Moreover the tactile stimulation also helps in treating the depression since it is known that humans are biologically programmed to respond to touch.

Living with anxiety or depression is not only harmful for the mind but also for the body. Prolonged depression can start affecting a person physically, thus leading to several physical issues and pains. For this reason, it is even more important to treat it at the right time and using the right method, one of which is massage therapy.

The benefit of massage therapy is that one does not need any prescription to avail the treatment. But the practitioner who gives you the massage therapy must be licensed and knowledgeable about the right technique and method. These therapists must also familiarize him with common health problems so as to provide the best possible treatment. They must inform the client about the way they are going to tackle the problem for maximum benefit.

 

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ComfortSoul

Natural Skin Care with Botanical Oils

By: Jaime Hall

 

body oil

OVERVIEW—In the pursuit of glowing, age-defying skin, many people will turn to commercial creams and elixirs to achieve the perfect youthful appearance. However, many do not realize that by straying away from ingredients that mimic the natural “cosmetics” of ancient cultures, they are decreasing the skin’s natural ability to maintain traits of hydration and elasticity by forcing the skin to rely on chemical ingredients to achieve these traits. While people may observe their skin to feel softer or smoother from the use of commercial products, these feelings are often the result of artificial coatings on the skin that will wash away and do not impart a lasting effect that the skin can maintain naturally.  

Say goodbye to moisturizing lotions that contain vast quantities of water, preservatives, and other fancy (but useless) ingredients, which only serve to hide the one ingredient that is helpful: oil. If you want to avoid all the unnecessary additives, just break it down to the most basic component of lotion—the oil that actually provides the hydration your skin needs.

By changing your beauty regimen to include simpler and more natural products like botanical oils, you can begin to achieve the desired skin traits that are the epitome of health and beauty. Why spend the energy and funds on supplying yourself with high-tech treatments when the answer to glowing skin is right on your supermarket’s shelf?

If putting pure oils directly on your face and body sounds messy or counter-intuitive, do not be afraid. Pure oils from botanical plants are extremely beneficial for all skin types–even super oily–because they contain ultra-moisturizing omegas and essential fatty acids. Though, like all beauty products, certain oils are better for skin types than others. To help you decide on the oils with which you should be replacing your commercial products, we have outlined some of the most beneficial oils and when to use them.

 

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Jojoba Oil

Derived from the jojoba plant, this “oil” is actually a form of liquid wax that contains minerals and nutrients vital to healthy skin such as vitamin E, vitamin B-complex, and zinc. In fact, jojoba’s molecular structure is extremely similar to sebum, an oil your skin produces naturally. This similarity allows jojoba oil to both dissolve the sebum on your skin–remember, like dissolves like–and become easily absorbed by the skin’s pores for ultra-effective moisturization. The perfect oil to enhance your facial care routine, jojoba can help prevent breakouts as well as the largest contributor to aging—loss of moisture.

Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil (distinct from bitter almond oil) is extremely useful as a skin moisturizer due to the high level of fatty acids it contains. These fatty acids help the skin lock in moisture by creating a barrier, and can effectively aid skin conditions such as eczema, acne, or rosacea. Almond oil is also great as an anti-aging topical because of its ability to plump and firm skin while working as a natural exfoliant that removes dead skin cells to promote the growth of healthier skin.

Rosehip Seed Oil

Extracted from seeds on the fruit that occurs on wild rose bushes, this oil is often referred  to as a “miracle” skin care oil because of its variety of highly beneficial vitamins and nutrients. For example, rosehip seed oil contains vitamin A, fatty acids, omega-6, omega-3, antioxidants, and beta-carotene. This makes it the ultimate oil to tackle dry skin, signs of ageing, cell and tissue regeneration, sun damage, and uneven skin-tone as well as smoothing scars. Rosehip seed oil is wonderful for both body and face care.

Castor Oil

This oil was highly utilized by the Egyptian empire and is produced by extracting the oil from castor bean seeds. Castor oil is effective as an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, contains a variety of fatty acids, and also stimulates collagen tissue. These properties make it especially useful for fighting acne, healing sunburn, conditioning and plumping skin, and rejuvenating skin cells.

Note: When using any botanical oils, pay attention to labels to be sure they are unrefined. Some oils may also have a shorter shelf-life and may need to be refrigerated.

 

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ComfortSoul

Acupuncture: What you need to know

By Sandra Ramani from Organic Spa Magazine

The what, when and why of acupuncture..

acupuncture_inline1

For many, acupuncture may only be familiar as a sight gag from movies and TV—for example, when a character covered in needles is shown to elicit screams from those around her, and winces from the audience. But while it may be true that this needle-based treatment does look more dramatic (and perhaps extreme) than it feels, in recent years, the ancient therapy has become mainstream enough that now—chances are—someone watching that on-screen scene knows from personal experience that the benefits of acupuncture are no joke.

All About Energy A key component of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a system that can be traced back thousands of years, acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow, or Qi, that course through the body. This energy is essential for health, so “disruptions of flow are believed to be responsible for disease,” explains Dr. Jitendra Uniyal, senior specialist of Traditional Chinese medicine at India’s Vana Malsi Estate wellness retreat. “Acupuncture is thought to correct these imbalances by unblocking the stagnated Qi in the meridians at identifiable points close to the skin, helping to maintain a free flow of energy.”

Western science explains it a bit differently, attributing the treatment’s success to the fact that it stimulates the nervous system, thereby releasing hormones that can lead to the desired results. Insulin production, thyroid hormones, beta-endorphins, white blood cell production, cholesterol levels and more are thought to be positively affected by acupuncture.

To the Point An initial session begins with a TCM consultation, which involves a general health assessment using tools like pulse and facial diagnosis, along with a physical examination and the taking of patient’s medical history. Based on the results, a trained therapist will then insert long, thin needles into the appropriate acupuncture points on the body.

“With the help of internally produced endorphins,” continues Dr. Uniyal, “the body is relaxed, thus encouraging the free flow of energy into the blocked meridians,” resulting in the correction of any imbalances. An initial session might last about two hours, while follow-ups can last as little as 30 minutes.

The Benefits In addition to boosting the body’s immune mechanisms, acupuncture can be very helpful with all manner of chronic and acute ailments—provided the patient follows through as necessary. For everything from allergies, sinus issues, and headaches to chronic pain, infertility issues, hormonal imbalances and even certain serious diseases, acupuncture has proven effective as both a primary and complementary treatment.

Best of all, “there are no contraindications for acupuncture,” says Dr. Uniyal.

“Anybody can do it—except those who might have a phobia of needles.” The rare negative reactions are mainly due to the use of unsterilized needles or insertion in incorrect pressure points, so be sure to seek out reputable practitioners—and speak up if anything makes you uncomfortable.

Where It’s Available Because it is most effective when done regularly, or as prescribed for a particular issue, it is rare to find acupuncture on the menu at a hotel or resort spa, where clients may only be around for a few days. Many destination spas, though, including Arizona’s Mii amo (miiamo.com), Turnberry Isle in Miami (turnberryislemiami.com), and Vana Malsi Estate in the Himalayas (vanaretreats.com) do offer it as part of multi-day programs, and under the direction of trained experts.

For best results, find a practitioner near you, so treatment can be consistent. The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (aaaomonline.org) allows you to search by zip code for accredited therapists in your area.

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ComfortSoul

Nailed It: Fall Nail Tutorial

By Nailed It
Explore the manicures and tutorials attached with them by clicking on the images below! If you try it out, let me know, I’d love to see your recreations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Lulus.com or my post for the tutorial

 

Visit Lulus.com or my post for the tutorial

 

Visit Lulus.com or my post for the tutorial

 

Visit Lulus.com or my post for the tutorial

 

 

 

 

This post was featured on GoingOutChic.com’s Haute Finds and How-Tos section here!

 

 

 

 

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ComfortSoul

How to Transition Your Skin From Summer to Fall

By Dr. Raj from Spa Week Daily

skin from summer to fall

Can you feel the chill in the air? Fall is almost here. As we are planning to change our wardrobe for the season, we should also think of introducing a few beauty tweaks to our skincare routine.

With different seasons come different priorities and concerns. In the summer, we pay special attention to shine control and sun protection, but as the weather cools down and there is less humidity, skin starts yearning for some extra moisture and a more consistent care.

Below are my 10 top simple beauty hacks that can help you start the next season with healthy, glowing skin.

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! – Going from the humid weather to colder temperatures can have a drying effect on the skin. Add moisture rich products to your beauty routine to protect and replenish the skin barrier. The skin actually produces less oil in the cooler months so even if your skin is normal or oily, you still need a more hydrating formula than usual.

2. Exfoliate – After months of sweat and a buildup of sunscreen and foundation, pores get clogged, which can lead to breakouts and dull skin. Gently exfoliate at least once a week to remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.

3. Consider a serum – Fall is the time of year you might want to consider adding a face serum that specifically targets skin dullness and sunspots. Try using my TULA Illuminating Face Serum, which contains brightening ingredients like citrus extracts and pearlescent pigments to even out your skin tone.

4. Switch to more hydrating cleansers – If your skin is dry, try changing your gel cleanser for something with a creamier texture. Hydrating cleansers won’t strip your skin of its natural protective oils.

5. Don’t forget your SPF! – Your face is exposed every day to the damaging effects of the sun, and even in the cooler months of the year, the sun will still cause damage to your skin. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day, rain or shine, January to December.

6. Try topical probiotics – During cooler months, you need to pay special attention to protecting your skin from the environmental damage. Gusty winds and icy temps are some of your skin’s worst enemies. To restore balance to your skin, look for products that contain probiotics. Probiotics were actually just named beauty breakthrough by the American Academy of Dermatology. They help strengthen skin’s natural protective mechanism and protect the skin against negative environmental influences. As a gastroenterologist, I have been always fascinated by probiotics. The concept that the same bacteria that keep our gut healthy can be applied topically to balance and nourish the skin is truly amazing to me.

7. Don’t neglect your neck – Many women worry so much about the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on their face that they forget to take proper care of the fragile neck skin. In fact, the skin on the neck is even thinner than on the face, so make sure you give your neck extra pampering this fall.

8. Take care of your lips – Your lips will need a consistent use of a protective balm. Look for ointment-based products containing ingredients such as cocoa butter, vitamins A and E, lanolin or beeswax. They will help smooth and repair broken skin.

9. You are what you eat – Healthy skin is about more than just products you put on topically. Your skin is directly impacted by your diet. We all have a tendency to eat more healthy during summer than during any other season. During the summer, we take in more fruits and veggies, but we develop a sweet tooth towards fatty foods in fall. Do not fall prey to too much comfort food and be sure your diet is rich in colorful fruits and veggies, whole grains and healthy fats.

10. Healthy skin through exercise – Exercise is a beauty must. By promoting healthy circulation and bringing more oxygen to the skin, working up a healthy sweat helps to nourish the skin cells and keep skin healthy and vibrant.

 

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ComfortSoul

ComfortSoul Alpina Pedicure Chair

Alpina-Pedicure

The ComfortSoul Alpina™ Pedicure Chair provides the ultimate in luxury, comfort, and quality. Our trademarked UltraPlush™ Cushioning System and DuraSoft™ Upholstery offers the thickest, softest, most ergonomic padding and cushioning system ever built. The removable foot bath is made of copper, an antimicrobial material that reduces the spread of bacteria and requires no plumbing, allowing for more versatility in location. The Alpina Pedicure Chair has fully adjustable back, arm and foot rests to ensure complete comfort. The Alpina Pedicure Chair includes all options and accessories without the added cost; making this the most cost effective solution for all your spa needs.

Available September 25th, 2015: Order Now & Reserve!!

Order yours today! Shop here or call 1.877.266.7685

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ComfortSoul

Summer Spa Treatments

Via CosMedix 

Summer-relaxing

Great Ways to Treat Yourself and Tune Up Your Skin

With its sunny weather, carefree attitude and bright, bare-all wardrobe, summer truly is the season to be seen. No more hiding beneath layers of winter wear; now is the time to flaunt your skin and put your best face forward. And what better way to show off your skin than with a rejuvenating a trip to the spa?

Two of the first things that come to mind when we think of summer are beaches and bikinis. Images of lounging under the sun with toes buried in the sand, however, are often met with the anxiety that our skin still hasn’t come out of its winter hibernation. Fortunately, many spas offer special body treatments designed to fast-track your way to that beach bod.

Body Wraps

Seaweed and mud body wraps are a great way to target built-up toxins in the skin and, some claim, to even trim a few inches off your waistline. Also known as body cocoons, body wraps usually begin with light exfoliation. Next, detoxifying seaweed, algae, mud or clay is applied to the skin and the entire body is wrapped in special plastic, mylar or cloth sheets to trap the ingredients against the skin and help contour the body. Body wraps affect change through vasodilation, or expanding the blood vessels to increase blood flow, specifically to the skin. This helps expel heat, excess water (bloating) and toxins from the body, leaving it supple, smoother and slimmer looking.

Sunless Tanning

No one wants to hit the beach looking like a ghost, but before you sign up for that salon multi-session, consider a professional spray-on tan. Considerably safer than its harmful UV-bathing cousin, a pro glow can better pass for the real thing, mimicking your skin’s natural, sun-kissed tone (no ‘fake bake’ orange tint) and providing more even coverage than an electric bed (no pale ‘side lines’). Sunless tanning works by creating a darkening chemical reaction with dead cells on the skin’s surface. Depending on how quickly your skin renews itself, the effect can last anywhere from three to ten days. In addition to achieving a more natural looking, UV-free glow, some sunless bronzers also infuse the skin with essential vitamins, nutrients and anti-aging ingredients.

Masks and Facials

Because of the heat, humidity and sun, chemical peels and deep exfoliation are not recommended during the summer months. You can, however, refresh and rejuvenate your complexion with any number of lightly exfoliating masks and facial procedures. While not as dramatic as a peel, masks and facials can liven up dull, winter-weary skin and help soften the look of surface lines with dewy hydration.

And don’t be fooled into thinking a facial is just for the face. Many spas offer full body ‘facials,’ designed to exfoliate from head to toe, as well as targeted treatments for breakout-prone areas such as the back.

Pedicures

Sandals were made for summer. Whether laced-up, braided, closed or open-toed, these strappy accessories are meant to do one thing and one thing alone: show off your feet. Unless you’ve been pampering your pieds throughout the year, odds are your feet could use some refreshment. In answer to this ten-digit dilemma, most spas offer comprehensive pedicure or mani/pedi packages, designed to soften, smooth and give a splash of color to feet and toes that are just now seeing the light of day. While regular scrubbing and softening is a great way to get in shape for sandal weather, limit the amount of nail painting to once a month and opt for lighter shades, which won’t stain nails yellow like their darker-hued counterparts.

 

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ComfortSoul