What Is Cupping & Will You Love It?

By Jennifer Dubowsky  via MindBodyGreen.com

 

Cupping

Celebrities like Gwenyth Paltrow, her husband Chris Martin, Jennifer Aniston, and Victoria Beckham are all fans of cupping. This ancient technique is becoming trendy, and while I’m not usually a follow-the-crowd kind of girl, I do appreciate good publicity for Chinese Medicine.

Cupping is an effective remedy commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the more people who know about it and appreciate the benefits, the better. The earliest written documentation of Chinese cupping dates back three thousand years, when it was recommended for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. Cupping is not exclusive to Chinese Medicine. Similar treatments have been used by ancient Egyptians, North American Indians, early Greeks, and in other Asian and European countries.

Cupping uses suction applied to glass, plastic or bamboo cups (they often look like glass jelly jars) to pull up the tissue in an affected area . The suction causes a negative pressure, and the underlying skin is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. You’ll usually feel a tight sensation in the area of the cup, and that often feels very good. Cups are left in place for 5-20 minutes, and sometimes the cups are moved around on your back in a gliding motion. Cupping relaxes your muscles, stimulates blood flow, lymph, and Qi to the affected area and throughout your body.

One important thing to know about cupping is that although it is an effective, safe technique, you will probably be bruised afterwards. The cups leave distinctive pink, red or purple circles or streaks where they are placed. The skin discoloration may last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Generally, the bruises don’t hurt, though occasionally they may be a little sore. I always recommend that my patients drink plenty of water and take an Epsom salts bath after a cupping treatment because the salts are anti-inflammatory and can help prevent or relieve soreness. Cupping can be repeated once the marks have cleared up.

Cupping is often combined with an acupuncture treatment, but can also be used alone. It’s wonderful for treating many conditions, including stress, pain relief, allergies, flu, colds, back pain, anxiety, muscle aches, red itchy skin conditions (cups are not placed on areas of the skin that are inflamed), and fevers. Cupping also enhances circulation and pull toxins from your body’s tissues.

To some people, this may sound like an unusual treatment, but once you try it, you’ll understand why cupping is winning fans among athletes, celebrities, and all the rest of us who want to remain active and feel great.

 

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ComfortSoul

5 Vital Reasons You Should Get Massages Regularly

By Melanie Bolen

massage-300x300

Listen: I know how difficult it can be to make time for a massage. I typically treat myself only once a month or so. As I’m booking my session, I question whether or not I really need it, could I be spending that money on something else, etc. And you know the horrible thing about this? I’m a massage therapist myself.

So I get why you might not get massaged as often as you should. But the thing is, I never regret it afterwards, and consider it money well spent. There’s a new study coming out every few weeks or months now it seems, scientifically confirming what we’ve known intuitively for literally hundreds of years: Massage shouldn’t be treated so much as a luxury, but as a part of one’s wellness plan, right alongside exercise and proper nutrition.

With that said, here’s five vital reasons you should book your next bodywork session in the near future:

1. Massage Reduces Anxiety and Stress

It’s said that the vast majority of diseases and their complications are brought on by anxiety and stress. Massage has been proven to lower cortisol levels in the body while increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine, thus helping to alleviate the stress we suffer from day to day, and promoting perspective and clarity.

2. Massage Addresses Low Back Pain

Massage addresses a number of musculoskeletal issues, but let’s single out the leading cause of disability in the U.S. (according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010). Thirty-one million Americans are suffering low back pain at any given time, with over $50 million dollars spent every year spent on traditional medical treatment, worker’s compensation, and lost time from work. A 2011 study found that regular massage to the lower back can help alleviate pain, and it didn’t even matter whether it was deep tissue or lighter Swedish massage – bodywork in general to the low back is helpful.

3. Massage Enhances Immunity

Swedish and deep tissue massage promotes the movement of lymph, the body’s natural defense system.

4. Massage Reduces the Effects of Long Hours of Desk-Sitting and Driving

The most common responses I get when I ask clients what causes them the most pain are these two things. The average American worker sits 8-9 hour a day either at a computer or behind the wheel, causing shoulders to become pulled forward and rounded, upper and lower back muscles to become overstretched and weak, and that’s just what happens to the upper half of your body. Coupled with a regular exercise routine, massage can help alleviate pain, and keep those postural deviations in check.

5. Massage Helps Athletes Prepare and Recover from Events

Many of us aren’t just exercising regularly these days, but challenging ourselves with athletic events such as marathons and Iron Man competitions, and events like Tough Mudder. Massage to help recover from these events is great, but even better is incorporating it into your wellness program leading up to the big event. It will help reduce muscle soreness and tightness, and keep joints mobile and flexible.

Bonus Item!

6. Giving Massage Can Provide Just as Much Benefit and Receiving It

While I certainly do like job security, I also hate to hear when a client comes to me (and it’s almost always a female in this scenario) and complains that her spouse or boyfriend won’t give her a massage, or if he will, it’s a half-hearted five-minute one at best. Aside from the chance of bonding it provides for a couple, giving massage has been proven to lower cortisol and raise serotonin and dopamine levels in the giver as well. The most frequent excuse I hear when the guy is called out right in front of me (and yes, that happens more often than you might think) is “I’m horrible at it”. You’re probably not as horrible as you think. And if you really want some bonus points, there are a number of classes offered showing couples how to give the gift of massage to each other.

But you know, you should still make time to see your massage professional.

 

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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

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

Written By Jessica Chitrabhiboolya

Sunscreen Women

Sunscreen should be one of the most important items in your skincare regimen. As the earth’s ozone layer is depleting and skin cancer rates on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer. It is essential took in the fight against skin cancer with its UV blocking abilities can help keep skin safe from harmful sun rays. Ultraviolet rays such as UVA and UVB are the most harmful to the skin. Be sure to apply at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and don’t forget to reapply ever hour to maintain coverage. Ladies, try to find a foundation, powder or BB cream with added sunscreen to lessen the products in your makeup bag. The sun’s rays are able to penetrate through to your skin even when the sun isn’t even out. Here are some tips for using sunscreen:

–          Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher with UVA and UVB protection

–          Apply evenly to avoid certain areas from getting burnt or blotchy

–          Wearing sunscreen helps prevent wrinkles and brown spots

–          Avoid tanning parlors and artificial tanning devices

–          Where hats and protective clothing when possible

–          Do not used expired sunscreens as ingredients begin to degrade over time

Your skin is the most important part of your body; let’s make sure we take care of it!

 

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ComfortSoul

8 Biggest Spa Trends for 2015

Written by Vera Gibbons for MarketWatch

Hotel Spa

Now that the stress of the holiday season is behind us, how about a trip to the spa? After all, the spa experience is “more accessible than ever,” says Lynne McNees, president, International Spa Association. “And while we’re still frequenting spas to manage stress, and take that much-needed ‘time out’ to disconnect and recharge our batteries,” these days, we’re looking for much more than basic pampering. “We want to learn how to take better care of ourselves; an all-pronged approach to health,” says Beth McGroarty, Research Director, Spafinder Wellness.

Haven’t paused your frenzied pace in a while? Here are some of the biggest spa trends for 2015:

Wellness and Preventive Treatments

Have a bad back? You may be considering yoga. Allergies? Try naturopathy. Mysterious aches and pains? How about a massage or acupuncture? Maybe it’s time to work with a Kinesiologist (someone who specializes in body movement)? “Consumers want to support health and prevent problems, rather than address issues once they become problematic,” says Allan Share, president, Day Spa Association. “This urgency has come to the forefront because consumers are feeling uncared for in the medical community; they want to stay on track without running to the doctor, particularly given the rise in premiums and out of pocket health-care costs.”

Specialty Spas

In the past, spas were trying to please everyone, says Debra Koerner, co-founder of Well World Group, a spa consultancy firm. “They were expanding their menus and offering an overwhelming number of services.” Fast forward to 2015. “In the bigger cities, in particular, we’re seeing more niche properties and new franchises open up that offer convenience and affordability, specializing in one thing – whether massages (Massage Envy now has 1,000 locations across 49 states.), brows, lashes, hair or feet.”

Personalization

This year, expect to see continued growth in treatments and services that are personalized, says McGroarty. You can customize your own scents and oil, blend your own lipsticks and shadows, or choose the focus of a facial, for example.

Treatments for Men

Men are becoming more open to the spa experience because they recognize the value of taking better care of themselves. And spas are taking notice, rolling out macho-sounding therapies – like the “sports massage” or “executive massage.” What are men looking for? Primarily stress relief and pain relief, says Koerner.

Express, Express, Express

Time: Nobody seems to have enough of it these days. Hence, the onslaught of express treatments, offered by the likes of Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door and numerous others. In fact, 77% of spas now offer treatments that are 30 minutes or less, according to McNees. “If you have a full hour and want four things done in one swoop with several therapists working on you at one time, you can do that, too.” And at a time that’s convenient for you. “Spas no longer keep banker hours,” says McGroarty. “They’re opening earlier – 7 am – and staying open later – until 10 pm to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules.”

Social Yoga

Social Fitness

How does an early morning rooftop yoga class sound, followed by a mini-facial or other spa treatment, and then a light lunch? Any interest in a ‘Girls Night Out’ or group outing that’s centered around working out and feeling good? Social fitness is a huge trend in 2015. As we continue to work lonely, extended hours, the “fitness-and-human connection-hungry demographic” will continue to grow, says McGroarty. “It’s like a party, but unlike going to a nightclub, you’re engaging in healthy behavior with like-minded individuals. And it’s fun.”

Expanded Spa Boutiques

Remember when spas simply had a designated corner to display candles, oils, and other small tokens? Those days are long gone, says Share. “Spas have figured it out – after people come in and have a treatment they’re relaxed, feeling out of this world, and in the mood to buy.” Hence, the plethora of “things” to buy beyond the “basics.”

Continued Care

Consumers are no longer just treatment-oriented, says Angie Day, Canyon Ranch’s corporate spa director. “They’re educated, and they’re asking more questions than ever, looking within to extend the benefits well beyond the treatment; they want follow-up, customized programs so they can incorporate what they’ve learned into their daily routine.”

 

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8 Salons That Let Guys Get Their Groom On

Written By Chanel Parks for the Huffington Post

creepy

Salons that cater to men and all their grooming needs are cropping up all around the country, offering guys a place to get a shave, manicure, or a casual back wax all in one stop. Instead of fiddling with complicated tools in the bathroom, guys can frequent these fine establishments to kick back and relax.

Some gentlemen still think that spas and salons are meant for women, but Mike Gilman, CEO of GroomingLounge.com, believes otherwise.

“Every time a man frequents Grooming Lounge or a similar place, it helps to lessen the taboos that once surrounded men taking pride in their appearances,” Gilman tells HuffPost Style. He adds that such locations geared toward men should leave guys “feeling confident, rather than embarrassed,” which could promote “future visits, recommendations to friends and a general spike in handsomeness.”

If you or the man in your life is in need of some spa-like rejuvenation, check out these sweet spots below.

1. Grooming Lounge is a DC-based lounge that can groom guys from head to toe. As an added bonus, the salon has a line of products AND its companion site provides stellar tips and expert advice. Find a shop, here.

2. American Male is the place for those who are nervous about bacne. The salon has a whole treatment for that, among other things, that will leave anybody’s skin feeling nice and smooth. Find locations across the country, here.

3. The Gents Place offers a relaxed atmosphere equipped with shoe shines, messages and multiple hair services. Find more information about its locations in Kansas and Texas here.

4. Kiehl’s, the skincare brand often celebrated for its products like the Midnight Recovery Concentrate, has a salon that is a refreshing spin on the traditional barbershop. Get a facial, a body polish, or maybe a trim for that massive beard. The Kiehl’s salon is located in New York City.

5. The Art Of Shaving has a name that speaks for itself. With locations across the country, salons combine the brand’s beloved products with “Master Barbers” who take male grooming to a new, classy level. Find a store in your state, here.

6. Roosters Men’s Grooming Center has guys covered in the best ways possible. Sure, any hairdresser can give you a haircut, but what about one that comes with golf advice? Find more locations across the U.S. here.

7. Eighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salon has all the treatments that can get any guy out of a grooming slump. So go ahead, make an appointment. Find a salon near you here.

8. John Allan’s Premier Men’s Grooming Club is a place where a guy can enjoy a cold one while receiving a Sports Pedicure, because getting pampered is so much sweeter with a drink in hand. Find locations here.

 

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ComfortSoul

Walk-Ins or No Walk-Ins?

By Tracy Rubert

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RED LIGHT
We don’t take walk-ins, as we are booked up two weeks in advance. We like to take care of our regular clients first.
Amber McIver, Verdo Nails, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand

Nine times out of 10, I do not take walk-ins. Because I’m the only nail tech in the salon, my days are normally fully booked. However, when I do get a walk-in, I try to get them to book an appointment for a later date; I might have a slot open the very next day that could fi ll up fast if they don’t take it.
Amy Payne, Cutting Corner Salon, Tecumseh, Mich.

Although I love the idea of taking walk-in clients, I’m the only nail tech in the full-service salon I rent from. If I don’t have anything scheduled, I’m going to be out networking or running errands. I do offer a 10% discount for clients who book a week in advance. Not only does it help me determine my schedule, but it also rewards clients who schedule in advance.
Caitlin Hurt, Salon on 62nd, Shawnee, Kan.

YELLOW LIGHT
We do take walk-ins, but can’t always fit them in.
Lauren Lyford, Dollhouse Salon, Red Bluff , Calif.

We do our best to accommodate walk-ins, but not at the expense of our regular clients. Walk-ins can be great, as they add more business to the salon, are potential regular clientele for the techs, and generate more revenue overall. However, it can become extremely difficult when you have a pretty booked schedule already and have limited time to do every service a walk-in client might request. For example, your salon’s schedule might have one hour available to do a single service such as a manicure or pedicure, but the walk-in wants both a manicure and pedicure. Because of this, more often than not, the walk-in will leave and try to find a place that has time for both services. This leaves the salon and employee missing out on that particular revenue at that time. Another con to taking walk-ins is that they come in sporadically, leaving you less time than usual to do a service; this can cause you to run late for your next appointment or even cause your current client to feel rushed. This is why it is so important to choose to accept each walk-in on a case-by-case basis, especially if you want to provide excellent customer service!
Tiffany Coleman, Krème de la Krème, Long Beach, Calif.

Walk-ins can be an excellent way to build a clientele, but there are many cases where walk-ins will never become regular customers. A lot of walk-ins are only in the area for a day or two, have a special occasion, might only need an emergency repair or a polish change, or have some time before their next engagement. The key to handling walk-ins is to offer only express services to accommodate them unless they make an appointment. In busy downtown areas, walk-ins are an excellent way of doing business, especially at lunchtime or right after work. Usually these are customers that do not want to commit to appointments, but who will always visit your establishment whenever they are in the area. Some customers like your salon and the services you offer, but are committed to their regular nail tech. These customers will eventually convert only if their regular nail tech relocates or stops doing nails entirely.
Roy Williams, Chicago Nail School, Chicago

We take walk-ins if we have available spots because we like to provide great service to our clients, but we’re mostly quite busy.
Corina-Anne Shears, Pure Blissful Beauty, Adelaide, South Australia

GREEN-LIGHT-GO!
I absolutely take walk-ins whenever possible. I do it for multiple reasons. First, I have only been in this business for a few years, and using the clients who walk-in helps build a clientele. Second, I never want to give a person a poor impression of the salon. Some clients get upset when you can’t take them right then and there, so I do my best to fit them in. If there is someone in my chair already, I recommend other services we offer in the meantime. I want them to have a positive impression not only of me but the salon as well.
Anne VanSpronsen, McIntyre’s Salon and Day Spa, Portage, Mich.

Yes, we do take walk-ins but have been receiving mostly appointments so far (we’ve only been open two-and-a-half months). We are located in a small strip center where there is a tanning salon, Starbuck’s, hair salon, and restaurants so the potential for a walk-in business is great.
Brenna Bauer Massa, The Nest Nail Spa, Lakewood, Colo.

If I am free, I take walk-ins 100%!
Melissa Aggelo, Mel’s Nail Co, Brighton-Le-Sands, New South Wales, Australia

Since I am new to the industry, walk-ins are always welcome! Clients showing up to me in any fashion affords me the opportunity to learn something new and possibly gain a loyal, consistent, pre-booking kind of client — the kind I think we would all be excited to gain and retain.
Amy Tobin, Independence Beauty Centres, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Five Effective Ways for Keeping Your Spa Team Motivated

By Nina Curtis

Keeping valued team members must be a top priority for any spa business planning to succeed over the long term. Although ‘money’ often plays an important role in someone’s decision to join or leave a company, it ranks no higher than fifth among the most important factors for why employees stay with an organization. The following ‘five effective tips for keeping your spa team motivated’ will enhance your ability to support your spa team with feeling that they are a part of the organization and it will encourage them to participate in the success of your business for the long term.
Keys to success…

1. Recognition
When your team accomplishes something they have achieved something. Your recognition is appreciation for that achievement. Often managers don’t give enough recognition because they don’t get enough. Therefore, it doesn’t come natural to do it. Take a hard look at this and ask yourself, are ‘You’ a giver? Recognition is free, give it out when appropriate as it can raise the bar with your team.
Another level of recognition is getting your company’s Executive Team involved. Now this is a secret weapon. And like any secret weapon, timing is most critical. If this is used too often the value is diminished. And if it is used only for special occasions and rare achievements the value is escalated. Recognition coming from the ‘Executive’ level has a very positive impact on your people as it lets them know that they are being watched and attention is being given. This kind of recognition makes us all stand a bit taller. Memos and voice mails coming from the ‘Executive’ level stand out. This also allows you as the manger to ensure that upper management is kept abreast of the achievements your team is making for the overall success of the business… To add yet another level of stimulation, have an executive either personally call to congratulate someone (or a group) or even show up in person to shake hands and express his or her appreciation.
Applause, applause and more applause is also a form of recognition, but a very specific form. Physically applaud your people by giving them a round of applause for specific achievements. Where? When? The answer is wherever and whenever. At meetings or company-sponsored social gatherings, a luncheon, or in the office. At the end of a shift, before a shift, and whenever possible in the middle of a shift, get their attention…right on the spot…
On-the-Spot Praise. This too is associated with recognition but the key here is timing. When there is a reason for praising someone don’t put it off for any reason! Promptness equals effectiveness. Praise people when the achievement is fresh on everyone’s mind. What is effective is for us to pay attention, watch for accomplishments and go out and tell whoever it is what a great service they gave or applaud them for going above and beyond to serve the guest…praise them promptly for what they accomplished or achieved! Don’t allow time to creep in and snatch away any ounce of the positive impact that praise can have when it is delivered promptly.

2. Training
Training is always a work in progress and your team can never get enough…For whatever reasons, too many managers feel, “My people have already been trained” or “I’ve got good people…they only need a little training.” But training never ends. Schedule “booster” training sessions. These should be led by you or by a lead therapist with help from specific associates who show a particular strength in the skills taught. This takes time, but these types of training sessions will continually enhance the performance of your team and the productivity of your business.
One-on-one coaching, another form of training offers continued associate development. Your only cost is time. Time means you care. And remember people don’t care how much you know… until they know how much you care.
Whenever the emphasis is on positive feedback, make sure to do this coaching in “public.” Whenever you recognize and encourage a team member or members in “public,” it acts as a natural stimulant for others who are close enough to see or hear what’s taking place. It allows you to set ‘best’ practices in place so your entire team knows how things should be done. It sets the ‘performance bar’ so to speak.
Mentoring your associates helps them to know what is potentially ahead for them, what opportunities there are for growth and sustainability. This issue is a sometimes forgotten ingredient as to the importance it plays in the overall motivation of people. Setting career paths within your organization is very powerful. Do you promote from within? I hope you can answer yes to that. Although specific circumstances require you to look for talent outside your company you should always first consider internal personnel. If you do this you are sending a very positive message to every one that there are indeed further career opportunities within your organization. Another thought on this is as you train, coach and mentor your team members, you are ensuring that your spa could run smoothly and successfully if there were a promotional position to come open that you might want. Too often I have seen managers passed up for promotions because it was felt that they did too good a ‘job’ in there current position and it might be too hard to replace them. Think about that for a moment.
What’s in a job name? When you talk about job titles you are tapping the self-esteem of people. How someone feels about the way they are perceived in the workforce is a critical component to overall attitude and morale. Picture a social gathering that includes some of your associates. The subject of work inevitably comes up. Will your people be proud, or embarrassed, to share their title and workplace? The importance of feeling proud of who you are and what you do is monumental.
Be creative as you think of possibilities for titles. Have your staff come up with ideas giving them input into the titles. Bottom line, you are dealing with pride…and pride enhances a positive attitude…and a positive attitude is the foundation for continuing success.

3. Leadership Roles
Give your team leadership roles to reward their performance and also to help you identify future candidates for promotions. Most people are stimulated by leadership roles even in spot appearances. For example, when guest come to your spa use this opportunity to allow an associate to take the role of guest guide.
A great place to hand out leadership roles is to allow your people to lead brief meetings. Utilize your associates’ strengths and expertise by setting up “tune up” training sessions and let one of your associates lead the training, rotate this with your team members. The best time to do this is when new associates start.
Or, assign a meeting leader after someone has attended an outside seminar or workshop. Have them lead a post show, briefing the other team members regarding seminar content and highlights.
Have your associates help you lead a project team to improve internal processes. Remember they are on the front lines and hear and see things that you may miss.

4. Team Spirit.
Team Spirit is what drives teams to championships. This is a crucial component for your business success. It’s also known as relationship building. What is your current team spirit? How do you currently build team spirit? Do you know how your team feels about the spirit of the group? Do your team members work as a team or as individuals, only looking out for what’s in it for them versus what the team can do as a whole?
Have a picture taken on your entire team (including you!), have it enlarged and hang it in a visible spot. Most people like to physically see themselves as part of a group or team.
Work to create projects and affiliated activity that are team driven. People driving to reach goals together definitely enhance team spirit solely because they must lean upon others and be prepared to be leaned on.
One very effective idea is to build a collage of creative ideas with the “Team” theme. All associates are responsible for submitting a phrase referring to TEAM on a weekly rotation. Each of these ideas (such as TEAM: Total Enthusiasm of All Members or There is no I in Team) is placed on a wall, creating a collage of Team-oriented phrases. Don’t have one person responsible for this…do it as a team.
Social Gatherings scheduled offsite can enhance bonding which in turn helps team spirit, which ultimately impacts your positive work environment. Halloween costume parties, picnics on July 4th, Memorial Day or Labor Day, and Christmas parties are only some of the ideas that successfully bring people together for an enjoyable time. Some others that can be considered with equal success are softball games (against other companies or among associates, depending on staff size), groups going putt-putt golfing or movie madness.

5. Communication
Open communication is a true motivator. We all like to be heard and voice our opinions. And the majority of employees say their managers don’t communicate openly with them. But a majority of managers say they do. Who’s right? Wrong question. If associates feel you are withholding information they need about their work or workplace, they will lose motivation and develop resistance to your management. Time to communicate more openly.
How? Since employees and managers generally see this issue differently, the simplest fix is to ask employees what they want to know. Ask them one-on-one, by e- mail, in meetings. Give employees at least one chance a week to ask you for information. And then give them the information.
Well, here’s a start to evaluating your current situation and the level of motivation and ‘spirit’ your spa team and you have. Once you’ve checked that these points are in place and are working to maximize your performance level you must always remember that your work and leadership are always under construction.

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Labor Day Weekend Checklist for Spa Businesses

By Balboa Capital

The 2014 football season is about to kick off, a new school year is starting, and the weather is getting a bit cooler. These are signs that the Labor Day weekend is upon us. Millions of Americans will celebrate this national holiday by spending time with family members and friends or relaxing at a spa to get away from their hectic life. People will be getting off work to enjoy a relaxing weekend with their loved ones and preparing for their scheduled spa appointment. For spa owners, Labor Day weekend presents a great opportunity to increase revenues. Will your business be prepared for the busy Labor Day weekend?

Start Marketing Your Business… Today
The Labor Day marketing efforts started weeks ago. Special holiday sales and promotions are being advertised by mom and pop stores and large national brands alike. You might be promoting something for your business, too. Online advertising, e-mail marketing, website links and social media are all ways to get the message out quickly, and without spending a lot of money. Think of some Labor Day offers and/or incentives that might generate new business and craft some marketing messages for them. Post them on your website and promote them via social media throughout the Labor Day weekend.

Staff Up
In order for your Labor Day sales event to be a success, you need to be fully prepared. If you aren’t, the holiday weekend can be highly stressful for you and your employees. To prevent this from happening, schedule the right number of employees, and make sure you have adequate coverage during peak time periods. There is nothing more frustrating to customers than waiting in long lines, or not having someone readily available to assist them. The right amount of employee coverage will keep your customers happy, and your cash registers ringing.

Stock Up
Many people are unwinding from their busy lifestyles to experience your marvelous spa treatment. Now is the time to check your inventory to see what needs to be added before the Labor Day weekend. In today’s fast-paced and on-demand world, consumers expect everything to be readily available, especially items that are being advertised for the Labor Day weekend. So any deals on products you are selling, make sure they are in stock. Additionally, stock up on oils, cremes, and lotions so that you provide the utmost spa experience that they will be telling their friends and family.

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Best,
ComfortSoul

5 Tips for Driving Revenue & Audience with Mother’s Day Promotions

Bring in the big bucks this May with Mother’s Day contests, deals stores, and spa cards

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Mother’s Day is one of the top gift-giving holidays of the year, with the average American planning to spend an average of $169 on their mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and friends. Since there are about 85 million mothers in the US, that adds up to $20.7 BILLION in consumer spending!

    1. Plan ahead. One of the best ways to succeed with online promotions is to create a year-long strategy and build an integrated promotions calendar incorporating contests, ballots, deals, and cards.
    1. Select your promotions. For Mother’s Day, you could run a sweepstakesdeals storephoto contestvideo contestspa card, essay contest, or any combination thereof to engage your audience and drive traffic to your site. Here’s a list of advertisers to target to get you started no matter which promotion types you choose.
    1. Diversify your digital revenue with deals. Run a deal store or theme week to generate new revenue or go after target businesses that might not be able to purchase traditional ad spots. Use an ROI Calculator to walk advertiser through the opportunities to grow their database and revenue by running a deal with you.
    1. Run a spa card. A spa card that includes several treatments at an upscale local spa makes the perfect gift for Mother’s Day, and the high price point ($99 and up) means plenty of revenue potential for your program, whether or not you regularly feature deals. Plus, cards align well with other promotion types! Consider making your spa card a prize in your photo contest and cross-promoting the two.
  1. Sell a multimedia promotional package to your advertisers. When you put together a sponsorship package, make sure you are including online, traditional media, social media, and email in order to provide the most value to your advertisers. Here are a few things you should be sure to include:
    • Email to your promotional database (an average of 70% of contest submissions come on the day the promotional email is sent)
    • Email opt-ins for you and your sponsor(s) on the registration page
    • Mobile ads
    • Social mentions
    • Facebook Like button on the registration page
    • Bounceback offers
    • Prize sponsorship
    • Like-gate (for contests run on Facebook)

– See more at: http://secondstreetlab.com/2014/03/driving-revenue-with-mothers-day-promotions/#sthash.fZmUb78o.dpuf

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ComfortSoul