JAN 2014

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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Page 47 of 115

YOUR WELLNESS SPA Snapshot Teaching Touch The Spa Room enables couples to enhance their sense of intimacy and well-being. At The Spa Room: A Boutique Wellness Studio in Washington, D.C. (, guests are encouraged to take time to care for their minds and their bodies. "We focus on revitalizing," explains owner Mary Szegda, who, in addition to massage therapy, has extensive experience in applied psychology, drama and movement therapy, brain injury rehabilitation, infant massage and the somatic therapy Feldenkrais. "We work from the idea that we don't need massage just to pamper, but to soothe our often-neglected bodies on a regular basis. And while coming to the spa is great, we need more touch in our lives overall." Toward that effort, Szegda has created a unique massage education program. The idea sprung from Szegda's infant massage services. "I realized that it's not only infants—adults need massage at home," she says. "They need more than they can afford to get at the spa." Through Szegda's Massage 101 classes, couples (or partners, family members or friends) learn to give and receive massage. The Spa Room offers private and semi-private classes. Szegda estimates that approximately 1,000 people Website: Founded: 2010 Size: 1,200 square feet Facility: Four treatment rooms plus waiting area Staff: Fluctuates from 4 to 10 therapists and specialty practitioners Product lines used/retailed: Red Flower, Weleda Signature services: Customized massage that includes settling in, dialogue, movement assessment, bodywork and reflection (120 min./$195); packages combining bodywork with Feldenkrais (time/price variable); Massage 101 classes (90 min./$200 per couple; $100 semi-private) 46 DAYSPA | JANUARY 2014 MASSAGE 101 The Spa Room's popular partner massage education classes offer basic instructions that guests take home with them. "We are physical, emotional and energetic beings—it's how we relate to each other," says owner Szegda. "Doing massage with a partner is feelings-centered. We don't get that very often in our lives." Students begin by making agreements about feedback. Szegda says that may be the only difficult aspect about partners practicing massage on each other. "We agree that everyone will communicate using objective feedback," she says. "And that the giver will be grateful for the feedback." The students are then led through visualizations. They concentrate on where they are in space—how their hands connect to their shoulders and to their navel, quieting down into their bodies, for example. When ready, they're taught how to apply Swedish massage techniques. "We also try to teach students to 'read' the other person's tissue," Szegda says. The classes give couples a way to nurture each others' well-being. "There aren't many healing opportunities that are structured and respectful like this," says Szegda. "They can really create a sacred space at home with their partner, and make a ritual of it." ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM THE SPA ROOM have taken the classes. It seems that just letting guests know the classes are available is all the selling that's needed. "Because couples' massage is so popular, I can easily suggest to people that this might be a nicer experience than simply getting a side-by-side massage," she explains. "Plus, it's a fun and different thing to do with your partner." Touching and connecting is at the heart of The Spa Room. Another education series, Relaxation 101, delves into meditation and partner yoga. And the infant massage program continues to flourish. Lately, Szegda's focus has been on creating a workspace where her therapists can bring their babies to work in an integrated atmosphere. The Spa Room also offers a "Pay What You Can" program on Facebook on selected days. "The ultimate goal of The Spa Room is to reclaim the authentic meaning of 'spa'," says Szegda. "Originally, spa was used to describe a place in nature where people gather together to engage in healing practices. Ideally, we aim to recreate that healing environment and build a community." —Andrea Renskoff

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