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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YOUR WELLNESS SPA Mind-Body Health Work-time STRATEGIES Take meditation time-outs Ever since meditation was linked to increased productivity in the workplace, meditation training has started to enter the mainstream, and is now offered everywhere from Ivy League schools to major companies like JPMorgan Chase. Beyond reinforcing healthy breathing practices, meditation can steer the mind toward greater levels of awareness and compassion. According to Jeff Gitterman, financial advisor and author of Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity (AMACOM, 2009), the ability to focus on the present without distraction allows you to see opportunities you couldn't see before, because you're training yourself to look inward instead of at a million external factors. This helps you locate that inner calm and alleviate stressors at the root. To establish meditation training at your spa, get your staff together before your first client arrives and take several minutes to be silent and appreciate the work that will be done throughout the day. Stacy Conlon, founder of Zen Media Marketing, has established a threeminute, "heart-opening" meditation exercise that can be done by anyone at any time, and allows the meditator to focus, practice gratitude and get back on track, even in the middle of the day. The exercise, which is available as a podcast on Conlon's website (zenfriend. org), takes the user through deep breaths to help them access feelings of awareness and gratefulness. It actually helps re-center the mind. Share the aromas As any spa professional knows, aromatherapy is an important element in providing a tranquil environment. Staff members can keep their workplace tension in check by taking advantage of the stress-reducing properties of essential oil extracts such as vanilla and lavender. Keep the candles and diffusers active at the front desk, common areas and treatment rooms so everyone—staff and clients—can experience the benefits of a reduced heartbeat, lowered blood pressure and decreased muscle tension. FOR THE SPA OWNER 50 DAYSPA | JANUARY 2014 Post-Work STRATEGIES Hit the "reset" button For spas, the day officially ends when the last client leaves—but it may continue in the mind of a staff member, especially if her last client was difficult, or a co-worker has been creating conflict. In this case, Sharon Salzberg, meditation expert and author of Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit and Be a Whole Lot Happier (Hay House, 2013), suggests using a straightforward ritual to let go of the day. It may be the simple act of touching a doorknob after finishing with a client or closing the door of the spa after hours. Punctuate the ritual with a pause and a deep breath as you release any stressors and "reset" your mind for the next day. Welcome yourself home As we all know, leaving the workplace isn't the same as leaving the day behind, so set up a home retreat to re-center your mind. Whether it's a deep bathtub to sink into or a quiet corner, use that space to acknowledge the work you've done and release the stress so it doesn't follow you into tomorrow. Sandra Lee is a freelance writer and lifestyle blogger based in Dallas. TOP: © DAMIR CUDIC/GETTY; BOTTOM: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM As an employer, establishing a low-stress workplace is your responsibility. Business experts often refer to employees as the "internal customer"—and for good reason. Leaders find that if they get too mechanical in their daily work and neglect to take care of their staff, this sets up a negative chain reaction that is passed along to the "external customer," namely, the spa client. Make sure that you remain in tune with your employees' needs: encourage open communication, adopt a compassionate mindset and help when you can. This not only cuts off stress at the pass, but it sets the tone for your spa, and establishes expectations about how staff should treat each other and their clients.

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