APR 2016

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 52 of 100

The physical and mental benefi ts enjoyed by individuals who frequently commune with nature are well documented. But what effect, if any, could our degree of contact with the natural environment have on our neighborhoods? An international, interdisciplinary team of researchers decided to fi nd out, and their discoveries point to potential new ways to increase cohesion and decrease crime in our communities. The study, published in the December 2015 issue of BioScience, examined national representative data from the U.K., gleaned from surveys about local accessibility of green space or farmland and self-reported activities. Researchers took into account potentially mitigating factors such as socioeconomic conditions and population density. What they discovered was a marked variance, or difference, in people's perceptions of their communities' cohesion level, based on their reported degree of experience with local nature. Measures of available green space also accounted for a variance in crime rates. Comparing the variance fi gures to other, more commonly studied factors, the team was able to surmise that the degree of exposure to natural surroundings may be even more solidly associated with stronger and safer communities than age, income, social standing and education. "The positive impact of local nature on neighbors' mutual support may discourage crime, even in areas with lower socioeconomic factors," the report says. Although this is a complex issue, the researchers are hopeful that their study paves the way for future efforts to tap into the power of our environment to better our world. Even if your spa is located in a high-rise building in an urban center, you can still offer your clients a taste of nature by growing your own herbs indoors. And it doesn't take a particularly green thumb, says gardening expert and TV personality P. Allen Smith. The key lies in choosing the right varieties, and following a few simple guidelines. Two of the most popular, spa-friendly herbs you can grow indoors are: scented geranium, an aromatic plant that can be used in teas or aromatherapy oils, which is available in rose, citrus, nutmeg, cinnamon and even chocolate; and mint—which is, of course, perfect for infusing the water, juices and teas you offer in your lounge areas. Start with some seedlings purchased at a nursery. Let them adjust to their new environment by limiting light exposure for the fi rst two weeks. Then allow the plants a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day (a window providing southern exposure is ideal but a growing light is fi ne). Use a mixture of equal parts soil, sand and humus for potted herbs to ensure proper drainage. Fertilize once a month, and only water the plants when the soil is dry to the touch. Before you know it, your herbs will be ripe for snipping—and adding a signature, earth-loving touch to your spa. YOURWELLNESSSPA HEALING NEWS 50 DAYSPA | APRIL 2016 BOTTOM LEFT: NASA; TOP LEFT AND RIGHT: © GETTY IMAGES "The sea, the great unifi er, is man's only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat." —Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997), French undersea explorer, researcher and documentarian GROW YOUR OWN "The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction." —Rachel Carson (1907-1964), American marine biologist and conservationist Natural Causes The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others. —Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. president and conservationist

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