Spa Partners Blog

Partner News, Information and Inspiration

Archive for September, 2009

Spa Light On Dr. Michael Rothman


Over the last 20 years, Dr. Michael E. Rothman has dedicated his life to helping his patients understand the “how and why” of their health. He strives to provide the highest quality care utilizing natural, holistic, and nontoxic methods.


Dr. Rothman is the founder of MD Wellness and Aesthetics, a private medical office located in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Its mission is to help clients “achieve beauty and health from the inside out and the outside in.”


1. We know you like to take an alternative approach when treating patients. Tell us more about it.

The diagnostic and therapeutic focus in traditional medicine is treating diseases. These diseases are diagnosed based on symptoms, lab tests, radiographic findings, and abnormal findings during a physical exam. Symptoms are manifestations of one or more imbalances to a person’s system. Symptomatic improvements (or lack thereof) must be tracked, as one method of evaluating overall clinical improvement. Symptomatic treatment that does not address the cause of the problem will always promote new imbalances. At MD Wellness and Aesthetics, we use functional testing methods that uncover metabolic, hormonal, dietary, gastrointestinal, and toxicological problems.


2. Tell us about your spa’s unique weight-loss programs.

Our weight-loss program is completely individualized, based on each patient’s metabolic needs. In general, obesity is not caused by eating too much; it is caused by a slow or sluggish metabolism. Therefore, the goal of treatment is to increase the patient’s basal metabolic rate, by reversing metabolic imbalances.


At MD Wellness and Aesthetics I assess patients to determine their metabolic and hormonal imbalances. I then recommend and prescribe a diet, supplements, and an exercise regimen to help achieve their goals. The best thing is that patients will lose not only weight, but also other symptoms, such as fatigue, headache, and muscle and joint pain; bowel problems and mood and other disorders will improve as they achieve metabolic balance. Only by fixing these metabolic imbalances can healthy weight and overall wellness be obtained.


3. What is “metabolic typing”? How do you incorporate this method into your weight-loss programs?

Metabolic typing is a method of assessing several different mechanisms that control biochemical and physiological function. Acid-base balance, autonomic balance, anabolic-catabolic balance, electrolyte balance, and blood sugar regulation can all be quantified through this method. Imbalances in any of the aforementioned control mechanisms can lead to a multitude of symptoms and long-term problems, including slowing metabolism and contributing to obesity.


4. What are the three most popular treatments at your spa?     

Most of our patients are seeking solutions to their chronic degenerative problems, like obesity, fatigue, and aging/degenerating skin.


5. What challenges, if any, do you see the medical spa industry facing in the future?

Obviously, with the uncertainty in the economy, customers are going to be more careful with their discretionary spending; therefore, they will be looking for the best value in their purchases of goods and services.


6. What sets MD Wellness & Aesthetics apart from other medical spas?

 Our approach focuses on finding and treating the underlying cause of the client’s problem, whether a medical or aesthetic issue. Our treatments are highly individualized.


7.  What are your thoughts on SpaFinder and its relationship to the industry?

 SpaFinder provides medical spas and day spas with excellent web presence and search engine optimization in the highly competitive medium of the Internet. The Internet is the present and future in advertising.  More customers are using the Internet to search for, research, and purchase goods and services.


SpaFinder’s reputation, web presence, and elegantly designed layouts allow spas to present their products and services in an upscale way. And by providing links to the businesses’ own websites, it allows interested customers to go to their sites for an in-depth view of their products and services.

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FDA Approves 12-Month Labeling for Evolence®

The makers of Botox®, Juvéderm®, and Restylane® are bracing for some stiff competition. There’s a new dermal filler on the market, with claims of being the first and only collagen-based filler to last one year. The FDA recently approved the labeling of Ortho Dermatologics’s Evolence®, a collagen-based dermal filler made from pig tendons, used for the correction of moderate to deep facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds.


Evolence® is the first and only dermal filler recognized to provide results through 12 months after an initial treatment. The filler was first introduced to the U.S. in 2008, having previously been approved in 2004 and 2005 for use in Canada, Western and Eastern Europe, Israel, South Korea, and Russia.  Several doctors surveyed about the new filler predicted that Evolence® will account for 20 to 50 percent of their filler business by next year, if it performs as expected.


“Physicians can now offer patients an all-natural dermal filler that provides beautiful and immediate results for significantly longer than any other collagen dermal filler,” said Annie Heremans, M.D., Ph.D., and vice president at Ortho Dermatologics, where she is responsible for the company’s research and development of the Medical and Aesthetic Dermatology franchises.


Evolence® seems to be the next generation of facial fillers, one that lasts twice as long as traditional fillers. The filler is too thick to be injected into the lips, but a thinner version called Evolence Breeze® is available in Europe, and the company plans to debut it in the U.S. within the next few years.

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Creating a Membership Program That Works

Membership programs are a growing trend in the spa world.  Often customers pay a fee to join and in turn receive benefits that non-members do not. The scope and benefits of membership programs vary widely, and, unfortunately for many spa owners, so do the results.  Here, SpaFinder offers some guidance on the Do’s & Don’ts for creating a membership program that works.



  1. Emphasize that your program is like an exclusive club and offers value to loyal customers.
  2. Communicate special membership promotions via emails or direct mail or with collateral.
  3. Encourage members to refer your spa and your membership program.  Offer a reward to customers who do.
  4. Make it easy to join – online or in-store.
  5. Evaluate customer behavior – your program is a great tool for marketing analysis.
  6. Offer an immediate perk for joining, like a trial size spa product.
  7. Promote choice.  For example, offer options such as an extra 10 minutes; $10 off your next spa visit; 15% off your gift certificate purchase; complimentary manicure or a treatment upgrade.
  8. Recognize that these are your most engaged customers and show your appreciation.




  1. Don’t be pushy about joining the program.
  2. Don’t take away the basics, only to offer them to members.
  3. Don’t over-charge for membership.
  4. Don’t be too sporadic with promotions to your members.
  5. Don’t require members to hold a membership card – make it easy for the customer.
  6. Don’t forget to ask a customer if they are in the program upon checkout and when they make an appointment.
  7. Don’t be unclear on the rules of your own program.
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.
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Spa Light On Ian Lirenman


Renature Skin Care CEO and founder Ian Lirenman is the face behind the brand emerginC.  Lirenman’s extensive knowledge of formulations, molecular technology, and scientific industry breakthroughs gave him the inspiration to launch and create his own skin-care line.


EmerginC was launched in 1996 with a single star product, the potent and highly stable vitamin C serum.  Since then, emerginc has developed a comprehensive line of active, advanced cosmeceutical and professional treatments that deliver rapid, visible results for all skin types. EmerginC uses only pure, potent botanicals and integrates the latest developments in skin-care technology to ensure cutting-edge, results-oriented formulations for both women and men. Now emerginC can be found in over 500 spas and specialty stores in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.



Describe your skin-care line. 

 EmerginC is truly results-oriented, cutting-edge skin care, incorporating a wide variety of plant extracts, vitamins, minerals, fruit acids, peptides, as well medical- and cosmeceutical-grade ingredients, sourced naturally wherever possible. All emerginC products are free of paraben as well as synthetic fragrances and colors. Our product boxes and brochures are printed on Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forest Initiative Certified paper, with nontoxic vegetable inks.  EmerginC is sold in top spas worldwide, including Miraval, Qua at Caesars Palace, the spa at Wynn Las Vegas, and the Carneros Inn and Spa. 


What differentiates your skin-care products from others?  

Results and cutting-edge technology, with effective solutions for all skin types. We try to offer products that really distinguish themselves from their competition.


 In your experience, what are consumers looking for in a skin-care product?  

Consumers are getting wise (and more frugal!). They are looking for products that do what they say they do.


 In your mind, how have the current changes in our marketplace affected the beauty industry as a whole? 

Business has become much tougher. EmerginC has responded by offering more value-added gift-with-purchase programs to help support our spa partners and the consumer. The industry is consolidating now as the consumer retrenches; travel is down, so destination spas have additional challenges, whereas decreasing consumer spending is making it tougher for most businesses.


 What is the next step in emerginC’s development? 

In late 2009, emerginC will launch an active, results-oriented organic range, packaged in environmentally friendly packaging. EmerginC will pledge to plant one tree for every organic product sold.


Tell us more about Protocell.  

 EmerginC’s Protocell is our latest assault on aging skin. It incorporates specially cultivated plant stem cells derived from rare organic apples, known for their longevity and shown to help slow down chronological aging in skin cells. It is a very exciting technology. We have included high concentrations of these stem cells and blended them with proven extracts from organic French cider, apple peels, and seeds, a highly protective and moisturizing elixir from cacti, as well as Argan oil, rare oil exclusively from Morocco that is super-rich in vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, antioxidants, lipids, and more. 


  How has spa industry changed in your opinion? 

I think the economic downturn is forcing consolidation, which means that the strongest businesses will survive and possibly thrive. Those with shaky financials will be forced to revisit their business models and marketing strategies in order to stay in business.

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Important SpaFinder Redemption Notice

We’d like to inform you of a recent change in our partner redemption payment policy. In our ongoing effort to be environmentally responsible, SpaFinder is seeking to phase out paper checks for gift card and certificate redemptions. Instead, we are hoping to transition all of our spas into our ACH, or Direct Deposit, payment program. 


This change will allow us not only to reduce paper usage significantly, but also to redeem your gift certificates and gift cards faster! By switching to ACH/Direct Deposit, you will receive your redemption payment considerably faster than you would with standard mail. 


This new policy will take effect on January 1, 2010. To make sure we have all your information before that date, please fill out the attached form, or go online and sign up.


We understand if some of our partners still prefer to receive their redemption payments by paper check. We are happy to do this; however, there will be a $15 handling and processing fee for all redemption checks.


We hope you will make the change to ACH/Direct Deposit before January 1 in order to avoid any additional charges and get your payments faster. If you are already enrolled in the direct deposit payment program, no action is required. For more information on online redemption and the direct deposit payment program, please visit  or call 212-716-1197.


As always, we remain committed to driving more business to your spa and are continually looking for ways to enhance and improve our partnership with you.

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Don’t Miss This Opportunity: Learn How to Reinvent Your Business at Red Mountain This Fall

Create the change you want to see in yourself and your business. Join SpaFinder for this year’s Spa Educational Event at Red Mountain Resort & Spa, October 18–21.


Learn how to develop stronger marketing initiatives, get ideas for profitable yield management, and learn the ins and outs of social networking and much more. Take advantage of our special pricing and save 10% on all bookings until October 2, 2009.


Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this life-changing, one-of-a kind event! Learn more.

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Marketing Idea of the Month—Ad Hoc Marketing: Your Secret Weapon for Sales

Wordsmiths define ad hoc as “improvised and often impromptu.” While marketing professors might disagree, we think that ad hoc marketing is a secret weapon—especially in a marketplace where thinking on your feet can mean the difference between profit and loss.


Let’s face it: When the economy feels like a ride on a roller coaster, it’s hard to plan ahead for more than a month (or even a week!) at a time. Of course, long-term planning is a must if you want to achieve your long-term business goals. But incorporating ad hoc thinking in your marketing arsenal means you won’t miss golden opportunities to do more business just because they don’t follow the plan.


Ad hoc marketing can be especially beneficial for spas and wellness centers. We are in the people business, and we have the ability to notice our customers’ habits and then respond rapidly. This means we can change our offers and prices more quickly than manufacturers, who are stuck with the product that was ordered when the economy was flying high. And, even better, we usually don’t have to get permission from someone else to try our new idea.


So how do you begin thinking like an ad hoc marketer? First, listen and then listen some more—to your staff, your customers, other business owners in your community, your peers in the spa industry, and, most of all, yourself. If your gut says, I think this could work, try it. We think you’ll be pleased to find that you are a born marketer, especially when you wear your “ad hoc” hat.

Read More Gets a Face-lift!

Be sure to check out the newly redesigned, set to launch October 1st. The redesigned site features improved geographical search functionality and new ways to showcase your business.



Now, getaway spas can feature streaming video of their facility, post articles and spa cuisine recipes. With our site’s new sleek and fresh look, your online listing is sure to catch any spa enthusiast’s eye!

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