Spa Partners Blog

Partner News, Information and Inspiration

Spa Light

Q&A with Anne Bramham, Founder, ASTECC

Anne Bramham shares her expertise in an illustrious career that spans from consultant, designer, trainer of spa therapies to founder of the Advanced Spa Therapy Education Certification Council (ASTECC). Her “constitutionally” based ASTECC curriculum is widely regarded as the benchmark for spa therapy education, and she is known for being the creator behind Spa Montage’s Surrender program.

What inspired you to create the Montage “Surrender” Program?

Drawing on my experience as a practitioner  I knew how important it was to guide guests toward treatments that would deliver the desired result.  At Montage, ‘Surrender’  serves as an invitation to experience spa’s therapeutic potential. It elevates  a spa visit into one of personalized care.

Can you give us an insiders look at the importance/ benefits of this particular program and what sets it apart from other spa/wellness programming out there?
The program’s lifestyle and constitutional analysis are two of the indicators that allow us to determine what combination of  biochemical elements and treatments will best support the guest’s needs.  “Surrender” is a process of communication and touch that promotes self awareness while offering the guest  an experience that is therapeutic and regenerative.  A ‘whole body’ approach, the program carries the potential of gently shifting perception . With a better understanding of their ‘essential self’ guests usually become more proactive in their well being. The goal of “Surrender” is connection – connection with oneself and the environment we inhabit.

How can spas on a  smaller scale incorporate a program such as this?
In developing a program like “Surrender”,  training, expertise and intent are the single most important elements.  Smaller properties are ideally suited for such an approach.  They are more likely to cater to a local client base and be in a position to cultivate ongoing relationships .  Having said that, as a large resort catering mostly to out of town guests,  Montage has been very successful in attracting repeat clients who recognize the value of this highly individualized approach.

Can you define ASTECC’s definition of ” art and science of spa practice” and how this approach plays into the council’s training?
The science is the foundation. It’s an understanding of anatomy and physiology and the body’s specific response to specific stimuli. The art, on the other hand, is the application of this knowledge. It is the spirit in which services are performed, a willingness to be of service and  to acknowledge the fundamental human need to be touched.  Communicated with compassion, intention, and grace, it is the gift that brings meaning to our work.

What makes  ASTECC different from others? Why do you think Spas should adopt this approach?
ASTECC speaks to spa’s therapeutic potential.  Integrative in its approach the training provides the practitioner with the skills to asses and determine an appropriate course of action.

Education naturally introduces a new level of service. Therapists who know  how to connect the the therapeutic dots discover a new level of meaning to their work.  And so do the guests. This element of ‘added value” ( “ They really helped me with my sinus problems at XYZ Spa”) is what  attracts and retains both a loyal clientele and serious minded practitioners. I recently spoke at a trade show and my audience was made up mostly of spa management. I asked them to describe in a word or two the spa experience and the words ‘pampering’ and ‘indulgent” were heard over and over again. We must do better than that. We must learn how to use the tools of our craft if we hope to prosper. Education is the key. It will open the door to the future.

ASTECC provides extensive, integrative training in four major disciplines, hydrotherapy, soft tissue therapies, Dr. Vooder’s MLD and Bio Chemical Elements – how did you come to select these four sections?
As a premise, let me say  it is important that we view the body as a whole.  We are a 70% water body in which approximately 50 trillion cells abide.  The life of each cell is dependent on the efficient delivery system of nutrients and the removal of waste.  And this, in effect, is the primary focus  of ASTECC training.

In Hydrotherapy we teach that “Blood is the River of Life” and its constant flow (circulation) is vital for health and well being. Water is the greatest conductor of energy  and Hydrotherapy is the most powerful tool in manipulating circulation.

In the soft tissue therapies, we address our internal linking system – that which connects from the derm to the core.  Often referred to as an  ‘organelle’ , loose connective tissue is the body’s life support system through which everything must pass.  With specific touch we can elicit reflex actions via the dermis through the loose connective tissue to the organs by using pathways which share the same root nerve derivative.

Manual Lymph Drainage – Decongestive, analgesic, restorative and anti -inlammatory, MLD removes congested substances from the loose connective tissue. MLD encourages and promotes  a healthy reflow system, reducing the distance between the cells and blood.  MLD has a remarkable effect on the ANS (autonomic nervous system) inducing deep calm, restoring sleep patterns, aiding with digestive disturbances and dozens of other lifestyle and stress related conditions.

In commenting on  Chemical Elements I’m compelled to quote one of my teachers, Bernard Jensen: “We are composed of the same chemical elements as the dust of the earth, the ocean and even the dust of the stars”.  The focus of Chemical Elements is learning how to identify and apply the nutritional elements that replenish and support body and mind. Essential to our wellbeing, we  find them in  seaweed, muds,  botanicals, food  and other natural elements. Our dependency on these elements remind us of our essential connection with the world we inhabit.

What challenges, if any, do you see the spa and wellness industry facing in the future?
In so many ways the Aspen Global Summit  spoke eloquently to the many challenges we are facing. Several of the speakers talked  about the degradation of our environment and therein may lie our most challenging and profound opportunity. At ASTECC we teach that it is the environment of the cell that provides for life.  In turn, it is the environment of the earth that provides a home for us.  We, as a health industry,  have a responsibility to shape and articulate internal and external “environmental consciousness”. The healthier we are, the more empowered we are.  This is a goal worth committing to.  We must dare to become who we really are.

What are your goals going forward and what are you most proud of accomplishing over the last five years?
My goal has always been to do the work I truly love.  I stand on the shoulders of my students and my clients. They have taught me so much.  They are the ones realizing the promise  of spa and laying the groundwork for the next generation. I am also indebted to the properties I work with – especially Montage – who has done a remarkable job of demonstrating “the true potential” of Spa Therapies.

Read More

SpaFinder Q&A with Dr. Pratima Raichur

Dr. Pratima Raichur

Dr. Pratima Raichur

Pratima Ayurvedic Skincare Spa Clinic

A bit of background on Dr. Pratima Raichur:
Dr. Raichur began her life’s work at the age of 13, apprenticing with one of India’s foremost Ayurvedic physician’s and later continuing her studies in Mumbai, London and New York City.  Today, she is an expert chemist, botanist, aesthetician, naturopath and Ayurvedic physician.  She has created her own Ayurvedic Skincare line, providing the gift of healing to thousands of men, women and children for over 40 years.  Dr. Raichur is also an international lecturer and the author of best-selling book, Absolute Beauty.

  • Your spa is based upon five principles. Could you expand on those five principles and how they work in partnership?

Ayurveda states that there are 5 elements that comprise all of nature: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.  These 5 elements uniquely combine within each individual to make up what is known as your Dosha.  There are three main doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha.  Ayurveda uses these 5 elements, which can be found in essences such as herbs, roots, flowers and minerals, as well as the 5 senses, the 5 ‘layers’ of the body and the 5 tastes, to balance the three doshas.  Within each therapeutic PRATIMA spa treatment and every pure PRATIMA Skincare product is a consciousness rooted in the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, customizing the individual spa experience and every pure organic skin care formula to thoroughly nurture and balance the intrinsic nature within each individual.   

  • In your opinion, do you think spas should modify themselves to the Ayurvedic philosophy. If so, why?

We believe that true beauty, wellness and joy begins in the level of the thoughts.  There is a valid place for many different types of healing and self-care modalities, however it is essential that you feel you are receiving the best care for YOU.  Our commitment is to work with the laws of nature to deliver authentic and customized therapies that bestow genuine balance, lasting results and peace of mind.  We have already witnessed the growing awareness of Ayurveda and believe there is good reason for this.

  • How do you successfully provide spa-goers with both an internal and external experience?

The PRATIMA Spa experience begins upon entering, where you can remove your shoes and leave the outside world behind.  Our beautiful, nature-inspired sanctuary and bountiful aroma-therapeutic essences immediately greet the senses, [called the ‘roots of our emotions’], as our welcoming staff escorts you to your destination with care.  Within each customized spa treatment, our ayurvedic experts ‘tune-in’ to bring a tranquil and authentic healing touch to each individual.  And as the conscious mind quiets even further, the pure organic PRATIMA Skincare line, interwoven into each therapy, delivers profound healing nutrients that work synergistically with the body, skin and senses to bestow true transformation and visible results.  After your treatment, organic herbal teas and seasonal treats await you in our tranquil samadhi area, where you can savor the sensations of your PRATIMA Spa experience and luxuriate in the deeply layered rejuvenation journey.  
As a side note: PRATIMA Spa also hosts an Ayurvedic wellness clinic where clients can personally meet with Dr. Pratima Raichur to address a number of health concerns, including Anti-Aging, Acne, Allergies, Weight Loss, Lifestyle & Nutrition, Hair Grow Treatment, Menopause,  Emotional Balance, Meditation.
The Soho Building
110 Greene St., Suite 701
New York, NY 10012

Mondays: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Retail Only)
Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Read More

SpaLight On Michael Hawley, CEO, BeingTRUE®

BeingTRUEAfter beginning his career in the cosmetics industry as a buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue, Michael Hawley became vice president and general manager of the renowned Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago. In September 2009, he was appointed CEO of BeingTRUE®. With over 20 years of retail and cosmetic industry experience and a reputation as a strong, charismatic leader, Hawley was the ideal candidate for the position. He brings a wealth of retail savvy and experience to BeingTRUE®, the spa niche cosmetics and skin-care brand that was launched in 2004 and continues to penetrate the market and amass success.   


1.               What is the inspiration behind BeingTRUE?

The inspiration for BeingTRUE® is to embody the best in current, ancient, and future technologies to improve both the skin and the soul.  Every product, every ingredient counts.  Skin is left renewed and balanced, while the mind is left with peace and harmony.  Experiential and efficacious, our targeted products address all skin types and conditions and are infused with therapeutic essential oils that complement the true being and help center the mind. BeingTRUE® cosmetics are all about modern makeup in performance and shade range with protection. Treatment-based color meets the continually changing needs of today’s woman of all ages and allows her to protect her skin, complement her being, and apply with the ease. 


BeingTRUE® continues to pioneer the vision of offering high-performance products and spa protocols that deliver a wellness experience as well as clinical and dermatological results. 


2.               What do you find to be most challenging in the current spa marketplace?

The recent economic challenges have led consumers to make different decisions, which has affected the spa industry just as it has affected all types of businesses. The perception of value transcending price continues to become more important. We have reevaluated our protocols and developed promotional strategies to respond to the challenge. BeingTRUE® products enable our clients to continue their spa regimen at home as well. Every time they use our protective and treatment-based cosmetics or our targeted skincare, they are treating themselves to a little bit of the spa at home. 

3.               Can BeingTRUE® products be found in any retail locations? If so, where?
BeingTRUE® products are available in select spas nationwide as well as on our website:

4.               Tell us about your “Energy Work” line of products.

BeingTRUE® body care includes two collections that address the specific needs of skin today and for tomorrow. The goal of our “Energy Work” collection is to resurface, energize, and fortify the skin as the products invigorate, balance, and uplift the mind. Supercharged ingredients increase the circulation and cellular turnover, as active naturals work to restore moisture and enhance the skin’s immune response. Multitasking botanicals resurface tired, dull, discolored skin, bringing back clarity and vitality. Powerful antioxidants like green tea, white tea, and vitamin E deliver anti-aging benefits, as well as anti-inflammatory agents and protection against UV damage. The subtle balance of pure, therapeutic essential oils tones, conditions, and revitalizes, as the energetic and invigorating aroma promotes a fresh and clear state of mind. This is the perfect collection to kick-start every day.

5.               How do you partner with spas (i.e., support, educate)?

BeingTRUE® supports our spa partners by providing consistent training and sales updates, working together for successful results. We communicate regularly with a retail-driven message, recommending new selling techniques and innovative ways to use the product. We developed our marketing calendar with promotions to help our partner spas maintain their sales throughout the year with sampling and gift-with-purchase vehicles to drive repeat and new business. On our website, we have a Spa Locator section where online consumers can type in their zip code to locate a spa in their area that sells BeingTRUE® products, which helps drive traffic to their business as well as to our website.

Read More

SpaLight on Kristi Konieczny, The Spa Buzz

spalightKristi Konieczny has worked in many capacities in the Spa Industry.  In fact, her time at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company became the catalyst to start her own venture. Understanding both the operational side and supplier side of the business, she founded The Spa Buzz in November 2005.  Since its inception, she has held more than 100 networking events in the major North American spa markets as a way to strengthen spa professional relationships and create opportunities for networking.  She has recently launched a consumer site, Spa Buzz Auction, in addition to co-founding the Florida Spa Association.


How did you get started with Spa Buzz?

We have so many quirky things that you find only in our industry and I believe it is important to have the chance to connect with others who understand to grow and better the experience for all.   Building solid relationships in regional communities creates the chance to strengthen our industry as a whole.

What was the inspiration?

 I was recruited to work in the spa industry from the fitness side of wellness. Prior to my job in spa, I had been teaching fitness classes, personal training and helping companies work on corporate wellness strategies.   Spa was completely foreign to me.  What was supposed to be predominantly fitness was, in actuality, mostly spa.  I was so embarrassed when I was told that to hire Massage Therapists, I had to get a massage.  Needless to say, I was on the phone a lot with colleague. I had always wanted to participate in regional networking, but there was nothing available at the time. While in operations I never had time to organize anything. When I left, I decided it was my opportunity to create consistent and on-going gatherings.

Tell us about the SpaBuzz event at SpaFinder in March?

 The Spa Buzz event in NYC in March will focus on intentions that can optimally help spa professionals in their business. Working with the Milana and Loreen at SpaFinder, we decided to find experts on specific topics with themes (Social Media : I intend to make an online  presence; Retail : I intend to help my guests take home the spa experience; Finance : I intend to be profitable) and address them.  Each expert will schedule short meetings with the attendees.

What else is new/have you been working on?

The latest mission for us is the Spa Buzz Auction. We created a website for people to bid on fitness, spa and wellness services and products.  It was our goal to create a platform that enabled people to find more ways to keep well. We worked really hard last year to create something to leverage our relationships with spas and have it translate to spa-goers. We have always placed our priority on giving as much as we can to the industry.  In lieu of charging a fee for networking, we wanted to offer the spas who participated to have a chance to support us, but at the same time create a new segment of marketing.

Any advice to spas for networking?

Networking can be really intimidating both at live events and online.   My best suggestion is to have a strategy in place.  Whether it is at live events, you should throw yourself out wholeheartedly and find ways to connect with others. Optimal networking is about finding ways where you can help others and others can help you.  I think one of the biggest mistakes is going in expecting something.  You have to give openly to make it work. With online networking, I think success comes from being open to trying new things and not being judgmental of the outcome.  Online networking is very much experimental. Everyday new things are coming online and what seems silly could be the next market leader.  Find things that fit you.

 Which sites would you say are most critical?

I really love LinkedIn for the dynamic discussions that are very industry specific.  I have seen people submit questions for discussion and receive the most amazing advice.  There can also be heated debates at times.  It just goes to show how passionate our industry is.

Facebook is a must as well, because it is so multi-functional.  By creating a fan page devoted to your business, you can showcase photos, videos, promotions and you have the ability to get real time information from clientele.  They also have a very clever ad campaign that you can customize and you will only pay for actual clicks.

I also really like Twitter.  Admittedly, at first I really thought, what is the point? ­ But it is quick and has to-the-point updates that  can have an amazing impact. The biggest bonus is utilizing the tools that keep you seamlessly linked up with all three!
Should most spas be on more?

 Again, I think being ahead of the curve is really important.  Be sure to read up on the business magazines and benchmark technology and business trends. Have you seen networking help spas with their bottom line? I would love to have hard numbers for all the networking events we have held!!!  I mostly have anecdotal stories about people who have met at  Spa Buzz who have begun amazing working relationships together, spas finding great suppliers, sharing best practices, better job opportunities found and even a marriage proposal.

Read More

SpaLight On Barry Eichner, V.P., Operations, 3000BC WellMed Spa


Barry Eichner has nearly 20 years of managerial and business development experience. He has spent the last decade as the V.P. of Operations with 3000BC WellMed Spas in Philadelphia, contributing to brand development and the expansion of 3000BC from a single-unit facility to a multi-unit, award-winning medical spa chain. He has worked as a spa consultant and writes articles for industry publications. 


3000BC Wellmed Spa has four locations with nearly 60 employees performing in excess of 50,000 services a year. 3000BC and 3000Rx produce a complete line of skin and body care encompassing the purest botanicals and the most advanced medical ingredients.  


1. What is the story behind the name 3000 BC?

3000BC’s founder, Korin Korman, has a personal passion for aromatherapy and dedicated her 1992 MBA thesis at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business to a groundbreaking aromatherapy concept boutique. During her thesis study, she discovered that ancient Egyptians fully evolved the use of essential oils circa 3000 B.C.            


2. What is the concept behind your skin-care line 3000RX.

3000BC has been dedicated to the purest aromatherapy products on the global market for the past 18 years; however, our society’s skin care wants and needs began changing, and 3000BC needed to adapt in order to exceed our guests’ expectations. We reached out to Dr. Brian Buinewicz, chief of plastic surgery at Abington Hospital, who became our medical director. Through collaboration with Dr. Brian Buinewicz, 3000BC created 3000RX, a line of FDA-approved clinical skin-care products, segmented into five categories designed to clean, shield, repair, quench, and provide defense for all skin types. The 3000RX line complements the pure and organic botanicals of 3000BC with such advanced ingredients as retinols, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, Argireline, hydroquinone, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide.


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

 The Aromatherapy Swedish Massage, the Pick Me Up Peel, and Microdermabrasion.


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

Right now it’s easy to be a big fish in the very small yet rapidly growing med spa pond. However, being able to maintain the exorbitantly high overhead of the med spa concept and fight for market share will be the greatest challenge. The spa needs to keep its offerings basic, avoiding expensive gimmicks, which can create operational overhead that will literally destroy a business’s chance for success. 


5. In your opinion, what makes one medical spa more successful than another?

Our success at 3000BC has been a result of 16 years of leading the market in holistic/wellness services, then joining forces with a prominent plastic surgeon to offer advanced clinical services, essentially, offering the best of both worlds. 


Our formula has been very basic: education of our team, guest loyalty programs, and an unwavering commitment to guest service. However, in a more general sense, I think success in the medical spa world will require a facility to treat the entire patient rather than focus on one particular area or specialty. Spas that offer diverse treatments will be able to maximize revenues by educating their guests on various offerings. When guests are enjoying multiple services (i.e., chemical peels, Botox, skin-care products, and laser hair removal from one location), their confidence, loyalty, and willingness to share their enthusiasm increase.


6.  Have your marketing efforts changed in the last year?

In order to continue to grow and earn market share, we have retained a PR firm to help enhance the brand awareness of 3000BC WellMed Spa. It’s traditionally understood that editorial mentions are perceived as a word-of-mouth referral by consumers. The philosophy is that if a magazine editor gives a brand the stamp of approval, consumers can trust the brand. Many marketing analysis studies have concluded that word of mouth is the driving force for new business to any spa. 


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

I’ve often referred to Spafinder as the “Google” of the spa industry. Spafinder offers small businesses an unprecedented opportunity to gain exposure that many other small retail-based businesses are not afforded. The opportunity for a small spa to help gain market share by offering a “Day Spa Deal” or becoming a “Featured Spa” for a quarter is an easy way to help increase revenues without dramatically increasing your expenses.

Read More

SpaLight On Wyatt Webb, founder of Miraval® Arizona’s Equine Experience


By Milana Knowles


Ever since I first heard about the Miraval Equine Experience Immersion with Wyatt Webb, I wanted to be part of it. I heard about the program a while back but really learned about it just a few months ago at a meeting with Michael Tompkins, vice president and general manager of Miraval. (By the way, I cannot think of a better person to convey a message with passion and conviction than Michael.)


You sense something magical about Wyatt Webb, even from the way he is described by others.  My first step toward undergoing the Equine Experience was to talk with him and find out more about his path, his views on life, and his therapeutic approach.


Webb once had a successful but self-destructive career in the music industry; he admits being involved with drugs and successfully quitting them. He got the idea for the seminal experience from observing a young man handling a horse. The man was trying to get the horse to do what he wanted him to do by being aggressive and bullying him into submission; it was a battle the young man could not and would not win. By teaching him the right way to train the horse, Webb basically discovered a way in which people can mirror their own lives and understand patterns of their own behavior.


There are up to 20 participants in each session, and he works with one horse at a time. The main goal seems to be to discover what we feel, what we think, and how we live our lives. Webb draws a comparison with animals and how they always live in the present; in order to connect with the horse, we need to be in the present and in the moment. Only when we learn to connect with the horse can we then connect with others.


In interacting with the horse, you learn about yourself. So Webb teaches each participant to perform simple tasks with the horse, observes how they do it, and gives them feedback. The program is based on the idea that the horse reflects your emotions and what is going on with you. Once you understand your own strengths and weaknesses, you can then transfer these insights to your human relationships and improve the way you handle different areas of your life.


Webb provides a safe setting in which people are encouraged to tell their stories to each other and become authentic and reveal who they really are, while getting in touch with what they are truly feeling, something that most people are trained to ignore. Webb points out that we sleepwalk through life, and we should make a conscious choice to wake up and live in the present moment, leaving behind a lifetime of learned behavior. His thoughts are focused on all of us learning to connect with ourselves before we can connect with others.


I don’t know what you plan to do in the New Year, but after my conversation with Webb,


1. I am putting the Equine Experience at Miraval on my wish list

2. I am planning to have a conversation with myself and evaluate my belief system

3. I will make a list of things I need to unlearn

4. I will try to be fearless and less self doubtful

Read More

Spa Light On Paulette Lambert

spalightpaulette Spa Light On Paulette Lambert


Paulette Lambert, L.D. CDE, leads the nutrition programs at The California Health & Longevity Institute, where her classroom is a spacious demonstration Wellness Kitchen. There, guests and program participants have the ability to learn about ways to eat healthier and to make changes in the way they prepare food in their own homes. Ms. Lambert brings more than 30 years of experience to this role, with the last 27 spent in a private practice. Her experience is in clinical nutrition, specializing in development of dietary plans that fit an individual’s lifestyle and medical needs. She has implemented various wellness programs and has been involved in development of healthy lunch programs for schools.


The California Health & Longevity Institute gathers certified experts in medicine, nutrition, fitness, and life balance, enhanced by the most advanced medical technology available. Comprehensive fitness facilities, spa treatments, and accommodations at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village  are also available under one roof.


How did you decide to embark on a career in nutrition?

I was a political science major in the mid ’70s, hoping to be a teacher.  At that time, however, they were predicting few teaching jobs available, so I changed my major in my junior year of college. This was right in the middle of the hippie era, when organic foods were becoming more popular. Since I always loved cooking and have always been a real foodie, I considered dropping out of college and going to culinary school. I decided it would be in my best interest to finish college, since I had already completed three years, so I looked for a major that would involve food and teaching. Many told me that nutrition was just a fad at the time; it turned to be a great fad! Thirty years later science is continually finding that good nutrition is a major cornerstone to good health.


Give an insider’s look at the importance of nutrition for overall health.

Scientific evidence has long linked good nutrition to overall health and longevity. When all essential nutrients are provided to the body, it can carry out its normal functions. Good nutrition provides the body with energy; it’s the fuel that keeps your engine running. The better the fuel, the more efficient the engine runs. Optimal nutrition provides the raw materials for growth and repair, functions that are needed throughout a lifetime. Good nutrition provides the body with compounds that act like a catalyst, making certain reactions occur, such as breaking down food into usable energy or muscles contract. Other compounds such as minerals become structural components of the body, such as calcium in the bones. Antioxidants ward off disease and protect the body from pollutants in the environment. The role of good nutrition is complex and is of utmost important in maintaining good health and longevity.


Is a healthy diet only for the wealthy?

Absolutely not!  For most of us, protecting our health is a good investment. Why spend money on health care that would not be needed if we had better nutrition? Studies have shown that a less rich diet that consists of fewer processed foods, smaller amounts, less sugar, and less fat can actually be healthier. Many parts of the world that are not wealthy have better diets than the average American! Beans, lentils, simple whole grains, with only small amounts of more expensive animal protein, are actually better for you. If you add a large amount of fruit and vegetables that are seasonal, it would be the ideal for most everyone, and you can eat this way very cheaply!


Can you provide tips for healthy nutrition for those on tight budget?

First, use some sources of plant proteins; they are not only less expensive, but also better for you. Try beans, lentils, nut butter, seeds and nuts, and soy products.


Buy fresh produce seasonally. This is much less expensive than shopping for out-of-season produce that has been shipped from around the world, and it’s more nutritious as well (not to mention it reduces the carbon footprint). Buy inexpensive frozen fruit and vegetables when what you want is out of season.


Buy store brands. Ninety-five percent of the time they are equal in quality and can save you a lot of money in a year!


Spend money on food that has the highest nutritional benefit. If money is tight, limit the non-nutrient foods to one or two items per week. Americans spend a huge amount of money on processed foods with little or no nutritious value.



What does it mean to have a “balanced life”?

To me a balanced life is living a complete,  full  life with all areas working in conjunction with each other.  It means not letting one part dominate totally to the point that other important aspects, such as health and family, suffer. It means riding the ups and downs and staying as centered as possible. I like to think it of it as a wonderful symphony full of ups and downs, moving slowly and quickly, changing all the time, but all working together.


What are the top five nutrient myths that you would like to debunk?


Coffee is bad for you. New studies show that two cups of coffee per day decrease risk factors for diabetes by 40 percent because of the high antioxidant level. If you have high blood pressure or are sensitive to caffeine, drink decaf.


That food advertised as “natural” is better for you. This claim is one of the most misleading ones used in marketing at this time. Natural does not mean good for you. Lard is natural, and so is sugar, so go figure!


Eating large amounts of animal protein is good for you. Most Americans eat too much protein, and that contributes to obesity, heart disease, and cancer. The average man needs only 8 to 10 ounces per day; the average women, only 6 to 8 ounces. Most of us eat that in only one meal. The body cannot use excessive protein, so it is turned into energy, and if it is not expended, it is stored as body fat. All animal proteins contain some saturated fat. If a high level of increased saturated fat is in the diet, it can lead to heart disease.


That frozen fruit and vegetables are less nutritious than fresh. They are not!  In fact, if the fresh ones are not in season, frozen fruits and vegetables are actually better for you. Many of the produce sold in our markets that is out of season was picked unripe before the full nutrient content could be developed, and then shipped thousands of miles to the stores.


Salads are always the best choice when dining out if you are trying to reduce your weight. Most entrée salads in restaurants are higher in calories than a burger and fries because of the large amount of salad dressing. The average large entrée salad has 500 to 600 calories of dressing, equivalent to 10 teaspoons of butter! Order the dressing on the side and limit it to 2 tablespoons for a healthier, lower calorie entrée.



How important are spas in a healthy lifestyle?

Spas help individuals focus on a healthier lifestyle. They incorporate stress management, fitness, and good nutrition. They can provide that supportive environment that is needed to focus on change. Studies have shown that those who go to spas on a regular basis are more aware of their bodies and are more actively engaged in taking care of themselves.


Read More

Spa-Light On Dr. Thomas Young

Dr. Thomas Young

Dr. Thomas Young

Thomas E. Young, M.D. is the owner and operator of Young Medical Spa  located in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. He is a speaker for Palomar Medical, Inc., the manufacturer of the SlimLipo™ body sculpting laser.


Dr. Young is double board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has been in practice in the Lehigh Valley for 20 years. He has been trained by some of the industry’s leaders in the field and ensures that his patients receive the very best possible service in the medical community of Pennsylvania. Dr. Young‘s wife, Paula Young, BS, RN, is the staff nurse and is co-owner of Young Medical Spa.



What are the most popular treatments at your medical spa?

The number one procedure we perform in our practice is laser lipolysis for fat reduction. We first started with the 10 watt SmartLipo™ unit when it was first approved by the FDA. We then added the Vaser® Liposelection device to be able to treat larger and thicker areas of fat, and now also use Palomar’s 40 watt SlimLipo™ laser. Our second most popular treatment is cosmetic injectables for the face and hyperhidrosis.



Because fat reduction is our number one procedure in our practice, we also incorporate the use of additional modalities such as the ZERONA™ low level laser and the VelaShape™ to either pretreat areas prior to laser lipolysis, post treat laser lipo patients to help push them to their clinical endpoint faster, or as stand-alone therapies for patients who do not wish to have even a minimally invasive procedure performed for fat or cellulite reduction.


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

I see increased competition as more people are entering the aesthetic market, and decreased revenues during this “recession.”



What sets Young Medical Spa apart from other medical spas?

We have efficient physicians on site at all times. We are a small and personal practice. While it’s difficult to achieve 100% patient satisfaction 100% of the time, we take the time to make sure our client’s needs are met and that the desired results are achieved.

We’re the only medical spa or practice in our area that performs a high volume of laser lipolysis procedures. We also have a very caring staff.


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

There are so many different types of spas in the world. From resort spas, to day and medical spas and then there are variations in between. SpaFinder makes it a point to reach out to all of the facets of this every changing and growing industry to bring important information back to potential clients and patients in one convenient site.


How has your use of social networking opportunities such as facebook, blogs, twitter, and “Dr Young to go” affected your business?

I truly am a believer that the days of phone book advertising and print ads are a fad of the past. We are an internet-based society. I am the “web mistress” for our website and perform all SEO functions to ensure we are found on the internet. By creating a web of penetration into the World Wide Web by using social media marketing, I have seen our ranking with major search engines increase exponentially. I monitor our website progress and productivity with analytical tools and also incorporate lead and patient data into my own CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to monitor areas my advertisements are penetrating and providing results, and those areas that are not delivering quality leads.


When asked “how have you heard about us” clients mostly say the “Internet.” Not only is social media marketing important, but it is also a well designed and executed pay per click campaign and strategic directory listing. If you count all of the places on the web we have a listing or ad, it would probably total about 50. I monitor these listings constantly to see if they are providing positive results. It’s a full time job.


I like Thomas Jefferson’s quote “The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.”


Are there any products/procedures new to the industry that you have not yet tried but are considering?

Because our number one procedure that we are known for is body sculpting and contouring, we will soon be performing the Body Jet procedure with fat transfer for breast augmentation.


Do you see your company expanding in the future?

Most definitely! Our medical spa today was not the same medical spa 3 years or so ago when we began advertising with SpaFinder. You have to constantly keep abreast of how the industry is changing and how to grow with it.

Read More

Spa-Light on Vanessa Williams

vanessainterviewVanessa Williams, the actress and recording artist who stars in ABC’s critically acclaimed hit series Ugly Betty and whose latest album, The Real Thing, was released in June 2009, filled us in on how she stays balanced, her favorite beauty treatments, and the joys of a good foot rub.




1. You have had an amazing and diverse career, and you’ve raised four children. What about your upbringing has made you who you are today?

I was fortunate to grow up in a family that was incredibly grounded. My mother to this day has a crazy, wonderful, organic vegetable garden, and my dad recycled before it was popular. I can still hear him saying, “Turn off the lights. Put a sweater on. Turn down the heat!” I also grew up with an approach to medicine that was more alternative. We were definitely not medicine takers, and holistic living was incorporated into my life at an early age. I can’t keep a garden, but I have a tomato plant on the patio that brings back memories of eating fresh tomato sandwiches on the back porch when I was a kid.



2. Do you still practice the holistic habits you grew up with?

I cook a lot of organic meals from scratch, and we enjoy eating healthy meals as a family. I always keep candles in my dressing room, which is very Zen, with cloth on the walls and restful Asian influences. I also bring my favorite candles when I travel.



3. Are you a spa-goer?

I mostly go to a spa when I’m on location or on vacation, usually at the hotel. On a business trip, I do like a deep-tissue massage. My absolute favorite spa treatment was a spectacular, authentic full-body Thai massage I had in Egypt. Not only was the treatment amazing, but the view, the smell of the air, the white-washed cliffs—the total experience was wonderful.



4. Egypt sounds fabulous—any other spa destinations you’d like to escape to?

I’d love to visit Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain [in Arizona], and Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires would be wonderful and is closer to home. My fantasy trip would be a spa in Turkey. When we were filming The Odyssey for NBC, we flew over outdoor mineral pools and baths—it looked spectacular.




5. What are your favorite spa and beauty treatments?

I am a huge fan of treatments at the Goddess Repair Shop [a day spa with locations in California and New York City]. They offer microcurrent treatments that increase your collagen, elastin, and muscle tone and also can be used for detox. Microcurrent treatments have been popular in Europe for years, and the results are remarkable.



I also really like hot stone massages and thoroughly enjoy a hot-oil facial, where they drip warm oil on your face and massage it through your hair—heaven. And I can’t forget about feet—there is nothing like having your feet massaged!



6. You have been very open about using cosmetic treatments like Botox. Do you think its growing popularity is a good thing?

People are very aware of and comfortable about using Botox. I advise people to find a confident practitioner who can give them a natural look—appearing refreshed, not unnatural, is key. Coincidentally, because I was open about using this treatment, I was introduced to Allergen, the manufacturer of Botox, and became part of its charitable Express Success Campaign, which benefits not-for-profit Dress for Success, an organization that helps disadvantaged women succeed in the workforce.


7. We’ve all been living through unusually stressful times. How do you de-stress and take time for your own wellness?

I started doing Pilates 22 years ago with Mari Winsor, and I practice yoga and work out as often as possible. My focus is on staying agile—that is the key. My advice for others is to realize that not every day is going to be stress free. But if a magical day comes along when you can really relax, seize that opportunity.  Read a book, go for a walk, listen to music. Enjoy something that helps you feel well and take the entire day for you.

Read More

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.

Read More

Join the Network

Popular Categories

Travel & Play (1197)

Living Well (1085)

Beauty (726)

Nutrition (704)

Fitness (394)

Mindset (323)

Relationships (238)

Spa 101 (139)

Recent Comments