Courtesy of The Raithwaite Estate Spa, N Yorks
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My honest Spa Journey (including the ups and downs!)

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by Amy Harper

 

I fell into this industry (with a slight push from a frustrated parent) after back and forth about what I wanted to do with myself, who knows what they want to do when they’re 16?

I arrived at the college with my baggy jeans, dirty trainers and hoody (a very unlikely candidate for a beauty therapist) not knowing what to expect and certainly not knowing it would be one of the best decisions I will ever make.

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Maximising wellness solutions

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In an era of hectic, over-connected lifestyles, society is seeing greater emphasis placed on self-care and holistic therapy. More and more individuals seek out activities which will relax them, offer something to take their mind off the everyday hustle and bustle and leave them feeling revived. This trend is not slowing down. As such, the global spa market is projected to grow at the rate of 5.7% between now and 2023. 

Spas cannot fulfil the demand required to sustain their business on treatments alone. Whilst there is evidently no let up in the popularity of one off spa experiences - like romantic breaks, afternoon teas or hen parties – operators would be mistaken if they thought they could rely on these to drive business success. Instead, they must see the value in offering alternative solutions, capitalising on new and innovative services which will engage clients on an ongoing basis. Technology is one area which is helping spas to do just this.   

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Only 1 in every 7 people in the UK hold a gym membership and spas are perfectly placed to appeal to a new range of clients who seek something a little different when it comes to keeping active. 

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I was convinced I was going to die

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"It was so surreal. I was convinced I was going to die"

1 in 4 women are not attending their smear tests. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust have relaunched their Salons Supporting Screening campaign to encourage salons, spas, mobile salons and all, to get involved in fundraising and raising awareness. 

Paint, shape, cut or crop. Could your spa donate £3 from a treatment to Jo’s? 

£3 can help us to provide a free information pack to educate and encourage more women to attend their potentially life-saving cervical screening.

Mandy Jones, salon owner and ambassador for Salons Supporting Screening tells us her story and how spas and salons can get involved:

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Why do we Spa?

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There doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by when the word ‘spa’ is not repeated by someone outside of the industry. A radio DJ,  a mum quoting the latest article in Good Housekeeping or a couples conversation overheard in the supermarket about where they should spend their time.

However it was only 30 years ago when it was considered more amongst the rich and famous rather than for a treat - a significant birthday or to mark an anniversary. Of course much further back bath houses were built around a natural spring when it was all about taking to the waters to treat physical ailments, relieve illness and discomfort. In fact the dictionary definition of ‘spa’ still reads:

noun

  1. a mineral spring considered to have health-giving properties.

"the Victorian spa town of Buxton"

  1. a bath containing hot aerated water.

Luckily for those of us that don’t live within easy access of the beautiful town of Buxton, ‘spa’ nowadays as per Wikipedia refers toa business that provides a variety of services for the purpose of improving health, beauty and relaxation through personal care treatments such as massages and facials. 

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Are you feeding your spa customers waste plastic?

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This month I want to explore a very important topic “plastic in our oceans, plastic in our bodies” and set out some ways in which we can easily and sustainably make changes in our spas and everyday lives, that can have a big impact overall, not only to our oceans but also to our health and wellbeing. 

“(Natural News) Experts estimate that at least 70 percent of all plastic is not recovered or recycled, with a figure that there is over 150 million tons of plastic in the world’s oceans. So unless drastic steps are taken there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.

Micro plastics pose the greatest threat of all to marine and human life because they are so small that they are easily ingested by marine animals. Many of the fish that eat these plastics are then eaten by humans higher up the food chain and experts are gravely concerned about what the long-term effects of this might be.

Years of eating food packaged, stored and heated in plastic containers, plastic micro-beads contained in cosmetics and plastic fibres from clothes contaminating drinking water means we inadvertently consume plastic that our bodies cannot digest or process.  Now, a new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology says it's possible that humans may be consuming anywhere from 39,000 to 52,000 microplastic particles a year. (So says the National Geographic). 

Photo credit: The Sunday Times online

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4 Ways the Wellness Industry can Seize the Opportunities Ahead

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-by Jean-Paul Blissett

 

Wellness in its broadest definition, one could argue, is about finding "space" in our lives to think and make those important health choices - physical, mental, and spiritual.

Thanks to digital transformation and new consumer demographics, this definition is rapidly evolving in a myriad of complex ways. Wellness is constantly expanding as it seeks to incorporate new treatments and ever more sophisticated technologies that offer greater personal choices and help people achieve a more rounded state of well-being.

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Why Do Guests Visit Spas?

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- by Diane Nettleton

 

Why do guests visit spas? There are so many reasons. A hen party, a celebration, Mothers and daughters, brides to be, mums to be, a relaxing break, an indulgent break but there are also those who want time to just be, those who have gone through some life changing experience such as divorce, redundancy or bereavement. Those that are lonely and just wanting the power of touch, those that are ill physically or mentally.


The most important aspect of all these people is that they all want an experience that fulfils their needs, it is not about what is done to them but how they are made to feel.
Recruitment and training are the two most important aspects in achieving this. In our business for recruitment we look for therapists that have empathy, in training apart from skills and protocols we teach them how to recognise and fulfil each guest expectations.


Years of hospitality have taught me that the guest comes first, we are serving others with compassion and humility. We have created our own skincare brand to reflect all our values. A product shouldn’t be a commodity sat on a shelf but something that adds to the guest experience and how we make them feel. Using an exceptionally high level of natural and organic ingredients, going back to nature and fulfilling the needs of guests who now look for sustainability and environmentally friendly packaging all contributes to building loyalty. Guests are looking to invest their money on brands that stand for something other than profit. Values for money not just value for money.

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Mental Health Awareness Month of May Write Up

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- by Christine-Alice Hartigan

 

May was Mental Health Awareness Month with events held around the globe.  The initiative was led by Mental Health America (MHA) a non-profit organisation founded in 1909, that is dedicated to meeting the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting good mental health. In the UK we held Mental Health Awareness week (May 13-19th) this was led by MIND a charity offeringadvice and supportand aiming to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. This month’s blog will focus on this important topic. 

 

Why is mental health important?

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How Generation Z Expectations Will Change the Future of the Spa Industry

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- by Franki Johnson

 

As a result of new technologies, the rise of social media and the sharing economy, the world is experiencing a dramatic industrial to digital shift. Although we are very aware of the shifts taking place around us, leaders tend to leave behind the changing expectations of the workforce.

Generation Z (born 1995-2010) have grown up in a world dominated by Google, Apple and Facebook and are expecting to work for companies that ooze in brand experience and are rich in culture and empowering leadership.

The spa industry offers vast and fulfilling opportunities that fall in line with the characteristics of Generation Z however, many spa organisations are still largely customer focussed and carry poor perception of hours, pay and gruelling tasks. Generation Z have demanding expectations of the workplace, many of which clash with the existing employee engagement models within the spa industry.

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Nutrition

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 Wrtten by Christine-Alice Hartigan

May day! May day! In this month’s blog I’llbe talking about the importance of getting the right nutrients into your body and what to be aware of when selecting your foods!

Why is this important?

The most important element for ensuringgood health is food.  Learningabout thefoodsweput into our bodies and what foods are good for each of us individually is key.Everyperson will ultimately have a different reaction to foods based on DNA make-up and ancestry. Also some people who are finding intolerances to certain foods may not necessarily be intolerancesto the foods they think they are. In some cases, intolerances can be reversed through detoxing, fasting or eliminating the foods causing the reaction. Some people could actually reverse these intolerances with detoxing the body through fasting or reverting to eating foods which do not have these elements within them. 

BE AWARE: Items which can be sold us as “Food” in the shops and advertised to us by brands don’t always providenutritious value to our bodies.

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Men in Spa's

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- Written by Brigita Kliucinskaite - University of Derby

 

 

The Spa industry, valued at 119 billion US dollars in 2018, is a leader in revenue growth in the whole wellness industry with the average annual growth of 9.8% since 2015. However, it still remains to be the industry with the highest gender gap at a surprising share of only 29% of male customers compared to 71% of female customers in the United Kingdom. In addition to that, according to industry research, 80% of all males that decide to use the Spa only choose to come with their romantic partner. Females, on the contrary, prefer to relax with a friend or alone while some men still see relaxing alone in the Spa as a daunting experience. It is more than clear that the female segment today is at the peak of using the Spas or at least anywhere close to that. Conversely, the perspectives of the male targeted segment are still out there to be materialised.

Why men are avoiding Spas?

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Will Technology disrupt the spa industry?

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- Written by Aija Rozenberga - University of Derby

 

We have become an open book for algorithms. Your smart mattress may know more about your health than your GP. If you have a smart kettle that talks to Alexa, it may as well chat to a hacker on the other side of the world. Digitalization is changing the way we do everything at unprecedented speeds across all households, organisations and businesses in the developed world. The spa industry is no exception.

Without a doubt, various innovations allow us to learn better,reach our goals faster,communicate across continents and make fewer mistakes. Official media channels constantly remind us about the benefits of innovations and symbiotic relationships with smart technologies which could take us beyond our wildest dreams. We are expected to merge with technology in the near future, apparently. However, challenges and threats of technological advancement are mostly discussed in scientific circles, behind closed doors, remaining a controversial topic. A growing body of scientific literature documents evidence of non-thermal cellular damage from non-ionizing wireless radiation used in telecommunications. [1]Scientists are warning against growing health concerns related to, for example, 5G technologies needed to facilitate further innovations and the Internet of Things. Thousands of satellites are orbiting planet Earth already. Thousands more will be added to facilitate 5G. Permanent, prolonged exposure to electromagnetic fields have various chemical effects including increased cancer risk, structural and functional changes to the human reproductive system, oxidative stress, and neurological disorders. Radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) negatively impacts serotonin and melatonin levels, leading to declining mental health. Studies have linked RF-EMF to the weakened blood-brain barrier, allowing harmful toxins to accumulate in the brain.[2] 

There are also talks about mental obesity. Due to technology advancements, information, like food, has become nearly unlimited in developed countries. We are struggling to maintain tech balance and become mentally obese. There are certainly many benefits of modern technologies, but it comes with a price tag attached. We are paying with our relationships with loved ones, health, time, physical movement, and connection to nature. 

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Re-branding Spa into Wellness

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- Written by Hannah Briggs - University of Derby

 

 

When you hear the word ‘spa’, what do you think of? I asked a friend, who is not in the industry but is a keen spa goer this question, they answered ‘relaxation, luxury’. When I asked them the same question about wellness, they answered ‘looking after and maintaining my mental and physical state’. Now, thisis just one person’s perception. One consumer of the spa and wellness industry. However, just because it is one person in this instance, doesn’t mean a lot of other consumers aren’t thinking the same thing.

Spas Vs Wellness Centres: Who Dares Wins

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Habia Announces Approval of the National Occupational Standards for Aesthetic Treatments

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Habia/SkillsActive have been working with industry experts and regulators nationwide to develop a suite of National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Aesthetic Treatments. 

Initial research began February 2018. Expert working groups of industry professionals reviewed the standards for electrocautery, radio frequency, laser and light, superficial skin peeling, micro needling, micropigmentation and advanced micropigmentation. The wide range of industry experts developed the standards to ensure they meet the needs of employers, educators and learners. 

Habia/SkillsActive initiated a Nationwide Consultation to hear your views of the NOS development, responses were comprehensive and valuable. All feedback received were discussed, analysed and incorporated into the final versions. 

Diane Hey chair of the NOS review said “I wish to extend a huge debt of gratitude for the amount of voluntary contribution that Industry specialists and regulators have come together to provide, ensuring that the suite is compliant with regulations for non-surgical aesthetic procedures” Diane added “there is a widespread desire to confirm the standards of practice expected in these modalities common to all four nations to promote public safety and a pathway for aesthetic practitioners and this suite provides the agreed standards of all relevant parties. 

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Trends to watch in 2019

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- by Brigita Kliucinskaite - University of Derby

 

 

Without any doubt, today’s world is highly overloaded with ‘’trends’’. The millennial world is led, ruled and pushed forward by trends, likes and dislikes. We live in a time when the world is changing at an enormous pace, having new youngest billionaires, success stories and more… Only because it is trendy. The Spa industry is no different. A simple back massage is considered a treat, but is that still the case? There are hundreds and hundreds of trends in the spa industry to look out for, however the real science is to know which trends would actually make a difference for your spa. Therefore, a trend is not only a blinking fashionable toy that will be thrown back to where it came from when the joy fades away. The other and more sustainable side and meaning of trends is to notice how the demand is moving and what clients prefer at that exact point in time – it does not actually matter what people wanted last year, all you need to know is what customers will want in 2019 and use it to benefit your spa.

Indeed, the latest International Spa Association (ISPA) research reveals the Spa visits in the United States being at an all-time high and the only certainty is change. Of course, your target audience still remains the most important factor. Generation X, naturally, do not want to see mobile phones inside the spa, they still want to relax and have the good old simple full body massage. They do not want blinking TV’s, high-tech mobile app or oat milk in their coffee. The most important thing is, generation X go to spas and can afford this pleasure. Their preferences hardly change, and it is easy to keep this type of customer entertained. However, the momentum has passed and no spa will make an actual step ahead of the competition while concentrating on generation X and leaving the trends aside.

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Mental Health and Wellness

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- by  Aija Rozenberga - University of Derby

 

 

Happy people have some things in common. That lightness in their steps or twinkle in eyes, and the glowing aura of optimism.The happiest people in the world walk or cycle to work, swim in cold open waters, they are creative in their work life, regularly meet up with friends, and have strong sense of community and meaningful social interaction. At least that is whatMeik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, seems to think.  

Sadness, in contrary, has many shades and is as unique as our fingerprints, our first childhood memories and most painful experiences. Maybe that’s part of the reason we often fail to notice mental illness in our communities or even when it is close to home.

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Graduate Schemes: who needs ‘em?

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- by Hannah Briggs - University of Derby

 

 

Graduating can be a daunting process. This is when the time finally comes to integrate yourself into the real world and trade in the £1.50 Jäger bombs on a Wednesday night for an early evening viewing of your favourite soap before a nice early night. It sounds delightful really! What is there to worry about? Except for the rest of your life of course…

After you graduate the world really is your oyster. Nowadays, we are so fortunate to have the endless list of opportunities that once did not exist. That’s great, right!? But where on earth do you begin?

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Uniting the movement of an active nation

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- Written by Steve Scales

 

The UKSA's partnership with ukactive continues to develop with the growth of the Active Spa membership for operators with spa and leisure facilities within their business. Steve Scales, ukactive Client Services Director shares his thoughts on the importance of collaboration and partnerships to continue to drive the wellness message. 

 

Working in a wide array of roles in my career, I’ve come across two main types of organisation. The first is unchanging – parroting lethargic and exasperated clichés such as ‘nothing really changes’, remaining stagnant and unresponsive to the world around them. 

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How Diet Affects Sleep Quality

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How Diet Affects Sleep Quality
By Ellie Porter, managing editor of SleepHelp.org
 
 

Food has a lot of different effects on our body, depending on what type of food we eat. It gives us the energy we need to get out of bed in the morning while also nourishing every part of our body. What you might not realize is that what we put in our bodies has a huge impact on the amount of and quality of sleep we get. If you want to make sure you are eating foods that are good for you and good for your sleep, keep reading!

Some foods and substances, like caffeine or nicotine, can delay your sleep for hours after you use them. Caffeine stays in your system for up to 8 hours after you drink it, so keep your coffee or energy drink intake to the mornings whenever possible.

You can also help yourself regulate when you will feel tired by avoiding foods that are high in sugar, which will cause your blood sugar to rise and fall throughout the day. If you find yourself needing an energy boost in the early afternoon, as we so often do, try doing about 10 minutes of exercise like jumping jacks. This can give you the endorphin rush that you need to get through to the end of the workday and help you to sleep later on.

You will also struggle to sleep if you are hungry.  While eating late at night can cause problems for your digestion,  going to bed hungry isn't a good option for you either. If you need to eat a late night snack, try to make it something that combines dairy and cereal.

Other foods, like foods with spices or acidic ingredients you aren’t used to eating, can cause you to struggle to stay asleep once you’re in bed. Alcohol is also often thought of as something that helps you to get to sleep, and it can.  however, it will also cause you problems when it comes to staying asleep. The more you drink, the more likely you are to need to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. This will lead to several disruptions of your sleep, leaving you feeling groggy and miserable in the morning.

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‘Being the change we want to see in the world’

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 ‘Being the change we want to see in the world’

BC Softwear was established in 2002 by Barbara Cooke who is Managing Director and founder. Since launch, BC Softwear has committed to developing products that are designed for quality and made to last. The company has a philosophy that promises never to follow fads or fashions, and only manufacturer products that fit a customer need; designed and tested for performance, in a commercial capacity before launch.  

 

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