August 1, 2008

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Article

A Pampering Potpourri

Pick Your Mix of Unique Spa Services

Carolyn Campbell

August 1, 2008

When independent investor Lawrence Coffman visits The Kura Door Holistic Japanese Spa in Salt Lake City, a bath attendant invites him to choose from a tray of organic botanicals such as mineral-rich sea salts and essential oils that will be infused within the water of a traditional Japanese ofuro soaking tub. Water within the tub is purified of any chlorine or other chemical inhabitants. Bathers also receive chilled organic cucumber slices for the eyes, and chilled oshibori towels for the neck and forehead. “In Japan, the bath serves as the path to well-being for body and soul,” says Ali Kulmer, Kura Door owner and operator. A soak in the ofuro tub may precede an informal Japanese tea service followed by a massage. “When I leave there, I feel that I can deal with the world at a slower, more grounded pace,” says Coffman. “It not only enhances my interactions with the world and other people, but also benefits my business acumen so that I can interact with the helter-skelter world of the stock market and not get caught up in it.” In order to stay healthy and happy and maintain optimum functioning, a relaxed body and mind is very important in the hectic, stressful lifestyles so common to many, says Kulmer. She adds that as more people feel tired, stressed and worn out, they visit day spas to seek relaxation and gain health benefits from the treatments. While the word “spa” is an acronym for the Latin “saludis per aqua” or “health through water”, a day spa today is likely to offer everything from facials and dermabrasion to stone massage and healthy cuisine. But the main focus is on stress reduction, relaxation and energizing treatments that make participants both look and feel their best. In Utah, the number of spas and the variety of treatment options they offer is steadily increasing. Kulmer advises people to decide what they would like to accomplish before visiting a spa, since the optimal spa treatment will vary depending on individual goals such as stress reduction, chronic pain relief and skin conditioning. Randall Nikola, spa owner and director of Healing Mountain Massage School suggests that visitors familiarize themselves with a particular spa’s services and prices, then either go for “what jumps off the page as sounding fun and in their price range, or approach spa treatments in consideration of their individual health needs.” For example, he says that someone who is feeling stressed may benefit from a relaxing massage utilizing lavender oils, whereas steam might be beneficial to someone who wants enhanced circulation. And there are numerous unique treatments to choose from. For example, at Breathe Day Spa and Boutique in Salt Lake City, the Yam and Pumpkin Eminence Organic Peel is a series of six weekly 30-minute treatments that are recommended “to repair and rejuvenate the skin with active enzyme peels that will reduce the effect of sun damage and aging without irritation,” explains Greg Dickerson, spa owner. At Sego Lily Mind Body Spa, spagoers can experience the Harvest Facial, a custom-blended masque of seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs to nourish the skin. “It is customized for a variety of skin conditions,” explains Heidi Schenck, master aesthetician. “Clients immediately see and feel the difference evolving from the extremely high fruit content. Vitamins are captured in their all-natural fresh base, offering dramatic results as actual seeds, pulps and peels begin the regenerative and healing powers that only nature can produce.” The Oriental hot rock therapy offered at Healing Mountain Massage is based upon traditional oriental medicine and the thermotherapy physics of heated river rocks, explains spa owner Nikola. “In this system, a pathway that carries energy that sustains the body runs along the spine on the major muscles of the back. So as we place heated river rocks on the spine, the gentle pressure and radiating heat melts muscle tension and promotes the free flow of energy and health to our internal organs.” Dickerson advises spagoers to unwind and enjoy the experience. “People go to spas primarily for relaxation or therapeutic reasons. No matter what your motivation, relax and de-stress,” Dickerson says. He adds, “Let the spa professionals know what you are trying to do and they will work to accomplish it.”
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