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Combating Cultural Stress

By: Howard Murad, MD
Posted: June 13, 2008

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Estheticians are health care providers. You are in a unique position to help your clients reduce the symptoms derived from cultural stress and achieve an improved state of well-being. According to the 2006 International SPA Association (ISPA) Industry Trend Survey, the spa lifestyle has become the fourth-largest leisure industry in the United States. This is evidence that more people are turning to spas to relieve stress and promote overall health.

It’s important to understand cultural stress and its pervasiveness. Keeping this concept in mind is a necessary step in creating spa surroundings that are completely free of the factors that can contribute to this type of anxiety, including cell phones, PDAs, television and loud music. The atmosphere should be focused on creating the optimum healing environment.

Also, simplify the remedies that you prescribe to clients. Often, you get so caught up in the solutions to clients’ problems that you actually can overwhelm them and make the situation worse. If you keep the message simple and focus on the client’s main concern—whether it be sun damage, acne, muscle tension or anything else—the treatment will become much more palatable, and the client will be more likely to embrace it and benefit from it.

Another simple way to help ease the weight of cultural stress is to make clients aware of it. Most people are feeling this tension without even knowing its cause. Once clients become aware of its existence, they can begin to take steps to combat the problem, and become more healthy, balanced and relaxed.

Develop coping tools

Cultural stress is a part of life. It’s something that affects everyone, but it doesn’t have to overtake your life. Although clients initially may come to you with a skin condition, they ultimately return because you do more than just care for their skin. By helping them to develop tools to cope with the cultural stress in their lives, you will be giving them a benefit that they will see on their skin, as well as feel physically, internally and emotionally.