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Mobile Travel Guide recently announced its Top Spa 2007 list, which is its annual selection of the best in hotel and resort spa experiences in the United States and Canada. These include five-, four- and three-star ratings. Mobil Star ratings consider every aspect of the spa, from the reservation process and check-in to the public areas and locker rooms. Mobil's inspectors examine factors such as courtesy of staff, overall efficiency, guest comfort and convenience, luxury, therapist technical execution/skill and knowledge, and facilty cleanliness/condition.
The two spas to receive a five-star rating from Mobile Travel Guide are Spa at Mandarin Oriental in New York and Spa Montage at Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, California. For a complete list of four- and three-star spas, click here.
Sleep, or rather the lack thereof, has become big news of late – from new studies linking poor sleep to dramatically increased error rates among physicians and air traffic controllers, to emerging reports of the behavioral risks associated with hypnotic-sedative drugs (like Ambien and Lunesta), including “sleep-driving.” In short, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that we, as a society, have a sleeping problem, and that it’s having a major impact on our health, productivity and lives.
The sleep-health connection is an issue that Russell A. Sanna, Ph.D., the executive director of Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine, understands well. According to Sanna, “Medical studies conducted over the past 25 years are clearly showing us that, along with nutrition and exercise, good sleep health is vital to our overall well-being and optimal daily performance, both intellectually and physically.” Given how relatively few people actually enjoy good sleep health, that’s a disturbing assessment. Indeed, according to an online consumer survey by Spa Finder, Inc., sleep deprivation has become the norm, even among Spa Finder’s health-focused web visitors:
- Only 20% of those surveyed say they get at least eight hours of sleep. Twenty-seven percent say they get six hours or less, and 12% say they get five hours or less.
- Roughly 80% of survey-takers say they have difficulty sleeping – either “frequently” (35%) or “sometimes” (45%); and 65% describe themselves as either “very often” or “sometimes” sleep-deprived.
- When asked to name the primary cause of their sleep problems, the largest bloc of respondents (44%) cited stress – “it’s just hard to relax, unwind and stop worrying.” Nineteen percent cited an irregular schedule (late-night TV, reading, etc.), and 12% attributed their poor sleep habits to “a busy schedule/not enough time.”
- Fifty-two percent say they use prescribed and/or over-the-counter sleeping pills/aids – either “frequently” (11%), “sometimes” (15%), or “rarely” (26%).
That final statistic helps explain the 50 million sleeping pill prescriptions that were penned by doctors last year. But there are other ways to address stress, insomnia and poor sleep; and spas, which have historically been on the cutting edge of health, fitness and wellness innovation, are once again playing a leading role. According to Spa Finder, dozens of influential spas are beginning to actively promote sleep health for their clients, both during their stays and when they return home. More and more day spas, for example, are providing post-treatment relaxation rooms where clients can catch a 20-minute nap following a massage. Resort and hotel spas are soothing guests to sleep with aromatherapy, feather beds, meditation/breathing CDs, and other in-room offerings. Numerous medical and destination spas, meanwhile, are offering comprehensive, physician-guided sleep programs featuring overnight sleep evaluations, consultations and cutting-edge treatments including cognitive behavioral therapy and state-of-the-art CPAP treatments. “I commend Spa Finder and the spa industry for their leadership in focusing on the issue of sleep health,” added Dr. Sanna. “In our 24/7 society, the average citizen lacks a basic appreciation of the essential restorative biological functions sleep fulfills for our bodies and minds. That’s why we’re looking forward to working with the spa industry in their educational efforts about this important pillar of health.”
10 spa sleep leaders
The following is Spa Finder’s overviews of 10 sleep leaders in the spa world, including the sleep management treatments and programs they provide for guests.
Red Mountain Spa (St. George, UT) – The spa is currently offering “The zFactor Sleep Skills Workshop,” hosted by safe-sleep author and natural sleep innovator, Robert de Stefano. The program provides practical take-home techniques for creating an ideal body, mind and environment for sleep.
Canyon Ranch (Tucson, AZ and Lenox, MA): Sleep enhancement/insomnia relief programs are run by board-certified physicians and include overnight, in-room polysomnography testing and consultations with behavioral therapists with follow-up recommendations/treatments that include breathing, meditation and/or visualization exercises to help reduce anxiety.
Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa (FL): A complete medical sleep health management program, including comprehensive sleep/fatigue assessments and an in-house sleep specialty program that performs all testing and treatments by the end of the guest's stay.
California Well Being Institute (Westlake CA): A comprehensive sleep health management program featuring a state-of-the-art preventive-care medical clinic with the latest diagnostic radiology equipment and a science-based, luxurious rejuvenation spa. Overnight sleep testing is administered in guests’ Four Seasons rooms.
Chiva-Som, Thailand: Two sleep programs are available. The “Informational” program addresses minor sleeping problems and includes in-depth education, organic supplements and sleep hygiene and relaxation programs. The more comprehensive Natural Insomniac Treatment program (part of the spa’s anti-aging focus) includes a 3-month melatonin program to restore the sleep-wake cycle. TCM and acupuncture are also offered for sleep improvement.
Mayflower Inn and Spa (Washington, CT): The spa’s personalized “Sleep Better, Sleep Well” program teaches healthy sleep habits through stress management, nutrition, hypnotherapy, dream analysis, sleep yoga, “sweet surrender” massage, and an MP3 player loaded with sleep programming.
The Lodge at Woodloch (Hawley, PA): The Lodge is currently launching a "Healthy Sleep Program" (based on meditation and herbs) and offers a large post-treatment relaxation lounge (“The Whisper Lounge”), which is separate from the appointment lounge to encourage post-treatment napping.
Yelo, NY (Midtown Manhattan): A sanctuary spa-like facility dedicated solely to napping and reflexology, promising brief but “cocooning” naps. Sleeping “pods” feature special lighting, sounds and bedding to promote 20- or 40-minute power naps. Pre-nap reflexology treatments are also available. The company describes itself as a corporate wellness center to help stressed workers power-nap in a busy day.
Wellmax Center for Preventative Medicine (La Quinta, CA): This full medical spa at La Quinta Resort offers comprehensive sleep management testing and overnight sleep observation.
Sundara Inn and Spa (Wisconsin Dells, WI): The spa program includes the “Sundara Sleep Experience,” featuring bio-therapeutic massage to treat insomnia, a special sleep-friendly turn-down service (with feather beds, lighting, music, etc), and a range of “Signature Collection Sleep Experience” products to promote healthy sleep at home.
Board certified facial plastic surgeons are meeting Americans' demands for quicker results and less recovery time, according to a new survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). The annual poll of 1,336 of the organization's member surgeons found that there was a 69% increase among women and an astonishing 91% increase among men undergoing nonsurgical facial plastic surgery since 2000.
We're seeing that minimally invasive-type treatments that offer patients less 'downtime' are increasing in popularity" commented Peter A. Hilger, MD, president of the AAFPRS. "The goal is to have a nice, natural-looking outcome – you don't want to look like you've had surgery. The trend toward non-invasive cosmetic procedures has allowed more Americans to get the look they want without having to turn their busy lifestyles upside down.
Surgeons feel that the future for facial plastic surgery is bright, both for themselves and the consumer. They predict more filler introductions into the market (96%) and feel that patient safety will continue to be a focal point in cosmetic surgery (94%). They also foresee an increase in cosmetic surgery for ethnic populations (85%). "We hope the results of this annual survey give some understanding of the untiring dedication of AAFPRS members to making the highest possible quality of facial plastic surgery available to the public," concluded Dr. Hilger.
Despite more health benefit options available to them than at any time in history, America's Baby Boomers may not be even so healthy as their parents.
The Washington Post reports that as the first wave of Baby Boomers -- a generation of Americans born between 1948 and 1964 -- heads toward retirement, surveys indicate they describe their own health as less than ideal.
As a matter of fact, the Post reports, a major study indicates that Boomers say they have more problems with cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure and physical exertion than the previous generation born between 1936 and 1941.
"We're seeing some very powerful evidence all pointing to parallel findings," the newspaper quotes Mark Hayward, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, as saying. "The trend seems to be that people are not as healthy as they approach retirement as they were in older generations. It's very disturbing."
One of the primary reasons for the decline in good health, researchers speculate, is that previous generations were much more physically active in their daily routines, the Post reports. The number of Baby Boomers who said they were overweight might be a key to the decline in good health, the newspaper said.
HealthDay News, April 22, 2007
Happy Easter from the staff at Skin Inc. magazine! Enjoy these unique tips for egg decorating from Minoo's Aesthetic Institute.
What you need:
5 red onion skins
Wild flower leaves of your choice
2 spoons vinegar
Light weight net
Take your wild flower leaves and place around your egg making shapes and patterns. Use net to hold your shapes in place by tying net around flowers and egg tightly. Use floss to tie up net at top. Place a small towel at bottom of your large pot and place your eggs gently in pot, on top of towel so they do not crack. Place your red onion skins in pot with eggs. Pour cold water in pot filling up to where eggs are covered. Turn on heat and boil your eggs for 1 hour. The onion skins will bleed during this process and give your eggs color. Let eggs cool over night. Remove netting and peel of flower leaves. Now your eggs have a beautiful design and color to them!
The Spa Week Luxe Awards were given out, and among the winners were Westside Medical Spa in Los Angeles for “Best Medical Spa;” Eurasia Spa in Arizona and L’Institut Sothys New York for “Best $50 Spa Week Treatment;” VH Spa for Vitality & Health in Arizona, Red Door 54th Street in New York City and Vida Emanuel Day Spa in Los Angeles for “Best Facial;” Massaggiano—The Massage Spa in Arizona, Regency Spa & Salon in San Diego and Ananda Spa in Philadelphia for “Best Massage;” and VH Spa for Vitality & Health for “Best Overall Spa.”
Keep an eye on www.SkinInc.com to find out how you can enter your spa to win the prestigious Best of the Best Award. Information will be coming soon!
The Mandarin Oriental, Miami, has debuted 16 spa lifestyle rooms designed to give guests a sense of balance and relaxation with the use of air purification systems, in-room fitness programs, personal lifestyle consultations and spa cuisine offerings. 866-888-6780, firstname.lastname@example.org
By Abby Penning
Discover the hot new hues in makeup for this season, mingling shades from the earth with a touch of shimmer.
Albuquerque, N.M. moved from 13th place last year to be named American's fittest city this year in the March issue of Men's Fitness magazine.
The other top 10 in the nonscientific survey of 50 cities are: Seattle; Colorado Springs; Minneapolis; Tucson, Ariz.; Denver; San Francisco; Baltimore; Portland, Ore.; and Honolulu, the Associated Press reported.
The magazine said this year's top 10 fattest cities are: Las Vegas, Nev.; San Antonio, Texas; Miami; Mesa. Ariz.; Los Angeles; Houston; Dallas; El Paso, Texas; Detroit; and San Jose, Calif.
The survey results are based on various lifestyle factors in each city, including the availability of bikes paths or gyms, commute times, fast food restaurants per capita, amount of television watching, along with federal statistics on obesity-related illnesses and injuries.
Magazine editor Neal Boulton told the AP that the list is published each year "to motivate folks to look at the simple things in their lives they can do to be healthy."
HealthDay News, February 9, 2007
The online luxury travel resource, Luxury Link, recently named the winners of the 2007 World's Best Spa Awards. Identified by a panel of discerning travel editors, the 25 winners were chosen based on service, facilities, location, uniqueness, and overall levels of luxury. The winners are:
Adler Thermae Spa and Wellness Resort, Tuscany, Italy
Avanyu Spa, Manchester Village, Vermont
Brenner's Spa, Baden-Baden, Germany
Canyon Ranch, Lenox, Massachusetts
The Earth Spa by Six Senses, Hua Hin, Thailand
The Hualalai Sports Club and Spa, Hualalai, Hawaii
One & Only Spa, Los Cabos, Mexico
Spa Montage, Laguna Beach, California
Spa and Sanctuary, Namale, Fiji
The Spa at Huvafen Fushi, Maldives
The Spa at the Crescent, Dallas, Texas
Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami, Florida
Victoria-Jungfrau Spa, Interlaken, Switzerland
Amandari, Bali, Indonesia
The BodyHoliday at LeSport, St. Lucia, West Indies
California Wellbeing Institute, Westlake Village, California
Carita Spa, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Worldwide
The Golden Door Spa, Carefree, Arizona
Miraval Life in Balance, Tucson, Arizona
Six Senses Spa at Puntacana, Dominican Republic
Spa Without Walls, Kohala Coast, Hawaii
The Spa at Four Seasons Resort, Chiang Mai, Thailand
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, New York
The Spa at the Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Spahalekulani, Oahu, Hawaii