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A Body of Work

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: September 25, 2008, from the October 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 6 of 7

Hedley has a completely different approach, one that is based in the luxury of a destination spa setting. “We approach sleep at the Mayflower by taking an integrative approach to people’s wellness. One of the benefits of a destination spa is that it takes clients out of the world, and it strips down day-to-day stress and starts to decompress people. Then we look at a variety of ways that we can help them relax and help them recognize how they build stress,” she says.

In one of the sleep programs hosted at the spa called Sleep Better, Sleep Well, relaxation and stress relief techniques are utilized, followed by a variety of modalities, including Thai yoga and meditation. A workshop is then held where guests and experts talk about strategies for better sleep. “Simple things can be done, such as, in the evening, turn down your world. Turn down your lights an hour before bed in preparation for sleep, turn off computers, TV, your BlackBerry* and get into your own inner world in a quiet way,” explains Hedley. After this, personal rituals can be developed specifically around sleep.

A third way to address the issue of sleep through the spa is by offering a treatment, such as the Vitamin Z service at Spa Radiance in San Francisco. Spa director Angela Umansky says the immediate benefits of a sleep treatment are deep relaxation, smoother, softer skin and a good night’s rest. “But, more importantly, sleep treatments help educate clients to create their own ongoing, healthy, at-home sleep habits. We liken creating sound sleep to developing glowing, radiant skin. It’s a practice,” she says.

Umansky and her team developed the treatment specifically for overly tired clients. “There’s only so much an eye cream can do for dark under-eye circles. Clients requested advice about how to wind down after a long day, so we came up with an ultra-soothing treatment and made sure clients went home with our Sleep Well Kit, which is a very common sense guide to a better night’s slumber,” she explains. Umansky sees this as an extension of the quick naps offered at facilities such as Yelo, and the services that are even provided in the spa’s relaxation area.

The treatment includes a Lavender Lullaby Salt Scrub and a Sleep Surrender Massage. The salt scrub features thermal spring salts that result in smooth skin and calming detoxification. After the scrub, guests enjoy the massage, an alpha-state inducing Swedish technique with body-mind soothing benefits.