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A Body of Work: Interview Transcripts and Photos

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: September 26, 2008, from the October 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Read the information that was on the cutting-room floor, offering valuable insights into body care trends, and browse through more images from the featured spas.

Lisa Hedley, Founder and Creative Director, Mayflower Inn & Spa

Sleep—we’ve always focused on it. We knew we wanted that. We’ve had programming all along and I’ve been looking on ways to enhance it. I think there are many more spas out there, and there are many more interested in creating long-term benefits from guests. People are looking for areas that are of interest to their guests. The research that has come out that is reaching a fevered pitch now suggests that many of the areas that people feel stress can be made better by sleeping better. We are chronic insomniacs. We are plugged into BlackBerries, electronic equipment, TV, and those things increase a series of bad habits that prevent people from sleeping well and for the amount that they need.

We are getting people to look at their lives and nutrition and habits and the way they stress during the day, and help teach them how to manage that so they start to wind down in the afternoon. If you’re going to drink coffee, do it in the morning and not past 2pm. That is true for a lot of things. If you are doing anxiety-based work, do it during the morning hours.

The way we approach sleep at the Mayflower is to take an integrative approach to people’s wellness. It is rare that someone’s weight problem or sleep problem is the result of one factor. One of the benefits of a destination spa is that it takes you out of the world and we strip down day-to-day stress and start to decompress people, then look at the variety of ways that we can help them relax and recognize how they build stress. It’s the level and the way you manage it that provides you with a balanced life.

We start with relaxation and stress relief. We then do a number of modalities: Thai stretch, yoga, meditation, contemplative practices, physical and mental. We do a workshop situation where we talk about strategies for better sleep. These are simple, such as, in the evening, turn down your world, turn down you lights in preparation for sleep; an hour before bed, turn off computers, TV, BlackBerries, get into your own inner world in a quiet way. Your bed is for sex and sleeping, not watching TV. We do some talking stuff to remind people of better ways and review some personal rituals.