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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.

page 6 of 7

The service lasts around 80 minutes, and it has been a favorite since we launched it because it is a body treatment and a massage. We’ve been seeing the trend that people feel more comfortable with the massage.

Smaller spas need to find the right person to support what they are trying to do. You have to be careful not to offend a culture that is alive. Reach out for someone who lives the way the culture dictates and that way they can tell you the dos and don’ts. Sometimes you have to have permission. Then you can launch authentic, it should be authentic; I don’t like claims that it’s Hawaiian just because it has papaya. The treatment is trained here, the products are made here in Hawaii and made with an intent. Our massage therapists love it and they enjoy the training, and it’s not to sell, it’s trying to get the guest to experience a whole journey.

Jean Kolb, Spa Director, Kohler Waters Spa

Cold is becoming a trend again. When you first look at the principles of spa and water therapy, the use of hot and cold go back hundreds of years. People understood the benefits of warming and cooling the body. It really does have amazing benefits. We say that our water treatments are not for the first-time spa goer. They incorporate warm and cool water. The women have the whirlpool and the cool plunge at 65 degrees F. The men’s is eight-foot deep. Women like to dip their toe in it and the men like to take the plunge. People come out of it and they feel exhilarated and totally relaxed. A lot of people take a nap because it gets your whole circulatory system going, and when the blood pumps through your body, it helps your muscles to relax. We tell clients to do cold plunge and warm before treatments so they will be more relaxed. You have people from Europeans who, in the middle of winter, they are in this hot whirlpool and they go outside and rub snow on the bodies and then get back into the whirlpool. We try to incorporate that in water treatments and in pedicure treatments with cold seaweed mud.

I see cold coming back. The trend with the use of warm must compliment the cold. You can’t have 100% cold because it defeats the purpose because your muscles constrict in the cold. That’s what happens with the cold, so you want to have the warmth. Water therapies in general are trends because that is the foundation for a spa equipment. The hot/cold modality is becoming very popular. Our spa guests are ready to take it to the next level. Massages are a regular wellness routine, and they are looking for something new and exciting.

For us, because we are Kohler Waters Spa, we market our water treatments, but, for us, it’s a way of life. It’s something that we do because we know it is therapeutic to the body. Any time you can tell the consumer about the therapeutic benefits of a treatment, it’s good. Our customer is more spa savvy and they want to know that they feel good afterward and that they’ve done something good for the body.