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Releasing Stress is What the Spa Experience is All About

By: Erika Mangrum
Posted: June 9, 2008, from the January 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

The spa industry is about helping people to find relief from the stress in their lives. Although positive stress can stimulate people to overcome challenges and resolve problems, negative stress can have the opposite effect—even shutting a person down. A positive spa experience has been known to evoke serenity in a stressed client. One of the most effective ways to do this is through physical stimulation. And part of the fun of this business is coming up with fresh ways to delight and reawaken the senses of smell, taste and touch. (See Awakening the Senses.)

Signature facials

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Iatria Spa and Health Center focuses on providing nourishing treatments for stressed clients. The name Iatria is Greek for “the art of well-being.” More than 63% of the spa’s market is defined as busy executives—individuals constantly pressed for time. The team caters to their needs by offering them online appointments and purchases, as well as by finding ways to save them time and reduce their stress levels. Whether this anxiety comes from overwork, illness or family problems, Iatria’s approach is the same: Bring the client back to the simple here and now to enjoy pleasure through the senses.

At Iatria, the team develops a monthly special. One of the estheticians at the spa invented Kelty’s Pomegranate & Oat Oxygenating Facial—a nourishing treatment that hydrates and plumps tired skin cells with a moisture-rich mask made from cranberries, pomegranate and oats. With a mortar and pestle, the mixture is made in front of the client so that they can enjoy the wonderful aromas. Because Iatria stands for what is natural and pure, only the freshest ingredients are used. This special facial is a signature treatment and is priced higher than a regular deep-cleansing facial.

Clients love having this fragrant concoction made especially for them. The treatment is great for protecting the skin. Cranberries are naturally antibacterial and provide age-defying antioxidants. Pomegranates are one of mankind’s oldest medicinal ingredients and contain powerful antioxidants with a combination of estrogenic and nonestrogenic properties. The Greek physician Hippocrates used the fruit to soothe eye irritations. New research shows that pomegranate may be one of the most potent natural wrinkle fighters. This amazing healing fruit also is a natural humectant that traps moisture and is loaded with polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that stabilize free radicals.

Listen and learn

Iatria markets Kelty’s Pomegranate & Oat Oxygenating Facial as a monthly special in the fall. The company has an e-mail database of 17,000 people who have signed up to receive monthly specials and promotions. The benefits of the facial also are displayed in the spa’s retail area and the locker rooms as an enticing skin treat after the harsh summer.