Yesterday, I read an article in a trade magazine touting huge growth numbers in the natural skin and body care world - meaning the holistic day spa and healing arts center industry. The news story touted ‘well-care' - the practice of using alternative health therapies such as massage (including craniosacral work, myofacial release, reflexology, lymphatic drainage and other specialties), non-invasive facials/professional skin care services, body treatments like detoxification wraps & scrubs, chiropractic care, sound/vibrational therapies, electroceutical therapy and even professional, non-toxic nail care as now 'proven scientifically to assist the body in fighting disease and deterioration'. It specifically mentioned that these ‘new’ scientific studies (let’s face it… the ancient practitioners have known for centuries that these alternative therapies are sound and effective) validate alternative health-care and the healing arts so much that many dermatologists and general medicine practitioners are jumping on the bandwagon by opening purported ‘holistic med-spas’ within their practices in an effort to replace perceived lost revenues from the trending belief that medical intervention shouldn’t always be the first choice in overall wellness care. The article went as far to state boldly that docs can no longer afford to ignore the growing trend toward holistic health and still pay the proverbial rent. Wow!
All of this is great news of course for those of us who have been on the front lines promoting alternative healing arts for decades now. Universal acceptance of therapies that we practice and already know work - therapies that support the body to heal itself when it can - will be good for the world in every way in the long run. A healthier, more productive aging population- free from drugs and the ever growing high cost of symptom management type health care - is certainly good for humanity in general.
However, the medical health world in terms of health insurance is still a closed door to alternative therapies. For reasons that extend beyond the docs and nurses on the front line who are embracing a more balanced form of east-meets-west approach to overall well being, insurance inclusion is likely to continue to be elusive in the healing arts world for years to come. This begs the question… how can one add healing arts and therapies devoted to stimulating well-being without medication into my already stretched health care budget? The answer may be more obtainable and easier than first thought.
The first thing we need to do when approaching therapeutic healing arts is to understand that just like today’s modern medical approach with prescriptions that manage symptoms for years - a quick fix in the alternative medicine world isn’t going to likely provide long term benefit. The body responds to repetition as cells are very predictable and have a strong tendency toward cellular memory. When seeking the funds to add self-care to your budget think in terms of consistency with monthly and even sometimes weekly therapies being the ultimate goal. To approach natural therapies as a short term activity expecting long term gain will simply wind up with one frustrated and right back where they started. Look for regular, long term adjustments you can make that leads to your long term goal overall good health.
So how do people that practice regular healthy self-care adjust their budgets to include these therapies once one understands that a longer term system of well-care is the one most likely to lead to long term whole body health? It’s simply a matter of a couple of things - rethinking what should and shouldn't be included in your wellness budget, smart shopping to find the most authentic, affordable and trustworthy alternative medicine resources within your community AND a bit of weekly & monthly habit tweaking. Food and beverage intake - often thought of as extras or in the entertainment/necessities part of your monthly spending - should interact with health wellness goals at least in part. But before one begins tweaking entertainment/intake habits, you should locate a spa worthy of the restructuring.
The very first thing to do when assessing the cost to value ratio of a local holistic day spa and healing arts center is to check their client review status. Those with a five star rating and mention of specific therapists and their experiences are sure to provide better results. Here at The Beauty Tree Spa, our therapists ALL enjoy regular five star reviews in each of their specialty fields and have one of the highest re-booking rates in our local industry.
Secondly, once you find a spa that has a high review rate so that you can rest assured that your health and body are in well earned professional hands, be sure they are moderately priced for the location in which they do business. Once you decide on a healing arts center, ask about packages and bundles that might offer savings. For instance, at The Beauty Tree, you can pre-pay for a series of basic facials or massages to receive a sizable discount on yearly packages of 10 treatments. If clients want to upgrade to a specialty massage or facial or body treatment, they pay the difference between the regular base price and the upgrade at time of treatment so they still get the benefit of reduced cost on the basic facial or massage.
Often basic discounts like this are available but don’t get offered during the hubbub of check in and out at the reception desk.
Once you have whittled down your spa costs and truly realize the overall benefit of consistent healing therapies, then take a peak at other behavior modifications that not only help you repurpose the revenue to add this body benefit but support your new effort to live beautifully and age responsibility. Clients tell us that one less lunch out and two less runs through their favorite beverage purveyor weekly can more than provide enough for beneficial self-care here at The Beauty Tree Spa. And… they don’t miss these treats as replacement choices for these adjustments are often body friendly as much as they are wallet friendly!
So… embrace this BIG trend toward more responsible self-care. Take a weekly or twice weekly yoga class. Get a massage once or twice per month. Experience a deep cleaning facial skin treatment monthly and add a detoxifying body service seasonally. At the end of the year, you will not miss the calories you omitted but will certainly feel proud of the beautiful, healthy body you helped create!