Once a quarter BIOTONE hosts their spa open house in San Diego to demonstrate seasonal spa protocols. For the last several years I've had the pleasure of leading these fun filled events. I always enjoy the wide variety of therapists and spa owners who attend. On Monday of this week we held the first open house of 2010 and for the first time offered continuing education hours to attendees. After demonstrating the three protocols - Mother's Day Bliss, Spring Fling Shimmer, and Floral Treat for the Feet - there was a short question and answer session. I'd like to share part of that discussion with you.

One therapist expressed her desire to diversify her treatments. She felt that most of her clients came to see her for therapeutic purposes and she was concerned that they wouldn't be interested in spa services. I found this interesting because not too long ago massage in general was considered a spa service, a luxury that you treated yourself to for your birthday or some other special occasion.

I challenged the therapists in the class to think about spa services in a different way. Often times the products used in spa services have greater therapeutic properties than your typical lotion or oil used in a massage session. Not to mention, it is typical for spa services to include some form of hydrotherapy or heat, both of which can be very therapeutic.

I explained that my primary practice is working with clients who experience chronic pain, and how it is not unusual for me to do a short 15 minute aromatherapy wrap followed by a 40 minute deep tissue session. I find that the aromatherapy wrap deeply relaxes the client, as well as increasing circulation and softening the fascia, resulting in a deep tissue session that is, in my opinion, not only more effective, but also less painful for the client.

The point being, we have to be careful not to rule out the value of any service. It is our job to understand the benefits of each service we offer, convey those benefits to our clients, and allow the client to choose what feels right for them.