Annual Prepare and Plan Day

Taking a day to prepare and plan for 2017

As 2016 draws to a close, I wanted to share with you an organizational strategy to help 2017 be a knockout year.  The advice is, take a day either by yourself or with your significant other, and prepare/plan out your 2017.  Take a weekday off of work, grab your calendars, planners, mobile devices, and laptops and head out of the house.  If you have kids make sure they are not with you.  Put them in day care, have a babysitter come over, or take the time they are in school to give yourself and your partner some time to really get down to business with minimal distractions.  Then, go to a place where you can get a meal, caffeine, free Wifi and some alone time.

“What then do you plan for?”, you ask.  Well here is a list to get you started.  It includes questions to ask yourself along with events and lifestyle trinkets to take into consideration.

Questions to ask:

  1. What in 2016 did I find to be stressful?  How could I remedy this in 2017?
  2. What was my favorite thing I did in 2016? For myself? and With my family?
  3. If I could have done anything different in 2016 what would it have been?
  4. What is my intention for 2017? (to be more adventurous, to consider wellness in my everyday life, to live more “experiences”, etc.)

Once you have these questions answered, plan out any dates, events, etc. that will need to blocked in order for you to do the things you laid out.

Events/Appointments to Plan for:

  1. Travel – Are there vacations you want to take (Vegas with your girlfriends)?  Are there trips you need to take (out to Connecticut for Christmas with family)?  Find the dates, start to plan your transportation, inform those involved.
  2. Birthday party dates for your children
  3. Dentist Appointments
  4. Wellness Appointments – Massage, Facials, Nails, Chiropractic
  5. Volunteer events
  6. Kid’s Dr. Appointments

Life Trinkets:

  1. Meal Planning
  2. Exercise Plan – how many times per week, who watches the kids, who will hold you accountable?
  3. Bills/Money Allocation – Retirement accounts, savings funds, large upcoming purchases, maternity leave

Once your prep/plan session is completed you will have a focused direction for 2017.  You will be ahead of the game, and well beyond most of your peers.  You will feel less stressed and more centered because you will minimize a lot of the last minute crazy.  Instead of setting a resolution for yourself that will only get broken within the first 6 weeks (this is on average how long a person holds true to a resolution), give yourself and your family a game plan.

Does Waxing Hurt?

OUCH that Hurts!

The simple answer to the question, “does waxing hurt?” is YES.

Waxing is an amazing service.  In a few swift pulls the entire hair is removed leaving the area smooth as a baby’s butt, and the likelihood of hair coming back becomes less and less if you stick with a consistent waxing routine.  The uncomfortable feeling though associated with hair being removed can make the experience not that enjoyable and so here is some information on how to reduce the pain or to at least help you understand why you might experience more pain then someone else.

Let us start first about talking about why you might be experiencing pain.

    1. Someone besides a professional is waxing you.  A professional should be the only person you trust providing you with a waxing treatment.  A professional looks at a variety of different things that perhaps your sister might not.  An Esthetician takes in to consideration, the direction the hair grows, the length of hair, where hair has already been removed, the heat of the wax and of course the type of wax that is used.
    2. The type of Wax being used.  At Kneaded Relief we use Nufree which is a safe organic liquid hair removal that completely uproots the bulb and entire hair shaft.  It never dries and will not stick to the skin, therefore there is less pain and no tearing of the skin.

      wax
      Nufree Liquid Hair Removal System
    3. Coarse hair or hair that grows in multiple directions.  If you have very coarse hair or hair that grows in multiple directions, it is possible you will experience more pain than someone with very fine hair that grows in one direction.
    4. Ingrowns (hair that is trapped under the skin and causing irriation).
    5. Length of hair.  Trying to wax hair shorter than 1/4″ or longer than 1/2″ makes waxing more difficult and that can hurt more.
    6. A topical product. Clients who are using Retin-A, Renova or other AHA’s need to discontinue use for at least 48 hours prior to receiving waxing treatments because they make the skin additionally sensitive and can cause the skin to tear.
    7. Taking Accutane.  If you take Accutane you cannot at Kneaded Relief receive a waxing service because Accutane thins the skin and again can cause tearing.
    8. Sensitivity.  Some people are just more sensitive then others, or perhaps the area you are waxing is more sensitive than another area.

Now let us discuss things you can do to help the pain.

    1. Don’t apply any lotion or deodorant prior to waxing.  Though the therapist will wipe the area before waxing, lotion or deodorant will still be on the skin and make it difficult to grab the hair.
    2. Shower with a mild scrub daily starting a few days prior to the treatment.  By using a mild scrub you are opening up the pores allowing for an easier pull.
    3. If you have ingrowns, use a product to help rid the skin of these uncomfortable bumps.  This is the same as using a mild scrub.  The more open the pores are the easier and less painful it is to receive a wax.  We recommend Tend Skin to use between waxes.
    4. 1/4″-1/2″ hair (length of a grain of rice).  If hair is in the “sweet spot” of length the therapist has the easiest time pulling it.  Either wait until hair is this grown out or trim it back before your service.
    5. A pain reliever can’t hurt.  Taking Ibuprofen 45 minutes before the service can help lessen the pain overall.  Also taking Tums 20 minutes prior to the service can decrease the level of acid in the body and this too is said to help with the pain.
    6. Use a cold pack following the service.  Waxing can heat up the skin, so using a cold pack on the area takes down the heat and the pain.  Kneaded Relief can apply cold packs following your service.  We also use a product called Finipil (it is also available for retail) that has a cooling agent in it.  This cooling agent calms the skin the same way a cold pack would.

I hope that I was able to shine a little light on how to make your next waxing experience an even more positive one. Though the saying goes, “Beauty is Pain”, at Kneaded Relief we don’t think it needs to be.

Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and Hoping to make waxing not hurt.

Why Can’t I get in for an Appointment?

No Appointment Available

It is Monday morning and you realize that you have that huge presentation on Thursday that has been sucking the life out of you, or you remembered your wife’s birthday is this weekend and you still don’t have a gift for her.  You think to yourself, “I should call Kneaded Relief and make an appointment for this week.”  You meant to book an appointment weeks earlier but then life got in the way and you totally forgot.
At Kneaded Relief we understand all too well how frustrating it can be when you call for an appointment the same week and can’t get in. Heck, sometimes it’s several days, weeks, or months depending on your therapist and service needs. “Can they really be this booked?  Can’t they just squeeze me in?” you wonder. We know you don’t necessarily see what goes on behind the scenes, so we thought we’d give you a peek “behind the curtain”!
Our team arrives to work 30 minutes before their first scheduled appointment. Ten minutes before our appointments begin we have a mini-meeting called a “huddle”. The purpose of our huddle is to allow our team members to review daily goals, communicate strategies and promotions and develop their plan of action for the day in general. Then it’s time for the fun to begin.
Believe it or not, it takes a lot to orchestrate a typical day in the spa. Our guest services team is busy answering phones, booking appointments and taking care of you and their therapist team while our therapists are making you feel wonderful.  On average per day we have 12 therapists working.  We are open 7 days a week and most days from 9:00am-8:00pm or 9:00pm with an average service being 60 minutes of time.  If you think about it, that’s a lot of clients!  About 50% of our clients pre-book their appointments, which means they book their next appointment before they leave the spa.  If you can believe it, we have clients who are booked out for the rest of 2017!

prebook your appointment
Prebook Your Appointment

As you can see, that leaves us with very limited availability. In order to accommodate as many clients as possible, we “book tight” leaving little to no room between appointments. Most gaps are only 15 minutes.  It might also help you understand why we ask our clients if they need to cancel for 48 hours notice.  We can sometimes have a line of clients on our pending list and those openings are few and far between.  The more notice we have the better off we are at getting someone else in.  This is also the reasoning behind why we have to charge you for an appointment when you do no-show or late cancel.
So while our Guest Service Representatives are highly skilled at moving and manipulating books, the truth is there’s no benefit for both you and your beloved therapist to try to squeeze you in last minute.  For the investment you’re making, you owe it to yourself to have a time scheduled that is most conducive to your schedule.  Our front desk and therapists will do everything imaginable to get you in. They might suggest other services that could benefit you that you might have not thought about.  Or they might suggest a hydrotherapy service that has more flexibility to it since there is no service provider.
In the end though, the best option if you don’t have a schedule that’s as flexible as you’d like is to set up your next appointment with our Guest Service team during your visit to the spa.  This guarantees you have your pick of time and day. We would rather be at the mercy of your schedule, instead of the other way around.  We want to keep you relaxed and happy, and if you do have a time that arises that just couldn’t be planned for and we don’t have something available, we do have gift certificates available instantly online or sent to you in a gold box with ribbon if ordered over the phone.
We hope this provides you with a little insight into the Kneaded Relief workings, and provides you with some solutions to getting in for an appointment within the time frames you have available.

Dana Neal – Spa Manager and Group Fitness Instructor

Sandals All Year Round

It probably makes a lot of sense that in the midst of a snowy day or the few days after that when coming to Kneaded Relief we would have you change into a pair of provided sandals.  Clearly most everyone can understand that tracking water through the spa could be a pain for those to clean up or a potential hazard to their fellow guests.  And it probably goes without mentioning the potential of squeaky shoes that the winter brings, however at Kneaded Relief regardless of the time of year, we offer all of our guests (except those getting a pedicure and bringing their own sandals) to change into a pair of ours.

Part of the ambiance of Kneaded Relief is the attribute of “pure quiet”.  Voices are lowered to max a whisper, phones are turned off and put away (even the sound of clicking keys can be heard), and doors are so ever carefully shut.  To also help achieve that whisper of a sound atmosphere, we ask that you change your shoes to our sandals.  Squeaks are eliminated, high heels clicking across the floor are gone and heavy footed walkers lose a bit of the “clomp” as they come down the hall.   We know for some it is a pain to change your shoes and maybe even potentially an uncomfortable situation because our sandals might be a little too small or too big or maybe you find yourself with a pair that has the massagers on them and they hurt your feet.  In these cases, we ask you to bring a pair of your own sandals to put on.

In the end, though the quiet is restored due to the changing of the shoes, what we are really hoping for is that our guests find additional relaxation and serenity from stepping out of the outside world and into ours.  So next time you head to Kneaded Relief and a Guest Service team member asks for your shoe size let them know what size shoe you wear, slip off your shoes and cares, and slide into the Kneaded Relief relaxation foot apparel.  You will be providing yourself and those around you that extra little bit of “spa…ahhh”.

Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and Sandal Wearer

Houseplants for Health

Kneaded Relief resides next to a gorgeous restored prairie. This time of year, the grasses are a burnt orange, the trees a mix of lively yellow and pale green, and a smattering of bright light purple flowers remain. Enjoying nature outside is an excellent way to improve your health, and it’s been shown that bringing nature inside can improve the environment within. This blog discusses some common houseplants, how tend for them, and how they improve the atmosphere in your home, office, or spa.
At Kneaded Relief we always keep a few seasonal floral arrangements around the Spa to add natural touches to the space. We also have several plants that serve as functional decorations in our Wellness Classroom, Nail Suite, and Retreat. My house has more than a few plants in it, and as I was writing this blog, I think I just may get a few more!
The Spa’s largest indoor plant, a rubber tree or Havea brasiliensis, stands over five feet tall and is very easy to maintain. Rubber trees don’t mind dim lighting or cooler temperatures. Our Wellness Classroom where this plant resides is mostly windows, however it doesn’t get full sun this time of year and is often cooler. The plant thrives in this environment and helps us by eliminating toxins and purifying the air.
In the Nail Suite, we have a Christmas Cactus, or Zygocactus. These bright bloomers are named as they are often sold in the fall primed to bloom around Christmas. The leaves have a large surface area, allowing them to exude higher amounts of oxygen and water, while also filtering out dust and chemical particles from the air.

Christmas Cactus
Christmas Cactus

Outside nearly every garden shop, grocery store, or landscaped building chrysanthemums sprout happily from pots, reminding us that fall colors are beautiful, and to embrace the change of season. Surprisingly, the “common mum”, or Chrysanteium morifolium, purifies the air in a very specific way. The blooms remove benzene, a chemical that can be found in paint, plastics, and detergents. Our houses are full of these materials, and inhaling the fumes can’t be good for us. I love the thought of the colorful flowers I bring into my home cleaning the air, making the environment safer for loved ones and myself.
I often hear people say that they don’t have a “green thumb” or they always kill any plant they touch. Speaking from experience, plants don’t have vendettas against certain people. Anybody can keep a plant alive and thriving with a just a bit of effort. My suggestion is to Google the plant you are trying to care for and find detailed instructions for care. If you don’t know the name of it, try entering in characteristics (for example, dark green, round leaves, yellow spots, etc.) and you’ll likely be able to find it. When I was looking up information on our Christmas Cactus one site had 14 steps for care. If that seems like WAY too many, perhaps choose a plant that requires less attention. However, I can assure you that our Christmas Cactus looks excellent and we aren’t giving it that much attention.
Go out and get a plant! They’re fun to have around; they brighten up your home, look great, and improve the quality of the air.

Tara Coberly-Horrall – Guest Service Rep and Houseplant Enthusiast