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
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.
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
Twas the night before December
and all through the spa
the employees were working
to make the customers say “ah”
The retail was ready
and the services were happening
the gift certificates were available
and ready for wrapping
To start off the month
the KR team wants to know
what brings you joy during the holidays
and keeps you from getting low
So write us on Facebook
and Instagram too
what makes you happy
and you could win a whirl from us to you
We will be picking a random winner from all Facebook and Instagram entries 4 times during the month of December (5th, 12th, 19th and 26th) to win a Young Living Joy Aromatherapy Bath. All you have to do is tell us what brings you joy during the holidays. Please direct the post or photo @kneadedreliefdayspa and hashtag #joytothewhirl
We look forward to all the positive messages coming our way. For additional information please see our Facebook page or find us on Instagram @kneadedreliefdayspa
Happy Holidays and Joy to the Whirl
Young Living Joy Oil:
The aroma of Joy™ invites a sense of romance, bliss, and warmth when diffused. When worn as a fragrance, it invites togetherness.
As the winter weather looms in the near future (very near future), the thought of dry, cracked skin becomes a daily concern for some of us. Regular exfoliation can be the answer to this daily concern. Exfoliation is a necessity for healthy skin. Dead skin cells build up on the surface of our skin (your skin turns over every 4 weeks) giving your appearance a dull look. Throw in winter weather, old make-up, dirt and oil and you have a combo that will only create a lackluster appearance. To combat it, practice a simple 1-2 times per week exfoliation process.
There are two main types of exfoliation available – Chemical and Physical. Either way will improve the appearance of your skin and maybe even shave off a few years of aging. Who doesn’t want to look 25 again? So what is the difference between chemical and physical exfoliation?
Chemical exfoliation uses a variety of chemicals. Most commonly used are several types of enzymes, including fruit enzymes, alpha hydroxy acids like lactic or glycolic, and beta hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid. Though the thought of chemical exfoliation might sound scary, it really isn’t. Think of your skin like bricks and mortar. Chemical exfoliators break down the mortar between the bricks which then allows the bricks (dead skin) to be whisked away.
Physical exfoliation on the other hand is a product that contains a rough material (sugar, salt, ground nuts, oats, etc.) that by being rubbed on the skin manually removes the dead skin cells. Either option could potentially work for you and most of the time it ends up being a personal preference. The important thing to do is to partake in the exfoliation process at least 1-2 times per week. And this process should take place wherever you have skin, so not just the face. I don’t know about you, but the lower half of my legs in the winter take on the appearance of an albino snake. I did include here a before and after of my left hand. This is a before and then after using Trillium Organic Body Polish. You can see how much better color I have after a few minutes of exfoliation as well as a softer appearance of the skin.
Save your skin this winter and start an exfoliation process today. It is a great habit and will only benefit you if you stick with it (even when it isn’t freezing cold outside).
Here is a list of Chemical and Physical Exfoliators that we use and recommend at Kneaded Relief.
Bioelements Quick Refiner and Quick Refiner for Eyes
PCA Body Therapy Lotion
PCA Dry Skin Relief Bar
PCA BPO 5% Cleanser
Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze
Trillium Organic Body Polish
Bioelements Pumice Peel
Bioelements Measured Micrograins
Bioelements Cactus Cloth
Bioelements Face Brush
Farmhouse Fresh Body Scrub
Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and Exfoliator Extraordinaire
It has happened! You walk in for your spa appointment and the woman at the Guest Service Desk asks, “Would you care to change into a robe today?”. You immediately think, “um, well what does that mean?.” The Guest Service Rep then explains that you can change into a robe or change in and out of your clothes within the treatment room when the therapist has stepped out. You end up choosing the robe and head to the locker room and then panic sets in. You think to yourself, “Am I suppose to get naked?”, “Should I leave on my bra, underwear?”, “What about my socks?”. You think about the message keeping or taking off your clothes will send to the therapist. You think about whether you shaved your armpits, legs, toes (yes sometimes people worry about their toes). You think about laying on a table NAKED! Well I am here to help you make a decision that feels appropriate for you and to provide you with some much needed information on the services and the providers to help ease your thoughts.
First and foremost, during any service you receive at Kneaded Relief, our professional staff is trained to properly drape you. Nothing will show that shouldn’t be shown. Your privacy is well respected at all times.
Secondly, regardless of the service (except for waxing), the therapist is paying no attention to whether or not an armpit, leg, toe or anything else has been shaved or waxed. With or without hair the therapist is able to perform the service.
Third, if you are requesting in a massage service for an area to be worked on, the therapist can and will work around a clothing item; however without it there the therapist does not have to make the adjustment for the clothing being on the body. So if you feel comfier having it on, keep it on, but if you take it off then the therapist will be able to work a bit more seamlessly without it.
Next, because we always appropriately drape the body, the therapist does not care if you leave on or take off your underwear. They aren’t judging your style of undergarments or lack there of. They are there to provide a service that helps your wellness.
When it comes to hydrotherapy services, all of our hydrotherapy units are private. Swimsuits are then a personal option but not a necessity. Also, all of our hydrotherapy units are cleaned and sterilized between each use.
Finally, as a client, you should feel comfortable during a service and not thinking the entire time about whether or not you should be wearing your undergarments. So do whatever will allow you to relax the most. There is nothing worse then spending your hard earned money on a service and instead of focusing in on the experience you find your mind circulating on the fact that you kept your socks on.
My hope now is for every guest who walks through our door to field the robe question with much more confidence. And if you still are unsure, ask your therapist or a guest service member what is the main focus areas in that type of service you are receiving (i.e. back and shoulders in a 30 minute massage, or face and neck in a facial) and they can let you know what will most likely be exposed and then you can make a quick shift if necessary.
Happy National Healthy Skin Month! Who doesn’t want amazing looking skin? Most everyone knows that our skin is our largest organ, but when you think about it how well do you take care of that very large organ? It might be the largest but it can also be one of the most neglected. I have recently been introduced to the world of Retinols and it is something I wanted to share with everyone. During Healthy Skin Month I ask that each of you evaluate just how much love your skin gets and then consider adding some Retinol superpower to your regimen. The below information has been provided by PCA Skin.
What is retinol?: The superhero ingredient of skincare
Retinol gets a lot of attention for its skin health benefits, including the increase in your skin’s natural cell turnover rate, removal of dead skin cells that clog pores and an increase in collagen production. With all of these amazing skin benefits, what is retinol exactly?
Retinol is a member of the vitamin A family called retinoids, which your body requires for healthy bone growth and a strong immune system. While our bodies don’t naturally produce vitamin A, foods including sweet potatoes, carrots and dark leafy greens contain high amounts of vitamin A to help your body meet its minimum requirements.
However, your skin is the last organ to get the vitamins you consume, so relying solely on diet won’t provide many vitamin A benefits to the skin. Topical application is the best way to reap the many anti-aging and healthy skin benefits that vitamin A has to offer.
There are many different forms of vitamin A, all part of the retinoid family. These include retinol, retinaldehyde, retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, and the active form, retinoic acid. When applied to the skin, vitamin A goes through a conversion process, eventually turning into retinoic acid that interacts with your skin directly. PCA SKIN® chooses to formulate with retinol because it is more stable than many other forms and has a shorter conversion in the skin than some other over-the-counter vitamin A options. The shorter conversion means that more of the retinol applied actually gets converted to retinoic acid, delivering the power of the ingredient. Longer conversion times reduce the amount of retinoic acid eventually created, resulting in less dramatic changes in the skin.
Now that you know what it is, here are 3 products at Kneaded Relief that contain Retinol
Intensive Brightening Treatment:
Lifts and improves discolorations
Brightens skin tone for a healthy, luminous glow
Unique pairing of retinol and resveratrol for increased brilliance
Intensive Clarity Treatment:
Clear acne breakouts
Support a clear complexion and strengthen skin
Strengthen and protect skin with retinopeptide and plant stem cell extract technology
Intensive Age Refining Treatment:
Strengthen skin with minimal irritation
Reduce age-related skin yellowing and redness
Minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and firm the skin with retinopeptide and stem cell extract technology
If you have any further questions regarding your skin care regimen, please consider booking a complimentary skin consultation with one of our knowledgeable Estheticians.
Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and new PCA user
During seasonal transitions clients are always interested in ways to “manage” the changes that coincide with a changing of the season. Being a born and bred Wisconsin girl, I know that with the season change comes a number of factors to consider:
What to wear
Time to leave the house to get anywhere due to construction, snow, ice, rain, etc.
What products I should be using to either bring moisture to my skin, or to give myself a tan or to protect myself from the sun, etc.
Illnesses – prevention and/or dealing with an illness
And the list could go on and on
One suggestion that I always hear my team members make to deal with the number of things above is to schedule a detoxing service at the beginning of each new season. By having a detox service, the body is able to better handle the large amount of changes that a new season brings. It essentially is a way to start fresh, clean slate and prepare your body and mind for the new things to come.
If you are someone who has a difficult time dealing with change then this is especially for you, but really a detox service can be even helpful for those who flow smoothly from one thing to the next. One detox service that I highly recommend is our Cleansing Mud Steam Shower. It is focused not just around physical detox but mental detox.
Cleansing Mud Steam Shower
While enjoying an Aura Cacia Inspiration infused essential oil steam, you will partake in a self-guided mud application. You will be given Sedona Clay infused with Vitamin E., Grape seed, Bladderwrack, Irish Moss, and Sage Essential oils. Begin your treatment by applying this magnesium and vitamin-rich mud blend to your body, then relax in the wet heat of the steam, and lastly remove the mud with the available shower. When completed your skin will be left glowing and your mind will feel encouraged to be creative.
By partaking in a detox service such as our Cleansing Mud Steam Shower, you hit your internal reset button. If spa services don’t work for you, think about increasing your water intake and/or taking a hot yoga class. Just find something that can push out the old and allow for the new to come in.
Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and Seasonal Detox-er
It is one of the questions we get asked the most, “Why do I need to arrive 30 minutes early for my appointment?”. Upon scheduling an appointment for the first time, you will receive the instructions to arrive 30 minutes prior to the start time of your appointment. Taking the hint from being asked the question multiple times, I decided to explain the reasoning behind the policy. In the end it is our goal at Kneaded Relief to provide a first class experience, and we feel this feeds that experience.
Intake Form: Our intake form is like no other out there. At Kneaded Relief we provide anything but a cookie cutter service. We tailor each and every session to your needs and we start this by getting an extensive background on your wellness on our intake form. We then write S.O.A.P. (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan) notes following each appointment so that regardless of whom you see each time, we are able to customize your service to what your requests are and what each therapist has seen and worked on.
Amenities: Upon arrival, guests are offered robes and sandals to change into (we do not offer robes to clients solely receiving nail services or waxing services due to the nature of the service). Our robes and sandals are meant to start you along your journey to pure relaxation. It also allows you to take less time having to change in and out of your clothes within our treatment rooms (if the service requires this), so there is more time on the table. We also have a locker room available with a shower, restroom facilities and product amenities.
Relaxation Retreat (and this is probably my favorite reason): Kneaded Relief provides a heavenly retreat to utilize before your service. Filled with comfy chairs, a couch, water, tea, snacks and magazines, this space immediately relieves any stress or frustrations you might be carrying. The view overlooks a serene prairie and waterfall and you are immediately transported to another world (even though you are just steps outside Madison).
I understand that 30 minutes early (especially before a waxing service) can seem a little crazy to arrive for an appointment, but I promise you that by giving yourself that time you are allowing your body and mind some much “kneaded” wellness, and your experience here will be that much more enjoyable.
Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Guest Service Rep and Fan of arriving early for my appointments
Now available at Kneaded Relief is our Unscented Dead Sea Salts. Available in an 8oz bag ($6.96) and a 2lb ($19.00) container these salts are known for their ability to help with Psoriasis, and can provide relief for a number of other things that the body has going on because of their detoxing quality. Below is some information about the salts along with some treatments for Psoriasis. Enjoy!
Natural, unprocessed Dead Sea Salts differ from regular sea salts because they contain a very high percentage of beneficial minerals that can be absorbed through the skin. Just to give you an idea of how they differ from common seal salts, salts from the Pacific Ocean typically consist of 98 – 99% sodium chloride, Dead Sea Salt contains only 5% sodium chloride, the rest of the salt is made up of beneficial minerals such as magnesium & potassium. When Dead Sea Salts are added to bath water, or used in other treatments such as wraps, these minerals can be absorbed through the skin. The minerals work in a variety of ways to improve skin health, speed healing, relieve itching and reduce redness.
Several studies have been conducted to test the effectiveness of Dead Sea Salt in treating Psoriasis. These studies have shown that a high percentage of psoriasis sufferers benefit from a regular treatment program using Dead Sea Salt.
It is very important to consider mineral content when purchasing Dead Sea salt. Many of the Dead Sea salts on the market today have been processed, mineral depleted, or blended with another salt to produce a product that is low in mineral content. Minera® brand Dead Sea Salts are imported directly from the southern region of the Dead Sea where purity and mineral content is at its highest. Mineral content is continually tested to ensure you only receive salt with the highest mineral values.
Knowing this information regarding the Dead Sea Salts here are a few treatments for psoriasis that we recommend.
In the Bath Tub – Use for widespread symptoms
Phase 1: Wash body and hair with preferred products before bathing. Simply add 2 – 3lbs (6-8 cups) of salt to a warm running bath, when the salt has dissolved slip in and relax for approximately 20 minutes. Take 3 baths per week for 2 – 4 weeks. Rinse or shower with fresh water after bathing.
Phase 2: After symptoms subside, reduce to a maintenance level. This is different for everyone – try 1 bath per week using the same process as phase 1.
Foot Bath/arm bath – Use for symptoms on the extremities
Phase 1: Use a foot spa, bowl or anything clean and watertight. Fill the bath with warm water. Use approximately 8oz (1.5 cups) of salt per 5 gallons of water. Ensure the salt has dissolved then submerge the affected area in the water for approx. 20mins. Take 3 baths per week for 2 – 4 weeks. Rinse or shower with fresh water after bathing.
Phase 2: After symptoms subside, reduce to a maintenance level. This is different for everyone – try 1 bath per week using the same process as phase 1.
Body Wrap – Use for localized symptoms
Phase 1: Dissolve 8oz of salt in 2 – 3 gallons of warm water, when the salt has fully dissolved saturate a small to medium sized towel with the salted water. Cover the affected area of skin with the towel for 20mins. Repeat 3 times per week for 2 – 4 weeks. Rinse or shower with fresh water after use.
Phase 2: After symptoms subside, reduce to a maintenance level. This is different for everyone – try 1 wrap per week using the same process as phase 1.
Healing Properties: The following list details some healing properties of the minerals found in Dead Sea Salt
Magnesium: Aids sleep and relaxation promotes quick healing of skin tissue and provides the skin’s surface with anti-allergic elements, essential for cell metabolism.
Bromide: Soothes skin, relaxes body muscles, and calms nerves.
Iodine: Important for the correct functioning of the thyroid gland and aids in the body’s metabolic exchanges.
Sulfur: A natural disinfectant (constituent of certain vitamins). Known as a powerful detoxifying agent, as it works closely with the liver to rid the body of toxins.
Potassium: Helps balance moisture in the skin and body, aiding in the reduction of water retention and in the nourishment of cells. Potassium also regulates the nervous system.
Calcium: An essential mineral, known to strengthen bones and teeth. Also strengthens cell membranes and cleanses pores.
Sodium: Relieves stiffness and muscle cramps. Sodium is also a powerful detoxifying agent, helping cells retain nourishment and expel waste.
Zinc: When applied topically zinc is known to boost the immune system. Internally, it is a key factor in enzymatic regulation of cell proliferation.
As I glanced over my calendar for this month I noticed, albeit a bit late, that September is National Honey Month. An ingredient we generally associate with food and a hungry Pooh-bear from our childhood stories, honey harbors many secret uses. It is an interesting substance; one that doesn’t go bad, it has probiotic, antibacterial, and hydrating properties, in addition to being incredibly healing. This makes it an ideal overall health booster, and this blog post discusses some lesser-known uses of this incredible substance!
My sister and brother-in-law raise bees on 40-acres in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin. Their bees are “free-range”, meaning the bees have pick of whatever type of flower they choose. Whether the honeysuckle, buckwheat or lavender is in bloom they are welcome to drink their fill of nectar from the blossoms. Bee’s return to their hives with a tummy-full of nectar and store it in honeycomb for later consumption. Whatever type of nectar the bee consumes influences the color, taste, aroma and properties of the honey stored. Once extracted from the comb for human consumption, honey will either be pasteurized, similar to the process used on conventional milk, or marketed as ‘raw’ honey. Raw honey sometimes has a crystallized look, and has many benefits to the body, internal and external. Raw honey retains potent healing properties that processed honey will lack. I highly recommend using raw, local, and organic honey all the time, but especially when it is being used for its healing properties.
I love body products. I always have. Whether bought at the corner store or the farmer’s market, I can’t get enough. Working at Kneaded Relief has encouraged me to delve deeper into this interest. As I realized it was National Honey Month, I remembered my sister telling me that she uses their honey for just about everything—including skin care! Honey has antibacterial properties which make it a gentle treatment for acne, whether using it on challenging areas or as a whole face cleanser. The nourishing properties of honey help to encourage skin regeneration and plump up aging skin. It is also a humectant, meaning that it absorbs moisture from the air and encourages skin to soak it up. Hydrating our bodies, inside and out, is hugely important to our overall health.
Here at Kneaded Relief, we recently added Farmhouse Fresh Products. Farmhouse Fresh focuses on using natural, sustainably harvested ingredients. We feature a product of theirs called Honey Heel Glaze, which they describe as a “honey-based moisture serum [that] seals in moisture and brings rich color back to tired feet.” Using a brush to apply it, the Honey Heel Glaze sinks into your feet and heals cracked, dry skin. So far it has been hugely popular at Kneaded Relief with both clients and staff!
Try experimenting with honey. Below I’ve included two different masks that include honey, but be creative and remember honey on its own nourishes and heals. It is a cost effective, healthy, and edible (!) ingredient that supports healthy skin. Whether you are battling dry or acne prone skin, or simply want to glow try adding honey into your skin care routine. Yum! Acne Prone/Spot Treatment-
This mask is great to use once weekly on acne prone skin, or as a spot treatment. However, cinnamon can be strong so I recommend trying a bit on the back of your hand before using on sensitive facial skin.
Mix 3 teaspoons raw honey and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Apply to face, let rest 20 minutes and rinse off with warm water. For a real spa experience, microwave a damp towel for 90 seconds and let sit over face. Inhale the delicious fumes and enjoy before rinsing with warm water. Calming Sensitive Skin Mask-
Use this mask anytime to help reduce redness and dry skin.
Mix 2 teaspoons raw honey and 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel. Smooth over face and enjoy the cool calmness! Rinse with warm water.
Tara Coberly-Horrall – Guest Service Representative and Honey Enthusiast