LivNordic Inspiration

LivNordic, a spa and wellness brand that brings together the best of Nordic lifestyle and wellbeing, created by Raison d’Etre. For more LivNordic inspiration, follow us through Instagram.


Education is the most important part of success in Spa and Beauty Therapy!

Anna-Cari%20GundOur MD Anna-Cari shares her view on the importance of education:

“Don´t underestimate the need for Continuous Professional Development. In my view, everyone needs it and it is only in recent years the term CPD has been around. Although it is not mandatory it is considered important for everyone to develop and increase their skills on a regular basis.

These days most therapists have excellent basic qualifications but many things need to be learnt through experience and years in practice. So why is lifelong learning important to Therapists?

This is especially true in Spa and Beauty therapy, where new techniques, products and equipment mean constant updating is essential for consistent and improving standards. The industry is rapidly changing and therapists must invest in themselves in order to keep up to date with the latest techniques and to continue the process of lifelong learning.

The idea is that this type of study can be done over a few days, a weekend, within the salon etc. without the need to take extended time off from work. The courses are short and targeted and are designed for existing specialists; not trainees. Many areas can be upgraded through online courses. Check out our unique and personalised Spa Management Course which will give you an amazing upgrade.

I just got back from the CIDESCO Congress in Johannesburg where I saw the quote below and it made me realise that I would never be where I am today without the experience that continuous education has given me”:

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela

LivNordic Employment Opportunity

Liv Nordic job

LivNordic Spa & Wellness by Raison d’Etre is operating spas at luxurious cruise ships. Do you want to travel around the world meet new cultures and peoples? Then this job is for you.

We are looking for passionate and professional therapists who are open minded, willing to grow, enjoy a high and fast paced working environment, are dedicated to caring for colleagues and guests and are interested in embracing the LivNordic concept. We are creating a small and effective team where everybody will be responsible for all aspects of the spa, guest services and the team. As we will be working and living in close proximity, mutual support of each other, regardless of our individual skills or education, will allow us to perform at our best at all times. You will have the opportunity to see the world while working in an amazing and diverse environment that brings together different nationalities and cultures. At the same time you will gain a once in a lifetime experience and become a fantastically skilled SPA-professional.

We are looking for

Massage therapists
Beauty therapists
Nail technicians

Multi-skilled therapists are preferable.

Required skills
Genuine, friendly, service oriented attitude.
Strong desire to always have the guest’s best interests at heart.
Team player.
High level of both written and spoken English.
Ability to work to a high standard at a fast pace while.
Offering exceptional quality.

Required commitments
Willing to take instructions from the manager and assistant manager or their appointed representatives.
Willing to embrace the LivNordic concept and to become LivNordic spokesman/women.
Willing to sign up for at least two 6 – 8 month contracts with a one-month break in-between.

Additional Experience preferred

Ship experience

Professional qualifications required:
NVQ, ITEC, CIDESCO or equivalent.

Working hours
Weekdays/weekends, both mornings and evenings.

If interested, please submit a cover letter explaining why you would be the best person for the job and your CV, including references.

Only application via e-mail:

Will this be the summer when you take the next step in your career?

bild-4The spa manger is the captain of the ship. His or her way of leading the business will make or break the spa. It is not sufficient to have knowledge about treatments and being “good with people” although without just that, you cannot be a good spa manager. A spa manager needs to know about spa specific finance, relevant KPIs, marketing and PR, HR and leadership, operations fundamentals, customer service as well as knowing which the relevant reports and SOPs are.

At Raison d’Etre we have often been involved in the recruitment of spa managers for our clients around the world and worked closely with many, many spa managers. Are you curious to learn more about what we see as keys to successful spa leadership? And at the same time, once and for all, get clarity and knowledge about budgets, KPIs, PR strategies and HR matters…Our Spa Management Program might be just what you are looking for then. You will achieve the best tools, ideas and strategies for your business and your own leadership development.

NEWS – A possibility to study during the summer

Our Summer course is just about to start and the Teacher Team of Raison d’Etre is excitingly waiting to get the course going with many new students from all around the world. Why not allocate part of the summer to develop yourself? The in-depth Spa Management Program is an online course, which is completely flexible. Study wherever you are and whenever you can, in whatever pace that suits your schedule. Perfect for the summer time!

The course starts 22nd of June and is the last course before the price increase. For more information, contact our Course Manager Josefin:

“I found the online training very useful and it is very informative. It was easy to understand, both the written material and the lectures. It was also great that I could watch the videos and lectures again and again. The Teacher Team is very supportive and I could ask many questions throughout the course. I recommend the program to anyone who wants to become a great leader and a great spa manager. It is definitely worth it!” Candra, Spa Manager Six Senses Spa Zighy Bay


Spa Management – Studying online

Mathilde 1Curious about how it works – from a student’s perspective?

Mathilde is a 25-year-old French girl, who is currently participating in our Spa Management Program. I have asked her share her thoughts on our Online Spa Management Program.

“I was ‘surfing’ on Spa when I read about the distance learning program offered by Raison d’Etre Spas. It immediately appealed to me; Learning at the same time as working!

I really love travelling. Due to this it is hard for me to stay in the same country for a long time, and then of course difficult to attend a course that requires me to be in the same location every day.

Becoming a spa/beauty salon manager has been my goal for the past couple of years. I love being a therapist, but I enjoy even more, the managerial side of it. My dream is to open my own spa, and eventually have a spas in different capitals around the world.

The course is divided in different modules, each one being on a very specific subject such as Marketing, Finance, Leadership etc.Basically all you need to think of before opening your own spa or improving one you already run. The final result of this online course is a complete business plan for your spa.

The course material consists of videos (lectures) that you can watch, written material to study, as well as templates that you can use to do your assignments. After completing an assignment or module, you send it to the teachers and they’ll give you feedback on what can be improved.

I usually study when I’m at home, after work, or when I have some free time during the day. I try to spend an hour or two reading the course material or watching the videos, and adding some ideas to my business plan.

My favourite module is the Marketing and PR as I’m very interested in these two fields. I enjoy trying to understand customer behaviours and their needs, in order to improve a spa’s revenue and reputation.

As it is distance learning it has been very convenient for me. I can continue to travel and be in different countries, but still continue to study on my own and at my own pace. To me it is perfect! But it requires discipline.

I definitely recommend the course, it’s very helpful and insightful regarding how to manage a spa/beauty salon and improve your business to make it successful. What I’m most happy about regarding the course is the possibility to learn specific details about how to manage a spa and how to be a good leader.” / Mathilde

Next Spa Management Program starts 22nd of June. For more information

Our favourite books

The team at Raison d’Etre read a lot of books and we have a particular interest for books about leadership and personal development. We would like to share a few of our favourite books. We recommend them because they have an important message, they have touched us and made a long-lasting impact! Enjoy the new inspiration, ideas and thoughts from our top list;

Ian Bell

It’s Up to You, The Practice of Self-Reflection on the Buddhist Path, by Dzigar Kongtrül.

”This book was a wake up slap in the face when it came to recognising my own sense of self-importance. But it also gently led to a deeper level of acceptance of who I am, which can only really happen after I saw who I really was”.

Anna Bjurstam

Being mortal by Atul Gawande

Bold, by Steven Kotler and Peter H. Diamandis(I am reading this book right now)

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

“All three truly inspirational books”! (Picture is borrowed from


Anna Cari Gund

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma


Annika Jackson

The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow

By John Zenger & Kathleen Stignett

”Great follow up book to their previous (The Extraordinary Leader). I like the way it is written, an easy going style, while offering very clear distinctions in the matter of leadership and this “new era” of coaching as a leader, rather than being a “manager that leads”. It both reinforced my own style and beliefs and gave a lot of new things to think about and try”.

Time for new inspiration, ideas and development?

Ipad Raison d'EtreOur third Online Spa Management Program this year, is currently running, and once again we have students from many different countries.

Some of the students are already working as spa managers and some are just about to take their next step to become spa managers.

It is a true joy to see the student’s development during the course and also to be able to support them, as they create their own business plan for the spa.

Are you thinking about developing yourself or are you lacking of inspiration? Maybe it’s time to find a new source of knowledge, ideas and inspiration?

Our Online Spa Management Program is flexible, you can study when you want, and parallel with your job. It’s a hands on course, where you get support and individual feedback from spa industry experts.

Next course starts 22nd of June.

Curious to find out how it works? Click here

or have a look below – A taster video from the course.

Raison d’Etre appoints new Managing Director

Anna-Cari%20GundThe leading spa and wellness company Raison d’Etre has appointed a new Managing Director Anna-Cari Gund.

With nearly 30 years of experience in the spa and beauty industry, she will strengthen the team with her passion and expertise. Anna-Cari will continue to serve as the president of CIDESCO, a global association for Beauty & Spa therapist education and accreditation.

Anna-Cari has a long career in the spa and beauty therapy industry. She has devoted much of her time to lecturing at Beauty Therapy Schools, represented Educational Associations, acted as an International Examiner and held positions on the Board of many National Organisations in Sweden.

For nearly 15 years she also managed Yrkeshögskolan för Hudvård & Spa, the leading Beauty and Spa therapy School in Sweden.

After eight years as vice president of CIDESCO International, Anna-Cari Gund was elected president in October 2012. She now represents CIDESCO International, with over 250 Beauty Therapy Schools and 33 Sections around the World.

Anna-Cari travels the world for continuous professional development and networking, within the Spa industry, at events as The Global Wellness Summit and acts as an inspiring industry leading speaker at worldwide Congresses and Exhibitions.

 – We are excited to welcome Anna-Cari on board, with her vast expertise and passion for our industry. With the rapid expansion of the Raison d’Etre and LivNordic, Anna-Cari joining is very timely and will be a huge support with our future growth. With Anna-Cari on board, we will have an even greater focus on developing our educational platforms, Spa Management Programs as well as our advanced beauty concept, says Anna Bjurstam, Partner of Raison d’Etre.

 Raison d’Etre is continuing to expand in both spa, wellness and the fitness sector, with new innovative concepts. One of the key areas for Anna-Cari will be to lead the launch of the LivNordic brand. A Nordic spa concept that will be rolled out to several spas during 2015.

 – In my new position I will have the opportunity to develop the capabilities of our unique team and manage the performance of each individual. This will strengthen Raison d´Etre´s position as the most preferred and leading international Spa Consultancy Company, says Anna-Cari Gund.

Anna-Cari is Swedish born, married with two children. She lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden, where the Raison d’Etre headquarter is located.

Large amount of population below dietary reference intake for several key nutrients

graph1Our nutrition expert Patrick Wahlberg shares some interesting facts…

Information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)* shows that a large number of the US population do not get enough of several key vitamins and minerals. For vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, choline, magnesium and potassium levels are especially low. Eating a healthy diet is always number one but a good whole food raw food multi is a cheap insurance against mal nutrition.

The Swedish Professor Emeritus, Per Arne Öckerman comments on Bruce Ames’ work: “Bruce Ames is one the giants in the medical field. He is known by all researchers in medicine worldwide for his methods to measure the effect on the genes and carcinogenicity. He was also an early adopter of a methodology for measuring free radical damage. Recently, Bruce Ames published a study in which he shows that too low levels of essential nutrients, which is shown to be common in the population, increases the risk of serious diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis. It can cause potential damage to the DNA, and Bruce Ames says that [low levels of essential nutrients] plays a thousand fold greater role for the population than the aggregate effect of all pesticides and heavy metals. Bruce Ames therefore recommend supplements to the entire population and argue that this would be extremely cost-effective and provide a significant reduction in morbidity at a low cost. “

*National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. The survey is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations. NCHS is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has the responsibility for producing vital and health statistics for the Nation.

Helene Sandström, Näringsmedicinsk tidskrift. Öckerman P.A. Den nya medicinen, 2 uppl. 2008. ISBN:91-970087-6-1

Swedish Massages at it’s best

Our Swedish Massages are not just any massage. From the true origin of the Classic Swedish massage by Per Henrik Ling, each of our LivNordic massages has been exclusively developed to achieve a particular effect on body and soul. Our therapists’ use their healing hands with intention. The Swedish Mindful Massage, for example, gently soothes you into a deep calm, and a wonderful, refreshing state of stillness through rocking movements with intention to calm the nervous system. Swedish Detox Massage focuses on relieving soreness and cleaning the system by lymphatic techniques and cupping. The Swedish Deep Tissue Massage recovers and revitalizes, awakening your body to leave with less tension and pain, achieved by deep muscular and stretching techniques.

Our therapists treat every guest as an individual, adapting the treatment to your needs rather than simply following a formula. From our  massage a la carte menu you choose your type of massage, which focus you need and possibly an upgrade to truly tailor the experience. Energy healing is a part of all LivNordic treatments, to make any massage a true healing experience.

Below, a taster form our nordic spa menu:


Do you have the skills to lead your spa team into success?

There is a great saying about learning, that is often used in schools and when it comes to pedagogics for children.

”Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” 

We love this quote and it applies very much to how we have created the Spa Management Program.

We love to share our knowledge, but we also know that you learn for life when you are involved in the process. That is why our Spa Management Program includes a creation of a complete business plan for your spa. A business plan created by you. This is a “hands-on approach” that you can immediately apply to your daily work life.

Great Spa Managers leads from the front, not from the office. What does this mean? It means that it is necessary to be out there in the operations, engage with the team and the guests, to fully understand what is going on. But as a spa manager it is equally important to understand your business, figures and budgets. Do you understand all your KPI’s? Are you fully comfortable in analysing your budget, so you know which actions to take?

To lead a successful spa you need to have all your plans in place and we can help you with that.

In our Spa Management Program you get all necessary tools and knowledge to become a great leader. You also get a deep understanding of how to work with business plans and budgets.

During the course you will prepare your own business plan, budget, Human Capital Management plan and Marketing plan for your own spa. All this will be reviewed by senior industry experts, whom will give you individual feedback and guidance on your work. How good is that? Not only will you develop your business and leadership skills, at the same time you will work on a complete business plan for your spa.

Next chance to attend our Spa Management Program is 6th of April. There are still a few openings left. For more information contact:

Curious to find out more? Watch Sabine, one of our teachers and Raison d’Etre’s Project Director, talk about the importance of understanding your business.

Focus on “why”

Maria blogg RDEStarting off the a new week with some wise words from our Junior Project Manager Maria Stanislavova.

Sometimes with daily routines, challenges and reactions, one can lose a perspective on things and focus can get blurry. As Anna Bjurstam said during one of our Raison d’Etre Days “regardless of where we are and what it is that we are doing, it is always crucial to remember “why” we are doing it”. That stayed with me, as I believe that is what helps us get a direction and keep our minds and hearts on our inner purpose. Every person is incredibly talented in their unique way, even if some talents can seem similar, they are still not 100% identical. Just like with fingerprints and leaves, there are no two that are the same.

In my understanding the purpose of each person is to realize their uniqueness and give it power to manifest in our world. Creations that come from making our dreams into our purpose, is what brings more beauty and balance into every day. Keeping our thoughts, words and actions aligned is like medicine for the soul.

These days, as spring wakes up the nature, it would be wonderful to let it also warm up our purposes within us, keep the proactive “why” in focus and balance thoughts, words and actions, when it comes to every little thing we do.


Sauna Bathing – A mindful journey

The Nordic Sauna culture is about much more than just sitting in a little hot room. It is a true mindful journey. Sauna bathing does not only clean the body but also purifies the mind; the sauna is a place for contemplation and rest. 

Normally talking is not welcome in the sauna, visitors should enjoy the silence.  The proverb “in the Church and in the Sauna we should behave in the same manner” says a lot about the importance tied to sauna bathing in the past.  Noise and profanity are highly unacceptable in these healing places.


A sauna bath is a meeting of the four elements of nature: earth, fire, air and pure water. The pouring of water on the hot stones in Finnish is called “löyly”, meaning spirit and is seen as an act of sacrifice.  This act allows a person to experience the spirit of the sauna and the steam that is produced is called “the breathe of the spirits”.

The löyly should be long and soft and feel like an embrace of your soul.  In the sauna buckets of birch branches or pine are placed to nourish the water and heighten the sensory experience.  For this act to be performed properly water should only be poured over one stone at a time.  The last person to enter the sauna should be the one to pour the water.

Taking time in the sauna is a Nordic necessity of life which can enhance ones personal lifestyle. It is performed to live a long, healthy life and to find deep relaxation – for inner health and outer beauty. The sauna is a part of the Nordic Bathing where a cold dip in Coloured background - logo in colournature, a cold bucket shower or rolling in the snow are added after the sauna bathing to complete the mindful sensation. The feeling is often described as euphoric and is an important part of the Nordic Wellbeing Cencept in our LivNordic Spa & Wellness Brand.

Staff update

The Team of Raison d’Etre is growing with more creative, inspiring and talented people. Last year we had several new ones joining us and we have also some changes in the organization that we would like to share with you.

SabineSabine Itze

Sabine joined Raison d’Etre already a few years ago as a Project Manager. She has now taken a new role as a Project Director. She has spent more than 25 years in the Fitness and Spa Industry in various roles, including 5 star Spa management and 5 star Health Club Management in Europe, Asia, USA and in Africa. Sabines life philosophy is “How you do anything is how you do everything”, and she is wholeheartedly committed to providing the best results in everything that she does, in every moment and in every way that she knows how. Her attitude towards life is to be authentic, thankful, humble, hard working and when happy, then genuinly happy.

PhillippaPhillippa Taguchi

Philippa joined Raison d’Etre last year and has now taken the roll as Training Manager. She has worked in the spa industry since -93. She is a chiropractor and has also worked as a teacher for one of Sweden’s leading schools for spa therapists.Before joining Raison d’Etre she was the Deputy Spa Manager at the successful Japanese spa Yasuragi in Stockholm. Philippa will also works with HR related matters, particularly with recruitment to our spas around the world.

HanneHanne Standal-LaRoche

Hanne joined the Raison d’Etre team in spring 2014. Keywords to descirbe Hanne is service, organisation and structure! With a strong service-oriented background Hanne brings extensive office management expertise to the team from her most recent positions as operations manager and senior customer-service representative. She also has many years of spa and beauty industry experience from Sweden and the US, where she worked as a CIDESCO certified esthetician.

Hanne, Sabine and Phillippa are all based in our office in Stockholm, but especially Sabines’s desk is often empty as she is traveling the world to various exciting destinations and projects.

You will meet more creative souls from Team Raison d’Etre during the spring…



You never sleep – You never change – You are the city of tremendous wealth and tremendous poverty – You are the city of old money and new money – You are the city of possibilities and the city of judgement – You are the city of fear – You are the city of hope and the city of bold and courage – You make me humble – You make me thankful – You make me angry – I fall in love with You – You are the city of drama and Crazy – You are the city of funny Indian cab drivers – You are the city of crime and fraud – You are the city of mislead and swindle – You are the city of justice – You are the city that mirrors everything that I am and everything I can become and everything that I’m not – I fall out of love with You – You are the city of acceptance and the city of expectations – You are the city I want to live in – You are the city that I don’t understand –

You are my lover and you are my crucifixion. NYC

New York, you are a city made of people – I am because you are and I love you.

Sabine Itze