#Timetogetbored

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Every day you hear about fantastic new children’s wellness initiatives, so why are our children still inactive, unhappy and even unwell? What is really going on with our children and their wellbeing? And how can we create more happy habits for kids?

In an age where we’re constantly on-the-go and everyone wants to document their every move on Instagram (even young kids) – now seems to be just the right time to pull the emergency break and slow down.

It feels as if we’ve forgotten how to enjoy the moments of doing nothing, and to feel good about it. People often separate children’s wellness from adults, but society and its values, crises and happenings affect us all. The western world has changed; children no longer run around and play the way that they used to. Everything is more organised, structured, supervised and lead by adults.

We don’t believe the world is a more dangerous place today; it’s just different. We tend to live more isolated lives. Gone are the days when generations of families would live together in one area where everyone knew everyone.

As more of us move away from close family into bigger fast-paced cities, many couples and single parents are often left looking after their children without much help. They say “it takes a village to raise a child”, but for many people that village or support network just isn’t there.

2In addition to this, times have changed and as it’s no longer considered safe to let children’s run outside or explore their neighbourhood with friends, parents have had to create more structured activities. Some of these can be great, but a lot of children are missing out on simply running around outdoors.

We have also have adopted a very goal driven approach to life, we want to be successful in every aspect of our lives and for many, a large part of that involves sharing those successes on social media. These ideals are transferred onto how we treat our children as parents want the best for them; they are inclined to push them to go to dozens of extra-curricular activities and classes.

While it’s great for parents to care and want to give their children as many wonderful opportunities as possible, it’s also important for them to have time to just be: be silly, be fun, be kids.

When we look at kids’ wellness, we tend to look at it from an adult’s perspective; believing that kids need the same as adults. Whereas actually children are perfectly fine as they are, they are naturally healthy. They don’t need yoga to be more flexible, they don’t need meditation to be creative and so on.

Where we, as adults, need to exercise and heal and re-do what went wrong, kids do not. In that respect, kids’ wellness is quite easy compared to adults. Kids’ wellness is much more about creating and maintaining a safe, happy and content environment for them to grow up in.

So what do children really need then? According to modern psychologists and research there are a few important key factors needed: connection, attunement, trust, autonomy and a healthy divide between love and, in their later years, sexuality. Children and teenagers need to know they are loved and safe and can trust their family and friends.

A recent Telegraph newspaper article about why children are unhappy included comments from expert in child psychiatry, Dr Mike Shooter. Among issues such as social media and bullying, Shooter also highlighted the breakdown of communities and family units as a problem.

“Community has broken down,” agrees Dr Shooter. “It’s right across cultures and right across class. You see the same levels of loneliness, unhappiness, anxiety and depression in children in middle-class gated communities [as you do in economically deprived households]. Kids spend more time talking to each other on their phone and less and less time doing things together.”

In order to steer away from stress and create more ‘happy habits’ for our kids we would like to encourage less structured activities. School days are already quite long and children feel the pressure of exams more than ever before; so we urge parents to not organise as many after-school activities in order to allow children more time to run around freely and enjoy time without having to achieve anything.

We would also like to encourage everyone to act more like grandparents to the children around us. We once heard a child express why they loved spending time with grandma –“Because she bakes and she listens and she knows what I mean when I say wait”.

So, what about Kids Wellness in the spa industry? Can we take the lead? Instead of separating families during precious vacation time, with kids’ clubs and adults’ only areas, can we create family-bonding spaces and time? Instead of spa suites, can we have family camp suites, with hammocks, waterslides, meditations cushions and fire pits, where families can just bond, connect and be naturally playful, without any aims of achieving anything, but time together.

Can we support parents of today?  Teach them about meditation and the importance of taking care of oneself in order to have enough energy to spend quality time with the most valuable we have in life – our kids?

It’s #timetogetbored and for us to realise that it is actually healthy for our brains, for our creativity and for our wellbeing.

So next Sunday, why not make a family camp at home? Cancel all booked activities, hide phones and tablets, eat dinner for breakfast, have dinner in pyjamas, play board games or cards, and just spend time together.

Please share #timetogetbored and #newhappyhabits to encourage more family time and help our kids de-stress, and remember they’re kids.

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The Anti-Trend Report

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At Raison d’Etre (RdE) our company values, integrity and authenticity are extremely important to us. Every year the world sees a huge amount of new trends advising us on how we can live a healthier life. While some of these can be inspiring and motivating, others can be impractical and at times shocking – especially when it comes to beauty developments.

Impact of Trends

Some of these “bizarre trends” are fleeting and lose popularity. However they are quickly replaced with a new ‘hype’. We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve read new ways to shape our eyebrows.

However some trends don’t disappear as quickly and can often have a negative impact on individual wellbeing. One of the best examples of this is social media; which became overwhelmingly popular in such a short space of time. On one hand social media is a great way to spread knowledge and interact with others; however it can also, when used negatively, be detrimental to people’s self-esteem and overall wellbeing.

Anti Trend

Anti Trend

As more and more trends continue to develop, the Think Tank at RdE wants to focus on trends that we believe really are inspiring, effective and can make a positive difference in your life. As a result, we have decided to create an Anti-Trend report; a list of wellness trends that we genuinely believe in and hope to implement into our work and daily lives.

That is why, this year we will be releasing a monthly article or blog post discussing the trends that we think are beneficial for you and encourage nurture in the community.

Whatever we choose to talk about will grow, so join us in naming your anti trends and let’s focus on creating a better and healthier wellness world together in 2018.

Yours truly

The Raison d’Etre Think Tank

Cruise Critic’s Editor’s Picks Awards

Cruise Spa Compressed

Cruise Critic is the UK’s go-to when it comes to booking cruises, so it’s no surprise that we were delighted to have won not one, but two inaugural awards in their annual, prestigious awards. Celebrating the best of the world’s cruise ships and cruise lines, Cruise Critic’s Editor’s Picks Awards collate the expert knowledge of the editorial team to find the best in a number of cruising categories. Securing both ‘Best Spa’ and ‘Best Value for Money’ in the Luxury Cruise Line category, Viking Ocean Cruises took the sea by storm this year!

 
As a spa consultancy, we were delighted that our wellness expertise proved valuable to the design of the LivNordic spas aboard Viking Ocean Cruises. To win ‘Best Spa’ fortifies to us that wellness is becoming more and more important in day-to-day life, with vacations becoming a time to boost your health and wellbeing rather than to stop taking care of yourself.

 
Moreover, we hope that our authentically Nordic approach to wellness helps to introduce cruise guests to a whole new way of thinking about wellness. Feeling healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated – by simply taking a moment to pause and concentrate on the contrasting warm and cool sensations you’ll experience in a LivNordic spa, you become at one with nature and with yourself. It’s simple! As Cruise Critic put it: ‘Viking has set the bar high; its ocean ships offer the best spa at sea.’

 
To further encourage our mission of giving wellness to all, Viking Ocean Cruises picked up the ‘Best Value for Money’ award. This is another important achievement for us, as it is paramount for us to deliver an experience that guests feel is valuable and worthwhile. Perhaps this is what makes us stand out in the Luxury Cruise Line world – we opt out of unnecessary tricks and gimmicks, instead getting straight to the core of luxury wellness. In practice, this means drinks with lunch and dinner, Wi-Fi, one tour in every port, meals in main and specialty restaurant venues and gorgeous top-deck, all-weather hangouts to name but a few.

 
It’s been an excellent year for Viking Ocean Cruises, and we hope to continue changing the landscape of the cruise ship industry this year. Creating and innovating is what we do at Raison d’Etre, and when it comes to the world of cruises… we’re only just getting started!

Collaborative Thinking

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Our Raison d’Etre team is made up of people from around the world, each offering valuable insights into the global wellness industry. With over 20 years as a spa consultancy, we can confidently say that it’s this working collaboratively which helps us reach the most innovative, original and creative wellness solutions. Whereas one mind can only realistically see from one perspective, ideas that have been processed and contributed to by others can only become stronger, more developed and clear.
This is an approach we have put into practice with our Think Tank service, which brings together different areas of expertise to develop wellness solutions and proposals for all types of businesses. However, whether you have a large or small business, you too can adopt the collaborative thinking method that we use. Here are the top five benefits we’ve experienced from working as a collaborative team:
1. Increased skill set
By bringing together a varied group of minds, meetings and brainstorms become a dynamic environment reaping the benefits from several different skill sets. Your clients and projects will be benefitting from the strengths of different ways of thinking – one team member might have an abundance of creativity, whilst a more practical-thinker helps with the logistics.
2. Problems are solved quickly
With multiple minds comes multiple viewpoints which, as well as promoting creativity and helping ideas to flourish, helps to resolve problems. A team member is often the best person to turn to when you cannot see a clear solution for yourself. Equally, working closely with others can help to resolve issues within the team, encouraging employees to negotiate with one another to reach a compromise.
3. You’ll work more efficiently
A collaborative team has the capacity to work on several different projects at once. Often called a ‘Divide and Conquer’ approach, splitting tasks between a team before coming together to reach a final project means things are done quicker, more efficiently and with a several pairs of eyes to spot flaws and foresee issues.
4. Individuals become more developed
Seeing how a variety of different minds work can also strengthen each individual team member. A team member may watch the thought-process of a colleague, perhaps even a colleague with more experience, and use their creative strategies to reach their own unique solutions.
5. Job satisfaction for all!
Working as a team raises the feel-good factor in the workplace, giving a greater sense of satisfaction and achievement to all involved. At Raison d’Etre, we rely on each other for inspiration and support, fostering a happy and healthy environment for us to return to each day.

Healthy Diet: The Nordic Way

Nordic eating

While the Mediterranean diet has long been known for its benefits to our health and wellbeing, the Nordic way of eating is now beginning to be hailed as a key player in a healthy balanced diet, with research stating that it is the key to a younger, improved brain.

The LivNordic Spa & Wellness brand, created by Spa Consultancy Raison D’Etre embraces the natural way of living found in Nordic countries and at its heart lies the wisdom of the Nordic health traditions. With Nordic traditions, the diet accustomed to the region goes hand in hand with wellness and health. While Nordic lifestyle is known for its ‘Fika’ – a Swedish word meaning ‘to meet up for a cup of coffee and something sweet’, it’s the focus of a diet that incorporates wholegrains, plenty of fish and dark fruits that is bringing it to the forefront of wellness.

The Nordic way of eating is inspired by its surroundings and consists of low-sugar foods with a healthy balanced mix of protein in the form of poultry and oily fish, unrefined carbohydrates such as oats and rye bread, plus plenty of non-root vegetables, fresh berries and fruit.

Regularly eating oily fish such as sardines, mackerel or salmon is shown to improve brain health due to its impressive high content of omega-3 fatty acids. The Nordic diet is also known to balance glucose levels due to its inclusion of wholegrains and low-sugar fruit and veg such as kale and blueberries. A healthy sugar balance such as this reduces inflammation, which is key when it comes to preventing wear and tear to your brain cells. Furthermore the phytonutrients packed within these foods, such as folate and vitamins B6 and 12 assist in reducing inflammation and promoting general brain health.
3 Cognition-Boosting Foods recommended by Raison D’Etre:
• Non-root vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale are good sources of dietary fibre and are lower in sugars than other root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and potatoes.
• Cinnamon will elevate the levels of sodium benzoate in the brain, assisting in prevention of age-related neurological disorders. It is delicious sprinkled over a warming bowl of porridge!
• Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and herring contains large amounts of anti-inflammatory omega-3s – aim to eat a portion twice a week.

Katara Beach Club

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We feel excited when any brand new LivNordic spa opens, but the feeling when something as extraordinary as Katara Beach Club in Doha, Qatar, comes to life is unrivalled. The 4600msq club is situated in Katara Cultural Village, as we decided that an area so rich in diverse global influence would be ideal for introducing our Nordic spa concept. With magnificent spa facilities and an awe-inspiring gym open to day guests as well as members, Katara Beach Club is designed to help residents of the ever-changing city to discover how simple, yet effective, wellness can be.

Located amongst Doha’s luxury hotels and apartments, Katara Beach Club blends the authentic Scandinavian wellness practices LivNordic, our Raison d’Etre spa brand, is renowned for with the seamless, luxury hospitality of the Middle East. We wanted to reflect this eclectic mixture of influences whilst bearing in mind the and respecting culture of Qatar. This is why Katara Beach Club houses entirely separate floors for men and women, each floor with its own relaxation lounge, changing rooms and spa facilities.

Fitnesscompressed

We are particularly proud of Katara Beach Club’s fitness concept. The expansive gym houses state-of-the-art equipment, all of which aims to introduce guests to the Nordic concept of functional movement – a method of exercising that supports and develops the strength and movements required during our lives and helps guests reach their optimum performance every day. Overlooking 230 metres of private beach filled with cabanas, beach bags and loungers, the gym is perfectly crafted to enhance all aspects of health and wellbeing whilst maintaining a real feeling of luxury.

The relaxation lounges are where our Nordic heritage really comes in to play. Inspired by the world famous Aurora Borealis natural light display, these soothing spa areas bring the natural wonders of Scandinavia into the most cosy, comforting spaces. Guests can nestle in private, veiled pods and listen to the crackling of the log fires and take in the Nordic ambience.

The Nordic Bathing Experience is at the heart of any LivNordic spa, and Katara Beach Club is no exception. The age-old Nordic tradition of pairing a thermal experience with an ice-cold contrast emulates feelings of peace and stillness. Katara Beach Club is also home to Qatar’s first ever Snow Grotto, where peaceful ice rooms aglow with ambient lighting bring a sense of authentic Scandinavian living to the city.

 

 

Sauna Nights

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There is nothing so comforting and reassuring as the feeling of warmth. Being enveloped in an invisible cloak of glorious heat helps us feel safe, relaxed, calm and carefree. No wonder then that at the heart of every spa design you will find the soothing, quiet space of a sauna – the signature heat experience.

Saunas, which originate from Finland, are at the very heart of Nordic culture and, together with cold baths, form the mainstay of the Nordic Bathing ritual, adopted for our innovative and highly successful LivNordic spa design. The premise of LivNordic, created by Spa Consultancy Raison D’Etre is simple: to embrace a natural way of living which draws inspiration from nature, creativity, contrasts of culture and simplicity of design found in the Nordic countries. Here the regime of spending quality time in the hot heat of the sauna immediately followed by a cold dip in an icy lake or pool, emulated with cold showers, ice plunges and snow grottos, is the route to wellbeing. The cold dip increases the saunas elevation of heart rate, adrenaline and endorphin release to ease any muscular pain and boost your mood.

Incorporating Sauna Nights for guests, where a small group can experience the traditional Nordic Bathing ritual together, has been a huge success. Guests are guided through a range of different experiences starting with a short meditation followed by a succession of alternate visits to the sauna and the snow room. Exchanging the cleansing heat of a sauna for the refreshing plunge in a cold bath helps release muscular tension, eliminate toxins and improve circulation. The ritual concludes with a gentle warm hug to the heart – releasing hormones that boost wellbeing, relaxation and happiness.

Meeting in the evening to share in this therapeutic experience is the perfect way to forget about the rigours of the day. It also helps prepare the body for quality sleep and regeneration. By raising the body temperature in the sauna before you go to bed, your heated body will automatically work to readjust and bring the temperature back down, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed enough to get a good night’s sleep. Also by easing any aches and pains such as headaches, muscle soreness or fatigue, evening sauna sessions help to alleviate many of the things that may cause restlessness and disrupted sleep patterns.

Creating inner stillness in this way is not only the perfect preparation for essential rest and rejuvenation but also for helping to achieve total peace of mind and a deeper sense of wellbeing.

There’s a Scandi word for that!

Scandi word

The likes of Hygge and Lagom have been waltzing their way into the English language, with the relaxing ‘everything in moderation’ lure of the Scandi lifestyle ever present in our everyday lives. The spiritual, social and economic elements that make our home countries of Scandinavia some of the happiest, wealthiest, most beautiful and environmentally sustainable countries on earth today are at the heart of our LivNordic, brand which is based in Sweden’s capital city of Stockholm.

Offering guests spaces to connect, recharge and enjoy life the Nordic way, in spas, hotels, at sea or at work, our team at LivNordic has put together its list of 2017’s most aspiring Scandinavian words that we all should consider adopting.

Fika A Swedish word meaning ‘to meet up for a cup of coffee and something sweet’. You can Fika as a noun or a verb – to Fika or go for a Fika. It’s casual, but you can Fika with your friends, or even have a Fika date. You can Fika with colleagues at work or even fika with your family. It’s a social thing, you can’t Fika alone!

Forelsket A Norwegian and Danish word that means ‘that intoxicatingly euphoric feeling you experience when you’re first falling in love’. That pre-real-love. More than fancy, less than love.

Klämdag A Swedish word, literally meaning Squeeze Day. If there is a bank holiday then a working day and then another day off, that working day will become a ‘Squeeze Day’ – and we’ll all be off work.

Fredagsmys A Swedish word meaning ‘Friday cozy’. Taking place every Friday, Fredagsmys includes nice food, sweets and a cozy evening setting. But it can only be on a Friday!

Mysa A Swedish word that is almost like snuggle. However, the difference you can do it with someone, alone, or even in a café – maybe ‘to cosy up’ is more apt!

Kura Skymning A Swedish term meaning ‘sitting quietly and pondering at dusk’.

Livsnjutare A Swedish word describing the type of person who loves life deeply and lives it to the extreme.

Smultronställe A Swedish words that translates to ‘wild strawberry place’. A special place discovered, treasured and returned to for solace and relaxation. A personal idyll, free from stress and sadness.

Friluftsliv A Swedish word translated to ‘free air life’. It’s where different spots and activities are done outdoors while exploring and appreciating nature. It’s a much-appreciated nature connecting and uplifting activity in both Norway and Sweden.

#Hashtag Treatments

BloggerWelcome to part 4 of our 2017 Wellness Trends. Here we discuss the rise of #Hashtag Treatments.

#What

Branding has taken over every industry and wellness is not an exception. If before, it was fashionable to simply get the latest beauty treatments, today it is fashionable to get them from a celebrity therapist, fitness guru, person trainer, artist, you name it. With the world of social media obsession, online word of mouth and picture of the day enables really good therapists to become Insta-famous and sometimes more famous than their celebrity clients.

For those who can afford it, it is no longer interesting just to go to a great specialist, guests want to go to the same master who trained Victoria Secret models and threaded Kim Kardashian’s eyebrows. What fuels this trend is that celebrities are on board and gladly share their beauty tips and secret contacts. One does not even need to have celebrity clients to become a famous specialist (although being Madonna’s PT doesn’t hurt). Smart vloggers -who have gained huge audiences with their daily posts now create their own training programs, nutritional guides, offer personalized coaching and are in high demand.

#Who #Where

An example of this could be seen at this year’s Oscars when celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Emma Stone, Jessica Alba and others posted themselves getting ready by putting on the LED (light emitting diode) mask by Hollywood esthetician, Shani Darden elevating her to equal celebrity status.

Others gaining a huge following and engagement include Kayla Itsines – creator of Sweat with Kylie online training, Sonia Tlev – Personal Trainer, Joyce Bonelli – Kardashian’s make-up artist, Dr. Simon Ourian – celebrity Cosmetic Dermatologist, Dr.Kevin Sands – LA based celebrity dentist and Richard Ward – celebrity hairdresser.

#RDEtake

We are now in an era, where besides going to celebrity therapists for those promised amazing results and guest’s awareness and expectations, many engage in experiences not only to live through it, but also to photograph, post it and capture likes and views. We predict that the FOMO (fear of missing out) generation will continue to drive #Hashtag treatments at least for the next few years. We do not see it as a new everlasting movement, just like all hypes, it must pass sooner or later, but the demand for shareable experiences and high quality results is definitely here to stay.

 

 

 

 

Accessible and Affordable Wellness

In the third part of Raison d’Etre’s Wellness Trends we take a look at the growing demand for accessible and affordable wellness.

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We are living in very curious times, where the pace of life is often so fast that our situation changes not so much on a yearly or monthly basis but from week to week and sometimes even day to day. It is a natural human characteristic to adapt to change and reflect and rearrange priorities and work out what really matters. So it comes as no surprise that more and more people, regardless of status and income level, are beginning to reflect on their quality of life and seek an improvement by focussing on their health and wellbeing.

Our industry is responding to this shift in thinking by moving away from the stereotype that ‘wellness is a luxury affordable to few’ and towards the belief that wellness can be accessible and affordable to all.

wellness centre

From hotel chains and fitness centres, to day spas, healthy food outlets and wellbeing retreats, affordable wellness is on the rise through a variety of different sectors within our industry. The reasonably priced IHG hotel chain is leading the way with its comprehensive wellness offering. Healthy fast food chains such as Reload Superfood Bars (Sweden), Leon (the UK) and Sweetgreen (the US) are responding to the demand for affordable, seasonable healthy food across the world.  Highly successful low-priced spas, such as Massage Envy, across the US which is also moving into Australia and Nail Sunny in Russia all offer luxury spa design but with affordable beauty services including facials, nail design, ombre hair colouring and many other pampering treatments .  The affordable wellness trend has not been ignored by Asia either, with a boom in Korean cosmetics resulting in a wealth of reasonably- priced, effective masks, creams, serums and nourishing oils sold online across the globe.  Now even wellness vacations need not break the bank, with travel specialists such as Book Retreats offering affordable yoga breaks to a variety of different exotic destinations.

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Ultimately, every human strives to be happy and live in joy, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. The increasing realisation that feeling well, both in mind and body, enhances a joyous spirit will continue to drive this wellbeing trend, with more and more people turning to the wellness industry to help them improve their quality of living. Going forward, affordable and innovative concepts in wellness, and the use of wellness consulting services, will play an ever increasing role in many sections of our industry.

 

 

Nutritarianism

Welcome to the second part of Raison d’Etre Spas’ wellness trends.

The term nutritarian was invented by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of the popular books Eat to Live and Super Immunity, to describe an eating style that focuses on maximizing micronutrient intake (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals) at all times. Nutritarianism is becoming an important part of the wellness offering as spas, hotels and other lifestyle businesses look to offer their guests life enhancing experiences. Whether you are opening a spa or developing your existing wellness offering, nutrition cannot be ignored.

  • Personalised Nutrition

NutritionPersonalised nutrition is poised to provide a key opportunity for consumers who are increasingly looking for individually tailored diets as it becomes recognized that each body responds differently to food. That’s according to New Nutrition Business and its recently released report ’10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health 2017’, which also predicts inflammation, digestive health, plant-based foods, will all play a significant role.

Many consumers are embracing personalized services such as wearable gadgets providing guidelines based on their weight, height, sleep pattern, heart rate and activity. A smaller but growing number of consumers look for more in-depth services such as a genetic profile or metabolism and disease risk via DNA tests. Personalised nutrition services also include tests for biomarkers for chronic inflammation.

The rise of products and services promoting the ‘personalised nutrition’ trend got off to a strong start in 2016 and looks set to continue well into 2018. Innova Market Insights listed ‘Body in Tune’ as one of its key trends and, according to the market researcher “Consumers are increasingly personalizing their own nutrition intake, making food choices based around what they think will make them feel better.” This particular trend is joining forces with technology and the big food companies are paying attention. Last year, Campbell’s Soup announced its investment in the personal nutrition App ‘Habit’ which uses personal DNA to create a food profile tailored to what foods work best for your body.

  • Gut Bacteria

gut health

Microbiome has become a household word. It refers to the mix of bacteria, yeasts and parasites that live on your skin, in your nose and trachea and in your gut from your mouth to your anus. The mix of those bacteria, yeasts and parasites is closely linked to weight, mental health, autoimmune health, blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Because research is proving the importance of the gut microbiome, many of us now understand how important it is to consume probiotic rich foods and why overuse of antibacterial soaps is a bad idea for gut health. It turns out that these same factors also affect the microbiota on our skin and protecting it may be just as important! In fact, most skin problems (from acne to eczema) likely affect the skin microbiome and may be a result of changes to this ecosystem due to modern lifestyle.

Fecal Transplant involves the process of a medical professional taking stool from a healthy person and transplanting the fecal bacteria to an unhealthy person. It’s then mixed with a saline solution, strained and then inserted by enema, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy and even orally with fecal tablets. Studies now show that this treatment may provide help for a range of  conditions ranging including clostridium difficile infection,  ulcertative colitis and other gastrointestinal conditions, Autoimmune and neurologic conditions, obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, multiple sclerosis, leaky gut syndrome, IBS, ulcerative colitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, celiac disease, food allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and even Parkinson’s disease are now being explored and tested.

  • Nootropics

supplements

Interest in brain supplements has increased steadily over the past few years, driven by increasing consumer awareness of cognitive enhancers and a growing market of adults age 55+ who want to stay mentally sharp to maximize their quality of life.

Today, however, many other factors are in the mix as well, driving unprecedented demand for an expanding variety of cognitive support supplements. Academic and professional spheres are more competitive than ever, with success or failure hinging on day-to-day brainpower. Multitasking, focus and clarity are essential for productivity and personal fulfillment but seem clouded by an ever-increasing prevalence of stress, attention disorders, or mental burnout form over-zealous stimulant use. Paradoxically, just as we need more brainpower in our lives, it seems more confounding factors then ever are limiting our mental performance. With that in mind, the nootropics to look out for now will support cognition by enhancing brain health, improving a broader array of brain functions, addressing today’s most common mental performance concerns. As supplements face greater scrutiny from consumers and regulatory agencies, the top nootropics must also be safe, research-backed and credible.

Part 3 of our wellness trends coming soon.

 

 

Spa Design for Mental Wellness

A short while ago following two decades of experience in the wellness industry, we repositioned the Raison d’Etre brand as a ‘Think Tank’ for wellness. It’s actually what we’ve doing for a long time, using our knowledge and experience as spa consultants to create award winning spas, spa brands and spa concepts. Increasingly though, we’ve received requests to assist organisations in other industries where the solutions to wellness aren’t so obvious.  Part of this has involved identifying the latest global wellness trends which have an impact on us all whether at work, at home or in our leisure time.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing with you seven of the most important wellness trends to emerge in 2017 starting with:

 ‘Brain Power’

Brain power

  • Mental Wellness

Mental wellness is no longer a taboo subject as we recognize that many of us suffer, to some degree, with mental illness. We are living in a golden age of brain research, new breakthroughs emerging every month, revealing the astonishing power of the brain to heal, create and evolve. Where scientists once believed that the brain’s hardwiring couldn’t be changed, we now know that the brain is constantly evolving and our ability to rewire our brains remains intact from birth to the end of life. Researchers have also dispelled the myth that ageing in the brain and memory loss are inevitable and irreversible. No matter how old we are, our brain is incredibly resilient and has the capacity to create new neural pathways if we choose to keep learning and opening ourselves to new experiences.

Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her – that meditating can literally change your brain. As spa design consultants, we are increasingly designing space which encourages mindfulness and reflection.

  • Brain Workouts

A new study from the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland), performed on rats, had some provocative findings about what type of exercise drives the newest neurons (neurogenesis) in the brain. For the first time, scientists compared the effect on the brain of running, weight training (rats climbed walls with little weights attached to their tails) and high-intensity interval training (sprinting on little treadmills, slowing and repeating). A substance was injected in the rats’ brains to track the creation of new brain cells and the runners showed by far the most brain cell creation: their hippocampus teemed with new neurons, while the high-intensity interval training showed far fewer neurons created and the weight training showed no neurogenesis. Rats aren’t people, but the research is eye opening.

  • Brain Beauty

Emotions play a big role in skin diseases. Approximately 50% of people with acne report an emotional trigger to their breakouts. At least 80% of those with atopic dermatitis (eczema) state psychological stress aggravates or brings about their itch. More than 90% of those with rosacea say stress triggers a flare-up, making their skin hypersensitive. And about 100% of those with excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis, say emotions trigger their reaction. Recurrent flares of psoriasis have been attributed to stress in up to 80% of individuals. What’s more, in psoriasis patients with associated depression, 9.7% acknowledged a “wish to be dead,” and 5.5% reported active suicidal ideation. Emotions, in particular stress and anxiety, are not to be dismissed when it comes to treating the skin. Not only can they trigger or exacerbate skin conditions, but they can actually affect a person so deeply that they are scarred for life, or worse yet, make them want to take their own life. Estheticians use their tools to help people with their skin concerns, but in reality, they have the power to help improve the quality of life for every client they touch if they understand the intimate relationship between the mind and skin.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361002/

http://www.wellnessevidence.com/wellnessevidence/exercise/spotlight

http://www.doctorclaudia.com/the-brain-skin-connection

Part 2 of our wellness trends will follow shortly

Instead of finding the best spa managers, let’s help to develop them

Most spas have experienced the difficulties in finding qualified and experienced staff for their operations. In particular spa managers, who can combine the sensitivity of understanding guests as well as the needs of the therapists they manage, with a strong sense for business and leadership

We believe it is time to invest more in spa managers and therapists to help them develop into the kind of leaders we expect to see heading our operations. Often the basics are there. Therapists, who show strong levels of common sense, leadership capabilities and a flair for emotional sensitivity should be given the opportunities to grow and see whether they would do well in the corporate side of the spa industry. Spa Managers may need an industry based platform that will help them to deepen their knowledge and skills in their given role. 

To this end, Raison d’Etre created an on-line Spa Management Course in 2012, which has seen over 200 graduate students participating from more than 60 countries so far. 

The course consists of 7 modules covering everything from leadership, marketing, HR and finance cumulating in students creating a full business plan as their final assignment. 140 hours of course material and support, including 23 video tutorials, is backed by numerous manuals and templates. All examples presented are drawn from real-time spa scenarios and students have the opportunity to receive personal feedback throughout the course from Nikos Kouremenos, the Program Manager. 

We created this course for spa therapists and managers who wish to progress in their career and are interested in deepening their knowledge in this ever expanding industry. 

The Global Wellness institute announced that 70,000 new spa managers would be needed by 2020. As an industry we cannot wait for those spa managers to appear, hopeful that they will have the required skills and knowledge to take on their required roles. 

If we want them to be ready to lead the spa industry into the future, we need to start training them today. 

 

New spa concept in Tylösand, Sweden

One of the most popular spa resorts in Sweden has recently refurbished its spa facilities with a new concept made by Raison d’Etre.
Together with Tylösand we had an ambition to do something new and different for the Swedish Spa and Wellness market. The result is a spa without too many rules and “how to”, which Swedish people are often known for. If you want to enjoy an organic beer by the pool while you watch the spa cinema, why not? Or if you really relax while listening to rock music, why not enjoy that during the treatment? The new social concept is based upon Hotel Tylösands vision “Be Inspired”, and the spa guest will be inspired by through music, happiness and mixology.

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Music
For centuries music has been used for healing the mind and the body. We know music affects us both emotionally and intellectually and for us music is a great inspiration, a way to deep relaxation and rest and pure enjoyment.
We believe the guests know best which type of music will make them truly relax, so we ask them to select their own music. In the “pick me up area” the guest are presented with 5 choices of playlists to enjoy during the treatment, with everything from silence&nature to rock music.

Happiness
There are many ways to inspire people to re-discover their joy. Some of us need a good laugh, some need peacefulness…To enjoy life and be inspired to the fullest, the spa guests at Tylösand can have the opportunity to watch a movie while leaning back in the lounger or while slowly swim in the pool. This “Swim-in-film”- experience is totally unique in Sweden. A more energetic option is the virtual aqua-training or the virtual spinning through forests and by the seaside, with scents from the area.

MIXOLOGY
In the Mixology bar, unique for Tylösand, we mix nutrition for the inside and the outside. Spa guests can order both fresh, organic food and snacks as well as organic skin care (by weight!) – preferably in the same order. You can either pick ready made Mixology-box, mixed with healthy snacks and skin care. Or enjoy a colourful Mixology-tray with organic products, where you pick your flavor / scent on the body scrub (blueberry, cranberry, coconut, pear), just like when you buy ice-cream.
You can also participate in the Mixologi-lab event, where you together with others create your own body scrub to take home.

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To learn more about the award winning spa at Tylösand, click here

 

Internal Marketing Strategies

If your spa is located in a hotel, have you set your internal marketing strategies yet? What are you doing to market your spa internally? Do you have strategies for how to market your spa to your colleagues? This is actually very important to have a plan for.

The definition of internal marketing, as we see it is; It’s a management philosophy of promoting your spa to people who already know about your business and actually already works (in a way) for your business – We are talking about the hotel staff…

By treating them also as a type of customer they can learn about the spa and by that more easily promote the spa’s products and services and maybe even become your best ambassadors. The rationale behind internal marketing is that a hotel- or resort spa finds ways to ensure that all guest relation staff in the hotel also talks about the spa for the guests.

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There are many ways to do this and we talk about it in our Spa Marketing Program, but how do you get started?

  • First of all; Ensure that you as a spa manager can attend “new hotel staff induction and training sessions”. Make sure you have a time slot so you can introduce yourself and present your spa and explain the concept, services and the experience, so every new staff member in the hotel knows there IS a spa and what you do. All new hotel staff should also have a tour of the spa facilities. This may sound simple, but our experience says it’s not always happening…
  • For all new spa treatments or services, you will also need to plan how to inform, not only your own spa staff, but also how to inform the staff in the hotel. It is important that the hotel staff, particularly, Guest Relations Team and Front desk Team are aware of all news and promotions in the spa as they are the ones who meet all your potential guests – DAILY!
  • How do you do this? Do you have set routines for email updates to the different departments? Are you regularly joing team meetings to share spa information? Have you plans for “internal launch-campaigns for new treatments and products? Have you actually tested to do a mystery shopper and called the hotel’s reservation team to see if they mention the spa for a potential hotel guest? And do you have a plan with the hotels’ HR team for cross-training for the staff?
  • As Michael Jordan says: “Talent win games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”. So it’s all about teaming up with the hotel staff to ensure your guests find their way to your spa…

As you see there are so many ways to work with, what we call, Internal Marketing. Join our Spa Marketing Course for more ideas and inspiration for new strategies. You can either join our complete Spa Management Program or just study a course in Spa Marketing. Welcome to our new Education portal: www.spabusinesseducation.com

(Image borrowed from Nikko Hotel in Saigon)