Skin supplies for the spring season

Even though there are some (but not many) advantages of cold weather; for your skin it is torture.  Harsh winter winds and dry, hot indoor climate often leaves your skin dehydrated, fed-up, pale and stressed out.

Now when spring has finally arrived to Stockholm and the humid springtime air calls for a change in your beauty regimen! It is time to boost, freshen up and prepare your skin for the summer season. What do we then need to think about? At winter time we normally use heavier moisturizers to compensate for the lack of humidity in the air but as spring arrives many of us can switch to a lighter cream, preferably one with sunscreen already included. The SPF protection should be high if you use a thin layer of your cream (as many of us do) since the thinner you put on the lower the SPF. Start to rejuvenate your flaky skin with a gentle exfoliator to get rid of the dead skin and give your dull face new life. A good eye cream that cools down and reduces puffiness around eyes is also a good investment in allergy-seasons like spring.

I would recommend you to book a facial to get help to remove the toxins that are embedded in the pores and allow fresh oxygen to circulate in the skin. If you seldom treat yourself with facial treatments, this is the perfect time of year to book one. An eyebrow and eyelash tint is also o great investment this season to cut down some makeup and enhance your natural beauty.

Make sure to get rid of old products that have past the expiration date, looks/ smells odd or products that appear dry and crusty. Clean all makeup tools thoroughly.

I thought I would share my highlights on products tested last month that have helped me this spring:

1. Patyka – Repair Face Cream
This light, fresh and fast absorbing face cream repairs skin and gives a fresh and soft result lasting the whole day. Love it.
2. Dr Burgener – Green Caviar Crème
This is just a fabulous, fabulous, perfect cream to use both day and night. Feels light once applying but is rich in its formula and gives me that perfect surface. Works all by itself and that is rare for a serum/boost/oil lover like me…
3. Subtle Energies – Facial blend
Charming scent, exclusive texture and glowing result is what you get from this tiny oil bottle!
4. Organic Pharmacy – Self Tan
I have mentioned this one before, but it is just the best self tan exsisting. And it is pure and organic.
5. Jurlique – Herbal Recovery Gel
This product is my true skin savior in all times. It is a pure moist gel that repairs, moisturizes and restores my skin, whatever products or climate that might have made damaged to the skin. Perfect for spring and for skin like mine who sometimes gets sensitive.

Happy spring!



Spa Management Education

We are happy to announce that our next Spa Mangement Online Course starts already June 3rd, because of high interest this year and many that cannot wait until next one in September! Anna recently shared her spa management knowledge and thoughts about online education on, you can read her blog post below:

Photo Mark Earthy   COPYRIGHT © Photographer Mark Earthy.WWW.PHOTOGRAPHER.SE“A fundamental challenge facing Spa business is the lack of people with the right skills to fill management level positions.”  Anna Bjurstam writes:
The driving force behind any spa’s success is the Spa Manager/Director; the captain of the ship – his or her way of leading the business will make or break the spa. An expert knowledge of spa and wellness and strong people skills is not enough for a leading spa manager, who also needs to be on top of operations fundamentals, customer service and be an excellent manager, administrator, able to act on performance statistics, (KPIs), and ultimately, possess the wisdom and confidence to lead the team through the inevitable ups and downs. The key shortcomings of most aspiring Spa Managers – according to a recent survey – are hard business skills such as strategic planning, spa finance, revenue management and marketing. So in order to stand out in today’s tough, competitive job market, education is paramount…

Three typical sources of spa managers:
1. Hiring someone from outside the spa business
Since most spas believe that on-the-job learning and mentoring are still the most important ways for spa managers/directors to gain their skills, this is the challenge with hiring someone with the right education but yet outside the spa business.

2. Recruiting a spa management graduate from university or college
There are approximately 64 spa management-related degree programs available in universities, colleges, and schools around the world. Most of these programs are still new and have very little recognition among the spa industry and are as not as well-connected as they need to be.  These courses are usually taken prior to entering the workforce.

Managers/directors who come into their jobs directly out of a university/college degree program or out of a non-spa job do not come equipped with a deep, first hand understanding of the spa world and its intricacies. So while these managers/directors may be strong on hard skills like management, finance and marketing, they are often weak on the soft skills (such as understanding of the detail of spa operations) and people skills needed to manage the therapists and clients in the spa.

3. Promoting existing spa employees into management positions
Providers of continuing education services are also new, fragmented, and constantly evolving, and there is no one “proven” model for effectively delivering training to employees already in the workforce to equip them for senior positions.

Promoting existing spa employees into management roles also has its pros and cons. There are at least 41 providers of spa management continuing education globally. Most are private companies (offering short courses, workshops), but some are schools/universities offering longer professional certificate programs. The challenge with these is that there is still not any well-defined educational or career pathway for entering spa management or worldwide spa management accreditation. Many spa industry executives believe promoting from within is a very successful and desirable model for sourcing managers because people who have already worked in the spa have a deep, first hand understanding of that spa’s culture and operational structure. They can bring that knowledge to their management role, and for this purpose shorter spa management courses are ideal. On the other hand, for a person without spa experience seeking a management position, a shorter course is unlikely to be adequate.

What about online education?
Online education is increasing fast and is clearly the future in education. While you lose personal contact and the discipline of someone else telling you exactly what to do, what you gain is time, flexibility, support whenever you need it and the chance to study the way that suits you.

Raison d’Etre has worked with more than 100 spas in 60 different countries, created eight of the world’s best known spa brands and educated over 150 spa managers in the past 8 years. Our bespoke spa training has strongly contributed to making each of our spas profitable and sustainable. One of the company’s core values is to “Grow People” and our commitment to this and to meeting the needs of the spa industry has led to the creation of an online and easily accessible spa management education programme. Our mission is to share our spa management knowledge and contribute skills that will make the spa management market stronger by helping to solve the problem of under-educated spa managers.

The center of the Raison d’Etre Spa Management Online Course is reality based training, built on the solid operational experience of the senior industry experts who have created this course. Market orientation is crucial and so the course is updated every year following global spa management research. We teach all the key steps to success in spa management and provide the best tools, ideas and strategies for the student’s future spa while developing their own confidence and leadership skills. The students leave with a customized and successful business plan for their own spa.

This is only one of the courses on the market and there will be many more in the future as the spa and wellness industry grows. Along the way, the Global Spa & Wellness Spa Management committee will continue their work in improving the spa management workforce system.

Anna Bjurstam

Board member, Global Spa & Wellness Summit
Committee member, Spa Management Education committee
Vice President, Six Senses Spas
Owner, Raison d’Etre


2012 Research Report: “Spa Management Workforce and education: Addressing Market Gaps

How do we choose the right Spa Software? Part 3

As confirmed before, it is not easy to make the pick. If you have not read Part 1 and 2, I recommend you to search for them and read them first.

How can we compare the different spa software vendors to each other? In the segments below we compare small vendors to mid-size and big, to show what you can expect from each type of company.


22233I hope these three posts have helped you to understand the spa software market a bit more, and remember that it is always important to look upon what you really need for your own facility.









ITB Wellness forum 2013

annikaA few words from Annika Jackon about ITB Wellness forum

A big thank you to Michael Altewischer with Wellness Hotels & Resorts who with his team did am amazing job setting up this venue as a great extension to the very big ITB Berlin Convention, where the who is who in travel all were this past week.

What great fun and how inspiring it was to spend a few days with esteemed colleagues and having the opportunity to network, while hopefully contributing our own unique experience from Raison d’Etre.

While I personally presented on the subject of; General Criteria for Spa and Wellness Hotels – Essentials and operating requirements for planning spa areas and the differences between Europe, Asia & the USA.

It was also fantastic to have the opportunity to listen to the other speakers such as Dagmar Rizzato with Rizzato Spa Consulting, presenting very useful benchmarks for the spa industry together with Kohl & Partner.

I also found Dr. Franz Linser’s presentation very fun and inspiring and gave us all something to think about when it comes to multitasking and stress, what great energy!

Susie Ellis, President, Spa Finder Wellness Inc., CEO, Global Spa and Wellness Summit, was there to present the overview of the latest findings from SRI International and a glimpse into some of the most important future spa and wellness trends. (Picture: Susie Ellis presentening spa trends)Susie Ellis

The day concluded with Antonino Minneci, Marketing Consultant with Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung, GfK presentation of Findings, information and insights into the latest developments and guests’ expectations in 2013.

Wellness as a lifestyle and marketplace is expanding with no sign of slowing down.

We all gained valuable insights into the differences by region, conceptually, facility wise and operationally.

A few excerpts in regards to the Market places of Europe, Asia and the US:

Some examples of spas, that was discussed, having shown to be examples of great sustainable concepts and that have gained great reputations. However, that is not necessarily the same as turning a profit for its owners or investors. More often than one would think, spa’s that are well known and/ or receive great press and accolades are not necessarily profitable. Especially challenging is the Destination Spa Concept.

Operating a spa has different advantages in different regions when it comes to for example staffing. A challenge in some regions may be the significant labor laws and high staffing costs, long vacations etc. While in other areas it is difficult to operate with local staff and maintain a high service level and quality of treatments.

In order for a spa to be successful in any of the three regions, the spa has to prove why the guest should come to the spa. Or why a guest should pay more to go to your spa compared to the spa or resort down the road. Typically across the board we can see that menus not tailored to the target guests, too long menus and to sterile design are three great ways to fail.

No matter how much we all would like to think we are all in this to bring health, wellbeing and balance to the people in the world, (which we certainly are) it all does in the end come down to one thing: Is the Spa and Wellness center sustainable? I.E what is the bottom line for the owner’s and investors? Can it continue to prosper year after year?

This is where we come in: Overhead is important to consider. Have a smart layout before the facility has been built, design for optimal flow with the minimum for overhead, such as guest service staff.

In conclusions: You cannot cook European, Asian or American food with the same ingredients, for spas the facilities you build, will have similar features, however, they will differ in myriads of ways. Tailor your spa and wellness center to the people you serve.

The most important factor to take into consideration is not WHERE your spa is located but WHO will come.

Understanding your target market, communicating to them through a clear concept, will ultimately decide your design.

More information:

// Annika  Jackson


My five favorites in March

The winter is still holding a strong grip of Stockholm…not only are we getting tired of the cold temperatures, but also the slippery and icy streets in the city. The skin is also longing for some warmer weather, with some sunshine to warm up our tired and dehydrated skin…

I had a quick look in my bath room and picked out following products, they were all placed in the front line of the shelf, and yes – these products have saved my skin this month;


  1. Jurlique Daily Exfoliant – a great exfoliator/peeling that can be used daily. So gentle, but still effective. It takes away any dullness in the skin and gives immediate freshness and purity. You need to use a specific technique (press and lift), but it’s not difficult at all. Life saver for a dry winter skin that needs to gain some luminosity and glow!
  2. Jurlique Eye Gel – very light gel (there is a cream version for dry skin), this gel is cooling and so refreshing. Wakes me up every morning!
  3. Patyka – Iris body Oil – it took me a while to get used to the scent, but now I’m addicted. Not too strong, kind of a sweet scent, just the perfect scent for the winter. And it makes the skin so soft, and even though it is a nourishing oil it is quickly absorbed.
  4. Subtle Energies Henna and Carrot seed Mist – Ayurvedic herbs and plants refreshes the skin. I use it several times a day, both after cleansing the skin, but also during the day, if I need to refresh or give moist to the skin. One bottle is in my bath room and one is beside my laptop in the office!
  5. 6630 Extreme cycle – well, actually this is not mine…it is my husband’s favorite products. 6630 is a Men’s skin care line. The extreme cycle is perfect for colder climate, and dehydrated skin, but it still doesn’t make your skin shiny. Also very nice packaging according to my hubby.

//Maria (longing for the spring)

How do we choose the right Spa Software? Part 2

To have the right software system in your spa that meet your requirements is one of the most important features, for a smooth running spa operation. Part 1 of this post did tell you what to think about when choosing system and some important tips. Part 2 will let you know what is out on the market today. So, what can we expect from a spa software system today? A lot!

3Appointment books/reservations – “Access from anywhere, anytime”
Reach your system from anywhere on computers/smartphones, and make even your staff able to book treatments wherever they are (and to get updated on their schedule.) Access your waiting list and it will let you know when appointments get available, register your turn aways easy, make group bookings in a click and connect the recommendations of the reservation to the guest history. You should expect the system to be able to send out a booking confirmation, an appointment reminder and “thank you for your visit” message in preferred contact way (email or text message) in preferred language (setups can be made.) The system should also be able to handle pricing and yield management.

Online booking – “Book me now or loose me forever”
Online booking has become crucial for spas, just as all other businesses. Make sure to have an easy, functional booking procedure where the customer (if preferred) can log in and see their previous history and therapists. Also make sure you can control the web booking with choosing what times are available to book, what preferences the guest can make etc. If there are no available times when the guest search for a day and timeframe, they should get an alternative of treatment for that given time so you do not lose the customer. Upsell with add ons, extra product alternatives or additional treatment match afterwards is also possible to work with online.
You should be able to setup an online shop with retail and gift certificates if wanted. Today even Facebook booking is available from some vendors!

Packages “ At a click of a button”
Packages are fantastic – if they work. Expect them to be easy to setup, book, split, change and… PAY!

Need a tool to help you schedule the right amount of therapist the right time, the right day? A dashboard can help you and will let you setup if you want to compare to previous month, last summer months or the last three years in total. You can also include previous statistics on turn aways, if wanted.

Daily goals – “Easy for staff, every day”
You should be able to find a way in the system to easy work with goals, preferably on the schedule book for each day/month etc. Maybe therapist occupancy % or number of treatments booked/day, either way you would like your staff to see this information clearly attached by the appointments or schedule. You should also be able to use staff profiles with annual goals, follow up plans and commission reports!

Guest profiles and history – “Always be one step ahead.”
Make sure that you know your guest; for every time she visit you know something more about her that you can use to enhance her next visit. Expect your system to save all purchase history for activities (with resources), retail, correspondence and marketing offers sent. There should be a system for notes written in the right place that pops up at the right time. Preferably there is a separate tool for health forms which the guest can fill in electronically and be saved in guest history.

2Memberships “Customized for every member”
You can expect a system to manage following for you: Member registration, statistics, billing periods, member discounts automatically setup, payment account setup (with electronically signing on invoices), print contracts, lockers/belongings attached, included treatments/activities, freeze periods/bonus periods that updates expiry, member applications for smartphones.

Point of Sale
POS should be easy to use, easy to make changes and should be integrated with your inventory/retail and guest history. Two smaller but very important tips: make sure you are able to move paid bookings and split tip between therapists!

Reports – “Customized”
If you are not satisfied with the standard reports, the system should be able to customize and deliver the report you need to simplify and save time. From some systems it is even possible to get statistics from the interface with the hotel system into the same report as the spa statistics, to show capture ratio for example.
Remember that it always should be possible to convert all reports to Microsoft Office or similar

4Marketing tools – “Let the system sell your business”
If your system includes a detailed guest profile and history sector (it should) then you have lots of information that could easily become tools for marketing and contacting the right guests. Let’s say you wish to boost sales for facial products during summer and want to make a special offer for previous guests. You can then easy pick from the marketing tool: External guests that visited us last summer, bought a facial and purchased at least one facial product. Just by a click you can create your offer/email with a “book now” button (or insert the marketing material) and send by email or textmessage. Simple? Yes! Does not stop there, you will also be able to see who opened the offer and who booked it. This tool could be great to use for segment the members club when you want to reach the right members, or just for your monthly newsletter etc. This tool should also help you communicate on social media, apps and so on.

Gift certificates – “Boost your sales”
Sell tailor-made gift certificates with different templates directly from your system (setup for instance birthday-template, wedding-temple, thank you-template) AND directly from your website that they print themselves. You can just imagine how sales will increase once the certificates are just a click away…

Interfaces – “Integrated, not isolated”
Get your spa software system interfaced with not only your hotel system, but your finical/accounting system, payment devices, online reservations, Ipads for health assessments or spa menus, member apps for smartphones, check-in kiosks, hotel TV’s for marketing… Do not forget that there are also options for multi properties with centralized management and guest profiles.

Ongoing updates, free of charge is something you should expect.

Support – “We assist you 24/7”
You should be able to reach the support team 24/7 and the support should be easy to understand. Preferably you should be able to watch online videos with instructions for common questions/issues.

Cannot say this to many times: learn to love your spa software, know it in and out and you will save bunch of time and use a major resource you have invested in. No exceptions! Stay tuned for part 3, which will give you more input in how to compare the different companies you are choosing from!


The secrets of a face

“Until 50 you create your own face, after 50 you get the face you deserve”. I read this sentence in an article written by Ann-Charlott Snickars, a well-known therapist who is very experienced in Chinese face diagnostics.

This sentence made me rush to book an appointment with her….according to this sentence I still have some time to do something about my skin and face…but I better do something NOW….

Ann-Charlott Snickars, is a therapist based in Stockholm, Sweden. She holds a diploma in ALT face lifting technique, Tibetan face massage, face acupressure and aromatherapy. Ann- Charlott has studied Chinese face diagnostics for several years, and she has studied for a famous professor in Traditional Chinese Medicine; Lillian Bridges.

Ann-Charlott works with Chinese face diagnostics, and this was the main reason I went to see her. Chinese face diagnostics is done by studying the features of the face. The lines and wrinkles can tell a lot about a person’s life and health. The face is considered to be the mirror of our body and soul. It is believed that the face shows how you are feeling right now, the face is like a window to your past and to the future…

The aim with the diagnostic technique is to receive increased knowledge about one self; the therapist can help you to gain a better understanding about their your overall health, body and personality.


I sat down with Ann-Charlott to learn more about face diagnostics:

MN: Why should I go for a face diagnostic session?

AS: Except that it’s interesting and fun, a face diagnostic is also good to do when you feel a bit “down” or overall have a low energy. Through the face diagnostic you can get information about what’s going in on in your body and you can get help to improve your lifestyle.

MN: What are the most common “issues” you tend to find in a face? How can you tell a person is stressed just by studying the features of the face?

AS: In Chinese face diagnostics you don’t just analyze “one spot” in the face, you study the whole face including ears and eyes, to get a complete picture. Stress can be found in several areas of the face. Overall I tend to notice that urban people, living in big cities tend to have more dark circles under the eyes compared to others. I can also see that many stressed, urban people have 2 wrinkles between the eyes which is related to anger and irritation. Many women also tend to develop vertical wrinkles above the lips or lines from the corner of the mouth. These lines usually appear when you are not satisfied with life or you give too much energy to others.

MN: What do you mainly look for when you diagnose a face?

AS: I study the whole face; including the features of the face, the color of the face, areas where wrinkles appear, I check the shape of the hairline, eyes, ears… I look at the complete picture which is just as important as studying different parts of the face. Another important aspect is a person’s charisma and how it reflects in the face.

MN: What is your best advice to keep the skin young and healthy? How can we prevent premature ageing?

My best advice to keep the skin vital and avoid premature ageing is to always try to be honest to yourself and to others. Don’t hold back your feelings, dare to show what you enjoy and love. Remember that every time you hold back a feeling it will leave a trace somewhere in your body, very often in the face. And if you continue to do it over and over again, the thin line will eventually be deeper and deeper and develop into a permanent wrinkle.

Another advice that is to actually like what you see! Look in the mirror and accept and like the wrinkles and lines you have, or dare to reflect why they have appeared. Those who work with Chinese face diagnostics have a different way of looking at wrinkles, for example wrinkles from laughing (mimic lines) is something you should treasure, because they show that there is a meaning in life.

Remember that the face changes and your thoughts too, sometimes you like what you see, sometimes you don’t. The keywords are Acceptance and Gratitude!

I would also like to highlight to use pure, organic oils in the face. All these advices combined with a good, organic and well-balanced diet will keep your skin vital and glowing.


For more information; visit:

Spa Management Online Course started today!

Today is the start date for our Spa Management Online Course and we are as always very excited to start and learn more about our participants and what we can do to make them even more successful within Spa Management than they are today.

After the introduction and trends section they begin with the first part of the course which is Marketing & PR lead by course leader Maria Nystedt. She will lead our participants into a strategic way of working with sales, marketing and PR and share the most important things when it comes to marketing specifically for the spa and wellness industry. After video lectures and manuals read, she will guide them through creating their own Spa Marketing Plan.

Marketing Maria

Spa SelctionGood luck to all new participants!

Ps. There is still a chance to join in last minute.


Surviving the winter

Stockholm has been freezing cold for the past weeks…and we have more snow than we have had in a long time… A 10 minutes’ walk from our office (in the center of Stockholm) we have Djurgården; a large area with fields, forests and the archipelago just around the corner and this time of the year Djurgården is filled with cross country skiiers, skating around the island almost in the middle of the city…

Although the sunny winter days may be a bliss, we also struggle with the darkness and consequenses of the cold temperatures. A lot of Scandinavians suffer from bad colds and the flu this time of the year. So what is our best health tips to survive this time of the year and stay healthy, happy and energized?

Anna’s best tip is to:

“I use Vitamin D, healthy food, out cross country skiing in nature, great skin care suitable for really cold climates and make sure to get my sleep”.

Josefin’s routine includes a lot of movement:

“To survive during these cold winters I need to keep my body active, so exercising and movement is the key. I try to use saunas, hot baths and take massages as often as possible, to keep up the circulation. To protect my face I am very fond of enzyme peelings and oil based serums that lasts and moisturizes all day long. And also very important, I take supplements for vitamin D, eat warm cooked food and drink a lot of tea”

Maria’s tips:

“I wouldn’t survive the winters here in the north without my own sauna, I go to the sauna at least 3 times a week and I believe this routine is my “health insurance”, (or as a Finnish person I like to think that the sauna is the solution to everything….) I also like to do yoga in heated rooms, not necessary Hot as in Bikram Yoga, I prefer a more moderate approach, but doing yoga in a warm room feels so much more gentle for the body. I believe these two detoxification procedures keeps me going through the dark and cold season!”

Happy winter time from the Rde Team!

maria winter

Our favorites products!

Another year has passed by, faster than ever…even during this year we have continued to search for the perfect skin care brand… we have tested new brands, brands that are not yet launched on the market, we have tested brands that have reformulated their products and we have tested “good old friends”… Among all the products we have of course found some products with “that little extra”. Here are our absolute favorite products from 2012:

JosefinJosefin, Executive coordinator / Course manager

Undaria Algae Oil – Osea

“Just by having a peek at it in my bathroom tempts me to use this lovely body oil described like “the healing power of the sea”. I use it as much as I can: in the morning, after shower, in the shower, for cupping & massage and sometimes before bed just to have a moment for myself. As you can hear, I love it! Makes my skin baby soft and repaired, radiant glowing and also improves skin and cellulites. What more can you wish for? The scent of sea minerals, acai and passionfruit…”

Enzyme Peel mask + Self tan – Organic Pharmacy

“This combination has truly saved my skin throughout the year. The enzyme peeling transforms the skin immediately to a soft, pearly surface but it makes my Nordic, already fair skin even brighter – then the natural self tan comes in and creates a perfect mild, sun kissed and radiant result. Fantastic combo”!

Anna, owner of Raison d’Etre

“Medik8 – this is overall one of the few more medical skin care brands that actually produces a result. The Beta Mask Clay is a favorite and the Pretox Eyelift actually feels as it is lifting and reduces line.Photo Mark Earthy   COPYRIGHT © Photographer Mark Earthy.WWW.PHOTOGRAPHER.SE

OSEA – I have been in love with OSEA since the first time I tried it 2004. Jenifer Palmer, the founder, operates the company with such high ethics and the products are, and has always been very result oriented. Their red seaweed wrap is the best wrap I have ever tried”.

Isabella, Training Director

“First of all I have really enjoyed testing Jurlique, I just love to apply them, the products feel nourishing, fresh and has a subtle scent, so it will be great to work more closely with the brand during this coming year!

Subtle Energies

Old time favorite, Indian magic from Australia. Subtle energies has the very best massage oils that I tried and I am just hoping that they will eventually launch a massage butter…”Photo Mark Earthy   COPYRIGHT © Photographer Mark Earthy.WWW.PHOTOGRAPHER.SE

Massage butters – VS Massage oils

Lately there is a lot of massage butters available on the market and I just simply prefer them to the extent that I don’t even like to give professional massage with oils anymore, maybe a gentle longstroking aroma as an exception.

The butters, if they are coconut based are far more effective as the therapists strokes get closer to the body that they are working on, the friction and overall contact increases, some oils, specially sesame oil based, the therapist is just skyskating on tp of the skin, never being able to create friction or even feeling what is going on beyond the connective tissue.

MariaMaria, Project Manager

Luxsit – Enrich Magic Moisturizing Facial Mask

“I have during the year had the privilege to work closely with the Swedish skin care brand; Luxsit. I have developed facials for the brand and it has been an enjoyable work. Some of my top favorite products are yet only available in the actual treatments, as professional products, among them they have a magical enzyme peeling and a cooling and deeply hydrating mask!

But my number one favorite product is the nourishing “Cinderella face mask” – the Enrich Magic Moisturizing Facial, a nourishing, creamy mask that makes your skin glow. It is perfect for the cold and dry Nordic climate and has saved my skin this winter!”

Postcard from Bali

Bella BaliHi,

Shopping, shopping shopping in Seminyak after spending time at the silent island Gili Air.

In need of a massage Jill recommended Jari Menari on JL Raya Basangkasa

Jari Menari means dancing finger, the place is a simple and cozy located in the heart of Seminyak’s shopping district.

Surprised to find only male massage therapists working, but yes they do know how to give a great massage, the place offer massage classes every week which I found very innovating – not only get massage, but learn how to do it!

See you soon and Happy New Year!


Preview of Spa Finder’s top spa and wellness trends for 2013

SpaFinder® Wellness has recently revealed a preview of its 10th annual Trends Report, which forecasts top trends that will impact the spa and wellness industry and shape consumer experiences around the globe. We find this trend report very spot on and it’s a valuable analysis and reflection on the global spa industry, therefore we of course want to share Susie Ellis’ report.

Susie Ellis, president of SpaFinder Wellness and industry expert, noted that when the company’s first trend report was issued a decade ago, the industry was in a different era. “A lot has happened in the world of spa and wellness these past 10 years,” said Ellis. “We think this forecast will make it startlingly obvious just how far the industry – and consumer expectations – have evolved from pampered indulgence to personalized, functional health and wellness.”

Each year the SpaFinder Wellness Trend Report is developed by company research analysts, led by Ellis who is also the Chairman and CEO of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit. The forecast is based on ongoing surveys with spa and wellness businesses and stakeholders around the globe, thousands of travel agents and hundreds of thousands of consumers.

Healthy Hotels
In 2013 and beyond, what constitutes a true “vacation” will be redefined and “hospitality” will be rewritten. We’ll see an explosion of new “wellness everywhere” hotel chains and environments becoming more mainstream. In the past, gyms and spas have been positioned as mere amenities, but now these walls are being conceptually (and literally) broken down. Established hotel chains are re-branding around wellness and it’s not just about fitness. Customized food and beverage offerings (gluten-free and vegan menus) are becoming standard fare, and hotels are jumping into the juice-themed vacation frenzy.

The Mindfulness Massage
A creative blend of two effective approaches, mindfulness and bodywork, the “Mindfulness Massage” is a more profound experience that can help people relax more deeply and quickly. Rather than lying on the massage table with a mind full of chatter from the stresses of the day, the Mindfulness Massage uses breath work and techniques such as “body scans,” where attention is brought to every part of the body and the action of the therapists’ hands. This two-way symphony directed by a therapist who understands mindfulness offers guidance on how to take the massage to a new “mindful” level.

As modern-day humans become more cut off from nature, “earthing” specifically refers to the movement[1] promoting direct contact with the earth’s electron-rich surface (walking barefoot, etc.). The premise is that “grounding” the body to the earth’s surface stabilizes natural electrical rhythms and reduces disease-causing inflammation. While we expect to see more of this formal “earthing” at spas, we expect to see far more “nature grounding” in a wider sense. Think less background music with nature sounds and more real nature to help combat “Nature Deficit Disorder.”[2]

Spa-Genomics…Telomeres and Beyond
Humans have 30,000 genes and a three billion-letter DNA code. The future of medicine is mining this information to identify breakthrough approaches to support a new age of predictive, personalized medicine grounded in each person’s unique genetic profile. The power of direct-to-consumer genomic testing lies in the potential to pinpoint which diseases/issues could be forestalled by specific lifestyle changes. It’s easy to see how the spa industry is a natural benefactor of this development, but perhaps no genomic breakthrough holds such profound implications for the spa industry than telomeres: the only malleable part of DNA, which some studies are showing can be repaired by stress-reduction, exercise, sleep, healthier food and meditation.

Authentic Ayurveda and Other Ancient Revivals
Expect more aggressively-authentic and comprehensively-executed global wellness experiences at spas with a distinctly ancient look, feel and language – and a far more expansive, exotic menu of wellness traditions. Best known is the 3,500-year-old, Indian-born Ayurveda, a complex medical system identifying imbalances in a person’s “doshas,” and prescribing a personalized, detoxifying regime of diet change, exercise, meditation, massage and herbal medicine. But, we’ll also see more accent on the traditional Turkish and Roman baths, more traditional Russian banyas (with their birch-twig-thwacking venik experiences) and novel healing traditions – some in spaces with unique “ancient-hip” designs, others built on ancient spa sites or within reclaimed historic buildings.

Color Self-Expression
In 2013 “self-expression” will be most intensely played out around COLOR. Because color is easily applied and relatively inexpensive, self-transformation will be painted on. Expect more in-your-face shades on hair and face from reverse ombre to neon lashes; more body art hitting bodies of every gender and age, performed at new, haute “tattoo spas”; and nail art will continue to ascend with less bling and more nuanced textures and designs from 3D art to freehand mini-paintings.

Inclusive Wellness
The future bodies welcomed at spas will look more like bodies in the real world. With more than one billion people who are formally “disabled”[3] and a massively graying global population, the industry will shift focus from luxe-pampering to delivering wellness to persons of all age and ability levels. More people will look to spas to heal and keep bodies functional, whether through pain-relieving and mobility enhancing therapies, nutrition advice, or the right forms of “functional fitness” for those with physical limitations or special needs.

Label Conscious Fitness
The “name-brand” fitness wave has been around for decades. But today, as the fitness market expands as quickly as the world’s waistlines, an explosion of “fitness labels” distinguishes products and programs – and serves as a shortcut for instant recognition in an oversaturated market full of similar choices. From Yogalates and Piloxing to CrossFit and The Skinny Jeans Workout™, health and wellness have become the new luxury. Millions chase the “insider elite,” giving the fitness world a distinct fashion world vibe where consumers shop for the latest fitness craze just as they search for the newest designer purse.

Men: From Barbers to “Brotox”
Dramatically more men – from Beverly Hills, to Berlin, to Beijing – are having more serious “work” done at medspas and plastic surgery offices, as injectables, love handle remedies and advanced new surgery technologies make for little downtime and telltale scars. Men have different needs than women when it comes to face/body enhancements, desiring subtle, not overdone results. So look for far more spas to build out comprehensive, for-men “beauty” menus – male waxing and threading services and man-geared cosmetic procedures.

Where the Jobs Are
“High-tech” is a much-discussed job creation savior, but there has been little talk about the growing talent-needy, job-rich spa and wellness industry. With the $2 trillion-plus pan-wellness market (spanning fitness, alternative medicine, spa, etc.) continuing to grow, spas simply cannot find enough people (with the right skills) to fill spa management/director or therapist jobs. This need promises to expand in years ahead as the world continues its shift from a manufacturing to a service economy – and people, health care institutions and governments recognize the effectiveness of spa/wellness programs and experiences.

The full 60+-page report, including an analysis of factors influencing each trend and examples of early trend adopters, will be released on January 15, 2013. For more information:

Fitness trends for 2013

Think you need a gym to stay in shape? According to the American College of Sports Medicine, one of the leading fitness trends requires nothing more than your own body weight.

In analyzing what’s likely to make up the most popular fitness trends in 2013, ACSM asked 3,346 corporate, clinical, community, commercial and academic health and fitness experts to answer online surveys about what drew people to work out. The participants weighed in on emerging trends as well as whether last years’ ‘it’ programs continued to have appeal

This year’s trendiest fitness programs include a mix of fresh ways to sweat it out as well as some stand-bys. Body weight training, a method that uses the body’s own weight as the source of resistance for strength training and muscle endurance, made the list for the first time while previous gym go-tos like spinning and Pilates fell out of favor.

Here is the full list of the top 10 fitness trends of 2013 from ACSM:

1. Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals: For the sixth consecutive year, the trend of validating fitness experts top the list. ACSM says fully accredited education and certification programs for health and fitness professionals are on the rise. “The [industry] is getting more professional, more educated and more responsible in providing research-based information,” says Cotton. “I think there is less gimmicky exercise equipment out there now and fitness professionals are assisting with that.”

2. Strength Training: Strength training holds the number two spot for the second year in a row. Recent research even suggests strength and weight training not only improves fitness, but keeps the mind sharp.

3. Body Weight Training: An easy and economical way to stay in shape.

4. Children and Obesity Related Exercise: ACSM says more schools and fitness industry professionals are emphasizing fitness and nutritional programming aimed at kids. “Unfortunately fast food restaurants market to kids and we need to do the same–and we are,” says Cotton. “There are so many advances in technology that are helping kids to be more sedentary. Thirty years ago, all we had were TVs. Now we have tons of really entertaining sedentary activities that are part of the problem.”

5. Exercise and Weight Loss: Being healthy isn’t just about being in shape; it’s about maintaining a healthy weight. Programs are continuing to focus on a balance of eating and exercise to achieve weight loss.

6. Fitness Programs for Older Adults: As the baby boomers age but live longer, doctors are encouraging their patients to stay fit. “If more older adults exercise, hopefully there will be less health care costs,” says Cotton. “As you get older, your motivation to exercise changes. You may be less interested in weight loss, but more interested in having energy and sleeping better. I am a baby boomer, and I don’t want to have to call someone to take me to the grocery store.”

7. Personal Training: More communities and corporate businesses are making personal trainers accessible through wellness programs.

8. Functional Fitness: Functional fitness programs are often designed for older adults and incorporate every day activities that use strength training to improve balance and coordination.

9. Core Training: Strengthening core muscles improves the body’s overall stability.

10. Group Personal Training: Trainers can cater regimes to more people through small group classes. These are typically less expensive than the cost for a personal trainer, and are quite fun.
aerial yogaA closer look at AERIAL Yoga

Aerial Yoga, the added element of swinging in a hammock adds an entirely new dimension to one’s yoga practice. This swinging playful element, as well as the zero-compression inversions is what makes this style of yoga revolutionary…

The Hammock acts as a soft trapeze and as a support while you master simple inversions and finally progress to more advanced poses.

A closer look at the Fitness scene in Stockholm

Looking at the Fitness scene in Stockholm and talking to Fitness professionals, it is clear that Cross fitness and personal training are still growing.

Another trend is that Companies hire trainers to offer their employees qualified training during working hours. The services could be a tailor made running course preparing the participants to do a marathon or another specific race.

In contrast to the result oriented fitness services available there is the alternative movement scene, where the focus is directed on body, self-awareness and stress management..  Numbers of people taking Yoga classes or doing self-practice is still growing.  The interest in self-exporting dance forms are spreading in bigger cities and alternative treatment and therapies as well.


Preview on Raison d’Etres Spa Management Online Course

Online educations have become very popular and offers you a different way of studying. Many people wonder if it will suit them to study online and are not yet comfortable with to interact with a computer instead of teachers in a classroom…

So, why study online?
You can study whenever you want, wherever you want and you can watch the online lectures how many times you wish. This actually creates a more tailor-made course after your needs since you choose where to put your own time and focus. The course can be taken even if you are working full-time or travelling a lot and the support is not limited to a classroom, because it is simply just: online.  Isn’t that just great?

In our Spa Management Online Course we work with close and personal contact with all participants during the whole course. Our purpose is easy: to help people become successful spa managers.

To get a better understanding and feeling of what it is like to take the online course, I will show you a preview of our introduction module. Enjoy!

Contact me on for more information.


A Spa at a Formula 1 course?

relaxThe Spa Meeting in Abu Dhabi took place in a very cool venue; The Yas Viceroy. The hotel is placed in the middle of a Formula 1 course and just a few weeks ago the yearly race took place here. I could almost feel the energy from the event still swirl in the air…

Arriving to the Yas Viceroy in night time is quite spectacular and it really looks like something that has landed from the outer space. The hotel consists of two buildings and parts of the course (Formula 1 circuit) and they are all  connected and covered by something that looks like a mesh (a LED canopy) and it emits a concert of colors at night time, so the arrival is impressing.

The view from my room was over parts of the Formula 1 course, maybe not so breathtaking and maybe not the most serene place to be in, as there were motorbikes driving in the evenings on the course. However the vibe in the hotel is still cool and kind of funky.

But, what about the spa? The spa was not disturbed by the activities on the course on my visit, however I’m sure you are not able to close out the noise during the actual F1 race, but on the other hand – during the races I’m sure most people are on the grandstand, rather than in the spa…

The spa at Yas Viceroy is operated by ESPA, it is a modern interpretation of the Middle Eastern traditions, it is a chic and urban sanctuary and if you have been to ESPA before you will recognize the design and ambiance. The spa is rather large and consists of has two floors and you have to take the elevator to reach the treatment rooms. The changing and waiting rooms are spacious, it is cosy and quite dark, in some spaces I would say that the lights are almost too dimmed (vanity).

I took the opportunity to book a Hammam treatment as they have a special female-only hammam. The treatment was overall good, some parts were of course tweaked from the traditional Hammam treatments. The results were expected; skin is soft as velvet, and I felt it was a good detoxification after a long flight, I literally rinsed off all stress and worries. My only issue was that the steam generator was quite loud and I would have liked the room and the Hammam table to be somewhat warmer.

After the treatment I emerged into the relaxation room, were one part of the room is facing the Marina with a view on all the luxury yachts. The other part of the realxation room, is a “room in a room”, which is kind of cone shaped. It feels like entering a pyramid and inside it is all white with a large, white round shaped daybed. Lying down you see hundreds of thin cords with a LED light in the end of each cord, displaying different colors. (see picture) The color of the lights changes and you easily drift away as you close the door to the outer world… This relaxation room was a great and unexpected experience…

I also had an aromatherapy massage and I must say the therapist did all those small details, asking me for pressure preference, room temperature, I could also choose the oil I wanted and the therapist also did a small thing that made a big difference for me. She placed a bowl with hot water and some drops of eucalyptus oil in the water, under the headrest. I always tend to get stuffed in my nose while lying on the massage table (even without having a cold) and this way the essential oil actually helped me and (my nose) and I could breathe properly and felt so much more comfortable during the treatment.

So all in all, a good spa experience, even on a Formula 1 course…