Because I am currently on vacation in France and celebrating my grandparents’ (in-law) 70th wedding anniversary (an occasion which warrants a blog article in and of itself!) in place of my regular weekly column, I am sharing a link to a video of the speech that I gave at the New York Spa Alliance (NYSPA) annual symposium (see the SpaTrade blog here, and my blog on the session here). For those of you who happen to be members of the International Spa Association, you will also see an article by me on the topic of pampering in the next issue of Pulse Magazine. I am glad to see the positive response to pampering I have received from these articles although I know there are still those who argue that spas will not be taken seriously unless they tone down the pampering.
By the way, the beginning of the video is cut off, but I start out by introducing (a picture of) my son, Dylan who was born just a few days before I gave the talk. Pampering continues to be a big part of his life. In fact, I can remember before he was born when I saw parents making silly faces and talking baby talk to their infant children, I swore I would never do that. I thought I would just model more “grownup” behavior and my kids would learn from that. Now I realize that nothing makes my son happier than when I make a fool of myself by babbling like an idiot and making funny faces and noises . . . and so I do it all the time.
I guess my point is that maybe spas should not try so hard to be taken seriously. Being silly can be an important part of wellness as well. There are only two times when I can remember laughing hysterically in a spa, but they are two of my most memorable spa experiences ever. The first was during a treatment called Hydro Rush at the Kohler Waters Spa in Wisconsin. At one part of the treatment the therapist took a bucket and alternated plunging it into hot and cold tubs and dousing it vigorously over my entire body. It was so much fun, I felt like I was in a water park rather than a spa and I couldn’t stop from cracking up. The second was at a Fish Reflexology spa on Sentosa Island in Singapore. You know the places where the fish eat the dead skin off of your feet? Combine the ridiculousness of the situation with ticklish feet, and you have a recipe for hysterical laughter. Could these be classified as “authentic healing experiences?” I’m not so sure. But did I feel good after leaving these spas? You betcha. Maybe laughter is the best medicine after all.
I hope you enjoy the video . . . the sound quality is horrible (some byproduct of my amateur video conversion and uploading techniques) so I apologize for that. And if you have any stories to share about your pampering (or just plain silly) spa experiences, I’d love to hear them.