Pulse October 2015 - Page 75

heighten the visual and auditory senses. There are apps that provide music and guidance for meditation and yoga. Other apps gently remind you to get up and move. Still others help to educate about nutrition and physical activity. Indeed, there is “an app for that.” It’s always about how one uses it appropriately and with limits and balance in the totality of one’s life. P: What tips can you offer to help spas successfully blend the high-tech and high-touch world? P: Offer a range of spa-tech options for people to experience if they feel inclined. Gently establish limits and boundaries within the spa (no texting during yoga!). Establish smartphone-free zones. Show people how to do the same once they leave the spa. Turning off technology is essential to optimal healing. But turning on also has a role. Show them apps and technologies they may wish to continue using once they return home. Help guide them to a balanced way to integrate healing technologies in the spa and within the home environment. P: In terms of consumer health demands, what new demands are you seeing? P: Consumers want to create a spa-like environment in their homes. They want to know how to create and sustain a spamind. Fitbit works for a reason. It’s easy, accessible and does simple things such as remind one that one has been sitting too long. Consumers are seeking easy, doable products and practices that will keep them on track while helping them navigate daily stresses and challenges. P: You touched on epigenetics in a previous talk. What is epigenetics and why is it relevant in the health and spa world? P: Epigenetics is the science of how environment and lifestyle choices can activate or de-activate how our own genes control our mind and body. Essentially, our thoughts, food and physical activity can significantly affect how each gene is behaving. You can decrease the expression of negative genes (obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, mental disorders, addiction) through meditation, consuming whole foods and performing a routine physical activity. These healthy lifestyle practices then enhance other genes—stimulating the development of more brain cells, muscle fiber and stronger bones. Meditation, for instance, has been shown to decrease inflammation, which is the basis of most disease processes. P: What are some of the challenges you are seeing that the spa industry faces in propagating the message of health and well-being? P: One of the biggest challenges is how the spa industry is perceived. Instead of an oasis of pampering for those who can afford it, it could instead be seen as an invaluable resource for learning how to deepen one’s level of self-care and self-awareness. People need a place to regroup, rejuvenate, readjust and finally learn how to rejoice. Multi-media marketing and outreach needs to help shape and redefine the message and the mission for spas. Prioritizing relaxation along with a real and meaningful learning experience is key. Inviting tired and lost souls to come and learn simple, practical tools to heal and apply those lessons in real life is a major goal that each spa should achieve. ■ Personal Side Notes: App I’m hooked on: Slack Book I’m reading: On the Move: A Life by Dr. Oliver Sacks Top of my bucket list: Sit down with Stephen Hawking and talk about black holes Amenity I look for in a hotel: Fluffy slippers Food craving I usually cave in: Anything from Georgetown Cupcakes I live the spa lifestyle by: Smiling with profound gratitude every time I wake up and realize I’m still here. I then say five repetitions of “carpe diem,” a recitation of gratitude, meditation, physical movement (code for swim, bike, run, lift and performing a sun salutation). I spend my day practicing mindful thinking, nourishing, challenging and connecting with others. October 2015 ■ PULSE 73