Salons Can Save Lives

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We sometimes underestimate our power — and privilege — as spa and salon professionals.

Take for instance, I heart-warming story I tweeted about last night: As part of a public health intervention study, barbers in an “intervention group”  in Dallas of eight black-owned barbershops were trained to take customers’ blood pressure and offered patrons a free reading with each cut while telling them a model story about real people getting their blood pressure under control.

People may put off going to the doctor — but they are less likely to skip that grooming upkeep. When the readers were taken, customers with hypertension were advised to see their doctor or offered a referral if they didn’t have one — and if they hadn’t seen a physician by their next visit, the barber would even make an appointment for them and promise a free haircut as a reward if the customer went!

Gift with purchase.. it’s what always work for me too! Get this: Ten months later, 20 percent of the 602 men in the intervention group and 10 percent of the 695 men in the control group had controlled their blood pressure with medication. Men in the intervention group had their average blood pressure drop by about 2.5 millimeters of mercury (mm/Hg) more than those at the control shops.

Those barbers SAVED THOSE MEN’S LIVES.

It’s something each and every one of us could do in our own shops and salons and spas. And something we should keep in mind!

Beauty Trend Alert: The Strip

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For those of us in an industry where we have to travel often — and the beauty and spa industry is absolutely one of those — space is often at a premium, as are the limitations in lotions and gels we can carry. Which is why the new trend in beauty- and health-related strips is pretty exciting.

We know how those messy gels and  lotions and sprays go. They serve their purpose, but do they serve it best?  these strips stick to you, stay put, and many (well, the ones I like, at least!) offer more targeted results.

I’m noticing them everywhere lately, too.  There are nasal strips for better breathing (perfect as winter cold and flu season sets in), pore cleansing strips, teeth whitening strips, breath strips, nail polish strips, and even strips that help fade and flatten scars both old and new.

Here’s a “stripped-down” list of some good ones:

1. Nasal strips for adults and kids: Breathe Right $13.99 drugstore.com
2. Pore strips: Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips $7.99 drugstore.com
3. Scar strips: Scaraway Silicone Scar Sheets $19.99 myscaraway.com
4. Teeth whitening strips: Crest 3D Whitestrips $34.99 drugstore.com
5. Nail polish strips: Sephora Collection Nail Patch French Manicure $12.00 sephora.com
6. Hair removal strips: Sally Hansen Hair Remover Wax Strip Kit $5.99 cvs.com

What do you think of the strip trend? Do you find they work better or worse than traditional lotions and gels?

Massage Therapy – It’s Good for the Economy!

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While the economy has suffered its share of losses, there’s a new industrial stronghold in play and it’s taking the nation by storm — massage therapy! According to a recent news report, the field of massage therapy has seen a dramatic increase in business; and that trend is not expected to slow down. In fact, the demand for professionally licensed massage therapists is expected to grow in these coming years, and there are several reasons why:

1. Massage therapy is a natural healing medicine that has been facilitated throughout the history of mankind. Whether you’re suffering from stiffness and soreness, or other muscle aches and cramps, massage therapy has demonstrated its efficacy in the modern world. Studies find that natural healing therapies like massage can be effective for a number of health conditions ranging from mental stress to fibromyalgia. In addition to treating common strains and sprains, massage has also been proven beneficial to newborn infants, geriatric patients, and cancer sufferers.

2. Non-invasiveness. As you are probably aware, massage therapy is dramatically less invasive than most conventional medicine treatments. Not only does this healing art feel pleasant to receive, it’s good for you, too. As opposed to taking pain-killing drugs that are often accompanied by harmful side-effects, the effects of bodywork treatments may result in relaxation, stress reduction, and decreased pain and inflammation.

3. Career prospects. Okay, we already know that CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) therapies are on the rise, but due to the demand for experienced and educated massage therapists – this is prime time to get the edge in your professional endeavors. Because competition is stark, you need to be ahead of the league by acquiring a variety of therapeutic skills. The more you know results in increased job opportunities as well as diverse services you can offer your clients. In addition to working in standard hospitals, massage therapist services are required in a number of health-related facilities including day spas, premiere health retreats and resorts, aboard cruise ships, at airports, home health services, retirement facilities, and more.

If you (or someone you know) are interested in learning more about bodywork and other natural healing therapies, let professional training within fast-growing industries like chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, Oriental medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore massage schools near you.