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Council tightens the rules for massage therapy to combat sale of sex – 

Massage therapists bristle at the term “massage parlor.” They believe it denigrates their profession and leaves the erroneous impression that sex is routinely sold at spas that specialize in wellness and therapeutic help.

On Wednesday, the City Council moved to rid the industry of the bad actors who are giving the business a bad name. 

Aldermen approved an ordinance making it tougher and more costly for sex to be sold at spas and massage therapy establishments in a city that sponsoring Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) calls a “national hub for human trafficking.”

The ordinance includes hefty fines and stricter regulations to give police more tools to shut down illicit businesses masquerading as massage parlors.

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Oklahoma Legislature makes massage therapy license mandatory – 

Massage Therapy has become a more important career in the health and wellness professions. The number of practitioners entering the field and clients turning to massage therapy for rehabilitation and stress relief continues to increase. To ensure the general safety and well-being of clients, and to promote a consistent level of training and professionalism, the state of Oklahoma now requires that all massage therapists be licensed in order to practice. The passage of this law, enacted in May 2017, added a further requirement for those entering or already practicing in the massage therapy profession.

At present, Clary Sage College, a branch of Community Care College, is the only major institution in the Tulsa-area offering coursework to qualify for licensure. Additionally, Clary Sage is a “NCBTMB Assigned School,” meaning that it has been researched and approved by National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. This distinction is important because it proves the school is legitimate, operates legally, and meets their minimum curriculum requirements.

“Our program includes 820 credit hours and prepares students to take the state Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx),” says Derek Ball, head of the Massage Therapy department at Clary Sage. “Once students complete the course, pass the state required exam and receive their license, they also have enough credit hours to take the test to qualify for national board certification if they wish.”


The program at Clary Sage spans 37 weeks and includes both coursework and clinical hours. The $195 cost of taking the state required exam is included in the total cost of the program. Students can enter the program easily since a new class begins every Monday.

Until this year, Oklahoma was one of only five states that did not regulate massage therapists. Legislators cited several reasons for drafting the new law, including:

• Establishing standards of minimum competency

• Ensuring therapists are qualified to represent themselves to the public as licensed therapists

• Helping consumers identify the responsibilities and services unique to a massage therapist

• Enhancing public safety by enforcing disciplinary actions against non-compliant practitioners

• Setting a formal grievance process for consumers

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What’s an experience anyways?

Have you ever walked into a salon or spa and automatically you can tell that they have their stuff together? From the aromatherapy scents that are drifting through the air, to the drinking water that is filled with various fruits, to the clean and spotless environment as well as the soft relaxing music that you can hear? I know I have and I love it. Perhaps you have an appointment to get a massage or skin care service and as you are walking through the hallway, there is a sweet silence and low lighting that gets you mentally prepared to receive the best service from a qualified professional. And after you receive your service, you are then escorted to compensate for your experience? You are so impressed that you sign up for a membership, monthly e-newsletters, and make future appointments. You cannot wait to tell all your friends about your amazing experience.

That my friends is how every customer should feel when they enter and exit your salon or spa. That is a great example of a customer experience. I must ask you, does your organization have a customer experience plan in place? If not, it is certainly not too late to establish one. Here are a few guidelines to help you get started:

1. Make the experience unforgettable. And I mean unforgettable in a great way! It doesn’t have to be expensive or costly, but a lot of businesses forget that people pay for an experience. People no longer want to wait 30 minutes to be seen by their service professional. Be on time and start the appointment at the schedule time.

2. Listen to your guest. It seems that nowadays everyone wants to get a word in and the last word at that. The guest is coming to you to relax, unwind, and relieve some stress. Don’t talk over them. Let them lead the conversation.

3. Exceed their expectations. That’s right! Go above and beyond their expectations. I always ask each of my new guests what their expectations of the appointment is and we go from there. After, I ask, have I exceeded their expectations. If they say no, that gives me an opportunity to address the issue and provide a solution.

There’s nothing like an amazing customer experience that will keep your customers coming back for more! Plus, they will most likely share their positive experience with their friends and family, which will result in more income for you!

A New Lure for Spa Customers? A Salt Cave – Two young women in white chamois robes exited the Himalayan salt sauna at Premier57, a spa in Midtown Manhattan, looking rosy and happily spent.

The salt sauna, lined with burnt orange and yellow blocks of sodium chloride, is a popular destination at the spa, where a day pass is $75 and the tagline urges guests to “immerse, indulge, intrigue.”

Options include an infrared lounge, a meditation room, an igloo room, a gold sauna and a clay sauna, “but we have a lot of guests who just come here for the salt room, especially if they have arthritis,” said the spa’s general manager, Ellis Kim. “It’s very good for arthritis and for regulating blood pressure.”

There’s no scientific proof for such claims. And, despite the assertions by Ms. Kim and her peers, there is also no proof of the power of salt rooms to bring relief to children with asthma, seniors with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and everyone in between with stuffy noses or stress, according to Dr. Norman H. Edelman, a senior science adviser at the American Lung Association.

Nonetheless, salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, a venerable treatment in Central Europe and Asia, is now being offered at spas, resorts and stand-alone facilities in the United States in the form of salt beds, salt rooms and salt booths. Floors and walls that are lined with salt blocks and salt crystals, and zero-gravity chairs (recliners designed to relax the back), are the norm. A device known as a halogenerator grinds sodium chloride into a dry aerosol, then disperses it to mimic the microclimate of a salt cave.

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Sienna Creasy of Palmyra Spa

Interesting things about you and the business you are in?

Spa/Company Name: Palmyra Spa


How did you end up in the industry? I came to Jamaica in the Peace Corps as a Health Educator and Yoga Instructor. I then moved back to the Island to teach Yoga and worked as a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist before I joined the Industry as a Spa director with Chris Blackwell (the founder of Reggae music and creator of Island Records). I have created a trademarked fitness experience called Reggaelates that I have taught at BaliSpirit Festival and Internationally as well as Soul Rebel Yoga at the Wanderlust Festivals. The Palmyra Spa is a world class spa in our Jewel Grande Resort in Montego Bay Jamaica that combines the Indigenous healing ingredients and Ritual of Jamaica with the best product partners and most innovative equipment from around the world.

What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?  Yoga, Pilates, Stand Up Paddleboard and Stand up Paddleboard Yoga, Hiking and Mountain biking, Running and attempting Triathlons, Saving the world one Vegetarian meal at a time, Lunch Libations to support local community fundraisers and Breathing fresh air. Oh yeah and Wine!

Recent books or movies you’ve enjoyed? Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Favorite vacation destination? Chiang Mai Thailand, Ubud Bali, Budapest Hungary

What trends or interesting changes do you see happening in the spa channel?  Science and 3d/4d Spa is Crazy!

Spa/Facility info:

What best describes your spa? Resort/Hotel/Destination

Total square footage of your facility? 30,000

What new treatments have you added recently? Epicuren: Skin and Body, EmerginC: Skin, Dazzle Dry: Nails, Miriam Quevedo: Hair, Coola: Suncare Retail, Manduka Yoga apparel and Retail

What is your signature treatment? Wild Ginger Deep Tissue Massage

What is the #1 reason clients come to your facility? Intention meets Innovation with Island Rituals of Jamaica


How Aromatherapy Can Make You Smarter

Are you all jittery, impatience, irritable, and restless? Do you feel like you aren’t making the perfect decisions in particular situations? I, too, underwent through a similar phase last year. While handling workplace and family issues, I was spiraling out of control.

I went through some soul searching and discovered that I needed to take care of myself. I had to ensure I bequeathed myself some pampering. Guess what? The pampering worked! I found that aromatherapy helped me improve my psychological status and hence my overall performance. Let me take you through some tips to getting back your control.

Administering Essential Oils

Aromatherapy works by helping you unwind. The explicit essential oils are extracted from herbal plants. They have powerful properties that need diffusion for uptake by the body. You need to be well informed when choosing a good diffuser.

When reviewing the best oil diffuser, consider various characteristics. You will need to contemplate the relationship between the type of oil and the water capacity. Other important considerations are the diffusers operating time, and timer options. Some even come with a warranty, and automatic shut offs! The more the options you have, the better for you.

How Aromatherapy Works

The pleasant odors from your oils will travel to the brain and have an awesome effect. In the hippocampus of the brain, they will improve long-term memory. Others will travel to the cingulate gyrus and ensure improved attention spans and circulatory system. The chemical processes involved have advanced positive effects on the brain's mental status. That adds up to better judgment and balanced outputs.

According to documentation by the University of Maryland medical center, lavender stimulates the brain. It also calms you down during those moments of anxiety. Now, don’t you think a calm mind will work smart too?

Essential Oils with Psychological Enhancement Powers

When you are vexed, jumpy, and simply have no motivation, you need to grab some lavender oil. Lavender primarily ensures that you get enough sleep for the rejuvenation of your brain. Enough sleep also plays a large part in mental alertness.

What is better than gold? I would say Frankincense. Since time immemorial, it has been praised for its awesome smell. In addition, Frankincense essential oils can aid you to be less distracted, and increase focus in current matters of concern.

Peppermint counts as a powerful oil that assists in concentration. Is there a better natural substance that can help you stay smarter than that? You will stimulate your mind, and you will perform better when you use peppermint essential oils.

When you encounter shocks in everyday living, Vetiver with its earthy smell will reduce distress and tension. Native to the Indian community, Vetiver is largely used in massage spurs for this effect.


Have you ever thought how calm our ancestors were as they made important scientific discoveries? Greeks, Romans, Chinese among others, used essentials oils in their daily lifestyle. To achieve improved mental, psychological state, you have to try out the wide range of essential oils and settle on your favorite one.

Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones

Editor of relaxeveryday

Sarah is the editor of relaxeveryday. Finding aromatherapy in a stressful point in her life made all the difference to her health. She promotes a healthy and relaxed life, and want to help others in their strive for a calmer life.

4 Fresh Summer-Skin Must-Haves

1 Polish…

Why| Summer demands smooth, silky skin. Buffing away dry skin allows for an even, smooth texture with a luminous glow!

Your Go To Product

tropical lave

Papaya Pineapple Bamboo Body Polish

How To| Apply scrub to wet skin using light-pressured circular motions. Do not rub harshly. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry. Follow with your favorite body moisturizer. Use a maximum of twice per week.

Tip| Don’t leave your feet behind; reveal softer, smoother heals and toes!

2 Hydrate…

Why| The sunnier months tend to demand more hydration because of higher temps and excess sun exposure. Keeping skin hydrated will keep your complexion looking healthy and supple.

Your Go To Product

tropical lave

Hydrating Mineral Mask

How To| Apply a thin layer directly to clean face or body using a fan brush or hands. Leave on approximately 10-20 minutes, or while you sleep. Remove using warm water. May be used daily.

Tip| Apply to your feet and cover with soft pedi-socks while you sleep to add a moisture-boost to tired tootsies!

3 Mist…

Why| You spent the day in the sun working on your tan but you ambitiously went into overtime and acquired more of a sunburn instead. Well, the damage is done but that doesn’t mean you have to be in pain. This super-soothing Aloe and Cucumber based mist can assist with preventing peeling and reduce redness and irritation.

Your Go To Product

tropical lave

Refresh Aloe Cucumber Mist

How To| Mist over clean skin and/or hair as desired. Reapply often – or as needed – to maintain healthy skin. May be used daily.

Tip| Keep on ice and use as a quick ultra-cooling refresher at the beach or poolside!

4 Protect…

Why| Regular use of sunscreen can assist with slowing the aging process. Armor up and keep yourself protected with a daily youth-shield of sunscreen.

Your Go To Product

tropical lave

Zinc Oxide Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 27

X-Treme Cream Propolis Sunscreen SPF 45+

Active Sport Treat UVA & UVB Sunscreen SPF 30+

How To| Apply liberally on the face (as the final step in your skincare regime) and body. Reapply often. Use daily, rain or shine.

Tip| Rule of thumb, ALWAYS apply 20 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply immediately after swimming. Don’t overlook your ears, nape of your neck, and the tops of your feet!

Heather Linberg

Heather Linberg

Epicuren®’s Skincare Specialist

Heather is a lover of all things health, wellness, and beauty! A leading industry expert, she has been sharing her passion for creative health and beauty solutions for over 10 years. Her extensive knowledge of wellness and skincare has made her an invaluable resource to an impressive list of beauty editors, celebrity makeup artists, and red carpet A-listers! You can contact her at

To offer Epicuren Discovery® in your spa, contact |

For International Inquiries, contact |

Read more at the Epicuren blog here>

Six wellness vacations to take this summer: Get home fitter than before you left –

Catharina Hedberg was ahead of her time. In 1974, fresh off the boat from Sweden, the 29-year-old fell in love with the Santa Monica Mountains and created the Ashram, which at the time was a new idea for Southern California: the wellness retreat. She started out charging $500 for a weeklong, mountaintop program of yoga, meditation and hiking — activities that Swedes did regularly back home but were largely unknown here.

“Back then, fitness and nature and wellness were new for Americans,” Hedberg says. “Today we do four-hour hikes, but back then people could barely hike an hour.” Jane Fonda and a steady trickle of celebrities showed up in Calabasas at the Ashram, but it wasn’t until 1990 that all 12 rooms started to book up regularly.

Today millions do yoga, Pilates and meditation, and “wellness travel” to far-flung resorts from Costa Rica to Bali is booming, with women the primary clients. Closer to home, unique spins on wellness retreats are combining yoga and meditation with surfing, swimming, boot camps and even writing in outdoorsy settings ranging from luxury hotels to dedicated retreats to Yosemite National Park.

“I’m glad it’s caught on,” says Hedberg, now 72, who owns two more Ashrams in Spain and now charges $5,200 a week. “People need a place that stops time, gets them re-centered.”

Here are six unique California wellness programs to help you return from vacation healthier than when you started.

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‘The country’s first spa’: Berkeley Springs today houses spas, shops, great eats and more – 

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — George Washington discovered the “curative powers” of the warm springs here when, at the age of 16, he was a member of a survey party checking out the scenic land claimed by his mentor, British nobleman Lord Fairfax.

Later he bought property here, as did other Revolutionary War generals, Continental Congressmen and signers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

And the town has been a popular health resort since.

“We like to say we have more licensed massage therapists than we have lawyers,” chuckled Jeanne Mozier, vice president of the Travel Berkeley Springs convention and visitors board.

The public baths in the Berkeley Springs State Park in the town’s center are open year-around, and the population of this community of about 5,000 permanent residents particularly swells when the weather warms.

It doesn’t hurt that Route 522 through here is a shortcut from central and western Pennsylvania to many points south of Washington, D.C. And it’s only a 90-minute drive from Altoona.

“At least a third of the people who end up visiting us say they’ve driven through several times and always wanted to stop,” Mozier said.

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