Sunday, December 23, 2012

Keep Your Clothes On Relaxation

A Different Approach
by Beth Feudale - Certified Massage Therapist

You all know the amazing benefits therapeutic massage has on the body and the euphoria you feel at the end of a beautiful treatment. There really is no better way that I can think of to relieve stress while feeding the body and soul at the same time. What if I told you that you could still achieve the same level of relaxation and rejuvenation without even removing your clothes?
            Now that I have your attention I will let you in on the secret. This wonder is called CranioSacral Therapy. I know you are probably thinking “Cranio sacral what? Do I even have one of those,” and the answer is yes! CranioSacral Therapy or CST is a beautiful gentle approach in body work that is performed completely over your clothing. Like massage, CST boosts the immune system and enhances the body’s natural healing processes but its main focus is on the overall well-being and functioning of the physiological body system. This system is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
 For this treatment the therapist uses no more than a nickels weight of pressure in a series of hand placements to facilitate the release of any restrictions within the body. Through the process the overall functioning of the central nervous system is being drastically improved while you are being transported into a completely relaxed alternate world. As a long-time practitioner I have seen the benefits of CST and I always recommend this treatment to those who suffer from chronic pain and illnesses.
So whether you are looking to try something new, treat chronic pain or maybe you just want to relax without taking your clothes off, CST would be a treasure of an addition to your bodywork routine.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Cancer Massage: Touch Therapy

I have been a certified massage therapist and esthetician for over 20 years and not one week has gone by without being asked about cancer patients and massage. Massage therapy is very beneficial for all but concerns are magnified when cancer and holistic therapies are mentioned in the same breath.

While massage is not a cure for cancer no one should go untouched and if managed by a skilled therapist, massage will eliminate the enormous toxin load on the body that is synonymous with cancer treatments. Additionally, in each stage of cancer, massage can improve blood circulation, equalize blood pressure, and help with fatigue and nausea.

Lori Anderson is our certified massage therapist with additional certifications in massage therapy for cancer patients. She recommends consulting first with your doctor before beginning a touch treatment and then with your skilled therapist since the various stages of cancer will determine the type of massage you should receive. If for example a cancer patient is two to three months out from treatment then receiving bodywork that includes lymph drainage therapies, trigger point therapy, neuromuscular therapy, myotherapy and myofascial release, would be most beneficial.

For hospital or bed ridden patients, receiving a diligent and consistant regimin of cranialsacral and polarity therapy as well as reiki and therapeutic touch will prove to be a welcomed and releiving remedy to a very daunting and exhaustive process. It is never advised to receive deep tissue in any stage of cancer treatments.

To many of us are dealing with the effects of cancer either personally or through a loved one. Providing relief and healthy comfort is simply a touch away.

If you know someone that is going through cancer please share this blog with them. For more information or to consult with one of my certified therapists on massage therapy specifically for cancer patients please call Avatar Spa at 732-332-1102 or email

Lisa Girandola is the owner of Avatar Spa in Marlboro, NJ. She is a certified massage therapist & Esthetician.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How A Day Spa Saved Christmas

     A True Holiday Miracle
This holiday tale, though very much true, tells the near fateful day when Christmas was through. Not due to weather, nor reindeers, or elves, but the big guys neglect to his skin and himself.

His jolly complexion was in need of some saving. His back was so tight and screamed for a shaving.  So the elves got together and bought him a gift.

They called to the reindeer, “Avatar Spa. Lickicty Split!”

As fast as they could they took Old Saint Nick for relaxing, and waxing, micro-derm & cool sculpting.  In Avatar’s hands his complexion returned. 
The secret was Avatar's product for exfoliation he learned. 

The knots in his back had all gone away from the deep tissue massage he had gotten that day. 

Even his elves treated themselves to all things nice that Avatar sells. Like facials, and creams, massages, and wraps, ten treatment rooms with heated beds for a nap.   

There were so many treatments to do and see, this boutique spa even offered online gift certificates and Colon Hydro-therapy.

Products organic, made exclusive to boot, warm cozy rooms with hooks to hang Santa’s suit. A spa so relaxing filled with experience and joy, surely a gift for every good girl and boy. 

Avatar Spa saved Christmas this year. With Chris Kringle relaxed the elves had nothing to fear. 
Their magical journey will go like it should, in that cold winter’s air Santa’s skin will look good.

As he boarded his sleigh the big guy took pause, he pulled out his cell and called Mrs. Clause. 

I heard him exclaim with a jolly ho, ho, “Avatar Spa is where you should go!”

For last minute shopping convenience, purchase instant gift certificates securely online at

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What Happened To The 60 Minute Massage?

Lisa Girandola - Owner/Avatar Spa

Day Spa's that have made 50 minutes the new 60 minutes shouldn't be given the time. 

If you book an all inclusive seven-day resort vacation do you expect it to end in six days? Would you settle for a professional manicure if they only painted nine fingers? How many of you would be satisfied if a movie theater shut off a movie ten minutes before it actually ends? 

As ridiculous as theses scenarios may seem the norm for the Day Spa industry is to deduct ten minutes from any 30, 60, or 90-minute massage treatment in an effort to maximize profit.  They maximize profit by having you in and out within your scheduled length of treatment so the room is available for the next potential booking without any time lost. Someone somewhere figured ten minutes is what it takes to turn a treatment room around and it should be on your dime.  What that says is you are paying for the room time rather then the massage time.

There are over 25,000 day spas in the United States. In 2010 the spa industry’s combined revenue was over $12 billion dollars with 160 million spa visits.  If even half of those visits were for massage only and all were shortened by 10 minutes that would be close to 14,000 hours of treatment time that the consumer was cheated out of. A law firm would be fined and disbarred for that kind of billing practice.

In my professional opinion day spas that follow the “deduct 10 minute rule” are in addition, cheating your body of beneficial therapeutic time. 10 minutes is a significant amount to be slighted when it comes to relaxation. We all know the valuable effects of a ten-minute power nap. If the mind is expecting a full thirty -minute massage it sends a message to the body’s internal clock to prepare for thirty full minutes of relaxation. Subconsciously stress levels return as the body instinctually feels cheated by ten minutes.

I can’t tell you how many times I receive a phone call at Avatar Spa asking if we provide a full 60-minute massage or is it only 50 minutes. The spa industry has allowed this practice to creep into the norm. As a business owner it is important to maximize profits but not at the expense of the clients treatment time.
To reduce the stress of the “deduct ten-minute rule”, check the menu of your spa to see if it mentions length of time for each treatment. If they are posted as 80, 50, & 20 minutes try a spa that includes those extra ten minutes. The 90, 60, 30 spas, like mine offer those treatment durations for the same cost on average as the “deduct ten-minute” spas.  You will certainly feel the difference physically and leave ten minutes more stress free.

Lisa Girandola is the owner of Avatar Spa in Marlboro, NJ a boutique spa that specializes in organic & holistic healing. For gift certificates or to book a full 60-minute massage call 732-303-1102

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Expecting" Massage

Liz Roche - Prenatal Masseuse/Avatar Spa

The Expert's View
Insight from leading spa industry experts.

No one has ever said when you get pregnant you should stop relaxing. In fact most doctors want you to reduce anxiety. By doing so you will decrease symptoms of depression and improve labor and the overall health of your newborn.

One of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety during pregnancy is to schedule bi-weekly prenatal massage treatments. Not only will it be effective in reducing anxiety, but it will relieve muscle, joint, back, and nerve pain commonly brought on by pregnancy as well as increase circulation. In addition stress hormones will be reduced and serotonin levels will increase. Opposite levels are common during pregnancy and low levels of serotonin lead to depression. Studies have revealed positive benefits to maternal and newborn health when therapeutic massage is introduced into your weekly stress-reducing regimen.

As with anything during pregnancy, precautions should be taken if you are planning on a prenatal massage. I recommend side-lying rather then a table that provides a hole for your baby bump. It is not as reliable and may still apply pressure to the abdomen, something you want to avoid. It is also imperative that you are under the care of a certified prenatal massage therapist. Like me they have received training beyond the national standards and will expertly address specific needs and sensitive areas of the body.

Speak to your doctor prior to scheduling a prenatal massage regimen and keep in mind most spas will not offer a massage to women in their first trimester because of risks associated within the early weeks of pregnancy.  

It is my belief that prenatal massage should be thought of as an important supplement that should be incorporated into the routine of your prenatal care. 

Gift Certificates for Prenatal Massage are available at

Liz Roche is a body therapist and certified prenatal masseuse who works exclusively with Avatar Spa in Marlboro, NJ .

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Proper Skin Care Can Prevent Colds

Have you ever heard “A facial a day keeps the doctor away”? You probably haven’t but the truth is with a proper skin care regimen you can reduce the risk of ever getting a cold. Although it is good to see a skin care specialist at least once a month for deep cleansing and product updates for your skin, using an essential oil within your daily at home skin care conditioning not only hydrates your skin but at the same time will help prevent colds & flu’s and boost your body’s health and immune systems.

By now your daily skin care regimen should include a cleanser, a moisturizer, & an exfoliate like Avatar Spa’s exclusive Magic Dust, but by adding a drop of an essential oil to the mix you are allowing the hundreds of molecules that are within the essential oil to kill viruses and bacteria that cause colds. Unlike drugs, viruses do not build a resistance to oils since each batch is unique. This makes oils much more effective at beating what ails you and they continue to work long after a virus would have built up resistance to antibiotics.

It is best to use essential oils that have a blend since pure essential oils may be to intense for the skin. When using an oil simply rub a few drops on the palm of your hands and apply to your face. The molecules in essential oils are small and once applied to the face will be delayed in the absorption into the skin. To speed up the absorption process and increase the efficiency for both hydrating and fighting antibodies, use a carrier product such as Avatar Spa’s Sea Mineral Mist. This organic product has an abundance of minerals from the sea that conditions the pores while also balancing the skin’s Ph level. Simply sprits the SeaMineral Mist into your palms and blend with the essential oil then apply to the face. 

This is a professional spa secret that you can do daily at home to increase your health, beat the cold and flu season, and give your skin a sensational look and feel.

 Avatar Spa offers six different essential oils in their exclusive Spirit Earth organic skin care line. Each blend combines hundreds of combinations of herbs and flowers that apply to your specific skin type. To determine your skin type contact Avatar Spa at 732-332-1102.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's In That Spa's Product?

If you are looking for a great gift to give this holiday season... try skin care products. As you may know they can invigorate, protect, beautify, and even defy age for both men and women. What you may not know is just because your Day Spa or local high end cosmetic store carries product, not always is it beneficial or safe for your skin or well being.

Here are a few basic precautions to take when choosing product:

    Go Paraben Free - Parabens are chemical preservatives used in cosmetics. The fact is that paraben's can mimic the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancer. It has also been reported that parabens adversely affect the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system. Although the jury is still out on the how and why of parabens, all of the toxic talk around this preservative should be enough for you to avoid skin & body products that use parabens.

    Avoid Alcohol - Most non organic skin care products and even products that say they are  "natural"add a scented ingredient to the mix to make that creme or lotion smell good. The truth is that the scented ingredient is made of alcohol which drys your skin. So while you are trying to hydrate you are actually dehydrating with a scented product and causing damage to your skin.

    Going organic is always best when considering skin care product. Don't be fooled by products that only say they are "natural". Look for the term "Organic". The Spirit Earth product line from Avatar Spa in Marlboro, NJ is a great resource for your personal skin care needs. Each product is sans chemicals, dyes & synthetic fragrances and is produced paraben, sulfur, and cruelty free. A great product introductory and gift for yourself is the Vitamin Rich Face Creme. It is essentially a multivitamin for your face that is perfect for both acneic or dehydrated complexions allowing the body to pull from the creme what it needs.

    Make this year's gift idea organic. Give skin care products that are safe and effective.