The Meaning of “Love”

Most people consider Valentine’s Day to be an exclusively romantic holiday. One dedicated to lovers, intimate dinners and decadent gifts. We don’t fault that point of view; there is a lot to celebrate in regards to such things! (We even offer some whimsical and fun gift choices for those particular kinds of evenings this time of year.) But, don’t you feel that we should expand on the definition, especially for a day set aside to pause and take time to let those who you care about know how you feel, to encompass other forms of love other than only those of a romantic nature?

Perhaps we should also look at love of family, friends and ourselves, too. As an establishment focused on the wellness and happiness of our clients, we’d like to invite you to think about Valentine’s Day in a different light this year. Oh sure, take all the romance you can get! But, ALSO take a moment to reflect on what kind of love brings you the most joy in your life and celebrate that as well. And, please, don’t forget yourself!!! Far too many of us dote on others and give a tiny, if not nonexistent, amount of devotion to ourselves.

Taking care of and respecting yourself is not a selfish thing. It allows us to be the most whole and feeling being we can be. And, do it in a loving and nurturing way for this particular day. Avoid the “I will eat better and exercise more” thought line; celebrate you for who you are at this very moment in your life. Write down what’s great about you. Buy yourself a special gift. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but make it personal. A beautiful cup to enjoy your tea or coffee, an elegant candle that gives you peace of mind when you relax with it, or any special something that reminds you to reflect on the positive, and be happy for a bit.

Whatever way you choose to celebrate, we hope this February brings you some of whatever kind of love you desire most. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Girls Night Out – Spa Style!

It’s not very often, being that we are a Spa, we get the change to throw a big, fun, outdoor party. Mostly our daily goal is to relax and sooth our clients while we help them with their wellness and beauty goals. So, when we do have a chance to step up the energy level a notch, we like to do it big!

To that end, we are hosting a “Girls Night Out” the evening of Thursday, August, 6 at the amazing Regale Winery and Vineyards. (Those of you who were able to attend our anniversary party last year know how very special this location is, and how much fun we have there.) It’s going to be an evening that celebrates wine, women and spa – a chance to have an exceptional time with your friends while being entertained with wine, food, makeup, jewelry, fashion shows, mini spa and hair style services, as well as hair and skin evaluations and guidance by some of the top pros in the business. And, for those who need a little retail therapy, you’ll be happy to find that some boutiques will have offerings available for sale.

The evening is structured to be lighthearted and laid back. We’re limiting ticket numbers to avoid crowding and each tickets includes your first glass of wine and a choice of food entree provided by Talula Bay Catering (yes, delicious.) There will be plenty of complimentary food trays sprinkled throughout the areas as well, because we know food and fun always go better together. Oh, and raffles, everybody loves the products we give away and it is such a thrill for us to hand over a basket full of spa goodies to some lucky attendee, we won’t forget the raffle baskets!

So, a big “cheers” to summertime, laughter and friends. After all, they’re some of the best stress relieving therapies of all!

(For event details and tickets go to: http://thespaoflosgatos.com/Girls_night_out_spa.html)

A special thanks to the businesses taking part in creating this special event:

  • Talula Bay Catering
  • NuFace
  • Jan Marini Skin Research
  • Jane Iredale Makeup
  • Kismet Boutique
  • Time Out Clothing
  • Lauratas Jewelry
  • Kerastase Paris
  • AQUA Hair Salon
  • Regale Winery and Vineyards
  • Rendezvous Wine Bar

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Spa, It’s a Guy Thing….

People are often surprised to learn that about 40% of our clientele is made up of men. Surgeons, carpenters, athletes (both the weekend type and professionals) and those who spend hours at the computer or traveling count on us to keep them feeling healthy, energized and refreshed so they can be at the top of their game.

More men than you think come to us to make sure they are getting the best care they can for their skin, too. Men’s skin is different in many ways than women’s, but proper care is just as important. Sun damage here in California is a cross-gender culprit of many skin and health issues and savvy men stay aware of it. They know that protection as well as proper cleansing and moisturizing is not only the best way to prevent premature aging, but can be a life saving combination when it comes to skin cancers. Here at The Spa ~ Los Gatos, we have designed a facial specifically to address the needs of men.

To learn more about what services we offer specifically for men, visit http://thespaoflosgatos.com/formen.html

Day Spas: An Oasis of Wellness, Beauty and Vitality

Life in the Bay Area offers many delights, but the demanding schedule so many people undertake can be extremely stressful. Often times the best way to diffuse that stress is to find a calm in the storm, even if just for a bit of time. As your body tires and your mind races, a day spa can be an excellent resource to offer relief and nurturing needed to set things right again. The Spa ~ Los Gatos was founded with the idea that they will be the “reset” for clients who have become frazzled and need a place they can count on to provide a top-notch environment and staff.

Day spas are not just a luxury as many might think. Spas like The Spa ~ Los Gatos provide a foundation for wellness, too. Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. Finding a place that not only allows you to mentally relax but also provides key physical stress relief offers a bounty of health benefits.

 The Environment

A stress-free environment is key and you should never feel uncomfortable or rushed in your spa of choice. The Spa ~ Los Gatos recommends you arrive early for your appointment so that you can take full advantage of the beautiful environment they have created and not just the services you have scheduled. Men’s and women’s lounges have lockers, changing areas and a large area to ready yourself before and after services. Long, cozy robes and sandals are provided for when you are ready to relax in the library before or after your service. The energy surrounding you is quiet and respectful. It’s Step One to relieving stress so that you may benefit even more from the treatments provided.

 The Services

 Massage: So Much More than Just Me-Time

The positive affects (there is a very long list of them) of massage therapy can last long after you leave the day spa. There are both physical and emotional benefits of even a single massage therapy session, and the longer the session the more amplified the benefit.

Some of the key physical benefits are:

  • Relieves Stress
  • Improves Posture
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Relaxes and Realigns Muscles
  • Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion
  • Relieves Headaches
  • Promotes Deeper Breathing
  • Improves Rehabilitation after injury

While it would be idealistic to say that massage will melt all your worries away, it definitely does manage stress levels. Study after study shows this leads to:

  • Decreased anxiety
  • Enhanced sleep quality
  • Greater energy
  • Improved concentration
  • Reduced fatigue

Making sure you get regular massage sessions can do even more. This manner of self-care impacts how healthy you’ll be and youthful you’ll feel year after year and should be considered an important part of your over-all health and life quality investment. Talk to your practitioner about what they would recommend for the type of massage and frequency that would best suite your individual needs. It is only after they have met you and evaluated both your physical and mental status that they can best suggest what will be of the most benefit to you.

Skin Care Treatments: Wellness Meets Beauty

As a full-service day spa, the Spa ~ Los Gatos offers an amazing number of skin care treatments. We all know there is no way to completely stop the aging process, but skin care treatments at day spas are designed to slow the skin-aging process and help your skin look more youthful.

Facial services offered are designed to smooth the skin’s surface, deeply cleanse and remove toxins, even out skin tone, encourage healing and increase hydration — all of which are essential for a youthful and healthy appearance. What sets The Spa ~ Los Gatos apart from other day spas is the estheticians degree of knowledge, customization and style of services and the products used.

The products used are chosen only after they have been evaluated for:

  • Proven effectiveness
  • Quality of ingredients
  • Ease of use in the home care line
  • Company ethics

And, The Spa ~ Los Gatos does not believe that a facial treatment should lack for stress relief either. While many day spas leave the client in the room alone while they masque, a facial at The Spa will often include hand, should scalp and foot massage during the times that products are being allowed to work. Those who have never experienced a facial at The Spa ~ Los Gatos are missing out on some amazing relaxation while at the same time enjoying an expertly delivered facial. It all goes back to The Spa’s belief that their role is to provide the very best day spa experience while providing expert wellness and beauty care. Therefore, a person coming in for a facial should feel relaxed and cared for as well as loving the way their skin looks and feels.

Body Treatments such as salt scrubs, baths, vichy showers and body wraps encourage the same benefits as the facials except, of course, for the skin of the body. Two exquisitely designed body rooms provide the stage for these types of services.  Our skin takes a pounding when it comes to defending our bodies from pollutants, free radicals and the sun. These treatments are designed to support the skin and reinvigorate it while deeply relaxing you.

These are just some of the many benefits that a day spa offers. With such a variety of types of day spas in the area, it is best to try a few to find which works best for you. But whichever one you choose, be sure that you take care of the physical and emotional needs that support a healthy, beautiful and vibrant life!

What is a “True Day Spa Experience”? 

It seems that there is a day spa on every corner with new ones springing up left and right. The range of what you see and get when you walk into any one of them can be vastly different from one to the next.

Day spas first came about as an offshoot to the destination spa; places where you go to spend a certain amount of days for a beauty and wellness experience. They were known as the vacation to take when your nerves needed rest and you needed some clear reviving of body, mind and spirit. These types of vacations were (and are) expensive and not everyone had the time or money to dedicate to them. So, along came the idea of a place where you could go locally to have a massage, facial or body treatment that was the same quality as the destination spas. Day spas were born.

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As the popularity of the day spa increased, so has the diversification. Some hold true to the roots of being a retreat and a place of restoration. Other businesses are more of a quick stop or a single room in the back of a salon. Some offer a more clinical approach to address only the skincare aspect of customers needs. And, as often times happens, many places have begun cutting corners in the areas of product quality, treatment offerings and staff wages to increase profitability.

Holding true to its destination spa roots, The Spa ~ Los Gatos offers its clients what they call “a true day spa experience.” Within the compass of what owner Patti Rice sees as a definition of day spa, that phrase means an establishment that offers:

  • Highly experienced and professional therapists and staff
  • An environment which welcomes you to relax and take your time
  • No high-pressure sales tactics or memberships you are asked to join
  • A wide array of services so that individual needs can be met
  • Well researched, brand name products to ensure quality and effectiveness

With the devotion to this philosophy, The Spa ~ Los Gatos weathered the economic downtown while many other spas closed. “We have a very dedicated clientele and staff who stay with us. When the down turn hit, we all worked hard to maintain the quality of not just our services, but the whole spa experience. Neck warmers in the library, refreshments, an array of quality products to use in the lounge areas, cool lavender compresses, individual private steam showers complimentary with every massage… these never went away and we never started charging for them. We are the hosts and hostesses to our clients and these things help us to say ‘your comfort and care and is important to us.’”

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For those looking to support their wellness and beauty needs, The Spa ~ Los Gatos offers a nice balance of efficacy and nurturing. At other spas, you may find yourself alone in your facial room under a steamer or with a masque on while the aesthetician “steps out.” Not so at The Spa ~ Los Gatos. “The time it takes to steam or allowing product to work is the perfect time for an aesthetician to enhance the client’s experience. We use that time to incorporate neck, shoulder, hand and foot massage. Making the service both clinically effective for the skin and deeply relaxing for the clients, is our goal.” says Patti.

“On the subject of becoming a member at spas I feel that there is too much emphasis in selling the membership than taking care of the clients.  While that may work well for some, we offer a rewards program instead. There is no signing up and no ongoing financial commitment. If you have ever had a service or bought a product at The Spa, you have accrued points that may be used like cash. It’s an automatic system and is quite beneficial to our regular clients.  Everyone loves it.”

It’s not hard to feel the difference at The Spa ~ Los Gatos. As soon as you walk through the swinging door from the lobby into the treatment area, you’re transported by sight, sound and scent into a roomy sanctuary designed and devoted to bring you a true day spa experience.

New to Spa Treatments? Here are some answers to those tricky questions and concerns…

By Patti Rice

First-timers at a day spa can be downright scared by the unknown of what is going to happen to them. New environments and experiences, especially those that involve personal space, make people justifiably uneasy. So, in this article I thought I would put some minds at ease and go over common questions and concerns.

How much should I undress?

Massage therapists are professionals and are trained on draping techniques that cover you in a discreet way while allowing them to work your muscles in the direction and length of stroke that gives you the most benefit. For them to be able to do this, it is best that you are completely undressed. If that just sounds like too much for the first time, tell your therapist that you are somewhat uncomfortable with the nudity as it is your first time, and leave your underpants on. I think after you find out how well covered you really are, you’ll feel at ease without them on your next visit. Bras really get in the way and your breast will never be exposed during a massage, so go ahead and leave your bra in your locker. Many spas offer a thick, plush robe to lounge in between service times, so you are fully covered before and after. Just remember robes can gape, so be sure to sit like a lady in the common areas. Men, the gaping robe can also happen to you, so please keep those legs together!

 For a facial, you can certainly leave underwear on, but since many facials incorporate a neck and shoulder massage, and often times a light foot massage, you don’t want that hampered by bra straps or socks.

I don’t want anyone to see my icky body!

Again, therapists are professionals!  They are not there to judge you; they are focused on pain and stress relief, not how much cellulite you have on your thighs or how long it’s been since you last shaved. You’re fine just the way you are.

I feel uncomfortable speaking up if I want different pressure or style of massage.  I don’t want to offend them.

Remember this is YOUR time and nobody knows your preferences better than you.  The therapist is there to make you feel better, and they truly want to make the experience the best it can be. Therapists are grateful for your feedback and will never be offended at that type of request.

What if I snore?

Snoring is the biggest compliment possible to a therapist!  It means you have relaxed and are feeling safe and comfortable.

How much should I talk?

Talk only enough to make you comfortable.  Telling your massage therapist or esthetician about any concerns, pressure preferences, etc. is perfectly normal.  Do not feel compelled to carry on a conversation.  Take a deep breath, relax and be okay with the time being all about YOU instead of you catering to others. 

These are just a few of the most common concerns we see.  Should you have any other questions you would like to see answered, e-mail me at patti@thespalosgatos.com

Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons and a New Year filled with joy, health, happiness and success in all your endeavors!