Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | April 14, 2009

How to Give a Shirodhara Part #4: Preparation of Medicines

How to Give a Shirodhara Part #4
Types of Shirodhara and The Traditional Preparation of Medicines

We teach the basics of “How to Give a Shirodhara” in the Body Wisdom Best of Asia Spa Course.

Introduction to the Preparation of Medicines and Liquids for Shirodhara:
One of the most unique aspects of Shirodhara is the wide variety of liquids that can be used to treat the various conditions of the patient.  I refer to patient here rather than client or guest because in the traditional sense there neither was nor is the aspect of Shirodhara as a relaxing “spa-like” treatment.  In ancient India right up to today Shirodhara is prescribed by an Ayurvedic physician as a series of treatments for a specific illness or imbalance in the patient. On the other hand of all of the Ayurvedic treatments the spa industry as adopted Shirodhara is the one most in use and enjoyed by thousands of spa-goers world wide.

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Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | April 9, 2009

How to Give a Shirodhara Part #3: Shirodhara Pot and Stand

How to Give a Shirodhara Part #3 “The Traditional Shirodhara Vessel and Shirodhara Stand”

Composition of the Traditional Shirodhara Pot
One of the most important aspects of a traditional Shirodhara is the Shirodhara pot which needs to be made with great care and understanding.  I am amazed when I see articles on the internet that suggest that a squeeze tube used for basting is an adequate delivery system for Shirodhara instead of a specially designed Shirodhara pot. The traditional Shirodhara pot is actually made of clay much to the surprise of most practitioners.  Yes, a very good pot can be made of copper, brass, silver and even gold but it is said that some liquids used for Shirodhara may not agree with the metals.  This is why many of the most authentic clinics in India still use the clay pots.  However these days many clinics and spas in India have switched to copper or brass or even stainless steel. I myself use both copper and brass and find them both to be very functional and without any problems.

Pictures and text to follow ….

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Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | April 6, 2009

How to Give a Shirodhara Part 2:

How to Give a Shirodhara Part 2:

When we are speaking of a traditional Shirodhara the first requirement is for the proper table called a Dharapati or Droni.  The making of a proper droni has many requirements starting with the selection of a suitable wood.  In Ayurveda the wood itself it considered to be a part of the healing process. There are many trees that can be used but one of the best is a droni made from wood of the Neem tree which is also used as an herbal remedy in Ayurveda for inflammatory skin conditions, itching and other skin conditions.  On average the droni must be about 80cm wide and 2.5 to 3 meters in length

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Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | April 5, 2009

How to Give a Shirodhara: Part 1

How to Give a Shirodhara: Part 1

Let me start by saying that I am not a Doctor of Ayurveda the likes of whom I have great respect for and I fully acknowledge that the understanding of Ayurveda in addition to a long education and internship necessitates a life time of continual study.  However I am a researcher into indigenous therapies and have spent a good deal of time in India specifically to track down the origins of dhara and Shirodhara and to document the traditional practices with the intention of bringing my findings to the global spa community and to the Body Wisdom Massage School for our Signature Spa Series here at Body Wisdom European Spa, Premier Spa Indonesia and Best of Asia Spa.  You can get an over view of what we are doing on a global level by viewing Body Wisdom Global.

There is considerable confusion in the Western world and especially in the global spa industry regarding what is commonly referred to as Shirodhara, the pouring of oil on the head.  Shirodhara as practiced in the spa industry with few exceptions hardly resembles the original tradition whatsoever. This is mostly due to misunderstanding and partly due to practicalities revolving around available personnel and equipment. The second part of the confusion lies in the perpetration of and dissemination of misinformation regarding this 1000’s of years old healing practice.

Shiro (head) and dhara (pouring of oil) is only one of many dhara’s and the pouring of oil is only one of several types of substances that are used for a traditional Shirodhara yet it is the only one commonly known.  The purpose of this article is to establish a baseline by explaining the basics of a Shirodhara done in the completely traditional way as I have learned in Kerala in the south of India.  Only when we as modern practitioners including the global spa industry can understand the original can we then decide with confidence and wisdom how best to adapt this amazing treatment and still retain the healing spirit and benefits of the original.

It is additional passion of mine is to fully educate the spa-going public as to the difference. It is my belief that only then will many spas desire to change their practices and menus to reflect treatments that are closer to the traditional form and to employ the necessary experts in the field, the adequate number of attendants and the proper equipment to perform a traditional Shirodhara.

In the next post I will discuss the traditional table used for Shirodhara called the Droni Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #2: “The Droni (table)”

Since I will be referring to Ayurvedic constitution in future posts you may want to discover your Ayurvedic constitution by visiting this site and taking their ‘dosha test”.

Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #2: “The Droni (table)”
Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #3 “Shirodhara Pot and Stand”
Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #4 “Preparations of Medicines”
Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #5 “Final Preparations for Treatment”
Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #6 “Traditional Shirodhara Technique”

Please let me know what you are thinking by commenting on this post

rhett


.
Rhett Hatfield, Owner/Director of Education Body Wisdom School
“750-1600 Massage Therapist Certification Programs, 5 Different Career Tracks.” Create your “custom massage certification program” of anywhere from 750-1600 hours of World Class Massage and Bodywork Education.  CEU Programs available

Find out about the Body Wisdom Career Track Program and our list of Program Electives and CEU Programs


Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | April 2, 2009

Niche Marketing Reality Check

Niche Marketing Reality Check:

The list of questions for this section is for you to take a “reality check” on whether you have chosen a viable niche market. One that will support your lifestyle (make you enough $$) and make easier your marketing and promotional efforts for your practice. Your choice doesn’t need to score a direct hit in every category but it helps.

One of the exercises from our 58 Hour Business and Marketing Course for Massage Therapists

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Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | April 2, 2009

How to Create and Write a Killer Spa Menu

How to Create and Write a Killer Spa Menu

When I work with a spa to create a unique spa menu I like to first know a little bit about their guests cultural back ground and their likes and dislikes.  What is their socioeconomic background, what is unique about them, what turns them on and off.   Are they looking for a quick massage service after a full day on the golf course or are they wanting a complete get-away-at-the-spa-day experience of several hours or more.

With that in hand I then brain storm about all the modalities that I know of to create the “next best thing” to inspire, intrigue and delight them.  Some of the choices might revolve around a welcome drink, foot bath ritual, selection of aroma oils, type of massage service, various wraps or scrub options, cupping,  moxa or other Asian inspired addition, sound elements like Tibetan bowls or gongs, the type of music (programmed for the treatment on an IPod), facial or other skin treatment, flower bath, after session refreshments and special room decorations or special touches. Read More…

Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | April 2, 2009

Asian Beach Foot Treatment

Asian Beach Foot Treatment

When you walk along most any beach in Thailand, the ones where the tourists hang out you are bound to run into two things; Thai Massage under a hut on the beach and Thai practitioners excited about giving you a Thai Foot Reflexology preceded by a great foot cleaning.  Using beach sand is what is there and a few practitioners incorporate it into their pre Thai Foot Massage treatments. Read More…

Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | March 31, 2009

Spa Botanica Jasmine Foot Soak

Spa Botanica Jasmine Foot Soak

While traveling in Asia 5 months out of every year for the past few years I have visited the Top 25 Spas in Bali and 5 star destinations spas all over South East Asia.  As a spa trainer for 5 stars such as Ritz Carlton, Radisson, Hyatt and Shangri La Nepal along with the satisfaction of training I get an inside look at successful spa operations and collect some “spa gems” along the way to include in our Signature Spa Series here at Body Wisdom European Spa, Premier Spa Indonesia and Best of Asia Spa.

A sensuous foot bath is pretty much a given on any spa menu in South East Asia.  A delightful way to begin your treatment offered in a spirit of reverence and service.  Below is a foot bath ritual from Spa Botanica in Bangkok one of their many locations all over SE Asia.

2 cups boiling water
1 cup dried Jasmine Flowers (can order online if you look around)
3-5 drops Sandalwood essential oil

Pour the hot water into a large foot bath basin big enough to fit both feet.  Add the Jasmine flowers and salt and let steep for 5-10 minutes.  Add the sandalwood essences and enough hot or cool water (create the perfect temperature) to cover the client’s or your feet.  Scrub the feet with some fresh salt crystals and soak for 10-15 minutes.

Please let me know what you are thinking by commenting on this post

rhett


.
Rhett Hatfield, Owner/Director of Education Body Wisdom School
“750-1600 Massage Therapist Certification Programs, 5 Different Career Tracks.” Create your “custom massage certification program” of anywhere from 750-1600 hours of World Class Massage and Bodywork Education.  CEU Programs available

body-wisdom-catalog

.

Find out about the Body Wisdom Career Track Program and our list of Program Electives and CEU Programs


Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | March 31, 2009

Marketing with Post Cards

Marketing with Post Cards

Here is an article by an LA printing company that I think is highly relevant for massage therapists to market their practices.  We cover that and much, much more in our 58 Hour Massage Marketing and Business Class (including Chair Massage)

You are overlooking a highly effective and very low-cost sales
tool if your marketing activity does not include postcards.

Here are some of the many reasons postcards should be a part of
your marketing program.

1. Postcards work for any kind of business.

Postcards can produce all kinds of sales activity for all types
of businesses. For example, they can produce web site traffic
for online marketers, floor traffic for retail stores and sales
leads for direct marketers. Read More…

Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | March 31, 2009

Aromatic Water Mists

Aromatic Water Mists

Someone said that “scent is like poetry to our nose, an ancient language that subtly influences mood.”

Below are some of my very favorite aromatic spray recipes that I have used time and again to delight clients and also students in our Premier Spa Indonesia Course.

Put all flower essences in a very fine mist aromatic sprayer.  I like the glass blue ones with the white tops that have an ultra fine mister.

Asian Waterfall:
This is one of my favorites.  Anytime I need a quick reminder of what its like to be back along the rivers and uplifting waterfalls of South East Asia I mist this in the air and I am there … ahhhh !!

3 drops Neroli (a little expensive but well worth it)
3 drops Geranium
3 drops Lavender

Thai Waterfall:
I have been to Thailand 7 times to study and bring back the many secrets of spa that abound in this lovely country.  I share many of these ancient secrets of health and beauty in our Best of Asia Spa Course at Body Wisdom.  Whenever I want a quick pick-me-up and remembrance of my time in the “Land of Smiles” I spray this over my body.  Clients absolutely love it at the end of a massage as a quick freshener and a delightful wake-me-up .. :))

3 drops Lime
3 drops Lemongrass
3 drops Ginger

Please let me know what you are thinking by commenting on this post

rhett


.
Rhett Hatfield, Owner/Director of Education Body Wisdom School
“750-1600 Massage Therapist Certification Programs, 5 Different Career Tracks.” Create your “custom massage certification program” of anywhere from 750-1600 hours of World Class Massage and Bodywork Education.  CEU Programs available

body-wisdom-catalog

.

Find out about the Body Wisdom Career Track Program and our list of Program Electives and CEU Programs


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