Mourning the Past You – Your Spiritual Spa Journey

21 11 2009


I follow many tops spa blogs, and have collaborated with the talented and motivated authors of several of them.  Which is why I was pleased to find an unexpected post and link from A Girls Gotta Spa. Not necessarily related to spas as we think of them, but transformation and mourning.  ( in a sense)While we often seek spiritual connection and more self awareness, many don’t place the connection of the real grieving process, and true mourning that goes into creating a true YOU.  Letting go of the past to discover the future.

As we go through transitions in our life, whether expected or not, whether our choice or seemingly thrown upon us, like a ton of bricks……it is important to mourn the past.  Just as you would a death, because ultimatley the same emotions will arise.

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Guilt
  5. Depression
  6. Acceptance

The past year for me has been a down and dirty, true grit, in your face, life changing transformation just like that. I’ve grieved, and I’ve found some eye opening changes. I found some of my own words of late from an interview of Lady Gaga, in one of my fav beauty blogs. Famous singer/song writer Lady Gaga’s talks about becoming her

In her new album “Fame Monster” she says she “wrote about fear”, and that she is “holding onto my solitude, and wrestling with my thoughts”. Her words, pose a pretty candid look into who she was and who she is. Well said for her own experiences, it is something we should all be delving into.

She also mentions, interestingly enough, something I’ve thought much about this past year, for myself and others. “MASKS”. We all wear them, and peoples’  image control can make us believe they are something they are not, and make us believe we are the masks we wear ourselves. Only exposing what’s behind the mask, can take you deeper.


For me, I’ve recognized that the struggle against certain changes, were actually an opportunity to recognize more of myself, and pursue my true talents even more. When I finally ceased to resist, more rapid transformations came that lead to  more opportunity.

Transformation is not easy or uncomplicated. Grieving, is even less so. Your beliefs will be disrupted, relationships affected, emotions erupt, doors closed, others opened, and on and on. If you’re expecting otherwise, and not willing to do the real work, you will be sorely disappointed.

Changes may not always come in the ways we want or expect, but if we trust ourselves, and keep a keen eye out for new angles, we will be able to enhance our personal development.

These words about fear and masks, grieving and transformation, have been said by many in their own ways, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and coutless others…..but solidfying it in YOUR words is what matters.

While this post is not all about Lady Gaga, or myself, it is about an opportunity. More spas are connecting with individuals spirtuality, and creating workshops and programs that allows people to do transformational work. This is something we know well in the spa and wellness industry.

Thanks Lady Gaga, thanks Girls Gotta Spa, and thanks to you!  If you feel the new you is just not in the cards, take another look. Just when you want to give up, it will be there.

If you’d like to find more on retreats for spiritual spa journeys, you can check out;

Spiritual Spa Collection

Day Spa for the Mind

On the Joy Path


Christmas Made Easy – And Comes Early!

19 11 2009

We’re not quite in December yet, but I’m sure many of you see the signs and sounds of it on the horizon. That’s why we’ve included “Christmas Made Easy”. Make it 12 days of christmas, spa style. Enjoy!

December is such a hectic month, there are Christmas cards to write, presents to buy, parties to go to and a desperate need to catch up with or make contact with everyone in your address book.

 It’s the time of year when we spend most of our time thinking about other people. We have to schedule in time for writing copious amount of Christmas cards to people we haven’t seen for years, we ponder what we can get friends and family for Christmas and there is an urgent need to schedule dates to get together with friends you haven’t seen for ages and it all has to be done within a few already hectic weeks. Do you ever wonder why there is so much urgency, and why year after year we continue to stress ourselves out over what is essentially a church service and a roast dinner?

 Instead of running around like a headless chicken, wouldn’t the whole festive season be much more relaxing and enjoyable if we spent less time thinking about what we need to do for everyone else and think a little more about nurturing ourselves?

 You can still involve family and friends in your plans, but make your plans more about you – and believe me they will love it too!

 Here are some great tips on how to indulge yourself whilst others think you’re thinking about them:-

Tip 1

 1. Instead of organising your office Christmas party in a local restaurant or night club, book a relaxing spa day in a luxury spa venue. I can guarantee it will provide welcome stress relief to all. How much better would you feel the morning after if you went to bed after a day of relaxation and pampering? A soothing full body massage, a healthy spa lunch and just the right amount of time dipping in and out of the pool. Nothing too strenuous….. and so much better than getting drunk, having a fumble in the stationery cupboard with the boy from accounts and waking up with a very sore head!

Tip 2

 2. My second “top tip” is to avoid the shops altogether! How easy could you make Christmas shopping if it was all done on-line? No more trawling up and down the high street spending ridiculous amounts of money on “stuff” that no one really wants and will never use. Far better to buy your mum, dad, sister, brother, best friend (in fact any one on your Christmas gift list) a spa gift voucher for a luxurious spa day or spa break? In fact why not really spoil yourself and take advantage of some of the great deals on-line on spa days for two and get your loved one to take you along for a spa of pampering too?

Tip 3

 3. My third tip is to stop rushing around trying to cram everything in before Christmas and kick-start your new year, new you regime in a top spa hotel. Luxury Hotels are traditionally a bit quieter in January and February and therefore offer some superb spa deals, which if you knew about them would be very difficult to resist. So why not get together with the group of friends you really wanted to make contact with on the run up to Christmas and book yourselves a special offer spa break at a spa hotel convenient to you all.

 The best advice I can offer for a relaxing Christmas and New Year is to contact a reputable spa agent who will be able to source you the best deals and take care of all your requirements, whether you’re booking a Christmas “Sparty” (spa party) for work, buying spa gift vouchers for friends and family or getting together with friends in the new year – a good spa agent will save you money, time and give you the opportunity to indulgence yourself too. Perfect.


Industry News – Brand Development

1 11 2009


2009 – Spa development with key brands continues to grow even in economical challenges, and they look for key people to help in that growth. Lotus Effects Spa Advisory founder, Liz Galloway joins  with wellbeing group, Fuenso, for the growing Spanish Spa brand, Bodyna Natural Care, in brand awareness and international sales development.

The Bodyna spa portfolio includes 10 properties filled with mystique throughout Spain and the Baleric Islands of the Mediterranean.  Cocconed in structures filled with history, the 5 star intimate settings, give you the close boutique feeling but with much more. Ten very good reasons to visit Spain.

With over 10 years of spa development experience, Galloway brings a creative passion to the complete wellbeing group, and a strong focus on additional avenues of the brand  concept diversification.  New projects include specialty seminars, Bodyna spa product distribution with key partners, advantages in the virtual world, emotional branded partner events, training developments and more.

“I come with my love of movement, health, wellness, and public relations, ready to go full speed ahead.” Says Galloway of living in Barcelona and diversifying the brand.  “If a brand utilizes its flexibility,  adaptability, and trend –watching, it can continue to grow in innovative ways. That’s exciting.”

She brings experience from projects in the U.S., Costa Rica, India, and training worldwide to the group. As a freelance writer for several industry publications, an experienced expo speaker, and creative thinker, she joins a wonderful team of professionals at Bodyna Natural Care.

The Bodyna spa concept looks to customize it’s treatments within locations worldwide. A full replicable layout and support team can manage your hotel or resort property wellness areas. Clients are able to enjoy Bodyna branded spas, and it’s Pure Sleep, Pure Energy concept, while hospitality brands continue to look for key management companies like this one to take on new wellness projects. The brands growth plan includes large wellness investments entering Beirut and Syria, with eyes on other Middle East locations, Europe and the U.S.. Market analysis and collaboration with key partners continues to make this brand one to keep your eyes on.

Liz Galloway comments “Creating influential experiences that uphold healthy lifestyles and a philanthropic brand, while getting our message to the right people, is my focus”

Bodyna Natural Care.  Liz Galloway is an internationally known trainer, and spa and leisure consultant for Lotus Effects Advisory and works in Marketing  for Bodyna luxury spa brand in the Mediterranean. Over 10 years in the industry, and living internationally, she currently lives in Barcelona, continues to work with international clients, and write for several industry publications. Find out more at or contact her direct at 



Refresh Your Sleep. Increase Your Sales.

18 08 2009

sleepDid you sleep well last night?  You may be one of those who can fall asleep anywhere (parks,class, movies, weddings, while driving….) and partakes of the famed “siesta.”  A very serious subject in the Mediterranean. Try to do your errands or get some shopping done during siesta” time. (2-4 p.m.) Fuget’  da ’bout it!

While I’ve been fascinated by sleep and dreaming since primary school days, I’m not one of the lucky ones who has ease with the mistress of sleep.  Besides I’ve often thought it was a waste of time. Just think how much you could get done if you didn’t require the need for sleep.  However, until I’m part bionic, I still require, sleep, food, and water. Ahhhh….

LA CAIXA 16Babies sleep when it calls, then we pass through the sleepless days of adolescense and return to the need for more sleep in our maturing years. (sometimes not voluntary) What ever your sleep “patterns”‘ are they determine your efficacy during the day, your weight, and the quality of your life, among other things.

It’s been medically proven that sleep affects every aspect in our lives.  There are severe sleep disturbances  such as sleep apnea, or more superficial disturbances such as reapeated waking through out the night.  All of them can be measured with a simple sleep study.  Sleep studies monitor if you  reach REM sleep, where your concious being is allowed to rest or if you  sleep on a more superficial level, leading to a night’s rest that leaves you feeling….well…..sleepy!

I decided to give my sleep the test. I had nothing to lose, and every edge to gain. I volunteered for a new sleep program launched on the island of Mallorca.  If nothing else worked, I would have at least enjoyed breathtaking surroundings, and gotten out of my daily routine. That alone was worth the asking price of the all inclusive program at 3,500 euros. (approx. $4,760)

It came at a great time too, since I’ve been researching corporate health, competitive edge, and the success patterns of high level CEO’s to include in a new book. The title CEO demands creativity and the ability to carve out your own path. It also has given way to some little secrets of the successful, and uber rich. High level executives seek out healthy programs that can offer an edge. Since not a single one of us, is completly balanced ALL of the time, even execs, presidents, and  famous althetes seek out coaching, training, and exclusive programs to help them stay on top. Sleep programs are a trend in the area of “edge”.

The reason? IT WORKS. People who are required to stay fresh and lithe mentally, need an edge, and time to download all of the gathered info.

Many employers, corporate health supporters and fortune 100 CEO’s are finding that paying attention to each of their own unique sleep-wake cycles can improve their competitive edge. Clear mind, inceased creativity, and an effective focus.

 View my candid sleep journal and night “cam” during my own medically supervised sleep study while visiting a 5 star spa in the beautiful Mediterranean island of Mallorca. As I lay down at 11.15 p.m., I record some of my thoughts on what the expectations are.  (Be warned I look like I’m recovering from a hospital stay)  Tomorrow at 8.00 a.m. the doctor and sleep guide are scheduled to be in my room (swanky private hotel suite) to wake me, remove the electrodes, and ensure I do the first step of my 10 step program for the day. Stretching!

Click here:   Spa Sleep Program, Mallorca Spain

 My medical consultation and polysomnography results showed I didn’t sleep so bad afterall, but my oxygen levels where down, I had several unnecessary “arousals” throughout the night. Plain language, waking up for minutes at a time, pulling me out of REM, and lessening my deep sleep. My sleep hygiene needed to be altered to increase my productivity.

  • NO more computer in bed
  • NO more eating in bed. (yes on occasion and don’t say you don’t do it too)
  • NO more late night TV watching
  • NO more doubling the bedroom for an office, daycare, visiting room, or anything else.

In short, among others, I had to develop a habitual sleep routine.

There are many spa sleep programs and the buzz is growing.  Find out more under sleep hygiene or our links in this blog., or by joing the “Learn To Sleep” program in Mallorca.

Sleep may seem like a huge waste, but there must be a reason that 1/3 of our lives is spent asleep.  So retreat to your man cave, your boudior, sun patch, beach hammock, or massage table, and sleep, sleep , sleep away.

It wouldn’t hurt to get your sleep study results and change patterns in your life either. I helped me.

In the end, refreshed sleep will increase your sales, and leaves you more efficient throughout the day.


Robert DeStefano Sleep Seminars

Learn to Sleep Mallorca

Health Toursim Refugees! International Medical Tourism on the Rise!

28 04 2009

I typically refrain from press release listing and over all press in lieu of informative opinions and industry news. However I’m making an exception as this is relevant to current growth. Enjoy!

images-costa-beach-2Salt Lake City/San Jose, Costa Rica April 2009 – U.S. economics may drive more Americans to pursue healthcare overseas. But the truth is, health tourism refugees have been crossing boarders for both, compulsatory and complimentary medical therapies for years. The ‘little Switzerland’ of Central America, lush and topical, Costa Rica (CR) is leading the charge. The Costa Rican National Competitiveness Council, Minister of Tourism and Minister of Health are working with U.S. partners to put them at the top of the international medical tourism and spa standards list. 

Hotel spas are still resilient, some reporting a 46% growth from the previous year, and investments are increasing for the health tourism sector. Timing is right to launch an official prologue of international spa standards with a new Costa Rican Spa Association, linked with a U.S. partner.  Governmental efforts and international partners will increase medical tourism and the overall GDP. Always a leader in conservation, growth and diplomacy, Costa Rica is a small country with big plans.

Lotus Effects Spa Advisory is in discussions with Competitiveness Council members and the U.S. Day Spa Association (DSA) to head up a beneficial partnership for Costa Rica, and Latin America.  “2009 will be a year for trailblazing in this sector” says Lotus Effects founder, Liz Galloway. “The generosity and fortitude of people we are working with such as, the Day Spa Association founder, Costa Rican competitiveness minister, and local spa advocates, creates a common goal for international spa standard success.”

Areas reviewed will be policies and regulation, safety and hygiene, environmental sustainability and the prioritization of tourism in the sector. “No doubt, the attraction of combining vacation time, with recovery time, is well received by the health ‘refugee’.  The holistic and alternative therapies combined with health tourism and mixed use facilities is also highly attractive to foreign travelers. A fraction of the medical cost for great care, doesn’t hurt either.” States Galloway.

Costa Rica ranks 4th  in the top 10 Americas for attractiveness in the travel and tourism sector, according to the travel and tourism competitiveness report. The Costa Rican council’s immediate goals are to open up opportunity, job generation, and investment, along with the chance for medical tourism. “at least 0.5% of Americans without medical insurance to travel to (CR) to get treatment…. which would mean at least 230,000 patients.’’ Quoted by Jorge Woodbridge Gonzalez, Council of Competitiveness.

Discussions are to aid governmental goals in the spa sector and to work with CR to become the leader in Central American Spa Standards. These US and CR partners will create systems that have comparable standards to the U.S. spas and other international leaders in high standards. Become part of the discussion. 

Lotus Effects Spa Advisory is an advocate for the national and international standards of Costa Rica. Founder Liz Galloway works within Costa Rica on spa and wellness projects, along with working with the government, spas, investors, and spa associations to create standards. Lotus Effects is based in Barcelona, Spain, with representation in the US  and Costa Rica. This is an internationally recognized spa advisory and consultancy focused on partnering creatively to increase, pace, sophistication and profit for spas, resorts and leisure communities.

More references on this;


Medical Tourism Association

Day Spa Association

International Medical Spa Association

Medicaview International

Lotus Effects


Joint Commission International

Is “Luxury” Taboo? Purposeful Leisure Companies Are New Trendsetters

24 04 2009


Nothing is Taboo

Nothing is Taboo

Spas and resorts are paying attention to the economic trends at the luxury level. The tell – tell signs of  expansion or retraction here can be like the canary in the mine. Most spa trends, casino and hotel spas being an example, show upward growth. However, lately, many spa and hospitality planners are more apt to err on the conservative side. When it comes to gifting, purchasing and luxury related healing therapies, spa and hospitality budgets are shrinking. Especially with corporate goodies, which were extravagant when bookings were at a high in fat times.    


Will luxury goods, services and high end destinations take a bigger hit in 2009?  Will it be taboo to partake of luxury services and products? Or can we have faith that spas and leisure are here to stay and amid the slowdown people will evolve to create their own ‘purposeful leisure’ options? More people are combining  pampering, getaways, and other leisure time with a ‘give back’ mentality that changes leisure into a purpose driven result. Guilt free. The growing trend in ‘Volun-Tourism’, showcases that. Choices are endless with packages to volunteer  in a Cambodian orphanage to cleaning up international reefs.  Leisure with a purpose seems to be a newly revived social trend that spa and hospitality venues can tap into for wealth building.  Creating activities and packages with this theme, has already increased the revenue of trendsetters and marketing innovators.   


Luxury Travel Vacation

Luxury Travel Vacation

Take a look at charity driven travel as told in  Forbes Traveller  by author Rebecca Ruiz. “Buying travel packages or event tickets through charity auctions is not a new trend, but it can be a useful tool for conscientious travelers who like the idea of combining a vacation with altruism. Once aware of the option, says Founder and CEO Kelly Fiore, “Why would you do it a different way?”.  In short, people purchase items, services and travel from a charity related site or event. The win – win is the client receives great items, and the charity gains useful funds. A  desire for guilt free indulgences, travel, luxury and products, can be developed into a grand PR opportunity for your spa or leisure location. 

 Ok,  some of you may be saying ANY of YOUR leisure time IS purposeful.  This concept is nothing new. Your right.  It’s relative to your perception. In business perception is imperative to growing. With media continuing to highlight the downturn, and overindulgence frowned upon, business solutions may not be so obvious. Do remember, one item  that will never be overindulgent or taboo, is excellence in client service.  Time to expand your perception.

So how do we utilize this purposeful social trend to not just indulge, but to create purpose for ourselves and our spa clients?  Tracking the current trends in luxury travel and purchasing  to get creative, and jump on board with new options would be one way. If you can’t get creative on your own, using media conscious tools or a PR consultant to collaborate on regional to international marketing campaigns could be the difference between  business recognition or obscurity. 



Corporate Luxury Gift

Corporate Luxury Gift


Let’s consider what you need to produce the results your want from your clients. Would you have use for the uber –luxury items in this video.?  If this doesn’t fit your client profile, don’t worry. As with all products and services, stop and ask yourself if this is something your clients can use?

   Your clients – everyday people, professionals, tycoons, and celebrities all have the same capacity to be stressed, just for different reasons. We are in a unique time, and one I believe we can use to forge new positive pathways with staying power.  Statistics show that people continue to use leisure services and spa treatments to decompress. Many spas are still ringing in positive sales quarters, despite some luxury taboos. Industry trend setters continue to keep a close watch on the current economics and client responses within the spa, luxury and leisure industry.  Susies spa blog cites this reponse, “most spas say that bookings are up or holding steady” and “weekend bookings are still at capacity.” While I am sure that these spas have been affected somewhat by the economic downturn, there is resiliency. Why? Another trend in our top 10 – Stressing De-Stress.”  Susie Ellis, SpaFinder.   

 This is a bit of a spoof since most small and medium size spa and leisure companies, won’t be in the market for this type of  luxury. But instead of laughing it off, take the time to understand the entire scope of luxury (comfort), from high brow to low brow. 


Volun-Tourism Globally

Volun-Tourism Globally

Industry resiliency will reflect the client’s desire for value drive, relevant and results oriented, leisure fun. Including, spa, wellness, travel, volun-tourism, and other comfort products. While smaller, weaker brands may suffer the worst, and smaller spas may be hit the hardest. More established spa brands such as Champney’s, and Mandarin Oriental are expected to stay strong through the downturn.  Subsequently, newly  established spa locations and markets will also struggle to stay in the eyes of the consumer and industry marketers. 


 While larger brands can push ever more spending on publicity, smaller competitors will push to do the same, overspending. This may push them out of business.  If you are amid the small to medium size brands, operate as such, and don’t expect that you will have the media budget of a corporate brand. Even in a downturn, people will de-stress, and working with a local brand can be a value judgement for the client.  A revived purposeful leisure trend, enables people to explore new markets, with the ‘give back’ mentality.  Affordable luxury, or should we say well-being, still drives the market. New collaboration and package opportunities for individual businesses are ripe.

Though taboo luxury, has seen declines from the world’s top luxury trade fair in Basel, to  big layoffs at the  Greenbrier Resort , West Virginia, and fashion at the Christian Lacroix show in Paris. It will do no good , not to take a look at the positives. The new trend in leisure with a purpose just may be contributing to human growth as a whole.  No matter what your global positioning is, take a moment to participate in your own purposeful leisure activity. Your effects could be global.

To find our more, or brainstorm on our own purposeful leisure, get in touch with Lotus Effects

It seems spa and leisure trends can go two ways. Even more excessive pampering of the wealthiest clients, or deep discounting in an attempt to save falling sales. The businesses that fall into the gray matter in between may be feeling most of the pinch, with the deep discounters coming in a fast second. Luxury is still alive and well, but many are now taking a more conscientious look at defining that luxury. With societal opposition to opulence, many companies are opting to disengage from using the word luxury, for more relatable words such as, comfort and well being.  This can endear people to their brand, while still allowing them to provide a high level of comfort..



Celebrity Spa Lounge Sundance – Getting Involved

14 02 2009

According to the Chinese  lunar calendar, 2009 is the year of the ox. Leading those of us, myself included, who fall under the symbol of the ox, to believe this is the year to acheiving tremendous success with hard work  and creativity.

Though such an auspicious year doesn’t need to be announced for people to be successful, I’m looking forward to being an ox. I’ve started out the year with some great events, including a spa event at Sundance 2009. With so many celebritites, spas and pampering are going to be a part of the Sundance life. There were a few great spa lounges and industry leaders at the venue, such as World Spa Lounge and Green Spa House, that were getways for the elite and their ‘people’. These are private invite only locations, where VIP lists and your favoriate celebrities can go for down time. The flow was great and without the pretentious feel you may get other locations. The mountain city for the festival and the casual attitude were a perfect fit for spa-ing.


 Some of the private houses and lounges have A list celebrities every year, like ours. We offered free gift certificates, treatments, and products to our guests from our sponsors.  

chanchiAdditional products like CHAN CHI, yoga for your face were highlighted at Sundance venues and interviews.  Others included Jamu, Sawan, swag bags from Sephora and luxurious spa treatments.


Other local spas in the area or catering to the elite in some way, included Green Valley Spa, Amatsu, Aura Spa, Vie, and Stein Erickson. All favorites to check out next time you’re visiting Park City.

celebrity2If you weren’t able to be a part of this year, it’s time to start thinking about next year’s involvement. Sponsorships are phenomenol with opportunity for direct presentation to celebrities in spa treatment areas and gifting lounges.


Lux Spa Lounge 2010 will be hosted by Lotus Effects, and right in the hub celebrity31on Main Street with some of the biggest celebrities and gifting lounges. Start planning to put this into your marketing mix now, and calculate the ROI on getting your product, destination or treatment into the hands of celebrities. Photo opp’s, treatment presentation, media firm and PR director will aid you in getting even more exposure for Sundance 2010  and carrying on the post event PR.

Now is the time to get the best return on marketing. No more worry about pitching to Oprah, and spending thousands on the possibility of exposure with radio or TV. You bypass celebrity agents and have PR to use forever. This is marketing at the next level. The Sundance Film Festival, in it’s 25th year, is one of the biggest celebrity attractors each year. Oh yeah and you can see some great films before anyone else, talk with directors and network like crazy. Ready to be an ox in 2009?

I’ve spoken with lots of people who are concerned about the economy in the spa industry. Investors and banks are holding back, and some projects are on hold. With the economy shifting, the pressure is on to increase profit margins, not just sales. That includes money that will bring in the most return for your message, scaling back  in areas that don’t bring a return, and thinking BIG! The differentiator is the creativity, the edge and making (and tracking) the right sale.

If you’d like to contact us about 2010 marketing packages , from $1,500 – $8,500, and your space at LUX SPA LOUNGE 2010 I’d be happy to create the perfect mix for you spa, resort, body/face product or related product launches for the celebrity spa lounge. Send an email to

We will have boutique spas from Spain highlighed along with new product launches, at LUX SPA LOUNGE.

Our message is a world conscious driven lifestyle that brings wellness and spas to everyone.  Check out the above mentioned products and enjoy them along with people like Jessica Alba, Julianne Moore, Anne Heche, and Ashley Judd.

It’s time for conscientious efforts in 2009. Ox and all. Make the effort and you will see the return.  You can still stay true to your message and we can help you do that.