Therapy By Heart

Exploring the Differences of Energy Guided Treatments in Comparison to Mind Driven Treatments

By Michael Koethner Wellness & Healing Consultant, Spa Transition | July 13, 2014

First, I would also like to thank Hotel Executive to give me the opportunity to give me a voice, even if sometimes critical and heads on. Second, I would like to just send a reminder to the reader before they continue reading this article. The wellness and spa industry is a healing industry. Its purpose is to help people get better, physically and emotionally. It is not an entertainment, nor an animation industry or party dungeon where groups of people hang out, splurge their live away and behave like the world has come to an end and treat everyone like their personal slave. Excuse me for this expression, but I have seen it happening, and I am not impressed by companies and top leaders who let this happen, or even make it happen, due to an arrogant and/or incompetent understanding. When I think about what I have seen and experienced I still get the shivers, paralyzed and day dream in disbelieve.

This is one side of the business, not many people have seen or even care talking about. They are too scared of losing their position and income. They bare the behavior of their companies and bosses they work for, but not yet be aware of the consequences once this is coming to public attention. On the other hand, there are many excellent and very well trained and educated people working in the industry trying hard to clean up the bad image and influence this industry has been living and operating under for years. There are still many misconceptions about this industry and my articles are of educational purpose and to enhance the awareness of what is happening out there on the market and what can yet to be done, hoping that more and more people stand up and change what needs to be changed.

The spa and wellness industry is also a business, but one that deals with people's health concerns, just like your medical doctor next door. People who normally come to a spa looking for help to get a physical or emotional imbalance fixed, meaning they want to get back to normal function. There is still not enough awareness of the potential of what this industry, its practitioners, therapists, doctors can offer to clients, guests, members, corporate clients and the like. There are hundreds of different modalities and healing techniques available, that can cater for any dis-ease or dis-comfort, be it chronic or acute, to any person of any age. As this industry has become part of the hotel and resort operation it has taken on some of the features of the hospitality industry, in order to survive in such an environment. But as a matter of fact, it may look like a hotel or resort, because it has a reception, a lobby, a booking feature for rooms, some have F&B outlets, some have health bars, but at its core of the operation and the manning it is very different in comparison to the hotel or resort operation. However, these aspects are so wide ranging that they should be discussed in different articles.

The first and foremost priority of a spa and wellness center is the healing aspect. In order to provide high quality treatments and services to any guest, every manager and therapist must have adequate and recognized qualifications and diplomas in order to be entitled to work in such a beautiful environment. All work specific training and education must be done in recognized schools. It cannot be done on site. Just like a good chef has to go up to 3 years of pre-education before they actually become a chef, the same is for any therapist who wants to work in a spa and wellness center. A company cannot take someone from the street and tell them in 2 weeks how to rub a skin, then selling it as a massage for an extraordinary sum of money. In addition to the qualification the associates must also be prepared to help people get better and understand that they are confronted with all sorts of problems and concerns the guests will tell them about. To be able to handle this stress factor, the person must be very mature and confident in order to provide excellent guest service satisfaction

Too many companies and their leaders still think that this is a matter of little concern. Please do not underestimate the power of this industry and the requirements the future guest will bring into the hotel or resort when visiting a spa and wellness center. Uneducated, unqualified and incompetent managers and associates can cause much havoc to the business and the clean-up is up to three times more costly than the initial planning and building of such enterprise. Do not belittle or underestimate the power the healing industry is putting into the awareness of humanity. A spa and wellness center can be successful as an F&B outlet if the company would listen to the professionals, who possess the passion and the desire, have the education and carry the certification in their pockets. So much for the introduction.

The spiritual part of this journey leads to the fact that not one person can ignore spirituality these days anymore. It has finally moved into consciousness of the planets inhabitants, people are now aware of its existence, it has become a part of our daily lives. Please be also aware that spirituality is not the same as religion, and it has been reported and documented in many research papers by world famous and well regarded scholars. Spirituality can be considered as the energy that makes everything happen, and every person has access to it at all times. It is the unseen force behind everything. Religion is a Dogma and a system to control people, to put it simply. Religion is a system of the past. All systems of the past are based on the same core feature - they are there to control people and make them do things they would never do if they would use their free will and knew who they truly were by nature. For hundreds of years these systems of control has successfully survived and used many people on this planet to the benefit of the system leaders only. Systems of the past are based on fear. The future is based on love and healing.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.