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Spa Pet Peeves

  • Posted on May 29, 2013 at 2:33 am

Today’s post focuses on spa pet peeves, highlighting spa and massage clients who have had less-than-amazing experiences. My goal is to help both the therapist and the client understand each other better, which will lead to an awesome spa experience every time. In airing pet peeves, I hope to open communication between the client and therapist. For massage therapists and other body workers: Please read and feel free to respond! Next week’s post will be all about you and your client pet peeves.

Complaint Department

I don’t have many spa grievances, but I will mention one. If I’m paying for a 50-minute massage, please give me a 50-minute massage. Starting late, or ending early, cuts into therapy time that I’ve paid for. And most massage therapists, even when beginning on time, spend the first few minutes very lightly grazing their fingers across your body, over the sheets and blanket, as if to “prepare” you for the massage. They might rock you a bit or even ask you to take a few deep breaths first before they begin.  I’d much prefer they skip these steps and simply get on with the massage. More time is also wasted when they leave you to get undressed for much longer than you need. It takes less than a minute to disrobe and get on the table, yet most therapists give you five minutes or more.

Debbie, a health administrator in San Diego, had been enjoying pedicures from the same place for 8 years, until she contracted a severe infection that required 2 weeks of antibiotics. Unfortunately, she did not report it and instead just stopping visiting that spa. But when something like this occurs, it’s important to say something to the spa manager, because your complaint could lead to stricter disinfecting practices, which are essential for spas that offer manicures and pedicures.

Don't Like My Therapist

Would it annoy you to listen to your aesthetician blabbing to a coworker while painting your toenails? When Bonnie, a Santa Fe, New Mexico, resident went to a local salon for a pedicure, her nail tech, along with the one sitting next to her working on another client’s nails, were “verbally bitch-slapping each other the entire time,” according to Bonnie. She did complain to management and received an apology, nothing more.

Jill, a Sonoma, California, resident prefers that her massage therapist not speak at all (unless necessary) during the massage. I usually prefer quiet as well, and appreciate it when the therapist knows when light chatting is okay and when it’s time to be silent.

Bad Pedicure

Communication is so important when it comes to the intimate nature of body therapies. Kindness and respect also go a long way. But when Beth Spottswood’s massage therapist intrusively threw talk therapy into the equation, even claiming that Beth’s ankle pain was her mother’s fault, the therapist had overstepped her boundaries. You can read about her story in the San Francisco Gate.

Do you have any pet peeves for your massage therapist, aesthetician, or spa? Let’s open the lines of communication. Next week, the therapists speak out. If you are a therapist who would like to chime in, please e-mail me at

Got Headache? This gadget might help ~ The WunderClip

  • Posted on May 10, 2013 at 4:21 am

WunderClip’s website says this about its product: “All natural pain relief literally at your fingers. No pills, no powders, no potions, no kidding.” They are referring to a headache remedy in the form of a two-inch yellow plastic doohickey that pinches the fleshy area between your thumb and index finger. The WunderClip is a natural headache treatment that operates on the ancient principles of Chinese acupressure.


Acupressure—and its close cousin, acupuncture—is based on the idea that we have a life force in our bodies that runs on pathways called meridians. When the energy (called chi or qi) is blocked, pain and disease can occur. The webby flesh between the thumb and index finger is the LI4 meridian (LI = large-intestine) and when squeezed, can relieve many types of headaches, particularly tension headaches and those stemming from tight neck muscles. As a chronic headache sufferer, I have often found myself pinching that area with my own fingers, only to get a cramp in that hand, and a bruise on the other. Then, on a recent flight to Los Angeles, I saw an ad for the WunderClip in the in-flight magazine. It claimed to do the pinching for me. I ordered one.

The WunderClip website shows a video on how to use it, but it was obvious to me, since I was a longtime pressure point squeezer. The ideal spot rests about 1.5 inches in from the edge of the padded area between the thumb and index finger. Think of the gadget as a clothespin, but with a more intense pinching mechanism. In fact, it holds on so tight that it won’t easily fall off, although I do recommend keeping your hand still to keep it in place.

My verdict is this: If this headache pressure point usually works for you when you activate it manually, the WunderClip will work as well, and you’ll save yourself the … um, headache … of having to use your other hand or asking someone else to squeeze the spot for you. I used it about five or six times, and it usually lessened the severity of my headache each time. I can’t say it ever completely disappeared, however. Then again, my headaches can be tough beastly little buggers. The makers suggest kneading the round ends together to intensify the pressure, and therefore the healing process. I did this, and the soreness jumped a notch, but it felt like therapeutic pain.


So, for convenience, I give the WunderClip a 9, and for effectiveness A 7.5. If you’re not used to stimulating the LI4 pressure point, the clip will feel very tight. Yes, it can hurt, but just enough to let you know it’s on the right spot, and that it’s working. I have found that the stronger my headache, the more painful this pressure point becomes, when stimulated.

The company does not indicate whether one hand should be treated over another, or if there’s any greater benefit to placing one on both hands simultaneously, but they do suggest you keep it on between five and fifteen minutes, then rest for five minutes, and repeat if necessary. I have a few of them now and keep them throughout the house and even in my car. They are $9.24 and you can find them at WunderClip.

If you try one, let me know if it worked for you!

Today’s Tip

WunderClip advises against use of the device if pregnant, as it can stimulate contractions.