What Does it Mean to Treat Yourself?

You hear it all the time, “go ahead, treat yourself!” or “you deserve it!” But do you ever really consider how important it is to truly set aside time that is JUST for you?

Our lives are so full of responsibilities, chores, commitments, and activities. We are constantly on the go and we often feel tired, worn out, and lacking energy. Separating ourselves from all the hustle and bustle is so important to rejuvenate, unwind, and refocus. When you’re at your best mentally, emotionally, and physically you are much more capable of facing life head on and caring for those around you. So how do we ensure that we get this “me” time regularly?

Everyone’s lifestyle is different but most of us can isolate a few hours here and there that we can dedicate to ourselves. Schedule this time into your day or week like you would an appointment or a meeting. You will feel less guilty about it because you’ve planned your other activities and commitments around it. This time is reserved Just. For. You.

Choose how you will spend this time. Will it be curled up with a book or art project? An hour long yoga class, gym session, or meditation? Maybe it’s a relaxing bath with gentle music? Or perhaps, a walk in nature or through a favourite neighbourhood? It can even be as simple as watching a favourite Netflix series! Or visiting the spa! However you choose to spend this time make sure it’s spent doing what will make you most happy, calm, and relaxed! Disconnect from all the distractions and clutter of life and truly treat this time as your own.

When you take time for yourself you are putting your needs first – which is not a selfish act! As the saying goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Being able to appreciate your own needs is essential in order to recognize, and tend to, the needs of others. Make yourself a priority and watch as everyday stress starts to dissipate and your enjoyment of life increases.

Share with us how you like to spend down time! We’d love to hear from you.

NEW at Willow: OxyGeneo Treatments

We are delighted to introduce you to our latest skincare treatment, OxyGeneo! This “super-facial” is designed to perform 3 actions in 1 compact treatment: exfoliate, infuse, and oxygenate. Similar to microdermabrasion, the OxyGeneo will remove dead skin cells and smooth the surface of the skin, preparing it to receive active nutrients. These active nutrients are infused into the skin through the unique capsugen with either the NeoBright formula or NeoRevive. The NeoBright treatment is best suited for those with hyperpigmentation & sun damage as it will lighten and brighten the skin. The NeoRevive treatment is ideal for smoothing and reducing fine lines while revitalizing a dull complexion. Finally, the oxygenating stage of the treatment involves CO2 bubbles gently bursting on the skin. This sends oxygen-rich blood to the skin which improves circulation and provides optimal absorption of the product on the skin.

OxyGeneo treatments are suitable for all skin types – even sensitive! This treatment is ideal for those looking for a deep exfoliation and youthful, glowing skin. Try yours this month for the special introductory price of $135. OxyGeneo results are best when performed in a series of 3 ($375).

Willow’s Client Appreciation Programs

Looking for ways to get the most out of your spa experience at Willow? Get to know our amazing client appreciation programs so you can reap all the benefits we have to offer!

Monthly Promotions

Every month Willow offers a feature facial, service promotion, and retail offer! There’s always something new and interesting to try out and our promotions allow you to do just that.

Referral Program

We so appreciate when you share the Willow love with your friends & family! Each new guest you refer to Willow will get $20 off their first service just for mentioning your name. As a thank you, you will receive $20 off your next service. Referral credits never expire, and there is no limit to the number of people you can refer! Credits may only be used 1 per service.

Recycling Program

When it comes to the environment, Willow strives to be as eco-friendly as possible. We choose products that have minimal environmental impact, are sustainable, and include as many natural ingredients as possible. We also offer a Recycling Program to our clients so that you can help the planet AND save! Bring in ANY 3 empty cosmetic containers and receive any single product 10% off.

Re-Usable Cloth Tote Bags

Pick up one of our durable re-usable cloth tote bags for only $12! Re-use when you shop at Willow & all your products purchases are 10% off.

Rewards Program

Just by coming to Willow you are earning rewards! Receive 1 point (equivalent of $1) for every $100 spent on all service and product purchases. Let your points add up or use them frequently to SAVE!

Payment Plan

We want to help our clients achieve the results they’re looking for when it comes to their skincare goals. If a product regimen or treatment package is just out of reach ask about our payment plan options. We are happy to space out your payments to make looking & feeling your best even more affordable!

Bend Subscription

One of our most beloved products is our omega-3 (& so much more) supplement, Bend! This product works from the inside out to reduce skin inflammation, hydrate, and improve tone & texture. A daily dose is all it takes & we want to support your healthy skincare habits by keeping you on track. Join our subscription program & receive 1 bottle each month at 10% off. Program is a minimum 6 month commitment & your credit card will be charged on the same day each month. Pick up your bottle at your convenience.

My Reflexology Journey

I am proud to announce that I am now a Certified Reflexologist! It has been quite a journey over the last year and I would like to begin by thanking my clients who allowed me to use them for my case studies. You were all wonderful and very patient with me as I learned how to become a reflexologist by studying & working with each of you through different concerns and conditions. I would also like to thank Michelle for supporting me through this year of learning and for letting me use Willow as a meeting space for me and my clients.

Reflexology has always been an interest of mine, starting back when I was quite young. My mom’s friend brought over a map of a foot explaining that each point of the foot had a reflex that was directly related to each part of your body. She showed me a couple points where I could press to help with headaches, cramping, anxiety or worry. I was very intrigued!

I would often use the map and press on different areas of family members’ feet, noting any sore/tender reflexes and noticing that in fact, more often than not, these reflexes directly corresponded to an ailment or problem/pained area in their body.

I had wanted to take a course on reflexology for a number of years to learn more about the science behind it. The course itself taught me more than I ever thought it would; first about our reflexes and how the treatment works, and then, almost more importantly, I was able to learn about conditions unknown to me and get an in depth understanding of each system in the body, and how they are differently affected by these conditions. By knowing and understanding which areas of the body are affected by different conditions I’m able to tailor each treatment for each individual need.

As an esthetician my passion is to make people make people feel better inside and out. I am confident that becoming a reflexology therapist will help me be able to better help you.

I look forward to continuing this journey with each of you.

Much love, Michelle

Crystal Uses for Every Day

For present and future rock collectors, these shiny crystals are more than just something sparkly used in decoration and jewellery. Crystals are all uniquely different in size, shape, color and formation. Only your own intuition can guide you to the pieces that will resonate best with you. Take notice, when you receive a stone as a gift or even when you pick up a rock at the beach. Feel how your wellbeing is amplified by joining forces with the perfect pocket stone. Everyone has their favourites, and these preferences change over time as your physical, spiritual and emotional needs change. Here are a few of my favourite stones and practical ways to use them every day.

QuartzQuartz: quartz is one of the most versatile stones used in healing and one of the most common types of crystal on the planet. Its job is amplification and direction of energy. It brings with it clarity of intention, and it has a positive effect on all chakras and protects the aura. Quartz can be warn as jewellery, and it can be programmed with positive affirmations and power thoughts. This is a reminder to stay on track and to keep focus on the positive.

Try using quartz to purify and charge your drinking water. Make sure you sterilize your rocks thoroughly, and place them in the bottom of a glass container. This can be left for 24 hours and then the water can be consumed. Once the water is charged it will carry a more intense vibration, and dare I say, the water itself seems to taste sweeter.

AmethystAmethyst: this beautiful purple quartz formation is known to help with your intuitive connection. Large pieces can be placed around your space to act as energetic odor eaters. If you are required to wear glasses, allowing them to rest on top of an amethyst cluster is beneficial is seeing things from a positive and clear perspective, removing any negative visions from the wearer.
Try incorporating amethyst into your daily meditation practice. This can be achieved by holding the stone in your hand, placing it on your third eye, or even placing it in front of you to be used as a focal point.

SeleniteSelenite: this is a very soft transparent type of gypsum. It can be easily scratched with a fingernail it is so delicate. Named after the Greek goddess of the moon, Selene, it is known for its calming qualities. Keeping a selenite crystal next to your bed, provides the perfect vibration for a restful sleep.
Black Tourmaline: this is a stone that has been used since ancient times by Shamans, healers and magicians for protection. It is considered effective against negative energy and also as a grounding stone. Grounding is a process by which we connect to our body and become more present. Tourmaline allows us the space to let go of the negative and be fully present. This is a great stone to carry on the body. It can be made into jewellery or collect small pieces and place them inside your socks. This is often utilized by energy workers as it keeps them centered during treatments.

Becoming more present and sensitive to the energy flow from crystals gives us another way to connect to the Earth, and to ourselves. Find your perfect combination of stones, and let them help you with affirmations, healthy expressions of emotions, or even boosting your energy levels. As you meet and work with new stones, be reminded that we are surrounded by beauty and love every day.

Willow’s 6 Must-Have Products for Spring

The milder weather is settling in, the snow is melted, and the promise of summer is so close we can taste it! To ensure you’re prepped and primped for the sunny days ahead we’ve compiled a list of our 6 must-have products for this magical time of year.

  1. SPF. Okay, we admit, this is on our list all year round but now that we’re spending more time outside and the sun is growing stronger we can’t stress enough just how important sunscreen is! This time of year is particularly common for sunburns/sun damage as we don’t always know how much skin we’ll be baring when we leave the house. Heading out on a hike with a long-sleeve top on then find you’re stripping down to your tank halfway through? Make sure you prepare for this by bringing your sunscreen with you!
  2. Renaissance Glove. It’s time to say buh-bye to dry, flaky winter skin. Keep skin exfoliated with the Renaissance Glove so you’re ready to change from pants to shorts without feeling like you’re covered in an extra layer of skin. Soft, touchable skin is always in!
  3. Vitamin C Serum. Protect yourself & help prevent sun damage by using a Vivier Vitamin C product daily! Helps fight free radical damage, reduces pigmentation, and restores a youthful glow to the skin. This is a great time of year to start incorporating a vitamin c product into your routine if you haven’t yet.
  4. Foot File. Sandal season is coming & you’re going to want to show off soft, hydrated feet in your strappy new sandals. Keep calluses at bay with regular use of a foot paddle in the shower. We prefer Footlogix stainless steel files for professional results. Finish with a hydrating cream or mousse.
  5. Jane Iredale Forever Pink. Light, soft, and feminine pink is the spring trend for makeup. Jane’s Forever Pink is a lip & cheek stain that self-customizes its colour depending on your skin! Great for those weekend getaways when you don’t want to bring your whole makeup bag with you.
  6. Yonka Masque No. 1. Up your hydration by using Yonka’s Masque No. 1 2-3 nights a week. This time-release masque will ensure your skin is deeply hydrated when left on overnight. When you wake up expect the skin to look plump, dewy, and fresh. Exactly the look you want for spring.

Committing to the Environment with Eco-Friendly Practices

Earth Day is a celebration of our planet & a reminder to us all to do our part to protect this precious place. On April 22nd (and every day!) we encourage you to reflect on your own ecological impact & think of ways you can help protect & nurture the environment. This year’s theme for Earth Day in Canada is Earth PLAY! We are so fortunate to be surrounded by some of Mother Nature’s most beautiful gifts, so get OUTSIDE, run around, play, and enjoy the natural world around you.

At Willow we are always aware of our ecological footprint and we try every day to do our part for the environment. In honour of Earth Day we put together a list of some of the ways we are committed to keeping green. We hope you take some time to reflect on your own ecological practices this month and join us in committing to reduce our impact on the Earth!

Willow Recycling Program

Bring in 3 empty cosmetic product containers (from any brand) for recycling and receive 10% off any single product purchase at Willow.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

All detergents, cleaners, and soaps that we use are eco-friendly.

Organic & Sustainably produced product lines

LoveFresh, One Love Organics, Yonka, Jane Iredale, Bend, Earth Heart Aromas are some of our favourite product lines that are committed to eco-friendly processes. In fact, the entire One Love Organics product line and select Jane Iredale products are EcoCert Certified.

Re-Usable Willow Bags

We sell reusable cloth tote bags for $12. Bring it with you on your visit and receive 10% off your product purchases.

Buying Local

We support local businesses and partnerships in our community as often as we can!

Here are some great ways we can ALL help the environment:

  • Walk or bike
  • Purchase local, organic produce whenever possible
  • Use re-usable grocery bags, water bottles, and containers
  • Grow your own herbs or veggies at home
  • Recycle, compost, and reuse
  • Donate or sell unwanted items in your household (instead of throwing them away)
  • Recycle old electronics at your local drop off centre

We’d love to hear from you about your eco-friendly practices!

Five Reasons to Choose Reiki Massage

Why should you choose Reiki Massage?

Reiki is a Japanese style of healing which involves light pressure touching. There are many reasons to incorporate this healing art into your regimen of self-care. This treatment is natural and safe, and there are no negative side effects. Here are some ways to enhance your well-being using Reiki.

1) Increase of energy levels
The most common reason for booking a Reiki treatment is to increase energy. It’s very common in today’s society for people to work to a place of burn out. Suddenly the hours that used to feel manageable become overwhelming. With Reiki, this “laying on of hands” practice feels very revitalizing. Universal energy is channeled wherever it needs to go to help balance mind, body and spirit.

2) Relieves stress and anxiety
Just as meditation can be effective to help decrease daily stress, Reiki creates a similar environment. As the client receives warming healing energy, it may be noted that their breathing calms. For those who are continually analyzing and over-thinking, Reiki is a great practice to allow for a time to work on quieting those unnecessary thoughts. Getting into the present moment with Reiki helps to build personal power.

3) Aids better sleep
It’s not uncommon for people to even drift off for a moment on the treatment table. Reiki promotes healing dreams. Try a session and notice improvement in the quality of the sleep you receive after treatment.

4) Great for people who cannot withstand the pressure of massage
In many instances managing pain can be harder if the client’s condition will not allow for any manual therapies. For those with chronic pain, nerve impingement, or concussion, Reiki allows gentle touch or effects from indirect pressure to relax the muscles and help to decrease pain. When treating the fascia creates more than discomfort, Reiki is another tool a therapist can use to always create a beneficial effect.

5) Promotes emotional &  spiritual growth
Reiki is not just a treatment that you go to a spa to receive. It is a lifestyle following the principles of Reiki. These principles are about bringing harmony and respect to all living things. Reiki practitioners practice self-treatment and gratitude. Since Reiki itself is known as spiritually guided life force energy, often people feel more connected to the Universe or God. There is no dogma with Reiki, yet when one commits to living a Reiki lifestyle they are more easily able to let go of emotional and mental blockages. This healing is felt in a Divine way for many practitioners.

How Crystals Make You Feel Better

Collecting rocks has been a hobby of mine since I was old enough to stroll down the beach. Instinctively as a child I knew that each stone collected was truly a unique gift from the Earth. Some things never change and now as an adult my collection has grown and changed over the years. Until I became a massage therapist the connection between rocks or crystals and well-being was lost upon me. Taking my first training in Lastone therapy opened up a new way to experience my collection. I learned that the minerals found in each stone affected their color and their function. For example, stones high in iron, like basalt will hold heat for longer, while stones with a high calcium content, like marble will remain chilled for extended periods of time.

Like all living things, crystals have their very own unique vibrational energy. In fact these vibrational rates are so high and precise that you will notice that quartz is used in several types of modern technologies like digital watches, computers and cell phones. According to an article written by Curtis Lang, “crystals have a unique ability to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy and vice versa. This is called the piezoelectric effect.”  This effect has been scientifically demonstrated and known about since the 1880s, and since then scientists have seen that quartz has the ability to use unique vibrational patterns to store, amplify and transform other vibrations such as sound, electricity and periodic pulses.

This vibration that enables us to create amazing digital and electronic devices can also be used to improve our own vibrational fields. Quartz and other crystals have been used throughout the ages by healers and spiritual teachers. Just as quartz can amplify, store and transform vibrational frequencies in electronic devices, it also does so for the body. It helps to create balance and enhance our own energetic field. Metaphysically a quartz crystal represents all five elements of earth, air, fire, water and spirit. Crystals grow and are harvested out of Mother Earth. They allow light to pass through them infusing them with the element of air. Their high vibration represents their fiery side. Their molecular structure similar to the snowflake, represents water. Crystals are full of life force energy and you can feel it just as surely as you can touch a plant or tree and know it is alive and a gift of nature.

When you find or are gifted a stone or crystal that brings you joy, know that you can benefit from its powerful nature energy. This is why crystals are made into jewellery, kept in pockets and used to decorate your home. This is another way to keep connected with the Universe and to create joy and balance in your heart. Don’t let anyone tell you that your rock collection has no value. The happiness it brings you is just the beginning of its worth.

Amanda Crocker

Massage Therapist

spa experience

How to Get the Most out of your Spa Experience

A trip to the spa is meant to be an experience. Something out of the ordinary. A break from real life demands. In recent years, spa trends have really changed and we are seeing more and more guests visiting for quick, maintenance services as opposed to whole spa packages or afternoons spent relaxing. But just because you’re only coming for an eyebrow wax doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the spa experience for all it has to offer. Here’s how:

  1. Plan your trip. If you really are only looking for maintenance services / something you can squeeze in during your lunch hour be sure to schedule it in advance to give yourself something to look forward to and to allow time in the rest of your day to travel to and fro. Same goes for longer, more indulgent visits to the spa. Book in advance so you can guarantee the day & time that you want.
  2. Familiarize yourself with spa policies & programs. Check out the spa’s website and social media pages for any promotions, rewards/loyalty programs, or coupons. There may be an opportunity for you to save on your service or enhance it! Review the policies on spa etiquette, payment methods, and parking so there are no surprises when you arrive.
  3. Arrive early. Getting to your appointment early will allow you to decompress, enjoy a cup of tea or water, use the facilities, and browse the retail area. There’s nothing worse than rushing into an appointment!
  4. Disconnect. Set your phone to silent and leave it in your purse or pocket. You have reserved this time for YOURSELF. Treat your spa appointment like any other meeting or scheduled activity and leave the distractions behind.
  5. Be vocal. If there is something you like having done a certain way or you have any questions about your service & the techniques and products being used, speak up! Your service provider is happy to make any accommodations you would like during your service. This is also very important if you have allergies, sensitivities, or tender areas that your service provider should know about.
  6. Try to relax. Use this time (whether it be 15 minutes or 3 hours) to check out. Your service provider is there to look after your needs so really, all you need to do is close your eyes, enjoy the music and your surroundings, and let go.
  7. Take your time leaving. There’s no need to rush at the end of your appointment. You are always welcome to sit and relax afterward or browse the products before leaving. This is also a great opportunity to ask questions about other services and products you may be curious about.
  8. Treat yourself. One of the greatest ways to extend your spa experience is by taking home a product that reminds you of the time spent at the spa and provides you with joy. Even something as simple as a new nail polish colour will bring you back to your spa experience when you use it.
  9. Follow post-care instructions. If you’ve had a massage or any other detoxifying treatment, your service provider will likely recommend you drink lots of water, have an epsom salt bath, or apply a heat wrap. Post-waxing recommendations include limiting/avoiding sun exposure, intense exercise, and pools/hot tubs. Be sure to follow the recommendations made by your service provider to extend the results of your treatment and ensure you don’t run into any issues.