The Importance of a Pause

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I recently took on a new position here at the Pearl Day Spa, which has me taking on more hours and duties. I love keeping busy and accomplishing projects at the spa, but I feel the increased pace leaking into the rest of my life. More time at work means less time to get stuff done around the house. Less time for that means close to no downtime. Life has a sneaky way of getting hectic.  It may not happen intentionally, or even suddenly. Gradually more commitments are added to the calendar, and before you are aware of it, you’ve agreed to 20 events in a weekend. Okay, well maybe not 20; more like 5. But in the midst of all these events, albeit fun, you still have to keep on top of those naggy little tasks of life, like laundry and cleaning and eating and sleeping. In a crazy, hectic, tumultuous life, it can seem impossible to have any downtime. “Downtime?  You mean shirking responsibilities? That sounds like a selfish luxury I don’t have time for!”

WRONG. Downtime isn’t a luxury, it’s imperative. 

Taking a moment to press the pause button allows you to process. Think of the last book you read, or the last crazy thing you watched on Netflix.  You most likely set the book aside at some point, or pressed pause to catch up. In these instances, we allow ourselves the space and time to collect our thoughts, emotions, take a bathroom break, and then continue. So, why then, do we not use this throughout our daily schedules? 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works 8.5 hours a day. That doesn’t leave much time for family life, errands, or self-care. But when under constant stress, the body has less time to use the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls a slew of bodily functions when at rest: digestion, hormone production, et cetera. The constant stress of a hectic schedule can also lead to an increased likelihood of mental illness, such as PTSD and Anxiety disorders. All of this can be alleviated to some degree if one remembers to pause. 

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Pausing can mean different things to each of us. For me, it means a massage every two weeks. It means laying in my hammock outside while my dog runs around the yard. It means taking a walk around the block on my lunch break. For you, it could mean making time for a pedicure on the weekend. It could even be as simple as waking up before the kids and drinking your coffee in sweet, sweet silence. I would argue that the simpler the pause, the better. Sitting in silence with your eyes closed (better known as meditation) is one of the most fruitful pauses you can take, and it takes so little effort. I would argue that for a pause to be effective it should:

  1. Not take significant action on your part-- vacations are WORK!

  2. Be something that solely benefits you

  3. Is the only thing you do during that time (no multitasking allowed!)

What might pausing look like in your life? I highly encourage you to look closely at your average day and find times or spaces in which you can make a pause. Schedule it into your calendar if you have to. Allow yourself the time to pause and do something that is relaxing, de-stressing, and most importantly-- not important!



Posted on August 22, 2019 and filed under Healthy Living, Mental Wellness, Self-care.

Relax-- It's Summer!

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The sun is out, the birds are chirping-- Summer has arrived in Oregon!  To me, here feels like a manic time when everyone feels obligated to be outside as much as humanly possible before the rain clouds return. Here at the spa we were just talking about how summer absolutely flies by. In the blink of an eye, June becomes September. If you have kids, summer can be an extra busy-crazy-stressful time of year with all the activities.  This means setting time aside to unwind and de-stress is crucial even in the summer. In the summer, vacations and fun can overtake self care’s importance. With that being said, we still want to see all our loyal, wonderful clients over the summer!  Here are some ways to customize your Pearl Day Spa experience to honor the summertime.

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Spend time in our Garden.  Did you know that we have a tranquil garden space?  When you arrive for your appointment, check in at the front desk, order a beverage, and head out the back door.  You’ll find a quiet patio with comfy couches lined by lush green plants. You can spend time out here before or after your appointment, whichever you choose.

(Pro Tip: Let the front desk know if you are heading there before your appointment, so we can let your practitioner know where to find you!)

Sip a Little Somethin’ We offer a selection of local wines and beers for you to enjoy either before, after, or inbetween your appointments. This is an awesome choice for those after-work appointments-- kick back, sip, and relax.

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Try a pedicure. Pedicures are a great way to relax and can be customized so much.  Choose one of our four scent profiles and get cozy in our plush armchairs while your feet soak.  Not only do you get to unwind, but your feet and legs will feel so luxurious. Pedicures are perfect for pre-vacations, and can be done in as little as 45 minutes.

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Finally-- Remember the SPF. If you just absolutely cannot come in for an appointment, at least remember this one thing.  Your aesthetician will thank you when you come back in the winter without sun damage.

Enjoy your summer, and remember to take some time to yourself.

Posted on June 20, 2019 and filed under Self-care, Skincare & Beauty.

Ways to Save Money on Your Appointments

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We all know that a self-care regimen can do wonders for your physical, mental, and emotional body. Research has shown that massage can relieve issues associated with a myriad of ailments, from stress and anxiety to fibromyalgia and even cancer. Facials can help alleviate skin conditions or reduce the signs of aging. But, for all its benefits and awesomeness, there can be a drawback; self care can sometimes get pricey. Here at the Pearl Day Spa, we believe that spa services and self-care routines should be accessible and affordable. Did you know we have several cost-saving methods to help make self-care easier on the pocketbook (those are thing people still use, right?).

If you have health insurance, some plans will help cover the cost of massage and other bodywork. This can mean a huge savings for you, as most insurance clients only pay a small percentage of the cost for their copay.  Insurance plans can vary greatly, so the best way to find out if your plan covers massage is to either call your provider directly, or submit your insurance information on our website. Our insurance coordinators will find out if you are covered, and contact you to set up appointments.  This is a great way to maximize your insurance benefits and get the care that you deserve. If you’re paying for it, why not take advantage of it?

Another way of saving money is to take advantage of our Loyalty Program.  Our loyalty program rewards you for doing various things around the spa, such as booking online, receiving one service a month for 6 months, and much more. Since our loyalty program is tied into our booking system, you are automatically enrolled in this program and start accruing points right away!  Once you hit 1000 points, you can starting redeeming them for money off your appointments, or even to purchase retail products. Who doesn’t love discounts on services?

(For more detailed information, please go to our loyalty program page)

Finally, our newest way to save money on your appointments is our revamped Referral Program. This program gives you a unique link to share with whomever you choose via text, email, or social media. You do have to opt in, so be sure to go to our website’s loyalty page to set   When a friend uses that link to book an appointment, not only do they receive $15 off, but you do too. So, if you get 4 friends to book, that’s a FREE PEDICURE. 6 Friends? Bam, free massage! I don’t know about you, but that little bit of work is definitely worth it in the long term.


Tossing and Turning? Try these Sleep-Improving Tips!

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There are few things more precious to me than a good night’s sleep.  I mean it. I pride myself on my ability to sleep at pretty much any time of day for any length of time. Okay, for all my bragging about sleep abilities, even I have restless nights of tossing and turning. It’s not surprising-- one in three Americans have reported difficulties falling asleep or waking frequently throughout the night. Our hectic lives can often wreak havoc on our sleep cycles, and it can take a lot of effort on our part to rectify the damage.  Scroll down to read some methods to getting more restful and sustained sleep.

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One of the biggest factors of our lives affecting sleep is stress.  The constant go-go-go of the standard Modern American lifestyle impacts our sympathetic nervous system causing it to be constantly upregulated.  This upregulation is helpful in the hustle and bustle, keeping us moving and alert, but when it comes time to sleep, our body needs time to downregulate. Allowing our parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for functions like digestion and healing, to kick in while we rest is critical for a happy and healthy body.  But in a stressful “constantly on” world, it is increasingly difficult to downregulate, which can cause-- you guessed it-- insomnia and other sleep troubles. If you find your mind racing, or feel anxious around bed time, try some of these downregulating activities:

Meditate for 10-20 minutes. Meditation is a really great way to override your nervous system to allow for calm and relaxation.  Need some guidance? Try a guided meditation app, like Headspace or Calm.

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Yoga. Light physical activity like gentle yoga an hour before bed can help the body begin to downregulate. Specific yoga positions, like forward folds and bends are particularly beneficial in calming the nervous system.

Put away the screens.  Phones, computers, and even televisions emit blue light, which interrupts the body’s natural cues to begin getting sleepy.  I recommend turning off at least two hours before bed, and do something else, like some light reading or maybe that yoga I mentioned before.

Limit the Caffeine, Sugar, and Junk Food.  What goes into your body is just as important as what you do with it.  Caffeine has a huge impact on your ability to sleep restfully throughout the night.  Some studies have shown that ingesting caffeine up to 6 hours before bed can reduce your total sleep by one hour a night.  Sugar can also rob you of precious sleep, which can even increase your blood sugar, posing a long-term risk for diabetes. So put the cookies down, eat a healthy snack if you must, and limit that coffee to the morning.  Your body will thank you for it.

Get a massage. It can be difficult to get comfortable in bed and sleep restfully if your muscles are tense and sore. Massage not only helps soothe any physical issues you might have, but can also have a huge impact on that nervous system that’s stuck firing on all cylinders.  Schedule a massage once a month to keep the continuing benefits going. I’ve heard of this really great place called the Pear Day Spa….. :)

Sleep can be elusive to some, but hopefully some of the tips above can set you up for a more restful night.  Of course, not everything can be fixed with some yoga and less coffee-- if you have persistent sleep issues, it could be time to speak with your doctor about potential medical conditions.  

Posted on June 12, 2019 and filed under Self-care, Healthy Living.

Seasons Change-- Shouldn't Your Skincare?

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If you’re like me, you are sick and tired of all this RAIN!  Where is the sun? Surely the real spring season has to start sometime soon…. Right? Despite how it may seem, the weather is warming up, the days are getting longer and longer, and the cold winter season is behind us. You might even notice some differences in your skin. So, as the seasons change, why shouldn’t your skincare routine?

Over the winter months the dry and cold weather, coupled with heaters running indoors almost constantly, can leave your skin needing some extra TLC.  In winter, our aestheticians recommend using products that focus more on long-lasting moisture. We recommend using a milk cleanser like the Yon-Ka Lait Nettoyant, which doesn’t strip the oils from your skin, giving your skin more of a defense against the drying winter air.

But now that the sun has returned, and the heaters are mostly turned off, these products may not be the best for your skin’s current needs. There tends to be more atmospheric humidity, which your skin responds to. Have you noticed your skin feeling a little greasy? This can be greatly exacerbated by continuing to use those heavy winter moisturizers. Instead, switch to a lighter cleanser and moisturizer that protects against environmental damages, like the Yon-Ka Vital Defense Creme. This prevents the signs of aging caused by exposure to pollution, which increases as you spend more time outside.  

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How about the rest of your body? I find my legs get really dry and irritated during this time of the year.  It could be from shaving more often, but dry dead skin is definitely a struggle. Using a product like a sugar or salt scrub can help to loosen and get rid of dead skin. It also promotes blood circulation to the area, which kickstarts skin cell production. Follow up with a high quality lotion-- our Pearl brand lotions and scrubs are the perfect way to combat dry flaky skin. Or, for a truly luxurious experience, schedule a body treatment. With several options to choose from, you can choose exactly what your skin needs.

Finally, as the weather warms and we all head outside, remember to wear a good SPF sunscreen.  Have questions about your routine? Want an expert opinion? Schedule a Consultation or a Facial today!

Wishing you the happiest spring!

Posted on April 23, 2019 and filed under Skincare & Beauty.

Stressed About Your First Visit to the Spa? Don't Be!

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Starting your self-care regimen (or even just taking the opportunity to try something new) can be a little overwhelming, especially if you have never been to a spa. At the Pearl, we welcome all, whether you come every week or have never had a massage. For those who are entirely new to the spa scene, or just have some weird questions you’ve always wondered about, we are here to shed some light on the spa experience.

You have scheduled an appointment, and the day approaches.  Leading up to your appointment, notice some of these questions:

  • Where in your body are you sore, stiff, or holding tension?

  • What issues would you like addressed (during your massage/facial/nails/etc. appointment)

  • What is your goal for your appointment?

  • What are your preferences for your service? Do you like to chat, or would you rather have complete silence?

Keep these in your mind or-- better yet-- write them down to discuss with your provider.  This will help you maximize what you get from your appointment.

People often ask, “Should I wear anything in particular to my appointment?” My recommendation is to wear something you are comfortable in to maximize your relaxing experience. Most of our appointments will have you dress down so it’s not necessary to wear anything specific, but it does help to undress and dress quickly before and after. Remember, the spa is a place of relaxation, so anything that might cause you distraction or stress should be left at home or tucked out of sight. We request that cell phones be placed on silent out of respect for other patrons.  Upon arrival, you’ll check in at the Front Desk to fill out any necessary information prior to your appointment.

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Finally, it’s time for your appointment!  Your therapist, aesthetician, or nail tech will ask you some questions. Now is the time to bring up those points from earlier. Holding tension in your neck?  Speak up and let them know! Communication during your entire appointment is paramount-- after all, we aren’t mind readers. If the pressure is too light, too firm, the bed is too hot, your therapist talks way too much, don’t be afraid to speak up and make requests. We won’t be offended. In fact, we enjoy hearing from our clients so we can make their experience truly exceptional.

After your appointment, be sure to drink plenty of water!  Massages can loosen up soft-tissue metabolites and other substances within the body, so drinking more water than normal will help to flush these out of the system. Remember to check in again at the front desk, re-book another appointment, and enjoy the effects of your service!



Posted on April 23, 2019 and filed under Self-care, Massage & Bodywork, Skincare & Beauty.