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I’m Katrina from ikatan Spa in Noosa, a relaxation oasis that’s waiting for you. Until then, subscribe to our newsletter for regular self-care inspiration.

Make Mother’s Day Memorable

Mother’s Day is promoted as a chance to give your mother flowers, chocolates or take her out for the obligatory Mother’s Day lunch, as if it’s the only day she gets a chance to get out of the kitchen. I think it’s time we put some thought into making Mother’s Day more meaningful, rather than just following a Mother’s Day routine.

Where Mother’s Day came from

I was born in the UK where Mothering Sunday is celebrated in March. I also have a heritage from Europe where Romans and Greeks worshipped mother figures and goddesses. How time has changed for us mothers! But it was an American, Anna Jarvis, who named Mother’s Day as a remembrance day for her mum who was a peace activist.

Mother, Nonna and Daughter

This year I became a Nonna and I am now in the middle of the mothers in my family. This has inspired me to think outside the square about what I can do for my mother and my daughter this Mother’s Day.

I started by writing a list of things we love to do, such as relaxing, reading, nature, cooking, sewing and anything creative. I want my daughter’s first Mother’s Day to be special, personal, memorable. My mother, now a great grandmother, likes the simple things in life, while I love thoughtfulness.

I came up with some thoughtful ways to celebrate Mother’s Day with my daughter and my mum and share them here for you if you want to create a memorable Mother’s Day too.

Mother nature

One of the first inspirations that came to mind was Mother Nature and with a love of gardens and anything organic or natural, as well as a passion for fresh organic ingredients and cooking for others, it’s the perfect combination to work with.

Make a basket of her favourite, homemade or fresh market food and take off to a place surrounded by nature for a picnic.

Handmade with love labels would be a nice touch. You could write a little note about the food and why it’s a family favourite and memorable to you or your mum.

Write a letter

I love collecting beautiful paper and this Mother’s Day I will use it to write a letter to my mum and daughter to tell them how I feel about them and what I am grateful for. As I remember what mum has taught me, I must promise to teach my daughter what I have learnt. My mum has always been creative; it was a matter of having to be in the sixties and I have embraced everything she taught me.

My daughter is part of the retro revival generation who loves my handmade knitting and sewing for her family and puts in the orders for what she wants as fast as I can make them. But I make everything for her instead of teaching her. I think there will be some lessons promised in her letter.

Promise your mum a date

I talk to a lot of mums, I am a mum and know that it’s the thought that counts. When you live too far away and can’t be with your mum on Mother’s Day, simply organise something you can do together at another time and tell her you’re taking her on a date.

Mother and daughter days at ikatan spa are very popular. While some people like to buy gift vouchers to give their mum on Mother’s Day, others book to come later in the year when they can organise the time together and make a spa date. Pop a gift voucher or note in a card to tell your mum “we’re going on a spa date together”.

You may prefer to take your mum on a date for a walk together in a place she wants to explore or to a special restaurant together. Take her on your own. Mother’s day is a perfect time for a son to organise a dinner or lunch date with his mum for another time. Most restaurants have gift vouchers or just write a promise in a card.

There’s chocolates and there’s thoughtful chocolates

My son usually buys me chocolates. It’s a quirky thing that started when he was 16 years old with the smallest box of Ferrero Rocher bought with his own money. The more money he earns, the bigger the box he gifts me on Mother’s Day. It’s become a tradition I love. What I makes this special is the smile on his face when he gives me the unwrapped chocolates, as if to say ‘I have so got this mothers day gift nailed’.

While my son loves me to cook for him, he would prefer for us to go out to eat and chat on our own. Or he would promise to organise a trip to the snow together because he likes snow boarding and I ski, but I’m not sure he would be paying for that trip!

Home delivery

I’m the eldest of four kids and we used to buy mum a combined present, which was a great way for my brother to let us, his sisters, organise something for mum. You may want to stand out from the other kids by doing something more personal for your mum and it can be as easy as making her a delicious meal so that she has a night off cooking! Every mum loves someone to cook for her.

There are some fantastic home delivery meals available now, direct from local restaurants and they are as easy as a phone call and credit card to organise. No matter what age, any mum would love to have dinner delivered.

It’s the memorable thought that counts

I hope my ideas help you to make her Mother’s Day memorable, I can’t wait to be with my grandson for my first mother’s day as a nonna.

I’m no different to any other mum. For us, it’s the thought that counts, but mums are also happy to have a memorable Mother’s Day surprise, a thoughtful, personal gift that is more than just part of that old routine second Sunday in May we call Mother’s day.

7 Feel Good Thing to Make you Happy.

1.Contact ‘old friends’ for your soul connection.

Find that time! Call them and say hello. The people that have been in your life for a long time, are important to you. It will give you a feel good boost to speak to them, if you can arrange to meet them as it will be even better for both of you to meet face to face and embrace.

Conditions apply.  No relying on social media or text after initially contacting your friend, as that’s not a good enough soul connection. Bluetooth in the car is allowed as you actually speak and perfect for a chat on a drive somewhere.

How it helped me. I used to call my Nan (97 years old) using Bluetooth in the car, she was always home alone and she loved the thought that she was ‘on the radio’ in my car. It was a special time that I often miss now and I am so glad I made the time regularly to call her to chat about anything or nothing, because it was everything and now just a beautiful memory for me that makes me smile writing about it to you.

2.Retrospective therapy.

It’s called retrospective therapy and it’s all about looking back on or remembering things that made or make you happy. It’s also where the term or word where retro comes from and it means to be imitative of a style or fashion from the recent past.

It’s why people love and appreciate old cars, clothes, movies, tea sets and why the second hand shop is always a great place to appreciate the eras of antiques, vintage and retro items. Take note of what happens to you when you see retro things, what your reaction is and how you feel when you look at them. Guaranteed to give you a smile, take you back and your bound to tell or hear a story.

I have a vintage champagne glass collection and they are so pretty I can’t possibly use them, they are for looking at because they make me happy.


yes, that’s me in the 80’s

3.Old photos to remember the good times.

Yes, look at the printed photos in the shoe box of photo album. hold them in you hand while they bring back memories that warm your heart. Put up some favourite old photos where you can see them, admire and remember those times with a smile on your face.

You will be sure to find the silly things like I did of my babies in the 80’s looking so beautiful but what was I wearing in those photos! Oh the 80’s of G-string leotards, the big hair do’s and shoulder padded clothes all so significant, I hope they don’t come back as a new fashion trend, it all makes you smile.

4.Print your Selfies.

Selfie photos have only been a thing since we started taking photos on our phones.

A few years ago there were no such thing as a selfie, apart from having a camera with a timer so the photographer could run from the camera set on a tripod or wall into the scene for the photo.

I love taking a selfie that is a bit random, because while we are in in image, it’s usually only just, as we love the place where we are to be the feature, or telling the story of where we are, who we’re with and what were doing. I

believe selfies are going to be the photos we keep, the ones we will love to look back at and smile because we are usually smiling in a selfie or we delete it.

5.Let’s start a picture print movement.

Let’s get some photos printed this week so that we can laugh at life caught in that moment in years to come.  If you’re like me all your photos are in your mobile phone and if you back them up and store in cloud someone might hack your password one day and find a cloud full of random people that no one knows.  

6. Laugh.

It doesn’t matter who with, family, friends or work colleagues, find something funny to share, maybe it’s at your teenage pictures or something you saw happen.  Laughter is great medicine, research shows over and over again that happiness and laughter is imperative to our wellness.

Go see a funny, feel good movie. A happy cry can do you so much good, releasing all the stress, sadness, anger and pent up feelings even if they don’t relate to the movie.

There are laughter therapy groups you can join where people get together and well, they just laugh.

7. Write down a few things you are grateful for.

leave your grateful list where you can read them regularly. I have a blackboard in my kitchen that I write motivational quotes etc, you know the ones people put on social media. I like them they make me stop and think. There is always something to be grateful for no matter how bad you feel or what you are going through at any given time.

Some people live without clean water or a roof over their heads and don’t know how they are going to eat their next meal. Even the smallest things we sometimes take for granted but recognising that we are grateful for the things we have or in some cases don’t have, is good for the soul. 

I hope this gives you a few ideas of how you can de-stress, laugh, relax and add some happiness into your life.

What are you grateful for?

Day Spa Review: La Perla San Sebastian

Donostia/San Sebastián Basque country.

Sebastian is a bucket list travel destination. If you’re into food, wine and scenery San Sebastian has it all and it’s been a popular destination for recuperation and beach holidays since the early 1900’s.

San Sebastian has an average rainfall of 222 days a year, which makes it understandable why La Perla Beach Pavilion was built for visitors and locals to enjoy the water and spa facilities in all weather.

Built in 1912 on the beach, literally rising out of the sand as if it were an elaborate sand castle, La Perla Talaso is a stately beach pavilion building on the shores of one of San Sebastian beach. Royal Queens spent months convalescing here and returned each summer to spend time in this picturesque area of Basque country for health and relaxation.

What goes on in a 1900’s beach pavilion in San Sebastian?

La Perla beach pavilion is a dignified, well kept beach Pavilion facility focused on health and fitness which encompasses a day spa, swimming pool and talaso therapy, which means medicinal use of seawater as a form of therapy and involves hot and cold water pools where some pools also have jets of water.

When I visited La Perla, unfortunately the swimming pool and most of the talaso therapy area was closed for renovations however it looked traditionally 1900’s style, which was well kept and very impressive.

The day spa La Perla Saud Estetica  in Spanish means, cheers and/or used to refer to good health as in Buena salud: good health. Estetica means the study or place of beauty and it was open. I was excited to experience some spa treatments from this region as I am always searching for spa ideas to introduce to ikatan Spa Noosa.

First impressions of La Perla Saud Estetica Ocean Day Spa.

La Perla Day Spa was exactly as the name suggested and understandably about the ocean, sea, sand and any thing that mentioned waves or water. One disappointing aspect was that the day spa was underground therefore no view of the beautiful beach it was designed around. I often find day spas are built in the worst areas of a building.

Apart from the waft of chlorine from the pool areas as we walked down the stairs to the spa, the treatment rooms were quiet and the aroma of essential oils was in the air throughout the change rooms and reception of this large underground labyrinth of hallways, doors and rooms.

The products used in the spa treatments were Thalgo and Spanish brand Natura Bisse and while I have worked with Thalgo, which is the perfect choice for a water themed day spa, I had read great things about the Spanish brand Natura Bliss but had not tried them.

I like to book spa treatments I have never experienced before.

On arrival at La Perla spa reception we were show to the change rooms to put on the proverbial white spa bathrobe, which are always one size fits no one and this robe was so heavy I felt like I was piggy backing someone down the hallway to the waiting room.

I dislike wearing bathrobes in public spaces and I despise how they don’t fit or cover people properly, it’s embarrassing and an uncomfortable start to a relaxing experience.

The robes are way to big for me and yet my husband who is a tall, well built man looks like he is wearing my clothes! The robe gapes open if he sits down, so he usually has to stand up, which is not conducive to comfort or relaxation.

ikatan stretch underwear or ill fitting paper pants

Under the robe is the ill-fitting disposable undies that seem to have two backsides and the smallest leg holes. This makes me feel like I am wearing granny bloomers from the 1900’s, maybe it’s part of the theme, but no, lots of day spas buy these bulk, cheap hideous underwear.

Day spas should give guest comfortable disposable underwear, it’s important for us to give ikatan spa guests appropriate stretch, boy leg disposable underwear for spa treatments. Our guests love them so much they wear them home and buy them from ikatan Spa to wear on long haul flights.

Communication charades about a spa treatment.

There are no client history details required prior to treatments at la Perla and I’m wondering how I am going to let my therapists know I have a back problem. My Spanish vocabulary is limited and a the few words I know only relate to ordering a wine, shopping prices or directions to the bathroom, so how will my therapist know I have a back problem?

Luckily my Therapists understands my Spanish greeting of ‘Hola’ as we are taken to our separate treatment rooms, but now she thinks I speak Spanish! Once in the treatment room the game of charades to explain my minor back issue seems to be understood.

Before me is a bed set up for my Polynesian Sandbag Massage with what looks like plastic blue heat packs at intervals along the bed and on the bench sits some cloth filled sand bags the size of a tennis ball, of course I squish them when the Therapist leaves the room, we know clients do this.

Polynesian sandbag massage in San Sebastian.

I lay on the bed and the warm bags feel nice but the one under my tummy makes it wobble, is that me or is it all the wine and food? As the Therapists starts the treatment she sprinkles sand over my skin then applies oil over the sand creating an exfoliation which is massages in a learnt, set pattern to replicate the waves washing on to the shore came to mind.

The sand is then brushed off, unsuccessfully; as you would brush yourself down to remove sand after being at the beach. Next the sand bags are used like a heated ball as the therapists rotates them awkwardly over my body which doesn’t achieve a lot but feels nice a warm.

The massage to my head, neck and shoulders finishes with some sand bag work around my neck area, this was my favourite part of the treatment and a nice way to finish.

I went to the beach on a spa treatment bed.

I give this Polynesian Sandbag Massage ten points for imagination but two points for effectiveness as there were far too many gimmicky aspects for it to be a of any benefit, but I got the concept of making me feel like I had been to the beach without going there. Though this concept didn’t really work as a spa treatment, it was a fun experience for a day spa owner but I would not recommend this treatment for a paying client wanting results.

South pacific spa treatments in a Basque 1900’s beach pavilion.

My husband enjoyed his Massage but we both thought it strange to have Polynesian treatments at a 1900’s day spa in San Sebastian.

Over lunch at the La Perla Beach Pavilion restaurant overlooking the beach we discussed and creatively invented spa treatments that would really embrace the history of San Sebastian, the spectacular beach area before us and show case the Basque culture rather than offer south pacific spa treatments in a cool, wet climate on the west coast of Spain in a grand beach pavilion.

We enjoyed the experience at La Perla and hope to return to San Sebastian where I will book the Natura Bisse facial and enjoy the Talaso therapy and I would recommend you do too if you ever go to San Sebastian.

I am always interested in other day spas and their treatments and sometimes it make me realise how loved our authentic our Balinese treatments at ikatan are and that we don’t have to have new treatments just the same great ones done exceptionally well.

We won’t be introducing a Polynesian Sandbag Massage to ikatan Spa, even though Noosa beaches are only a few minutes from ikatan Spa.

I am a paying guest at all day spas I review as Day Spa Oracle and the spas I visit are not aware of who I am, what I do or where I come from. I hope this helps you select day spas and treatments when you travel to the same places I do.

Experiences, it’s how we get to know others and ourselves.

Chi Massage for Stress

It seems only fitting, in the first month of the Chinese New Year, to tell you about the ikatan Spa Chi Massage Treatment because this massage has Chinese origins, hence the use of the Chinese word chi meaning energy.

I discovered the benefits of chi massage after experiencing an amazing transformation from feeling burnt out to chilled out after a 90 minute massage in Malaysia. The massage was supreme in so many ways that I booked in for two more chi massages and stayed awake so I could understand the entire concept and introduce it at ikatan Spa.

What is chi massage?

Chi massage is based on the Chinese elements of wood, fire,  earth, water and metal. Each of these elements has characteristics that become unbalanced when your body is suffering from stress, fatigue, mental or physical burn out, a depressed or overactive mind or a combination of these things.

More about the elements and essential oils used

We learn what your Chinese element influences are on the day of your chi massage treatment by asking three simple questions when you arrive at ikatan Spa. Your answers, and a special chi chart, allow us to work out the main imbalances, in your chi elements. We then prepare the appropriate essential oils for balancing the elements you specifically need help with.

What happens during a chi massage?

By preparing and using particular essential oils which balance each off the four elements, a natural shift comes about in your mind and body while we use a herbal compress and combination of massage styles during this treatment.

The herbal compresses are specially created to ikatan Spa requirements in Bali using natural dried herbs gathered into a cloth ball and tied with the extra cloth making a handle for us to hold when we apply the oil.

We start the Chi Massage Treatment by using a warmed herbal compress ball to apply your elemental aromatherapy oil blend in a slow rhythmical motion. As the oil goes on to the skin, the herbs in the compress ball work on body fatigue.

How does chi massage work?

Your Chinese elements also relate to a dominant meridian that’s also depicted on our chi chart. During the foot massage, which is included in the Chi Massage Treatment, we can then focus on massaging the governing reflex points in your feet. Along with your element essential oils being absorbed though the skin, inhaling their aroma and the soothing massage moves we use to calm your body and mind, you will feel yourself de-stressing, if you’re not already asleep.

Chi massage is unique to ikatan Spa

The massage moves and techniques I put together for our Chi Massage Treatment are different to the massages I experienced in Malaysia because I’ve studied many styles of massage, so this was an opportunity to combine the best of what I’ve learnt from different modalities.

Our chi massage incorporates the concept of Chinese elements with massage moves and techniques based on aromatherapy, Balinese and Hawaiian massage and Chinese reflexology with integrated chakra moves which I feel offer the best of each style for de-stressing.

When you’re exhausted, your body needs nurturing therefore this massage is slow, soothing, with light to medium pressure, and carefully structured so one move flows into another.

Why gentle massage is best for stress relief

We continually educate our clients to understand that when your body is under stress the last thing you need is a firm massage. I’m not sure where the concept of having a firm massage to relax came from but I wish it would go away!

Think about it like this; if your body is under stress of any kind why would you want to send a message of more stress to your body? When experiencing a firm massage your body responds to the pain caused by sending internal stress signals to your mind telling your body to prepare for more stress.

A gentle massage is definitely the best way to combat stress.

How long does a chi massage take?

The Chi Massage is popular and one of our favourite treatments to give clients but we prefer to have 90 minutes to perform this massage. There is a 60 minute Chi Massage available although we feel a little rushed. Part of Chi experience is the calming tinkle of Chinese medicine balls along with the smell of your balancing chi oil and if you have time to enjoy our 90 minute Chi Massage Treatment we’ll finish with a meridian scalp massage.

However long the massage lasts, the oil needs to be left on your skin for lasting benefits after your treatment, so ideally you’ll, have time to enjoy a drink prepared by your therapist and relax in our tropical gardens after your massage.

To prolong the feeling we also make and sell our Chi Massage aroma blends so clients can continue to use them at home.

Would you like to try a chi massage?

We find it interesting and rewarding seeing how our Chi Massage works on clients and are often amazed at how positively the Chi massage treatment effects us too as we breathe in the aroma of the essential oils and work to a slower rhythm, or even have a Chi massage ourselves!

If you’d like to book a Chi Massage for yourself or a loved one contact ikatan Spa now. Does this sound like the type of massage you need?

鸡年大吉 – Jínián dàjí – Lots of luck in the year of the rooster.

Where To Go in Paris for a Facial

I’m in Paris!

I’m in Paris at 8am after a long flight from Australia, it’s cold, wet and not the weather we had hoped for on our first visit to Paris. I was looking forward to the facial booked for later that day at a Spa by Biologique Recherche skincare. I was invited to visit this French anti-ageing skin care Spa as a proposal to take on the brand for ikatan Spa Noosa.

A bucket list for beauty therapist.

For many years French skin care products have been viewed as the best available and I had been contacted, chosen to experience an exclusive Parisian anti-ageing skincare range. This is a beauty therapist bucket list type event.

The Biologique Recherche Day Spa is on the Champs-Elysées in Paris and when I researched their skincare, Day Spa and location I was so excited to see the Parisienne heritage building where I was invited to experience an anti-ageing, French skincare facial.

First impressions.

The greeting I received on arrival at the Biologique Recherche Spa was a little blasé and unfriendly, considering I was invited to trial their skincare and had numerous emails back and forth to their head office to organise the booking.

I don’t speak French apart from a few food related menu items or ingredients, a few words relating to beauty treatments and the odd greeting phrase. So I put the lack of interest in me down to my lack of French, however it only takes a smile, which speaks a lot in any language.

Seated in the reception I look up to see a Therapist coming down the sweeping stairs as if entering a grand ballroom (that’s how big the reception was). In a smart white uniform comes my Facialist, Daniela, with a big smile, while saying my name ‘Katrina, nice to meet you, please come with me’ (to be said with a French accent).

The scary skin analysis

Biologique Recerche image

Daniella explains that she is going to be analysing my skin then explain the skincare needed, how it works and then the facial. I’m so looking forward to laying down during the facial, jet lag is kicking in by 4pm.

Most beauty therapists love and hate (at the same time) their skin being analysed, while we want to know the technical data we hope we get a big tick for caring for our skin correctly. It’s kind of a scary thing for most of us.

I use  Organic Nation and Environ skincare and know they are very good brands (as I selected these ranges for my day spa). I am diligent with twice daily skincare routines and really practice what I preach when it comes to looking after skin but I am still scared of what Daniela is analysing with the Skin Insta Lab.

I am tested for hydration of dermis, elasticity levels, sun damage and pigmentation plus epidermis texture and tone. Daniela is very happy with this Australian skin and tells me I score better than most French women…….for my age, is this a compliment or not?

Having a treatment is also about learning for spa therapists.

So excited to learn all about Biologique Recherche products as Daniela explains what each apothecary looking serum is going to do for my skin but it’s almost as if she is disappointed that she can’t make a big difference in my skin as she puts away another serum I was willing to have on my skin even though I don’t need it.

After I peel off the layers of clothes from the cold Paris day outside, I lay on a heated bed of white towels and think to myself ‘I am never going to stay awake’. While the treatment room is small for the size of the Day Spa, it’s white and clinical as I had expected of a Day Spa clinique that offers no massage but only anti-ageing face, thigh, arm and hand treatments.

Let the treatment begin.

Daniela tucks me in with towels and a blanket only exposing my décolletage and begins to cleanse my skin with her professional sweeping, thorough touch of a Facialist. I am in good hands as Daniela works her magic with sweet aromas of concocted cleansers and serums.
Before I start to drift in and out of blissful sleep, (as only a facial can deliver) I noticed she cleansed not only my face and neck but between my breasts and down the side of the breast near the armpit, which is often part of the procedure during a European style facial.

I believe you should receive thorough cleansing to this area of the chest as it’s an area that needs it. However it is not considered acceptable by a lot of Australian clients, who feel uncomfortable with this area cleansed during a facial, so you won’t find this practiced often in an Australian  salon or Spa.

I also think that educating clients with what we do during their treatments is very important so clients learn how to care for themselves at home and also what to expect from a professional experience from a Spa Therapist performing a facial.

My facial helps my jet lag symptoms.

facial paris

Biologique Recerche image

Facials are particularly good for calming stress, anxiety and in my case jet lag as the touch is working over the peripheral nerves around the face which is extremely calming.

If you can imagine the way a forehead is palmed when someone is sick or as we often do to a child. It’s instinctive to brush the forehead and face to calm someone or show affection and a facial gives the same calmness and sense of caring.

TIP: For quick fix calmness – If ever you are stressed or overthinking, try a facial as a way to calm the mind. Clients generally fall asleep in facials quicker than they do in a massage and we can see by the colour of the client’s skin, slower breathing and a softness on the face that your mind is at rest during a facial.

Daniela applies a delicate oil before she massages my face and décolletage, one of French word I can pronounce and understand. This sends me into a deep sleep. Daniela brings me back to the world with a cooler product on my skin before finishing my facial with eye serum and moisturiser.

I’m so relaxed I can’t move.

I don’t want to leave this white cocoon I am in with my near perfect skin, (for my age) as Daniela smiles at me and says ‘take your time’. I manage to sit up and slide my feet to the floor to get dressed into all the layers of clothes piled high on the chair.

I look in the mirror and like most women see all the faults in my skin but also see improvements of hydration and the traces of tiredness from a long flight and jet lagged eyes have gone. But, did Daniela really see what I can see, as my skin analysis report didn’t match the face in the mirror?

Thanks to my Jane Iredale mineral makeup I apply before leaving the room, I now look like I wear the skin Daniela’s analysis report showed about my face, but mostly I am extremely happy with knowing the skincare we provide for ikatan Spa clients is excellent.

The proof is in the skin.

Daniela reports, that I am living proof of the fact that the Environ skincare I use, along with the daily routine I give my skin, is why I have good skin, woohoo!

It also teaches me that we don’t need a French skincare product at ikatan Spa to be offering the best available skincare. The Environ and organic range we use for facials are fantastic, results driven products, because my skin was better than most French women of my age!

Don’t you just love people watching in Paris?

Sweeping down the ballroom stairs to reception with my near perfect skin, my husband is waiting for me, relaxing in one of the plush, oversized arm chairs. He looks up and smiles at me as if he has just seen the love of his life looking 10 years younger, but then I notice he was shifting his eyes from me to the reception desk at the same time to let me know to look at the reception desk. Well I did feel 10 years younger until I saw the other clients at reception, where my husband was trying to get my attention towards.

They had to be famous models or ‘kept women’ was a more likely scenario, as their style was not what I would call French, overly understated as stylish Parisians wear, it was more dare to wear, but why not, it’s Paris after all. With their leather mini skirts and sleek over the thigh suede boots to keep them warm. Versace style scarves under the perfectly, bouncy locks hanging down their backs and high end designer brand handbags, they were like a movie scene, (not movie stars). Then I realised my husband was trying to let me know the ladies also had minders outside waiting for them.

Personal receptionist.

While waiting to pay €125 ($180) for my 1 hour facial, I stood behind the designer ladies paying over €1,500 each for their treatment and bag of skincare, and heard the blasé receptionist speaking Russian and smiling at the designer ladies as they handed over their credit cards. Obviously the blasé receptionist was not there to greet me but a personal receptionist for certain other clients as she opened the door for them and their minders took the bags of shopping as they walked on to the Champs-Elysées.

I paid without the receptionist speaking to me, but Daniela popped out to say ‘au revoir Katrina’ as my husband opened the door for me to walk out on to the Champs-Elysées, as I didn’t need a minder or bodyguard.

biologique Resernche

Biologique Recerche image

I would have a facial again at Biologique Recherche if I go back to Paris and can recommend this Spa to you or to have a facial the day you arrive somewhere after travelling.

Book before you fly.

I realise after this experience how important it was to book ahead to enjoy this when I arrived after a flight. I found it to be a great jet lag remedy, plus, I looked and felt relaxed and so ready to enjoy the next three days in Paris with my near perfect skin.

At ikatan Spa Noosa we find a lot of people book treatments towards the end of their holiday but it is far better to have treatments at the beginning of a holiday as it helps you to recover and relax so that you can enjoy your holiday or business trip. Quite often people miss out on having treatments as Day Spas are fully booked on the day people had hoped to have treatments.

If you are travelling or in transit for long layovers at a hotel or airport, why not book in for a facial at an airport or Hotel Spa for a treatment and sleep at the same time? At least find a foot massage place for a recline in an armchair and a power nap while you have your feet massaged as it really helps your recovery time when you arrive at your destination.

I am a paying guest at all day spas I review as Day Spa Oracle at the spas I visit. I hope this helps you select day spas and treatments when you travel to the same places I do.

Experiences, it’s how we get to know others and ourselves.


7 Simple Ideas for Selfcare

Sometimes it’s you who deserves a little tender loving care or something to make you feel good, so that you can care for others. Of course you can book yourself into a day spa and we would love to see you at ikatan Spa, Noosa where you leave feeling and looking rejuvenated but there are also a lot of simple things you can do at home, between visits to the day spa or salon, that will give you almost the same feel good vibe.

1. Create some new routines to care for your body, mind and soul

We should all treat our body as if it’s the only one you have, because it is and for this reason we need to create some new things to benefit our body and it may be as simple as change of routine.

Walk a different way to work when you get out of the car, bus, train or tram and you will see new things and increase your walking.

Remove one thing each week which you know is of no benefit to your body, mind or soul and replace it with something that nourishes you. It might be something you drink or eat, a habit you know is toxic for your body or mind and it may even be spring cleaning friends that drain your energy. You’ll be surprised how easy this is to do and how good you feel.

2. Give your mind a rest

Meditation comes in many forms and is a very personal practice, know that you don’t have to sit cross legged on the floor to meditate. You can find your own way to ‘still your mind’ and the benefits are numerous. Switching off your busy brain is not always easy but you could try some of the following suggestions:

Light candles, play soft background music and soak in a warm bath, with or without wine, you can get organic wine if that eases your conscience. This allows both your mind and your body to relax and rejuvenate.

TIP: I love to soak in a bath where I have added 1/2 a cup of pure magnesium flakes as the benefits of magnesium absorbed through the skin is beneficial at a cellular level for general wellbeing. About 30% of magnesium you take orally is absorbed through the gut so bathing in it gives me greater benefits than what I take in a vitamin.

3. Walk in a place you love to be

Noosa Waters Canals

Go with your dog or listen to music. If you walk the same place often you will meet the same people, they will smile at you, then say ‘Hello’ to you and you may even meet new interesting people and become friends.

You will be amazed at how like minded people tend to hang out in the same places for the same reasons. It’s part of belonging to a community and humans have better quality of life when they are part of a community. It’s a great way to meet people if you’re new an area.

4. Creative arts such as painting, drawing, colouring or knitting

They say ‘knitting is the new yoga’, well I saw this post on Facebook so it must be true, I knit most evenings, which started out as helping a charity project and while it relaxes me I am also being creative and productive, which kind of sums me up and I love it.

Maybe you’re you into colouring in, it’s seen to be a type of meditation because it takes your mind somewhere else, which is therapeutic and also creative.

5. Dancing releases happy endorphins

You don’t have time to think about anything else except your next steps when you dance and it releases happy endorphins while being great exercise, plus it’s an opportunity to throw on a special outfit and go out and dance with others who love to dance. Why not stay home to dance to music you love, songs that just sings to you that instantly takes you to a place, time and memory as if it were yesterday.

6. Be unplugged

Switch off your phone, computer and TV and have a techno free day. Oh I love this, permission to checkout of the online world, it’s  guaranteed to give you a feeling of amazing freedom.

Did you know that there are places that advertise ‘no wifi’ so that people have permission to switch off. Best recommendation I can make, from experience, is to go on a cruise ship as they have such bad wifi, you give up trying to use it.

There are some cruise ships which are total Retreat Cruises with no technology and all about being on a floating Retreat. I would love to review a Retreat Cruise.

7. Focus on the breathe, deeply and slowly

I know everyone says it and at times I feel like shouting out in the yoga class “I am breathing but not in, when you say in, and not out, when you say out”. You can deep breath anywhere, anytime and I prefer to do it, not in a yoga class where someone is telling me to breath because I am trying to stay in the yoga pose not think about breathing that I do all the time easily without being reminded.

I can highly recommend slow deep breathing while waiting in a line and feeling frustrated, driving or waiting in the car or train and it’s fantastic to do on a flight. Try deep breathing when you feel stressed as it’s the quickest on the spot, de-stressing solution when you’re in a situation that puts you under stress. There’s always a positive side to anything and treating your breathing as some ‘me time’ is really positive, try it. If I can do it you can.

What can you change today about your routine, rest, walk, creativity, dance, unplug and breathing to help you destress anywhere anytime?

Bali Spa Review – Maya Sanur, where I discovered…

I am often asked by ikatan Spa, Noosa clients, friends and others to recommend ‘good’ day spas in Bali particularly, (being the owner of a Balinese Day Spa in Noosa,  Australia) but also in Australia and other countries. What defines ‘good’ is hard to determine and I have always been reluctant to recommend Day Spas as they change frequently but also because everyone has a different expectation and budget when wanting a ‘good’ Day Spa experience. My recommendations are based on quality, service and experience. I hope this helps you find a ‘good’ Day Spa. Katrina

Booking treatments at Maya Spa.

We booked a couples massage in a double room for our first visit to the spa and when we arrive for a couples massage they only had my husband booked! (maybe they thought he wanted a couple of Therapist)? We then had to wait 30 minutes for my Therapist to arrive. Apologies were made and accepted as we were in no rush and happy to wait.

Welcome drink – a delicious lemongrass iced tea, little if any sugar. Big tick for this one as most spas in Asia serve up a sugary concoction that is not drinkable.


I had a female therapist and my husband was given a male therapist. Sometimes male Therapists are booked for male clients in Bali, if you’re male and prefer a female Therapist, request a female therapist at time to booking. In Australia we find that most men prefer female, but in Asia, particularly Japan, male Therapists care for men.

Before we left the Maya spa I booked for a spa package a few days later, planned for when my husband was booked to play golf.

I like to select treatments that we don’t have at ikatan Spa, always in search of inspiration for something new or a different.

At the Maya Spa, Sanur I opted for putting together my own package as I could not understand what was included in the package descriptions, full of fluffy and vague text with no mention of a massage or facial. My pet hate for spa menus, is confusing the guest as I think the customer should understand what they are booking, paying for and receiving. I selected a Rejuvenating Anti-ageing massage, Organic facial and a Citrus Body Polish.

Service with care and a smile.

After a welcome drink my friendly Balinese therapist escorts me upstairs to a nice treatment room and explains to put on the disposable undies, sarong and hotel slippers.

The spa undies in Bali always make me smile as they fit no-one but are meant to fit everyone. I must remember to bring a few pairs of the boy pant undies we use at ikatan Spa, they are so comfortable that ikatan guests wear them home or buy a few pairs for travelling after their massage.

After I show off my sarong skills with a stylish twist and wrap and put on the enormous slippers that my feet slide straight through, I shuffle across the floor a few metres away to My Therapist where a foot bowl, with hot water for my feet awaits.

Spa package.

I am so ready for my massage, but no, I sit on the tiny stool in the corner of the room while my therapists scrubs my feet with salt, I am thinking, how do bigger or taller people sit on this stool. I love a foot treatment, however when it comes out of your massage time, it really annoys me, as I want the full massage time I am lead to believe I have booked and will pay for. I find spa menus rarely say ’60 minute massage including foot soak’ but before you know it you have your feet in a bowl.

Rejuvenating Anti-ageing massage 60 minute $120.

This massage was everything I had hoped it would be. Relaxing, medium to firm pressure with traditional Balinese long flowing, palming strokes of my skilled Therapist’s hands.

I drifted off with the sweet perfume of the anti-ageing balm soothing my skin. Let’s hope I have found the answer to younger skin combined with a massage, my idea of perfection. I lay there enjoying the massage as my mind ticks over as to how I will add an improved version of anti-ageing massage to the treatment menu at ikatan Spa.

A completely Anti-ageing focused massage is now available at ikatan spa Noosa.

Citrus Body Polish 45 minutes? $80.

While this body treatment was included in facial time, I loved the feel of the cool white clay on my body, but I don’t think it did much for my skin. It had a hint of orange aroma and was applied over my entire body. I believe a body treatment should always include the breast and stomach, which are very important parts of our body for stress relief, skin conditioning or therapeutic treatments and are always included in Balinese Spa treatments.

While cocooned with the citrus clay over my entire body, in a soft disposable fabric, which was like a giant chux super wipe, the clay began to dry on my skin. As soon as a product dries it is no longer actively doing anything unless the intention is to have it buffed from your skin, which didn’t happen, so I didn’t see the purpose of this treatment and it had no effect on my skin, however I enjoyed the aroma.

Organic Facial 60 minutes $120

I usually shy away from facials in Bali as the Therapist’s training is not of the same standard as Australia, but at a good day spa in a luxury resort I thought why not add a facial, plus it was Pevonia skincare, a brand I knew and trusted.

I had no facial consultation as to what my skin needed, so I am not sure how the Therapist knew what products to prepare. There were so many little glass bowls with carefully measured quantities of product.

Many spas and salons prepare treatments in this way to prevent having to carry a lot of stock or guests helping themselves to products by popping them in their hand bag before they leave the room.

Each time a product was applied to my skin, my therapist would then leave me while she loudly washed the bowl, ran the hot water, forever, to wash out the facial sponges and towels, all of which was noisy, annoying and far from relaxing. I know it is time saving and cost effective for the resort but I am paying a lot of money for this time and experience to de-stress, yet the entire facial felt rushed, noisy and far from relaxing.

Washing up in the treatment room and preparing facial towels with a guest on a a bed is rude and not necessary, but it seems to be the norm in Bali. If this ever happens to you tell the spa receptionist on the way out, that it was not relaxing. By giving feedback, you can help me with the day spa silent treatment movement.

There’s always a positive to a negative.

However, I try to see the positive and lay there thinking ‘I am so pleased at ikatan Spa that we offer facials that are fully prepared before the treatment, so that ikatan Spa guests have only the sound of music to help them drift off to sleep during treatments.

Lessons learned.

For me to have a less than an enjoyable treatment, well there are always lessons to be learned and ideas of things not to do in my business, but I think to myself, this day spa treatment could be a person’s first spa experience and would it inspire them to book another spa treatment somewhere else? Not likely.

I believe people like to have a facial to see a difference in their skin, enjoy an extensive face and scalp massage and relax. There was nothing about this facial that I could not have done myself and I was particularly disappointed that I received hardly any face or scalp massage, the most relaxing part of a facial and you can’t do this yourself at home.

Back to the body treatment.

After a shower to wash off the dry citrus body polish I lay on the bed naked all but a little hand towel on my bottom, that made me feel like my bum can’t be that big if she just grabbed a hand towel!

Then my Therapist applied a cool body cream over the back of my body, turned me over with a quick, unique hand towel transition to cover me across the bikini line while more body cream smothers the front of my body, cool but nice.

I love the way a body, my body, is treated by a Spa Therapist, as the most natural way to be and taken for granted that all is exposed to the professional who takes no notice of shape, size, colour or individuality of each body, it’s the Balinese way and it’s accepted, just as it is at ikatan Spa and most other day spas.

If your body conscious, tell your therapist or don’t book a body treatment.

My Therapist wipes my feet and says ‘excuse me Ibu (Mrs, Ms, Miss) your treatment is finished’. I get dressed and she takes me down to the reception area where I am served another drink and some average looking fruit which I didn’t eat.

There was no relaxation area but I was in a resort so I don’t feel it was required as the main pool is close by and a non-smoking area. Perfect for relaxation.

Would I have another treatment at Maya Spa?

 Yes, I would have the Rejuvenating Anti-ageing massage or a Balinese massage as they were both eexcellent treatments. I would not have the body treatment and definitely not have a facial


More often than not people think Day Spas in Bali are cheap, however you get what you pay for in Day Spas, just as you do in a hotel, no matter where in the world you are.

I am a paying client at all day spas reviewed as Day Spa Oracle and they are not aware of who I am, what I do or where I come from. I like it this way, it’s nice to just be me.

I hope this helps you select day spas and treatments when you travel to the same places I do. I have a list a mile long of spas I have been to and will be posting my reviews about for you to be able to have a relaxing spa experience.

Experiences, it’s how we get to know ourselves and others.

Let me know of any places or day spas you like or would like to know about?

Do You Need a Wellcation?

‘Wellcation’  it’s a vacation to restore your wellness.

Some call it a healthy holiday, others a retreat but the latest catch phrase is ‘wellcation’ and they are all about the same type of escape where you recharge, rejuvenate and restore your body, mind and soul in a place that offers healthy food, a clean environment and places that provide relaxation and activities such as yoga and spa treatments.

The new health trend.

It seems to be the latest trend, however Noosa has always been a destination for relaxation and healthy lifestyle and for over 15 years ikatan Spa has been the place to go to for some much needed care and time out.

The trend towards a wellcation is largely due to the fact that people live such busy, stressful lives and vacations have to be spent restoring health to be able to keep up the pace of the life they will return to. Healthy Holidays are also about making the most of the time you have to slow down, sleep better, clear your mind and rejuvenate your body.

What do people do on a wellcation?

Escape somewhere nice, usually for about three nights and include time at a day spa, a quiet place to stay, places to walk or swim,  a place to do yoga and activities like stand-up paddle boarding or walking, eat healthy and most of all catch up on sleep and reading as the desired list of a wellcation inclusions.

Some people are into detoxing while others like to drink good wine and coffee and as long as you find it relaxing and de-stressing then it’s going to work for you.

Techno down time.

Try to have some technology free time on a wellcation by doing activities where you won’t or can’t take your laptop, phone or ipad. People survived well without devices before they were invented and it’s easy to put an ‘out of office’ on emails and post an ‘I’m having a week off social media’ on your social media sites.

If you had a long haul flight, a stay in a no wifi zone area or hospital for a week the world you live in would survive without you in it. I say this quite often to people and it makes them realise it is ok to check out of your busy world once in a while.

Benefit of day spa retreat.

A popular inclusion for Wellcation’s, or for those who can only escape for a day, is a Retreat Day which are only offered at ikatan Spa Noosa.  Imagine a day dedicated to restoring mind, body and soul, an all inclusive personalised day like no other, because we are not all the same.

Escape on your own, with a friend or partner and all you have to do is contact ikatan Spa and one of our co-ordinators will organise everything for you with one phone call or via email. 

Busy people need a spa co-ordinator.

Book a spa retreat where Some people are so overwhelmed with their life and work that they don’t have time to think about booking a break for themselves let alone think about what they want to do before they get there. That’s when you need to contact a business who will organise everything for you.

TIP: The other option is to give yourself a day off when you arrive in your chosen destination to just plan what you want to do during your time away. You will need to pre book some special occasions such as day spa but there are plenty of activities you can book the day before such as standup paddle lesson.

Extend your stay.

If you have time and want to extend your time in Noosa or Sunshine Coast area there are many personal trainers, gyms and yoga classes in the area that offers bespoke fitness and lifestyle packages for a few hours to organising an entire healthy holiday for you.

TIP: You will also find the Sunshine Coast an easy place to find healthy, vegan, organic cafes and stores to buy amazing food or book a private chef to cook for you or give you a private cooking class.

No mater where you live or your budget you can have a Wellcation dedicated to what you need to restore your sanity by checking out of your day to day life and checking into somewhere that you can totally relax, doing the things that make you feel happy and healthy.

Caring for yourself is not indulgent, it’s survival. 

What would you like to include for your wellcation?

Under Arm Detox for Breast Health

Women sharing with women.

Why During October we promoted breast health at ikatan Day Spa by making Under Arm Detox kits which our clients could take home for a donation to a local Breast Cancer Charity. The Under Arm Detox kits were so popular and thank you for the generous donations.

I love how women support other women for a good cause and share information with each other for the good of others and this alone inspired me to share this blog. The interest from women at ikatan spa about the detox kits, as well as the information and recipe about under arm detoxing that we shared through our in spa promotion, education and social media were a great success.

In preparing the detox kits I researched a lot of information about clays, detoxing and how it relates to breast tissue and cancer. I am on the board of a local Breast Cancer Charity which is another reason I want to help others, as I understand what women go through with breast cancer and because we see first hand at ikatan Spa how many beautiful women and their families are effected by breast cancer.

I found a great detox recipe.

Amongst a lot of technical research I also found the best recipe for a simple, practical underarm detox from Wellness Mama blog  who is a Mum in the USA with a wellness interest for everything she does for her family and friends and her information and recipe is a great simplified explanation, which I have shared with you here.

True but scary story of how connected your body is.

My daughter put an “off the shelf” chemist permanent hair colour in her hair when she was 20 years old. She called me and said ‘Mum the colour I put on my hair has come out under my arms and also in a patch on my stomach near my belly button’.

I used to be a hairdresser and had never seen or heard of this but was well aware of the chemicals in that type of cheap packet hair colour (as opposed to professional hairdressing hair colour) and as a Spa Therapist, also trained in Vodder Lymphatic Drainage, I knew that the toxic hair colour must have travelled in a matter of hours via the lymphatics system to the areas where there were a lot of lymph nodes. Her body was trying to dispose of the toxic substance.

Our lymphatic system is efficient but my daughters experience is pretty scary stuff and one of the other reasons I have an interest in researching underarm detox, as my daughter, 13 years later, still has a stain on her skin under her arm and on her belly, ironically where a group of big lymph nodes are.

To me, this story about my daughter is proof in itself how fast and invasive toxic chemicals can travel in our lymphatic system and why I want you to throw away toxic deodorants, do an under arm detox and buy a healthy deodorant.

Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants contain a variety of chemicals and additives. It takes something unnatural to block the body’s natural ability to sweat, and the chemical list in some deodorants is scary. Here are some of the ingredients found in deodorants that should be avoided.

Do not buy deodorant with these ingredients.

  • Aluminium– some evidence links aluminium to cancer and Alzheimer’s
  • Phthalates– Endocrine disruptors that can cause hormone imbalance and even infertility
  • Propylene glycol– antifreeze, additive in personal care products for the fact that it carries a risk of immunotoxicity and allergies.
  • Formaldehyde- a known carcinogen, guess it kills the germs though.
  • Parabens- Another hormone disruption have been found in biopsied tissue with breast cancer
  • Antibacterial Substances- are endocrine disruptors and can negatively affect the immune system

Why is toxic deodorant such a big deal?

Lymphatics are a major part of your immune system and they are an independent next work that runs throughout your body and I have heard it call the garbage collection system of the body. The lymphatic system consists of organs, ducts, and nodes which transports a watery clear fluid called lymph. This lymph fluid distributes immune cells and other factors throughout the body.

Lymphatic system also interacts with the circulating blood to drain fluid from cells and tissues and putting endocrine disruption chemicals directly into your body via the arm pit where there are a lot of lymph nodes can be detrimental and may effect your hormones and suppress immune function.

The largest organ of your body is your skin.

What touches our skin can easily enter our bloodstream and with skyrocketing rates of breast cancer, it would seem sensible to avoid the above toxic chemicals.

A great advantage to doing an armpit detox, besides that it helps speed up the natural deodorant adjustment period, is that it might help pull some of these chemicals out of the skin and tissue of the armpits. This can be especially helpful after years of conventional deodorant use.

Recipe to Detox Your Arm Pits.

  • 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons of water (to get right consistency)


Mix all of the ingredients in a glass bowl (do not use metal!) with a wooden or non-metal spoon until it is about the consistency of sour cream.

  • Spread in an even layer over the armpits and allow to sit for 5-20 minutes.
  • I suggest starting slowly and working up to a longer period of time once you see how your body adjusts. If it hurts at all, remove immediately.
  • This may cause some redness as it will increase blood-flow to the area, but it will go away quickly.
  • Wash off in the shower or with a warm, wet washcloth.
  • Repeat daily or as needed until under-arm odour goes away and natural deodorant is non-irritating.

Thanks to the Wellness Mama blog for sharing this information and recipe.

put your hand up for detoxing under arms and better breast health.

5 Reasons Why Facials are More Relaxing Than a Massage.

Beauty is skin deep, it shows in a person’s skin, how they feel within, especially when you are stressed.

You can’t hide how you feel, it show in your face, so why wouldn’t you want to feel good, happy, relaxed and have it reflect in your face? Well, we have the solution for you and it’s as simple as booking yourself in to a tranquil place for a facial regularly and you will be amazed how different you will feel and look.

1.Why facials are more relaxing than a massage.

Facials can be more relaxing than a massage, they are also about creating ‘inner peace’ which reflects a serene appearance on your face immediately after a facial. As opposed to a massage where having your head facing down causes your sinuses to block and your face to be squashed into a head rest while having the back of your body massaged. Yet people tend to shy away from facials in preference for a massage when wanting to destress and relax.

I believe it’s a lack of education or information from the beauty industry to the main stream media about informing people of the advantages of a facial rather than a massage when you need to relax. Guests at ikatan spa go into a deep relaxation or sleep during facials and the type of rest they gain during the facial time can transform them from stressed to rest in less than an hour.

Spa packages usually include a facial as they are a main component for relaxing the mind, scalp, facial muscles and breathe. There are still some people who are scared of having facials as they think it will purge the skin and cause breakouts but facials are not as they used to be.

2.Facials don’t cause breakouts.

Decades ago, facials were all about extractions, steaming and purging skin, leaving skin looking blotchy and bruised after a facial. Facial products were not as refined as they are today and technology in making skin care product was not as high tech as it is today.

Facial products, training and techniques used today have changed facials, products and procedures compared to what was used years ago and now are all about desensitising, calming, hydrating, balancing and nourishing your skin.

While the skincare products used today are all about achieving results in the form of calming skin, dissolving away surface dead skin and adding hydration to attain beautiful skin. While all the scientific products, organic ingredients and precious oils transform your skin aromatherapy and skilled hands helps your relaxation.

A well educated and knowledgable Therapist plays a great part in the results you will see in your skin. While you might expect this to be a therapist that is industry experienced, some of the therapists new to working in the industry are trained well at college and have know the latest techniques and information.

The magic that skin Therapists work with their soothing hands while using advanced skincare products and specialised aroma oils to deliver effective anti-ageing treatments are all combined in one facial at ikatan Spa to offer immediate stress relief. Skin Therapists can feel you slipping into deep relaxation, while your breathing slows and you drift to inner peace, releasing facial muscle tension as well as your mind and stress.

3.Sounds so good, I need that, so how does it work?

During a facial Therapists use a lighter, softer touch in repetitive rhythmical patterns over the peripheral nerve endings on and around the face and scalp.

The peripheral nerves are important structures in the body that carry information from the brain and spinal cord out to the muscles to initiate movements and then to also carry sensory information back from the extremities and other tissues to the spinal cord. This brain and sensory touch exchange from soft repetitive movements simply sends a message of calm to your mind and it shows in your face.

4.Facials can make you look younger, relaxed and in love.

You know how people have a different look about them when they are in love, pregnant or just back from a holiday? When those relaxed, happy vibes are just too good to hide. Well, facials can give you that look too. You will certainly be in love with a facial once you have a facial with good skin care, a skilful facialist and a caring massage. If you can’t find time for a holiday, go have a facial and see how good you look and feel. Having a facial when you’re expecting a baby can help control hormonal skin, give you some comfortable relaxation time and enhance your pregnancy glow.

5.Any time is a great time to have facials or skin treatments 

Cooler months are particularly good time for a facial if you live in a sunny location due to less chance of sun exposure when having intensive peels or skin treatments. Winter is also a season to snuggle up where it’s cosy and warm on a soft treatment bed relaxing while you enjoy a rejuvenating treatment that leaves you looking and feeling de-stressed.

We use and recommend Environ cosmeceutical 100% vitamin skincare for anti-ageing and for those who love organic products we also offer Organic Nation skincare for all facial treatments at ikatan Spa.

Try a facial next time you need some inner peace.

Shoulder and Neck tension from Your Handbag?

Do you have neck and shoulder tension? 

Do you put everything in your bag and sling it over your shoulder, taking it everywhere you go just in case you might need something? Tight neck and shoulders are just some of the the problems your heavy handbags maybe causing.

The over-sized handbags causes ‘Poshitis‘.

Poshitis is the term coined by medics for the problems cause to the body by oversized handbags. Posh spice is being named as responsible for making the oversized handbag a trend and Poshitz refers to women spraining or tearing muscles and tendons due to heavy bags. 

Most of us carry and love our big handbags as it seems to make life easier and more sense if we carry everything we might need and it’s convenient to carry our everyday requirements with us at all times.

Is your Handbag worth it's weight?

Some handbags are as large as a small child and just as heavy. Do you realise that carrying a large heavy shoulder bag can cause long term damage to your neck, shoulder, back and hips?

The weight of a heavy bag will drag your shoulder downward, straining the muscles on your neck and shoulder, while at the same time your posture from carrying your bag, pulls your shoulder forward. When you carry a bag, your neck leans away from the weight to help your body stabilise the load from your bag and this causes neck tension.

Or you might hunch (raise your shoulder up and forward) to hold the weight of the bag which contracts the muscles in the neck and upper shoulder creating a lot of tension. As your body tries to counter balance this weight by adjusting the back and hip in a raised position on one side to cope with the weight in the handbag, the other side of your torso tightens and shortens for support and strength. Sound terrible but women do it all the time.

Symptoms that your bag is too heavy.

Have you ever experienced constant pain in the shoulder and neck or tingling in and around the neck and shoulders, an isolated dull, cold feeling in the shoulder or neck when carrying your bag?

Ever noticed pins and needles, numbness in your arm and hand or headaches that are persistent? These are the signs that it may be time to down size your bag or carry less weight. Ideally, the weight of the handbag should range between 2-3% of the person’s body weight and your welcome to use this as an excuse to buy a new handbag!

Unload the load but keep everything you need with you?

Get another bag and balance the load by carrying it in your other hand. I often have a small bag inside my big bag and just take the small bag with you, leaving the other bag behind if you don’t need it. In the car I have a basket in the boot where I unload what I don’t require when I go to the Supermarket, shopping or to meetings. Alternatively dump the big handbag and grab the empty basket instead.

When I travel I always have a bag in a bag.

I have a small shoulder bag with a long strap containing the basics I need all the time and I place that over my head and across my body because caring a bag this way is a little kinder on the body. I then spread the load of necessities into my bigger bag that fits under the seat and my carry on case with 4 wheels so that I don’t have to drag it along behind me on two wheels, which pulls on your shoulder too.

Weight soon adds up to heavy load when I pack my laptop, iPad, travel size skin products, kitchen sink and the pantry snacks, oh and a few wardrobe items, like a wrap, just in case I get cold or have to sit on a chair that leaves a pattern on the back of your legs! (who designs those chairs???).

Carry-on luggage restrictions are actually a good thing as I unload into my pull along but still have to take the big bag to have by my feet during a flight, just in case I need anything when travelling.

Most women have tight neck and shoulders.

During pre-treatment consultations at ikatan spa, upper body is by far the most requested area by women, that needs the attention.

I like to tell women that this is because ‘we hold the weight of the world on our shoulders’.  When in actual fact it’s often the weight in our handbags being held on our shoulders and us being fashion victims, or carrying our world with us in that bag, that is causing major issues with neck, shoulder, back and hip problems as a contributing factor.

Working with bodies for a long time, I have seen the problems and imbalances through the body are common in most people and it is not hard to work out the repetitious action that causes the problems.

It’s hard for people to break a the way they do everyday movements and it takes a long time for the body to restore or repair the damage that has been caused after you change your habit causing the problem. However it’s not impossible to recover from an injury as the body is incredibly self sufficient at healing if you have treatment and do the necessary exercise to correct the body.

Easy and effective ways to release tension.

Regular Stretching  the area of concern is usually an effective way you can do a lot of the corrective work for yourself to balance and relieve tension. Seek professional medical advice from a Physiotherapists or Osteopath and if you go to a gym, pilates or yoga ask the trained staff to show you some stretches to balance your neck, shoulders, back and hips. Weight training, Pilates or Yoga will help to balance your body and stretch the areas that are tight as well as strengthening the areas that are weak.

Regular professional help.

Massage is always great for relaxing muscles but don’t expect your tension to disappear with one or two massage treatments as it usually takes consistent massage over a few months to make a difference to your body. General rule is ‘it takes time to fix an issue but generally you will notice a difference if you consistently treat the problem after 4 weeks, a marked improvement at 6 weeks and further improvements after 3 months.

I hope this helps you down size your bag and happy shopping for a new smaller bag and basket!

How Do you Know What Massage You Need?

At ikatan Spa we find most people don’t really understand or realise what type of massage is best for their needs. So they have no idea what massage to book but our reception staff are trained to ask the right questions which often surprises our guest that a massage is not just a massage.

There are hundreds of styles of massage and each has it’s unique way of helping a person with what they need from a massage. Some people need a massage for stress. Others have been physically active and need a firmer massage to release their muscle tension. While anxiety needs require a nurturing style of massage.

Massage is about the physical, mental and emotional

ikatan Spa Balinese Massage

Massage works on three aspects of the body at the same time and each plays it’s part in helping the other two areas to totally relax. Massage Therapists work on the mental mind, the physical body, and the emotional soul. If your mind relaxes the body will follow and then the emotion is released or visa versa.

Most of the time Massage Therapists start with the physical body as hands work their magic, however while the body relaxes, the mind has permission to switch off and therapists often use aroma oils to help this happen and in turn the emotions are signalled that ‘all is calm with the mind and body’.

Other times a person may feel emotional and by calming emotions through a massage, working on a different level and style it can help relax the body and mind. Sounds complicated, well it is, unless you’re a trained therapists, then it’s the skill that we give to our guest without thinking about it, providing we are aware of why our guests chose to have a massage and have booked the right massage for their needs.

When booking, tell reception staff what massage pressure you prefer

Reception staff and massage therapists cant read your mind, we can however read your body but often guest expect us to know what they want without telling us. There are many guests who like a light massage and others like a firm pressure massage but we need to know this at time of booking so that the appropriate spa Therapist is booked for you.

If you don’t understand the massage styles offered at a day spa or you have not read the spa menu, tell reception staff the reason you need a massage, when your’e booking and they can help you chose the best massage for your needs.

Firm pressure massage

A lot of people think they need a firm pressure massage, or it is a waste of time, the no pain no gain type of thinking. In actual fact it really depends, on what you are having a massage for, as to the style and pressure you should have to achieve results.

Firm massage is best suited to athletes or those that suffer from tight areas that cause imbalances. Firm massage is also beneficial when you have areas of congested muscle as it can release the tension however it depends on what has caused this tension and how often you have a massage.

It’s really important to understand that when you require a firm massage like Remedial or Deep Tissue seeing a qualified practitioner who will work with your body over a period of time (6 to 12 weeks with a massage once a week) is what will  achieve results. You will gain minimal or no benefit with a one hour Firm massage once a year on holiday.

Best massage for tired, overworked or stressed people

ikatan Spa Noosa – Chi Massage Treatment

Did you know that having a medium to lighter pressure massage is far more beneficial for stress, fluid retention, anxiety, lack of energy,  feeling tired, run down or over worked.

If you want a massage because you are anxious, suffering from insomnia or exhaustion and you need a flowing medium to light pressure massage. If you have a firm massage your body may read this as more stress because if it feels uncomfortable or sore and your mind will interpret this as another thing to deal with, then the emotions are triggered into believing that something it wrong.

It’s more beneficial to soothe away tension with a medium to light flowing massage

At ikatan Spa our Chi massage is suited to guests who are seeking stress relief, as the Chi massage works on the body as it’s calmed by the warmth of the oil and herbal compress, soothed by flowing hands and it gives the mind peace with aromatherapy essential oil blends. The muscles have a sense of letting go in the Chi massage to release tension because the mind senses a de-stressed state.

You don’t do a 10k power run up a hill once a year to improve your fitness, so why would you expect to have a 90 minute deep tissue massage once a year to release tension?

Next time you book a massage tell the person who answers the phone, why you need the massage. If you don’t tell us how you feel we can’t make you feel better, we need a starting point to apply our expertise and knowledge to help you.

Communication is key to getting what your body needs.

Why Your Killer Heels Affect Your Posture.

Are you a victim of high heels, ballet flats or thongs?

Who doesn’t love their heels and thongs(that’s Australian for flip-flops) they can cause long term postural side effects in your body?

We all like our favourite heels and usually find them comfortable once we have worn them a couple of times, the same goes for our flat shoes or a pair of thongs which we usually have in every colour available. Who would have thought thongs would be a fashion item and cause postural problems?

Why wearing high heels could have an impact on the brain.

bluesuedeshoes2 In a report by United Kingdom Society of Chiropractors and Podiatrists, it was found that wearing high heels could have an impact on the brain; by constricting the blood vessels and nerve supply, which may be the cause of headaches and affect mental function.

I guess that’s one of the reasons we feel good when we kick off the heels as soon as we get home, an instant blood supply is replenished to our brain and that must improve us mentally.

Killer Heels: cause up to a third of women to suffer from permanent problems due to high heels, tight fitting shoes and ill fitting foot wear. Some of the side effects of wearing high heels include bunions, damage to leg tendons as well as back and knee pain and your posture is greatly affected.

While high heels elongate the legs the long term effects on your back and overall posture is not that attractive or comfortable. Once you raise your height, by standing on your toes in heels, your centre of gravity is shifted forward. You then shift your pelvis forward, which puts pressure onto your nerves and spine in the lower back and over a period of time, keeping your body in this position, can cause long term damage.

Sciatica, pain in the lower back that can refer down the legs and is aggravated by sitting but also painful when moving from sitting to standing, unfortunately is a very common problem and caused through the pelvis tilting and in turn compressing the nerves exiting the spine in the lower back area.

Foot massage is a fast growing industry.

Foot massage is very popular at ikatan spa and it’s also the reason there are so many Thai foot massage shops  in cities and it’s largely due to the shoes we wear causing sore feet and people needing and enjoying foot massage to relieve tension.  

We start every treatment at ikatan spa with hot mitts on the feet as it is the most effective area to work on for fastest relaxation and it is traditional for Balinese treatments to begin with the feet in the belief that our feet ground us to the earth. Balinese massage also starts with the foot massage and we can feel people totally relaxing within a few minutes of massaging their feet.

The reflexology points in your feet correspond to areas of the body and by massaging feet you can help your entire body. We see the postural effects and feel the tension in the areas of the body relating to the feet when working on clients during treatments at ikatan Spa and as fashion trends depict higher heels there is an increase in the issues concerned with the impact of high heels.

Do we need to switch to flat shoes?

The truth about Flat shoes is they may not be the answer to killer heels as there are problems associated with ballet flats or flip-flops (thongs in Australia) style of shoes in that they have no support and thin soles which can cause shortening of the achilles tendon (at the back of your ankle), cramping in the feet and calves and pain when you extend your legs.

Women in Sensible Shoes, is this the answer? There comes a time when we all long for a comfortable pair of shoes but you have to admit the comfortable shoes are not very attractive, stylish and don’t work well with the rest of what you wear?

Well shoes don’t have to be ugly, fortunately there are some great brands of comfortable sporty looking shoes, such as well known brands like sketcher or Merrill. These style os shoes do all the things we need to care for our feet and body, luckily it seems to be the trend to wear them every where as they are comfortable and sensible fashion.

If your anything like me, I spend a small fortune on exercise and gym gear as well as shoes for walking, another pair for the gym and one or two pairs of casual sports shoes. My theory is having a few pairs means they all last longer!

What to look for when buying shoes.

Make sure shoes have a cushioned sole and are supportive to the foot and ankle with the the ideal height for heels being 3.8cm (recommended by Society of Chiropractors and Podiatrists). The bad news is a heel hight of 7.6cm increases the pressure to the ankle by 80 % says the experts. Odd measurements, maybe shoe makers should put heel heights alongside the shoe sizes to make it easy for us.

It seems a good excuse to Buy lots of shoes and wear them all! Wear heels no more than 3 times a week, vary the heel height and be careful not to wear flat shoes (without support) for extended periods of time . I have shoes I call display shoes, this means I had to buy them, they just had my name on them, but I only wear them from the car into a restaurant and maybe to the bathroom and back to the car as they are mainly for displaying on my feet while sitting so I don’t think this is too bad for my posture.

You only live once, buy the shoes

Teen Time Family Spa Experience.

Do you come to the day spa to escape your kids or do you prefer to bring your kids with you for a family spa experience?

Relaxation and time together as a family is the main reason parents are bring their teenagers for spa treatments, and it’s fast becoming an upward trend for a family holiday experience. There’s a growing number of families booking spa treatments as parents realise the stress on teenagers with school, social and mental pressure can be helped with some time out and relaxation for their teenagers.

Family spa time is an upward trend.

We realise we have entered a whole new family spa market that is a pleasure to be part of, as we help teenagers and their parents to de-stress together. Spending quality time together at a day spa offers parents and teens a relaxed place where each member of the family can choose treatments they want from our adult or Teen Spa Menu at ikatan spa. While a choice of room is available have treatments in either a double room or single rooms, families love spending time together relaxing in the gardens at ikatan Spa enjoying food and beverage after spa treatments.

A spa treatment for the family is not only relaxing, but a subtly way of educating teenagers to care for themselves, helping them to understand the importance of letting someone care for them and helping them to feel more confident about the way they look and feel.

Mums and Daughter spa visits have always been popular.

The mums and daughters spa visits used to be mainly for women over thirty, however we are seeing younger, teenage daughters with their Mums at the spa now and interestingly we see a growing number of teenage boys coming with their parents to the day spa too. Girls are generally interested in anything to do with beauty especially in their teens, when it’s a new, exciting and interesting for them discovering how to improve and maintain their bodies.

Teen boys love facials.

Boys gravitate towards the massage and facial treatments as they usually play sport and massage helps their body with managing muscle tension but the facial is where more interest and questions are being asked by the boys. The teen boys of today take a lot of pride in their appearance and with that advice from a beauty therapist about how to care for skin in a simple basic way is more influential than parents advice.

We simplify how teens should care for their skin.

Teens of today have more information available to them than ever before, yet this seems to cause more confusion for them when it comes to their skin and looking after themselves. We find the teens of today like validation from a spa therapist, on what they have read or heard about online or seen on TV commercials.

Young adults enjoy asking our professional spa therapist about something they have seen, read or heard about skin care, to verify  if it is the best thing to do for their skin problem. We find that the teens are confused with all the information they read so we keep it very simple and basic about cleaning and hydrating skin during their teen years when skin is a reflection of hormonal change.

Teens need to be soothed by touch.

Touch is important for all of us and during the teen years touch is something teenagers often avoid. Teen years are also a time when your beautiful child decides they don’t want you to kiss, cuddle and touch them like you did.

I have been through this with my kids, one day they sit on your lap, get in your bed and want to be in your space constantly, then they have a 13th birthday and before you know it they wipe their face where you kissed!

Don’t breathe on me mum, don’t touch me to their siblings, don’t look at me like that dad, teen years are a big emotional shift in preparing them to withdraw from parents and gain independence but it’s harder for them to withdraw from all the touch they have had as a little baby and child, as it is for parents.

During teenage developing years, when life is hard on their body, emotions and mind it’s a natural instinct for teens to push parents away which is why having a family time at a spa can help your kids. Touch from someone else is often a new experience for kids and having a professional therapists touch them is a very important learning experience for most kids. They understand it is to make them relax, feel better and a time to chill out because it is at a professional day spa with qualified therapists and the benefit of just touch alone to a teen reassures them that it’s ok to relax.

Parents and everything else, is embarrassing to teenagers.

Therapists are trained to make people feel comfortable before, during and after spa treatments and this is very important when we work with teens so they understand it is a normal part of everyday life, especially in our day spa world. Yet we know they often feel embarrassed and awkward and we are used to dealing with that also.

Popular spa treatments for the family.

The most popular family time at the spa is with treatments each followed by some food and drink in the gardens. Double rooms are popular as kids feel more comfortable in a double room with a sibling or a parent. Usually treatments for one hour are perfect for teens, any shorter and they don’t have time to relax, any longer they start to fidget.

Parents will often have slightly longer treatments if the kids go in the same room together and that way the kids have more time to sit and do nothing while waiting for their parents, which is really good for teens, considering they are so relaxed after a massage or facial as they are completely zoned out.

Most day spas don’t cater for children visiting on their own and this is mostly due to staff at a day spa not holding legal required certification to care for children under 18 years of age, however when accompanied with a parent to a day spa and adhering to the standard day spa policies, kids are very welcome to have spa treatments at ikatan spa.

Family visits to the day spa are time out for parents, time together for the family and great for teens to experience.

family time is precious, enjoy it

How to get Healthy, Fit Skin.

Have you heard of skin fitness?

Want to know how to help get rid of cellulite in a cheap easy way?

The effects of ageing, gravity, environment and what happens to your body after having a baby, losing weight or illness impacts on your skin. While everyone understands about keeping your body fit it’s also important to keep your skin fit.

Fit is a term we all use to describe a sense of health or energy we feel in ourselves and a term used when we see healthy, wellness in others, but have you heard about keeping your skin fit?

What is skin fitness?

Skin Fitness is all about keeping your skin toned, firm, supple, hydrated and pliable, especially as you age! Unfortunately, as you age, your skin relaxes and becomes looser in areas of your body you do not expect and while I don’t want to send you into a frenzy checking out your body for sagging skin in the areas such as the arms, top of your knees, inner thighs and sides of your back, which are generally the areas where skin will usually show that it needs some skin fitness help.

Why is skin fitness so important?

Your skin is the largest organ of your body and it protects everything on the inside of our body, it’s also the first line of defence against anything that may be a threat to our wellbeing. Your skin acts as a waterproof, insulating cover, protecting the body against temperature, UV rays, and harmful chemicals. Skin excretes antibacterial substances that prevent infection and it manufactures vitamin D for converting calcium into healthy bones. Skin is a big sensory asset, filled with nerves for telling the brain what’s happening with the outside of the body.

At the same time, skin allows us to move, proving itself an amazingly versatile organ. It’s not just about looks and feel of the skin, however the tone and texture of skin is a good indicator as to how healthy you are but not necessarily how fit you are. You may have an extremely fit body but have unhealthy skin and the best example of this is someone who exercises a lot in outdoors and has sun damaged, dry, leathery skin.

Being the largest organ of the body it makes sense to care for your skin from the inside out and the outside in so that it can perform to the best of it’s ability to protect our body on the inside.

Fit, healthier, smooth, toned, younger looking skin.


At ikatan Spa we use dry body brushing to start some of our body treatments and massage and we also have an anti-ageing massage where we use a the best vitamin and organic oils to improve skin. In every treatment we treat the skin with respect and all ways remember how important it is to give our guest quality skin care and help them about caring for their skin.

Here are some quick ideas about how to improve and maintain your skin fitness.

Dry Body Brushing is one of the best things to do to improve your skin fitness and appearance.  Just a simple consistent daily dry body brushing routine will help tone your skin and if you combine this with health, diet and exercise it will slow down the ageing effects and re-condition your skin to improve overall skin fitness and appearance.

How does dry body brushing work?

Dry Body Brushing your skin stimulates the collagen and elastin fibres which support the skin, just like pylons hold up a bridge, and it is the key to keeping your skin toned and tighter.

Dry Body Brushing also helps stimulate the lymphatics and encourages your skin to hydrate itself with naturally produced body oils.  The stimulation of the lymph is what mainly helps to reduce cellulite by increasing the warmth and pumping action in the area, which basically encourages the breakdown and processing of the congestion (cellulite) through the lymph, creating less congestion and a smoother skin texture.

How and when to body brush?

Before a shower is the best time to Dry Body Brush. There are complicated charts and diagrams to explain the way that lymph flows and these are also the recommended directions for Dry Body Brushing, however you will find that if you are mainly Dry Body Brushing for skin improvements then you do not need to be technical in the way you brush but keep the pressure light.

The easiest and most natural way for you to brush your skin is towards the heart on every part of the body and raising your arm above your head to brush downward is the best way to Dry Body Brush the arms.

Pressure of dry body brushing your skin is as light as a cats paw.

When I studied Vodder Lymphatic massage technique I learnt about how important light pressure was and a much lighter pressure with the brush on the skin than you would expect. I was taught the correct pressure is ‘as light as a cat’s paw’ and I have never forgotten this because it is vital to a body brushing technique.

I attend workshops for manual lymphatic drainage to assist breast cancer patients and again it is always emphasised that the pressure must be light.  The light pressure is so important, because the lymph is situated just under the surface of the skin and to effectively work the collagen and elastin that supports your skin tone on the surface and increase lymph flow you need to have a soothing delicate touch.

Dry Body Brushing is effective, simple, quick, and easy to do yourself.

Quick tips

  • Keep your Dry Body Brush in your bathroom where you can see it.
  •  Dry Body Brush daily before a shower because this is a time you are naked.
  • Always Brush dry skin
  • Use light pressure
  • Brush each area 5 -7 stokes
  • Work up the body – eg thighs first, bottom, tummy, sides of body, arms
  • Clean brush with a mild tea tree spray and leave in sunny dry place to dry after spraying
  • Make your own tea tree spray  – mix tea tree oil with water, put in spray bottle, shake before use

Protect your skin.

Using a SPF of 15 is the best way to protect your skin. The higher the SPF the more chemicals you put on your skin but the most important thing to remember with using SPF is to apply a good covering and re-apply if you are out in the sun for long periods. The SPF number tells you approximately how long it protects you eg. SPF 15 = 1.5 hours.

Use organic skin care, as the skin is largest organ of your body it only takes 20 seconds to absorb anything applied to the skin. Moisturise with organic body lotions, milks, butters, creams or oils after showering as your skin absorbs products easier when your skin is warm and moist. If you don’t like the feel of products on your skin or have sensitive skin try organic aloe vera which is reasonably priced and you can blend it with some organic coconut oil for a brilliant skin treatment.

here’s to skin fitness.


Escape for Your own Wellness

You have to escape to advance your wellness.

Do you ever feel like running away, escaping from everything and everyone, feeling like you just want some time to yourself to chill out and charge your batteries? So what’s stopping you, money, time or guilt trip?

We see people walk in to the reception at ikatan Spa who look like they need saving from themselves and their life and it’s part of the reason they need and want spa treatments as day spas have become the mini break in a persons life.

Some guests walk so fast in the doors of day spa, we can feel the hurried energy come with them, busy and tense, checking their phone before they have to put it on silent. The type of guest who can’t find what they want in their bag and there’s too much going on in their heads, it’s hard to calm them down but as we say take a seat and relax, it’s like we have given them permission to chill out.

We feel your stress and we immediately know what to do to help.

Leaving stress behind you starts before you enter the treatment room as you breathe in the aroma of the spa, relax with a herbal tea, listen to the soft voices and tranquil music, while a smile from spa staff all plays on your senses to calm you. It’s like we have given you permission to turn off the world, within only a few minutes after arriving and sipping on a tea that never tasted so good, you know it’s time to let go and hand yourself over to your spa therapist to care for you.

Relaxation can’t be rushed, It takes at least an hour to fully relax.

It takes a few deep breath and a couple minutes to allow yourself to switch off  from the outside world but it takes about an hour to really relax, which is why we see an amazing difference in people who come for two or more hours of spa treatments. But if you can only give yourself an hour of treatments, please arrive early to relax prior to treatments, as it is beneficial for de-stressing.

How to organise time out for yourself.

Book it in your diary, call it what ever you like but don’t let anything change your booking.  It is your time to do something for yourself that will restore your body, mind and spirit. Think of it as putting back a little of what life takes out, so that you can get back to doing what you need to do with more energy.

Money spent on yourself is hard to justify for some people but I know in my 20’s with two young kids I could tweak the grocery spend if I really needed something and we all know we can do it if it is important. Put money away each week towards a spa treatment. You may be able to claim your meeting with yourself as a work expense.

Time is always hard to find so don’t try to make it Friday afternoon, what’s wrong with Wednesday morning as long as there are 7 days in the week your body does not mind which day you chose. If your health is important you will have to make the time and at least call in advance and book yourself in, then you will look forward to your time out.

Guilt is a terrible thing, but it is what some people feel for taking time out for themselves or spending money on themselves. Without you investing time and money in yourself how are you going to improve your stress levels? Work out a way of giving to both your family, job, business or partner and yourself because you will have more of you to give if your not as burnt out.

You obviously need to keep doing what you do, or you wouldn’t do it?  Then you deserve to invest in yourself to be able to do it without as much stress and give yourself a reward of ‘time out’ as it’s also something to look forward to.

A date with yourself.

Your ‘time’ with yourself can be as simple as going for a long walk without rushing to work, going to the beach, a movie or lunch but what you probably need every now and then is someone else to take care of you. Day spa’s are seeing more people than ever coming alone to have spa treatments designed for nurturing and de-stressing as we are trained to care for people and it is effective for time out and stress related issues. Some call it a quick fix and for the amount of time and money you spend in a day spa, it’s a really quick fix, reasonably price for the benefits you gain.

Stress relief, anywhere, any time with aromatherapy.

Stress and how it is affecting people, is having such a big impact and while a spa therapist can’t be with you everyday,  I have a solution to help you cope with stress at work, home in your daily life. I understand how you feel and know what can help, which is why we have an aromatherapy range at ikatan spa that can slip into your busy daily life to add a subliminal calming effect on you in an easy simple way, any where, any time.

Aromatherapy – use of essential oils to create harmony and balance of body and mind.

You can buy aromatherapy oils at most day spas, health stores and some pharmacies also carry essential oils. You can use the oils in a carrier oil to apply to your body or release their aroma in a diffuser, which are available is stores where aromatherapy oils are sold. There are so may types of oils for different forms of stress and it’s best to get advice on what is best for your type of stress but they have been scientifically proved to have a lasting and profound effect with how the work.

Please find time for yourself each week, book it in and make it happen, you deserve it.

Take Care of yourself


Two minute daily skin care routine

How, why & when to apply your skin care products.

It’s a common question asked of a skin therapists, so here are the basics of what order to use skin products in a two minute routine!

I am committed to a simple, quick skin routine with good products, twice a day and it really does only take two minutes. I always apply my skin care to face, neck and décolletage (chest), as this area is more exposed to the elements and where signs of ageing and lack of care to your skin shows first and most.

You deserve to give yourself two minutes, to look after your skin.  

Set aside the time, be prepared by having your skin care in a convenient place, put on some nice music or just enjoy the quiet space in your bathroom. I treat it as ‘ MY’ time to start and finish the day with a nice facial massage in the shower while cleansing, enjoying the beautiful aroma of my skin care as I massage my face in the shower or you can do the same at the hand basin.

I look forward to MY time and have all ways made time for this chance to relax for a few minutes, even when I had babies, little and big kids as well as long days at work. Kids don’t disturb dads on the toilet, so train them to leave you alone in the bathroom too.

Simple guide to applying your skin care to gain maximum benefit.

1. Pre Cleanse

The first thing you do is to remove makeup, dirt and any residue by applying an oil to loosen the everything on your skin, it also helps to act as protection for dry, or sensitive skin before applying cleanser. Pre Cleansers are usually oil based and some people have been told not to use oil if their skin is oily.

Myth – The ‘oil free products for oily skin theory’ is NOT TRUE as it depends on what oil you use. Some oils can remove oil, such as Environ pre-cleanse oil, recommended for oily skin to remove oil residue. Pre cleanser oil should be applied directly over makeup and gently massaged until warmed on the skin. Rinse the face or apply cleanser over the top of pre-cleanser and wash off.

2. Cleanser

Cleansers are often considered as the least important skin care product, the one that you don’t need to buy, when in fact it should be the first thing you buy. If your skin is not cleaned the other skin care products will not work efficiently and that wastes your time and money as well as poor results for your skin.

Cream or foaming cleanser is a personal choice and it is important that you enjoy the aroma, feel and results your cleanser gives you. I love using an organic cleanser that has an aroma to help me feel refreshed but relaxed. Skin should feel clean and fresh but never squeaky clean after cleansing as this means you have removed too many natural oils that protect your skin.

If you love squeaky clean skin, you’re going to upset the natural skin balance which causes your skin to either become very dry or produce extra oil to try to protect itself.

3. Exfoliation.

Exfoliating skin care products vary from gels and creams to dissolve dead skin cells from the surface of the skin using different forms of acids to granular exfoliants that scratch off dead skin cells.

Exfoliants are generally used after cleansing as per instructions and it depends on your skin, the products you use and manufactures instructions as to how you use an exfoliant. I do not consider exfoliation as part of a daily routine unless you have an acid product such as a cleanser with AHA that requires daily application.

Generally, exfoliating once or twice a week is the recommended application.

4. Toner.

Toners are used to achieve a few different results depending on the product you use and what it is designed for. Some toners are for removing residue after cleansing or balancing the skins ph levels and others such as Environ toners are designed to offer removal of residue, hydration and a mild exfoliation with naturally derived acids.

Toning is also considered a skin care step that can be skipped but one I never skip as it makes such a difference to the skin preparation for the absorption of serums and hydration.

5. Facial Serums, if you use them.

Serums are usually applied before moisturiser and are considered something you use when you get older to fight anti-ageing. Well, times have changed and so have serums, elixirs, boosters and we find they are very popular skin care products to personalise a client’s needs regardless of age.

Serums are the vitamins, anti oxidants, corrective products and power boosters that do the most powerful work for your skin. Just like you take medication or vitamins for your body, serums do the same for your skin.

Serums are usually concentrated, light, slippery textures so that they spread easily and are absorbed quickly and need to be used in small amounts, as they are generally higher priced items due to the active ingredients and specialised packaging they require to keep them active. Apply serums according to instructions.

6.Eye serums, gels or creams.

Eye creams, gels or serums should be applied after a serum but before a moisturiser around the outer eye area. The skin around the eye is thinner an finer and the eye cream, gel or serum will creep towards the eye when applied to around the eye socket area.

Do you need to use an eye cream, gel or serum? Is a question often asked of a skin therapist and my best answer is to try it, feel and see the difference then decide for yourself as it depends on the individuals personal needs and results you are aiming for.

Eye serums are one of the most popular products for most people interested in the appearance of their skin as the eye area is where age shows first and most on your face.

7.Masks and skin treatments.

Applied after cleansing and toning skin masks should be applied as directed by the skin therapist or instructions on the packet and it depends on what you need to achieve from using a mask or treatment.

Masks are generally used to boost hydration or to help balance oily skin. The new style masks on the market now tend to use mild acids to hydrate and exfoliate skin overnight while you sleep and the best thing about them is you can’t see them on your skin after you have applied the mask. I love the overnight mask but it’s important that you build up the time it is left on your skin as per instructions.

8. Moisturisers

Moisutrisers hydrate and plump our skin as well as offering a multitude of other benefits as a protective layer. Some moisturisers contain SPF and caution should be taken as well as a study of ingredients to make sure there are not nasty ingredients giving the SPF before you buy the product. Only use moisturisers with SPF 15 during the day and do not apply of an evening when you would sleep with it on your skin.

I always use a day cream with only 15 SPF as it has much less chemicals than a higher SPF. I apply first thing in the morning before I go for a walk and recommend you never leave home without either if you are interested in looking after your skin and protecting your skin from ageing and pigmentation.

Some moisturisers can be cocktailed (blended in the one application) with serums to make application quicker and less product used, therefore saving time and money.

9.Night creams.

Night creams are not as popular as they used to be due to the fact that new advanced skin care with vitamins provide a great morning and night cream in one. Night creams are usually richer or heavier based creams to be used in the evening but often we recommend your serums (depending on product) to be used only of a night dependant on your skin, which means you may not need a night cream.

10.The basics simple steps of daily skin care.

My best tip is to have products set out in order of use where you will use them (not in a cupboard out of sight).

It takes about two minutes, twice a day to look after your skin and just like anything you want to achieve in life it requires consistency and dedication. You don’t have to use all the same brand of products, pick and choose what you like and what works for you.

2 minute twice daily

  • Remove dirt and Makeup
  • Cleanse
  • Tone – optional
  • Serum – optional
  • Hydrate


  • Exfoliate
  • Mask

 Take care of your skin; it’s the largest organ of your body, reflects your wellness and is there to protect you.

Body treatment – improve your dry skin

Q. Just Wondering …… what is the best to use for dry skin on my body?

Does your skin feel dry, even after using moisturiser?

Skin is the first thing we look at on someone and often the first thing we touch on each other. Think of a baby’s skin, we all started with the same beautiful skin, and how it is cared for is up to you.

Your skin is largest organ of your body and it is very easy and quick to care for this important defence system.


What’s the Best Exfoliation for the Face?

Do you know what type of exfoliation to use for your skin, how to use it and how often?
What’s the difference in a peel, to a scrub, buff or polish and what is best?
Read on for a quick guide to exfoliation for your skin.

What does exfoliation do for your skin? Gentle exfoliation on the surface of the skin removes dead cells leaving new cells on the surface.  Exfoliating can help to replenish the skin’s natural acidity level, thus preventing a build up of bacteria which can cause congestion or blemishes. Exfoliation also helps relieve dry skin conditions as products such as moisturisers and serums are absorbed by healthy cells after dead cells are removed and this improves the appearance of your skin.


Have You Got Busy Mum Syndrome?

Do you suffer from Busy Mum Syndrome?

Are you always doing your best for everyone, and finding it hard to get any ‘ME’ time, or as I like to call it, ‘MUM’ Mother Under Maintenance time?

Read this to find out why it is so important for you to have some time out and the health and happiness benefits to be gained for you and your family.