Thursday, December 27, 2007

LRS New Year's Eve party

Once again, the Little Red Studio is taking over the Little Red Day Spa on December 31st-January 1st for the New year's Eve Gala. The theme is 1920/1930's and costumes are encouraged. I managed to get a sneak peek of the big aerial/dance piece that is based on a scene in the movie Chicago, and it is amazing!

The Spa will be opened up after midnight for post-fireworks soaking and socializing. There will not be any practitioner's on duty, but all the spa's accouterments will be available for your use and enjoyment.

Entrance fee for the evening is $50 per person for this catered, two part event. Tickets are available for online purchase at Brown Paper Tickets.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday hours.

What a busy weekend! Funny how one small post about it being quiet suddenly gets the phone ringing.

Yesterday was a full day at the spa and today we have half of the day filled with appointments. Tomorrow, Monday the 24th we will be open half the day and Gift Certificates will be available for sale, either via phone or pick up.

Please call me at 206-963-0772 and we will get you all set up with an envelope of pampering and relaxation!

I hope everyone is enjoying time with loved ones.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Everyone is so busy!

Except me. The spa is running at it's regular pace.

I was amazed at how many cancellations have been called in recently, until I remembered what month were in. It seems like the times when we are busiest is exactly the times when we could really use a little extra down time to recuperate. I always feel so bad when I can hear it in someone's voice how much they regret having to reschedule or cancel their appointment. Almost as if it hurts to say the words.

So, if you are noticing you have a little extra time after your holiday shopping, or maybe you want to combine getting a spa session with buying someone else a gift certificate, give me a call. I am ending up with more same day appointments available than usual.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Letting go...

Some people just can't let go during bodywork. They can't let go of the tension in their muscles or the worries in their heads or their expectations of what the experience will become in the next moment. Whatever they can't let go of, it often gets in the way of me doing my job.

Mind you, I am not trying to make it all about me, the therapist. Really it's all about you, the person I am working on. My comfort and ease in and around my job makes for a better massage or watsu experience for my guest. If I stand with poor posture, I can't get enough depth into muscle tissue to work knots out. If I am nervous because the guest keeps asking me overly personal, leading questions then my focus is no longer on my guest but on myself. Every choice I offer to you, my guest, once you are in the spa, is based on your personal preference. I'm only going to offer choices that work for me, so whatever you choose will be fine for me. That is one of the best tricks I have learned over the years: learn how to do something a few different ways in order to give people options that will work for me.

Watsu really challenges me in this regard. And not in a way you would think. Despite having to move someone's body through the water, the buoyancy provided by the water takes away much of the stress bodywork and massage puts on my body. The caveat is that the person has to surrender to the support of the water. When a person is relaxed, limp even, their bodies are easily manipulated, moved in and by the water. I was taught to work with the water in generating movement without it seeming forced or putting undue stress on the body, both mine and my guest's. Imagine the way kelp moves in the ocean; smooth, organic and effortless. That's the way you should look and feel when you are receiving watsu.

Perhaps there is a mild fear, either of water or of having to trust a stranger to support you in the water. Sometimes, people will make their legs stiff and straight during watsu in what is often an attempt to stay afloat. Doing this makes the person more difficult to move and stretch, causing me to be more forceful in my movements, and thereby less relaxed myself. This always transmits from my hands and body to the recipient. Pulling the head up out of the water by bringing chin to chest is another common thing that people instinctively want to do if they feel like they are sinking too far into the water. Ironically, this will cause your hips to sink lower and cause your head to slip a bit out of my hands.

Sometimes there is an expectation of alertness or assistance. It is quite difficult to convince people that the best way to help is by not helping. It's human nature to help someone who is helping or being kind to you. In this case, it is not selfishness, it's a beautiful thing to let me do all the work, because it's really not work at all if you relax and let go.

Friday, December 14, 2007

More fun stuff!

I have a great time making many of the products that we use in the spa treatments. It's my chance to be creative when I am blending essential oils or devising a new salt scrub.

Perhaps this isn't in keeping with the winter theme, but I am infusing sunflower oil with fresh rosemary. While it will be a month before it can be used, I love looking at it in the spa. After only a few days the oil has a green tinge to it that is very lovely. This will become the new base for our regular scented oil, which is a blend of Rosemary, Lavender and Basil essential oils. I am hoping that the infused oil will have enough of the rosemary scent so that I will only need to add the other 2 oils.

I feel like a mad scientist! Where's my lab coat?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ladie's Night at the Spa.

When I first got interested in the spa industry, I took great delight in checking out all the other spas in the area and learning who offered what. It gave me a good idea of what was "out there" and what wasn't. There is a wish list I gave to Jeff, the owner, that is still quite long of what I want to do with the spa. We are slowly ticking off items as the timing and resources present themselves.

Right now is a very exciting time with whispers of a merger and moving the spa into a new building. I shouldn't say much right now, because everything is still in the "this is a good idea" and early planning stages, but come summer time, I just might get some of my bigger wishes fulfilled.

In the meantime, the idea of having a Ladies' Night at the Spa is reaching maturity. (The Men's Night is a little farther down the pike.) This will be a weekly occurrence on Mondays, costing $10 per woman, starting at 6pm and going until 10pm. This evening will be a mellow event with all the spa offerings available for women to indulge in, either as a self-service of with help from a friend or other spa guest. I will be there, of course, facilitating the use of products and the space. Normally, coming to the spa is restricted to one appointment at a time, so this event will be quite different in that it will be on a drop-in basis. Reservations are requested so that I can have enough staff on hand. If I get enough people to make reservations, I plan on bringing on a massage therapist and an esthetician to do mini-massages and facials as an add-on service to the entry fee.

I am looking to start having the Ladies' Night at the Little Red Day Spa in early January. Any feedback or suggestions you would like to offer are most welcome.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Open House today!

Everything is almost ready. All the product for the new Winter Warming session is ready. My practitioners are all scheduled to come in over the course of the open house so that there will be plenty of different perspectives for you to hear when you come to visit. It's going to be a nice little event. I have spent the last week getting all the details taken care of and now it's down to just that last few things. Cross your fingers for me that I get them all done.

The open house is from 3pm - 6pm today (December 9th) at 1506 Franklin Ave. E. in Seattle. If you have been coming to LRS events for a little while, it is located at the "old" studio. Please note we still do not have our Little Red Day Spa signs yet. Please look for the white and black A-board sign at the end of the drive way that says Hengst Studio. Parking is free and easy on the street.

Call 206-963-0772 with any questions you may have.

See you soon!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Session Available

To keep things at the spa fresh and interesting, I have been reviewing our offers with an eye to change things up. We have a "Hot Stone Massage" session, which I don't much care for. I don't believe in using tools to do massage as it takes me a step away from the real power of bodywork: touch. Add in that I have a fear of being burned and it's not really a good fit. Fortunately, Zan, another LMP at the spa, loves doing the stone massage and has been more than happy to take those sessions. Unfortunately, because of my bias, those sessions aren't promoted as much and it bothers me that the stones often lie around unused. That seems wasteful.

Along with revamping existing sessions, I decided to start developing seasonal sessions. So here we are, entering the depths of winter. I, for one, always get hit by the winter blues. Aside from the full spectrum light bulbs and increasing my exercise, I also indulge in anything that reminds me of summer or warm weather, such as eating more oranges (I once read a book with a line describing orange juice as liquid sunshine,) or buying flowers, sitting on sun warmed rocks in the mountains. Wouldn't it be nice to combine all those things into an experience that warms you up makes you think of sunnier days?

Behold! The Winter Spa Session: Imagine rolling your feet over and around smooth, heated river rocks while getting your feet washed and rubbed in a warm foot bath. You'll be floated into oblivion in our spacious hot tub by your attentive practitioner until all your stress had been drained away by the swirling water. After being deposited back on dry land, you'll be given warm stones to hold during your hot oil body treatment. A Pomegranate Tangerine Salt scrub will enliven your skin, which you will shower off in our custom shower, emerging refreshed and rejuvenated.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

LRS Pilosophy - Part 1 of 3

"Erotic Art is all art... well, almost."
Written by Jeff Hengst.

"Erotic" does not have anything necessarily to do with sex and so it follows that "erotic art" does not necessarily have anything to do with sex. To see "erotic" as synonymous with sex and to set oneself up to emphasize this aspect of "erotic" in the spirit of reclaiming an open honest awareness of sex in the face of a sexually oppressive society, is to still be caught up in the oppression.

Another way of defining "erotic" is to think of it as a god/dess form, a kind of energy that animates the human spirit through bodily means. It is the energy which calls us to spirit which is a “body” or plane of being where-in there is a rich tapestry of connection and meaning-fullness. Seen in this light, nearly all art is erotic. Why else would the human animal make art? Surely art has its uses, but we consider it “art” precisely to the degree that it has no practical use. Its real use, if it is art, is its ability to help us experience the spiritual, to get us to a place where we can remember and experience these connections and sensations of meaning. As modern people we have come to see "utility" as antithetical, or an encumbrance, to art's ability to steward us to spirit.

The ancients made tons of art, and they had no sense of "utility" encumbering them. What is amazing to me is that they made any art at all. Life was very difficult for them. The simple basics of life required enormous amounts of time and energy. And yet they still found time to carve, dance, write poetry, draw and paint as well as ornament their everyday objects with an artfulness which is utterly lacking today. Nevertheless, we live in a modern world where these distinctions have become the fabric of our life and culture. And so we must find ways to overcome this distinction which has for so many of us become a barrier to ever reaching spirit which is so essential for rejuvenating our bodies and souls.

As an antidote for this malaise, we have, at the Little Red Studio, set forth a definition of art which states that all art that is done in this view is "erotic." That aspect of art whose subject is “sex” is the "Sex Art" subset of erotic art.

There is another kind of art that is made which is not erotic art. All art made for the sole purpose of profit is not erotic art. The world today has many art assembly lines which simply crank out art as a commodity to be sold for profit. Much art that is made is done in part for profit, even my art is for sale after all. The degree to which it is done for profit is precisely the degree that it is not erotic. And this is neither good, nor bad, just different. The difference that makes this worth pointing out is that "profit" is "even" or "balanced." For example, if I sell something money is given back to me in the amount that is determined to be equal in value to the thing I am selling. Moreover, the money is exchanged more or less at the same time as the “art” is completed and delivered. The transaction is complete….done. An erotic exchange is not "done." It is open ended and full of uncertain possibility. The exchange is not equal and fairness is irrelevant. In fact, what seems to happen is that by some unknown mechanism things seem to increase. The openness and “un-done-ness” of the transaction seems to play an important role in this increase.

I don't believe that until the modern era anybody would have even thought of the classification of "erotic art." It is one of the great challenges of the industrial/technological age that we live in to find a way to re-integrate the spiritual back into our lives and find a way to have "erotic exchanges" in addition to the many "profit" or "done" exchanges that make up most of our lives. It is this very lack of spirit or integration of self which is cultivated in "erotic exchanges" that would lead us to even think of classifying art this way and reveals our yearning as a culture.

Re-kindling an understanding of the erotic as an energy form that can embrace and accept our bodies, all of our bodies, even our sexual bodies, could be just the breath of fresh air and honesty that we need. This is the "worm hole" away from the whole Judeo-Christian paradigm that views access to the spirit to be in the hands of a religious elite and sex to be inherently evil. And more importantly, for us liberal and sexual progressives, this different understanding of "erotic" could be the escape pod that could help us avoid the subtle trap of thinking we are free from this tyranny when if fact we have turned the trap inside out and then stuck our foot back in it, which to my mind is what we do by equating sex with erotic and thinking we are balancing out the sexually oppressive dominant culture.

To think of erotic art as simply art that has something/anything to do with sex is to miss a very exciting boat that is going to a whole new dimension of spirited, integrated and animated living that to be sure, includes lots of shame free sex. But it could include more than that. It could include lots of art making- singing, poetry, painting, dancing, miming, sculpting, acting and drawing- much of which may or may not include sex as its subject.

And that kind of experience, I guess, is what we call Little Red Studio.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

All the rain...

I have lived in Seattle for 14 years, and after growing up during a drought, I actually quite enjoy living somewhere so wet. I didn't sign up for the downpour over the weekend though. That was unexpected, much to the ruination of property and the disruption of many lives.

Reading the blogs and hearing the news about all the repercussions of over 4 inches of rain (and that's only in Seattle, other areas had more!) makes me not even want to mention the extremely minor flooding that I have experienced at home. I am incredibly happy to report that no flooding happened at the spa in Eastlake and we are open as usual.

While I am saying my thanks for my good fortune, I'm hoping for good resolutions all around for everyone else.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Yummy body scrubs!

After McAuliflower suggested that I look to seasonal produce for inspiration for new products, I suddenly found myself looking at things much differently whenever I was at the grocery store.

A lovely woman who has recently become involved with the spa was telling me about using ground up pomegranates as a skin scrub. I love everything about pomegranates; their color, taste and smell are so yummy and vibrant. One of my criteria for new products is affordability. I would like to keep our rates stable. Accounting is so much easier when all the sessions keep to the same rules about pricing. For this reason, a pomegranate based scrub is out. However, adding ground pomegranate to a salt scrub is not financially prohibitive.

On to the product testing!

Did you know, pomegranate seeds are mightier than a mortar and pestle? The slipperiness of the seeds combined with my lack of practice with this device was somewhat comical. I have a blender, though, and that worked nicely. The only result of using the blender that I am not pleased with is that the brilliance of the red is somewhat diminished. I am hoping that once all the air bubbles that created the froth settles, the original color will return.

Mixing the pomegranate with the salt and oil mixture was dramatic! Very lovely to look at, indeed. The salt took much of the sweet smell away from the fruit, so I added in a generous amount of Tangerine essential oil for balance.

Happy with the resultant mixture both visually and nasally, I hunted down my house mate and talked her into letting me scrub her arm. She gave the color a big thumbs up and commented it was a bit scratchier than the last batch I made. I did use a different type of salt, a kosher sea salt, this time. Back to the fine grain Mediterranean sea salt, I guess. I don't think it's necessary to take off the top 3 layers of skin during a body scrub. Two layers is adequate.

I am so excited about the Pomegranate Salt Scrub that I am going to find a way to feature it at the spa. Please fell free to request it!

Friday, November 30, 2007

LRS Philosophy and the Day Spa Mission

What we do at the Little Red Day Spa is driven by a philosophy based primarily on the book "The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property" by Lewis Hyde. Jeff Hengst, owner and founder of the Little Red Studio and the Little Red Day Spa, has detailed and evolving goals for each of these ventures.

These goals are artistic in general and the others are health and beauty oriented for the spa specifically. Furthermore, Jeff feels that building these artistic goals into the fabric of the spa gives the experience more depth. The result is an environment which is rejuvenating for your body, soul and mind.

I would like to share this philosophy with you. Sometimes knowing the background can make an experience richer. I have come to the conclusion that should I present it in 3 or 4 parts, so as to not be an overwhelming amount of information. Please stay tuned for the first installment: "Erotic Art" is all art... well, almost.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The emails I get.

I love email. It's such an efficient way to communicate, most of the time. However, when one is making appointments, it is not. From the time I get your email and reply to it about times available, the chance that someone called in and made an appointment is very high. I am then in the position of waiting for a reply to outdated information, which will trigger another round of emails with the corrected "times available."

Not efficient at all. This is why if you email me in response to a Craigslist post, or after reading the website, I will encourage you to call me to set up an appointment. Whenever I see an email with the subject line of "I need a massage" or "Appointment?" I heave a little sigh. I don't want to be rude, after all, the person has made an effort to contact me and here I am asking them to do more, which goes against my customer service training.

And sometimes, when I open these emails, I don't have to do anything. A new scam has evolved where someone says they will send you a cashier's check for a months worth of services plus extra for some other costs, and you have to cash the check and send them back the extra monies. Occasionally, these emails are difficult to spot out at first and it's not until you have read a whole page of text do you realize what is being asked of you. But today I only had to read the first paragraph:

My name is James . i am a new member of craigslist and i am in need of any therapeutic service for my 19 year old daughter. my daughter as been suffering from a severe pain due to a long term fracture on the left leg ribs. When my daughter was 18, she got an accident and was treated but ever since then she has been experiencing this pain on her left leg yearly.

Ok, bad translation software. That is excusable. Just to make sure I am not dismissing anyone out of hand, and also for fun, I scan the rest of the email to ascertain the goal. Another paragraph telling me how much pain the daughter is in and then this:

Since i am in spain,my CEO BOSS that i am work for here is willing to pay me an advance payment of my work with a check/money order in dollars. I am willing to send down this check/money order to you for your charges. i would like you to make some advance payment for one month for this services and i need to fly her back to the state immediatly we agree on this.

And there is the promise of advance payment for him and me. Interestingly worded with the truth. (My emphasis.) That's not very common. The next paragraph goes on to tell me that I must send my name, address, etc... so that they can mail me a check and how I am supposed to process it and send them back money. With all the constant references to his daughter's pain and that he is doing this for her, and I almost feel bad for giggling at the audacity of this person.

So ends my public service announcement regarding making appointments via email. Please always include your phone javascript:void(0)
Publish Postnumber in your emails and I will be able to efficiently make your appointment.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday Open house and Gift certificate Sale

Little Red Day Spa
1506 Franklin Ave. E.
Sunday, December 9th
3pm - 6pm

Are you curious about the Little Red Day Spa?
Has it been a while since you visited us?
Do you want to give a gift of relaxation that can be shared?

After a summer of renovations and upgrades, the Little Red Day Spa is
very excited to open our doors to visitors. Please join us for
refreshments on Sunday, December 9th to meet and chat with some of the
practitioners who work at the spa, look around and learn how we
incorporate the artistic vision of LRS into our spa treatments.

Gift certificates will be available for purchase during the Open
House. Between the hours of 3 and 6pm, prices for spa sessions with
one practitioner are discounted as follows:
60 minutes - $100 ($110 value)
90 minutes - $125 ($150 value)
120 minutes - $160 ($200 value)

Discounts are also available on Gift Certificates for special sessions
such as the Tandem Bliss and Couple's Massage. Please be sure to ask
Sophia, the Spa Director, for details. We accept cash, checks and

For more information, please go to or call
(206) 963-0772.

A Watsu session for me!

Over the holiday weekend, I treated myself to a Watsu session with Gary Jaeger, LMP. I heard about him from my favorite chiropractor, Catherine Mastroianni, and was excited to hear that there was another Watsu practitioner in the Seattle area. Actually, quite close by. Gary does some of his sessions at M'illumino, which is on the corner of Roosevelt and 70th, so I chose that venue. (The Longhouse in Redmond is the other venue where Gary holds his Watsu sessions.)

The pool is outdoors, in a sparse, but pretty, bamboo garden. It was a bit cold until I got in the water, and then I was pretty toasty. Gary did a great job of keeping me submerged and it was wonderful to float and swoosh around in the round pool. I have to admit, just being in the round was quite different than in my square spa. In a square, you just can't swooshed around in lazy circles at the same speed as you do in a circle. I found that to be one of the biggest differences from Watsu sessions I have gotten at the Little Red Day Spa. I really want a round spa, now. More than before.

The session gave me a chance to reflect on my own style and that of my teachers. I went to Gary specifically to have my neck worked on, and he has a tendency to work from only one side of the body. Now, that doesn't mean he only worked on my left side, it's just that he worked both sides, limbs, etc..., from the right side. This unfortunately left my neck in the same position for over an hour. I kept waiting for him to cradle my head in his other arm, and it never happened. So, while I was relaxed, and my muscles were looser, I still had a bit of a crick in my neck.

I now truly understand why Dwight and Richard were so adamant about moving from one side of the body to the other throughout a Watsu session. I had always looked at it as something I needed to do to keep my body in balance. Receiving bodywork is one of the best ways to increase one's knowledge and awareness. Thank goodness it's so enjoyable, too! What better way to brush up on techniques than relaxing in a warm pool while being cradled by a caring practitioner?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Little Red Lounge takes over the Little Red Day Spa!

Don't worry it's just for the evening. Hope to see you there after you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Little Red Lounge
Friday, Nov. 23rd @ 9PM

Come relax after Thanksgiving at our ever-popular Little Red Lounge, held at Hengst Studio, located at 1506 Franklin Avenue E.

Some fun performances will add to the evening full of dancing, socializing and hot tubbing. Serafina Restaurant will provide a no-host wine bar and light hors d'oevres will be served.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance at or at the door when you arrive.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Open House soon!

We have decided to host a Holiday Open House at the Little Red Day Spa. it will be held on the afternoon of Sunday, December 9th and it will be a great chance to wander around the spa, meet the practitioners, buy discounted gift certificates, nibble some snacks and see the incredible paintings by Jeff Hengst. (Jeff is the owner of the day spa as well as the founder of the Little Red Studio.)

Still working out the details, but save the date. I'll post as soon as things like times and prices get worked out.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back in the water again.

This past week, doing Watsu on a regular basis has brought up a lot of thoughts on relaxation and water.

In table massage, touch is coming to you from the practitioner's hands, arms, the table itself, the sheets. Most of that sensation is static, though, helping you to focus on the area that the practitioner is working on. Each new area that is being massaged is put into the limelight and your awareness enables you to let go of tension. As the therapist moves from area to area, your awareness shifts.

In water massage, touch comes from the practitioner's hands, arms, legs, belly, sometimes even feet, the sides of the tub, and the water surrounding you. The water enveloping you is never static, even when you are held still in the practitioner's arms, you can feel the smooth swirling of the water going past you. Your awareness is scattered. For the first few moments, it decreases your ability to relax. You have more and much subtler cues to relax than you normally receive during a land massage. Once you process the information, you notice you are supported just as much as if you were on a table. The support moves and undulates, but is constant, none the less.

Most people need a little coaching to let their limbs be heavy and float like kelp. Our instincts tell us that we have to use our muscles to support ourselves. Stiff legs and tilting the chin to the chest are natural inclinations when laying on our back in the water, however, these actions cause our hips to sink. Letting you head fall back, resting in your practitioner's hands or arms, allows your torso and hips to be more buoyant. Letting your hips and knees be soft and bendable makes moving and stretching you easier and makes less work for your practitioner.

Watsu is unique in that it affords us to float in a gentle medium that fosters relaxation. This should be taken advantage of in every way. And it's such a lovely image to pretend you are kelp, swaying gently in the warm water.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Everything is back in order.

Hot tub is fixed. Again. This time with the new part, so we should be fine. The customer service never improved. I haven't written about it here because I figured no one wants to hear complaining.

The phone is fixed. I apologize to anyone who's phone call wasn't answered or message wasn't returned in a timely manner. I am back on track in the communications department.

Pardon me, I'm going to sneak out and enjoy the snippets of sunshine while I can.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Balancing act.

I got the sweetest phone call yesterday morning. It was from a man who had come in with his wife for a couple's spa session the day before.

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! from me. And Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! from my wife. She was melted the whole rest of the day and today I feel so revived."

When he had called and set up the appointment, he had mentioned she had been under a lot of stress and while he wanted it to be something they both did, he asked me to pamper her a little more than him. Since balancing my time with two people is always a little tricky, I was thankful for his cue. Most of the time I focus on intuiting who needs more direct attention and who reaches a relaxed state faster with more indirect, subtle interactions. Sometimes I only facilitate a couple pampering each other. Finding the best way to teach them to do Watsu and still make them feel like they can have an intimate, connected moment with each other.

When one guest states wanting to spend more time focusing on the other, be it for a special occasion like a birthday or just stress levels, I still make sure to watch body language and interactions for cues that the balance needs to change. So often, it means that they are looking for a 60/40 split in attention, but sometimes it is a dramatic disproportion. If what the guest means is that they want to help me pamper their partner, then frustration can develop if I don't make enough room for them to help me.

And it doesn't have to be about a miscommunication, sometimes we don't know exactly what we want until we get in a situation, and that's why being adaptable and flexible is so important in this job. I like that I have to be somewhat of a detective in making each session a great experience for my guests. Crafting it and helping the session to evolve to meet each person's need to be relaxed and rejuvenated. It's part of the fun; discovering what makes people happy.

Phone problems.

If it's not one thing, it's another.

The Spa has been having communications difficulties since Friday evening. Phone calls are not going through. Fortunately, the voicemail service is still working, so please be patient with me and I will return your calls as soon as possible.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Guest Watsu Practitioner

Next week is quite special. We have a Watsu and Shiatsu specialist visiting from California. Richard helped start the spa 2 years ago and is coming back for a little more than a week. Another reason we are so incredibly happy that the hot tub is back in full working order. He will be offering appointments, one of which is an amazing combination session consisting of Watsu and Shiatsu, during our regular spa hours.

Richard is an incredible therapist and someone I am deeply indebted to, as he has helped me develop my Watsu style when we first started the spa. If you are looking for a Watsu session with a more therapeutic angle than we normally offer, please give me a call and I'll get you set up with a session with Richard.

If you are interested in making an appointment for next week, I highly recommend that you call in soon, as I expect to be booked rather full while Richard is in town.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

And there was much rejoicing!

Finally got the news I have been waiting for; the part for the spa has come in!

Tomorrow the spa company is supposedly sending out someone to do the part swap and installation. This means appointments will be limited and only available last minute for tomorrow, Thursday the 8th. Hopefully, they will be done and gone by 11am so as not to impact operations.


Friday, November 2, 2007

LRS Erotic Shorts Review

I know, it's not directly spa related. Though a couple is coming in tonight for a spa session before going to tonight's Little Red Studio show "Erotic Shorts" It is an evening of one act plays.

I went to the dress rehearsal last night and laughed so hard I was a bit embarrassed! All but one of the plays were quite humorous, so it was an incredibly fun evening. My sweetie and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I highly recommend it for a night out. We both picked out the Play "Limits" as our favourite, though the rejected lesbian play and the one with the 2 superheroes were great, as well. One because it set you up and then went in an unpredictable and interesting direction. The other because it followed the expected trajectory.

Jeff Hengst, the producer and founder of LRS, sent this out in an email to the troupe today: "The latest incarnation of the Erotic Shorts is bold right out of the gate. More daring than I imagine Seattle audiences will find anywhere around town. It is also smart and very funny. And then it gets even funnier as the night unfolds. Kerry has put together a sassy and sexy night of outrageously funny short plays."

Doors open at 8:30, with the show starting at 9pm. And with a $20 ticket price, it's a steal. Address is 750 Harrison St. in Seattle. (Not the spa location.) There is a no-host bar provided by Serafina with wine and non-alcoholic beverages. Go to Little Red Studio for more info.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Gift Certificates Available!

One of the great things about giving your sweetie a gift certificate to the Little Red Day Spa is that you can join them in redeeming it!

Whether you come in by yourself or as a couple, a 90 minute spa session is $150, 2 hours is $200. Except for the Therapeutic Massage sessions, all of our session prices are based on time length and the number of practitioners. You can purchase a block of time or the dollar amount of your choosing.

Please check our website for a full description of each session. You can call us at (206) 963-0772 and order gift certificates over the phone and have them mailed to you, or arrange for a time to stop by the spa.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Good news!

It seems our spa dealer is doing their best to make up for the inconsistent, often poor, customer service we have been subjected to over the last year and a half. Our part has been ordered and will soon be here. By their estimate, we will have our tub up and running either end of this week, or early next week. Cross your fingers for me that it will be the former.

In the mean time, I have been thinking about new things to do at the spa. McAuliflower made a mention of using produce as a basis for body treatments and that reminded me of my trip to Hawaii two years ago.

In September of 2005, the Little Red Studio troupe took a trip the the Big Island of Hawaii to have our annual retreat and perform at the Kalani Oceanside Retreat. During this trip, I had my first experience with Watsu. Dwight, our host and Visiting Artist troupe member, has been practicing Watsu for many years, not only in his own heated pool, but also in a natural thermal heated pool located at a nearby beach.

One evening, Dwight and his partner escorted 10 of us into the heated pool for an introductory lesson in Watsu. We spent the first half of class learning how to float and move our partner, and for the second half, we switched roles. To this day, I am still unsure of which experience moved me more; receiving or giving the Watsu.

The next day, Dwight planned a "spa day at the beach." He instructed us to gather up as many avocados and papayas around he property that we could find. He organized an assembly line of people peeling & cutting and mashing the fruit. Once we had a five gallon bucket 2/3 full of avocado and papaya paste, we all marched down the Red Road to the black sand beach. He claimed the black sand, being pulverized lava rock, was exceptional material for exfoliating the skin. There were conflicting opinions on the preferred method of application. What I settled on was to stand in the breaking waves, rubbing the sand over my whole body and then coating myself in the fruit concoction. Leaving it on for as long as I could stand before jumping back into the ocean and letting the waves wash all the paste off.

I would love to recreate that experience in the spa. I bet I could make an essential oil blend that was reminiscent of the oceanside. Black sand isn't really feasible, but regular sand is. And while the avocados and papaya would be spendy certain times of the year, they are easy to come by here in Washington. More will be reported after some research happens.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Conditionally taking appointments.

We are still open and making appointments, as long as you don't want a Watsu session. That is the only thing we can't do at this time.

With the hot tub on the fritz, we have had to become quite creative with the Spa Sessions. We are still open, as only 1/8th of what we do in the Spa is unavailable. The sessions have been adapted so that they are still packed with fun things to do that are relaxing.

Bad news: No Watsu is possible at the moment. I'll post as soon as the tub is fixed.

Good news: Therapeutic Massage is unaltered by the tub situation. The Classic Spa Sampler, Body Painting, Creative Movement and the Sculptural Clay sessions have all been adapted so that they can still be done without the Watsu element or the hot tub. The Scalp Massage station (our fancy hair-washing sink) has been inserted into the Classic Sampler Session. A steamy shower is prescribed before getting covered in scented, fine potter's clay.

Necessity really is the mother of invention!

Hot Tub Troubles

Warning: this is going to be me complaining.

The Little Red Day Spa has an incredibly fancy Coast Spa. It is rated as a medical device and was the deepest we could find at the time we researched spas/hot tubs for purchase. As expensive as it was, you would think the thing would run beautifully and we would be well taken care of by the dealer.

Reality is a harsh master.

This hot tub has given us trouble since the second month after delivery. The temperature regulation was inconsistent and when we would call the dealer, they would often say things like "that model has a glitch in it so that you should just disconnect the pump because it causes problems like the one you are describing." and "just make sure to keep the vents closed and you won't lose temperature." After a year and a half, we finally got an independent spa repair technician to check the tub, whereupon we learn that we have a flawed circuit board. In other words, everything is working fine except for the fact the that when computer tells the heater to turn on, ofttimes the heater doesn't get the message.

It's been a week since we put in the order for a new circuit board and the dealer is *still* telling us that he is going to look and see if he has one in stock before he orders a new one. I am not going to name the dealer. I want to give them a chance to make this right. But even if they do rectify the situation, you can bet I will never buy another tub from them. Which is too bad, considering we are planning on expanding in January.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Time for a new scent?

At the last Little Red Studio performance I renewed the practice of mixing essential oils into the body paints. The Studio uses tempera paint for the body painting because it's non-toxic. That's all good and well, but it smells a little industrial to me, and not at all charming like oil paints. When I joined the troupe, that was one of the first things I did with my Box o' Smells.

I got a nice email from one of the troupe members who was a "canvas" during the body painting segment, complimenting me on the blend I used. The scent was a combination of Vetiver, Spikenard and Dalmatian Sage. I put one of the three scents in all the paint bowls so it would be blended once someone was painted. It was a heady and intense combination, but earthy and grounding.

Since a few other people have commented on it since then, I think I am going to play with it and see if I can make it subtle enough to be the scented oil blend at the Spa. I have used the Rosemary, Basil and Lavender blend all summer long. Changing the blend with the change of the seasons seems like a good idea.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

LRS Halloween Party is taking over the Spa!

On October 26th, a Friday, the Little Red Day Spa will only be open for appointments until 2pm. The Spa will close down for the rest of the day in preparations for the Little Red Studio's big Halloween Bash, during which the hot tub will be available for soaking.

Please forgive the inconvenience and I hope you will take the chance to come and play dress up with the Little Red Studio Troupe!

Doors open at 9pm (at both venues!) and tickets are $20 per person. You can pay at the door or go to Brown Paper Tickets and pay in adavance.

Monday, October 15, 2007

In Love with Lush!

A little while back, I was introduced to Lush products and I was thoroughly charmed. The funky labeling and outrageous names captured my attention enough to try their shower gel for the Spa. I choose the Sonic Death Monkey which is has coffee and chocolate in the ingredients list. What could be more decadent than showering off with chocolate?

I am finally out of the Sonic Death Monkey shower gel, and despite it's lovely aroma and my overall satisfaction with it as a product, I think I would like to branch out. Also, I must admit, the name is not very soothing or sexy. Maybe I'll get the Flying Fox Shower gel next.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New Practitions & Session available!

I would like to introduce David and Adele, our new spa practitioners offering a special Tandem Bliss spa session at the Little Red Day Spa. Tandem Bliss, for individuals or couples, includes aromatherapy, hot oil body treatment, energy work, and time floating and stretching in the hot tub.

David and Adele are romantic partners and soulmates, which infuses their practice with love. They have a holistic approach that honors your mind-body-spirit. In addition to the already juicy Little Red Spa Classic Sampler experience, David and Adele offer Reiki (energy work), chakra balancing, and breath-work, all with an emphasis on conscious touch and communication.

A difficult and involved part of my job is that I have to interview and train people. Working with David Adele has been wonderful and quite rewarding. They are thoughtful, sweet people who are quick learners and eager to be a part of the spa. And having the 2 of them work on me was heaven!

Obligatory business note: To schedule a Tandem Bliss appointment, it is suggested that you call 3-4 days in advance, minimum, since coordinating 2 people's schedules takes a bit more doing.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Testamonial from a new guest.

Sometimes, there is no way I can convey how wonderful our spa sessions are intended to be. This letter from a recent guest touched my heart and made me glow. I am glad that I "add more to the world than I take."


You are marvelous. I have thought often of my time at the Little Red Day Spa eight days ago. You have created a true sanctuary…a refuge from the stressful world. I've found very few places where I can totally relax and feel disconnected from all other distractions. I love the atmosphere; you have such a beautiful and warm space.

But it is not the location. You create the magic of your safe haven. I've met very few people with such a beautiful sole. Perhaps I see only your professional persona – I think it's more than that – but that's still incredible. As you know I entered anxious and unsure what to expect. It only took our first exchange of words and the touch of your hand to put me completely at ease. Actually I first felt the connection simply by the warm and cheerful voice message you left confirming the appointment. I felt safe, secure and free to be in the moment without any hesitation whatsoever. Amazing.

I came to you because of stress. It disappeared; completely; at least for a day. I also came because I have over time ignored my creative side. Visiting the Little Red Day Spa was one small attempt to push myself out of comfort and routine…a way to explore the sensual and erotic. I was amazed (and pleased) that this happened in a totally non-sexual environment. I couldn't have appreciated the possibility without experiencing it. I certainly wasn't sure such a place, and person, could be found.

Feel proud that you add more to the world than you take.

I look forward to my next visit.

With fondness,

Friday, October 5, 2007

Back up and running again!

The offices of Hengst Studio & Little Red Studio have officially moved out of my waiting room! Despite the phone company's bungling of the transfer of the phone lines, the spa is running smoothly. (Thank goodness for call forwarding.) Even though administrative operations have moved to the Harrison building, Hengst Studio, meaning Jeff's painting business, has not moved. The Little Red Day Spa is still located in Hengst Studio. I am very glad of this. Having the creative energy of the hundreds of Jeff's paintings stored and created in our studio is invaluable for the spa's atmosphere.

Another exciting development is the arrival of our new Spa promotional materials and the impending question; where do we distribute the postcards and info/press releases? some will go into promotional packets along with all of the other Little Red Studio offerings. I am thinking perhaps I should contact the neighborhood hotels, as the spa is a nice treat when traveling. Other than that, I am at a bit of a loss for where else I should place the postcards. Suggestions are most appreciated.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


In 2 days, I leave for a vacation to visit family and hopefully, work in a little bit of spa research. (Really, it's important for me to know what it's like to visit other day spas in other states.)

I will be scheduling very few appointments between Friday, September 28th and Wednesday, October 3rd. Mostly due to the fact that most of those days are already booked. The other reason is that the Hengst studio offices will be moving out of the spa lobby, and we are expecting everything to be a shambles for a few days.

Please be patient with me if you attempt to contact the spa and I don't return your phone call or email quickly. I will be answering the phone and returning calls daily.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A 2 Hour Sculptural Mud Spa Session

The Mud sessions are my favorite sessions to perform. At least right now. I had a very pleasant session with a woman visiting the spa for the first time last week. It is a great illustration for what I am hoping to accomplish in my work at the Little Red Day Spa.

In these sessions, I usually start out getting my guest comfortable in the space and into a robe. Perhaps sipping tea or nibbling chocolate. I proceed with washing and massaging her feet in a Rosemary foot bath. The soap makes a great massage lubricant. There is a sweet woman at a local open air market who makes soap in all different flavors. Right now I am using the one she calls the Good Karma Bar with Red Clay, Shea Butter and essential oils.

After drying her feet, we move to the massage table for a Roman Body Brushing. The brushes are soft, natural fibers and it feels like the gentlest back-scratching, soothing and enlivening at the same time. I leave her covered with a silk cloth while the shower warms up. (A rinsing in the shower is mandatory before entering the hot tub. State law and common sense.)

Before we start the Watsu, she enjoys the jets that encrust the "throne" while I massage her hands and wrists. This seat has jets that direct streams of water at the base of the neck, top of shoulders, all down the back, arms, lower legs and feet. When you sit in it, you immediately understand why we call it the throne. I describe how the Watsu is performed with the use of the floats on her lower legs, to help maintain buoyancy and balance, while I cradle her in my arms. It's always so difficult to capture such a sensory rich experience in words. Luckily, within minutes of starting to float her, her body let go of all the unnoticed tension that we all hold in our daily life, and began to move in the water like seaweed; anchored by my hands and arms yet still moving gently and easily with the movements of the water.

Ending the Watsu portion of the session is often a little sad. The prospect of a full body mud mask is usually tempting and intriguing enough for most people not to dwell on the end of the Watsu, though. We use a fine potter's clay with essential oils and water mixed in to give it a thick, soupy consistency for application. I use my hands to massage it into her skin, the fine grain of the clay providing texture. Once she is thoroughly coated in clay and it is starting to dry, making her look a bit like a statue, I warm the shower again so that she can take full advantage of the dual shower heads to rinse all the clay off.

While applying the warm, scented oil to complete the treatment, she murmured, "You could single handedly create world peace doing this," and let out a long, happy sigh. It was quite difficult for me not to bounce around in joy. (As that would hardly be relaxing.) I am putting this down in memory as one of the highest compliments I have ever received in massage or spa work.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A real reception area!

The Hengst Studio offices are moving to the new building on Dexter and Harrison. As of October 1st, I will have a real waiting/ante room for the spa. I am very excited. It has always been a little awkward to greet guests to the Spa in a bustling office space.

Jeff has promised to decorate it right away, making it feel just as elegant and relaxed as the main spa room. Yay!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Not your average Spa

One of the most common questions I have to answer revolves around what we do and don't do. A lot of people who find out that we don't have hair stylists or skin care specialists on staff are mystified as to what could possibly go on in a day spa that doesn't involve getting a facial or dying one's hair. Add in the fact that we only have one appointment at a time, and you can bring your sweetie in with you for a couple's session, then the questions start pouring out.

The short answer is that we focus on delighting the senses. Relaxation and pleasure. Everything that we offer at the spa is because it's fun. Sure, there are health benefits behind all of our treatments, but we sincerely believe that pleasure has it's own rejuvenating and rewarding benefits. Being inside Jeff Hengst's painting studio really lends to that rejuvenating spirit. The space is soaked in creative energy from his art-making and past Little Red Studio performances. The atmosphere is both relaxing and inspiring.

If we have really done our job right, guests who come visit our day spa leave feeling a new lease on life. They are inspired to enjoy their lives more than they have been. A few people have even joined the Little Red Studio as troupe members after getting a massage or spa session at the Little Red Day Spa. To date, the most exciting result is the gentleman who called the next week to thank me for his session and reported that he had just bought 3 new canvases to start painting again!

That's what we do at the Little Red Day Spa. Sometimes it looks like someone is just being floated in a hot tub, but it's usually something more sublime.