Marci Howard-May, Red Mountain Resort’s Director of Spa & Wellness, shares why self-care should be part of your personal health-care habits—and the profound healing wisdom your own body provides.
What gets you so excited about self-care?
I love to empower people to take charge of their own health and wellbeing through education, movement, and body work. I have done this through working in Preventive Cardiology, instructing fitness and education classes, and being a massage therapist. Being the Director of Spa and Wellness at Red Mountain Resort allows me to use both my massage therapy background of over 22 years and my Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Nutrition on a daily basis. I feel blessed to be able to use all areas of my passion every day with an amazing team.
What’s the favorite part of your job?
I love creating and finding new treatments, building our retail areas, inspiring new fitness classes, expanding guest education programing, and continually refining our weight-loss program. It’s a fun challenge to have the ability to adapt to what our guests need and are interested in and staying on top of trends while staying true to who we are at Red Mountain. We offer programs that allow you to take time for yourself for relaxation, stress relief, a personal reset—or if you are looking to dive deep and discover the profound healing wisdom your own body provides.
This past September, we launched our Sleep Tonic treatment. This 80-minute full-body treatment was created to help those who have trouble sleeping well to deeply relax while they are here with us, and to begin a new nightly ritual of their own. We focus on areas of the body where stress can accumulate and the areas where most massages do not spend a lot of time. Guests are given an instruction card to take home that shows three of the acupressure points they can easily work themselves and Pranayama (Deep) Breathing techniques to help relax the mind and body, as well. We encourage them to incorporate these practices to create their own nighttime ritual at home to help continually improve their quality of sleep. This treatment is doing very well, as so many people are struggling with various forms of insomnia.
“It is important to realize that self-care is not a selfish act. Self-care should be part of your personal health-care habits to help you be able to give more of yourself in a way that is balanced.”
What does self-care mean to you?
It means cultivating and nurturing a deep relationship with yourself to allow a heightened awareness to what your own needs are emotionally, mentally, and physically—and giving yourself permission to meet those needs in healthy ways.
What’s your best advice for those who have a tough time taking the time for self-care?
It is important to realize that self-care is not a selfish act. Self-care should be part of your personal health-care habits to help you be able to give more of yourself in a way that is balanced. If we become depleted, or unwell, we cannot give to others. I also find that those who are willing to make taking care of themselves a priority can inspire others to do the same.
What makes Red Mountain a special spa destination?
First and foremost is our unique location. We have beautiful red sandstone cliffs with dramatic black lava flows around us. There is so much beauty to enjoy here. We have been a wellness destination for over 20 years. We have had a whole-body approach to wellness for all of those years, and we continue to refine it. You can come and choose your own adventure while you are with us. You can do as many outdoor activities as you like, partake in our fitness classes, attend educational lectures and fun evening events, enjoy delicious and healthy food, and of course, spend time in our spa. We have specific packages designed for you, or you can create your own with exactly what you want to do. We have so many amazing opportunities here that many people find they want to return time and time again to be able to have a different experience every time.
Mary Bemis is Founder & Editorial Director of InsidersGuidetoSpas.com. She is a pioneering spa journalist, most recently honored as one of the "Top 30 Influential Voices Transforming Wellness." She is an inaugural recipient of Folio's Top Women in Media Award, and was honored by ISPA with its distinguished ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award. In 1997, she launched American Spa magazine, and in 2007, Mary co-founded Organic Spa magazine. A pioneer in the sustainable spa and beauty worlds, Mary is co-curator of Cosmoprof North America's Discover Green Pavilion. She is a Global Wellness Day Advisor, and a co-founder of the Washington Spa Alliance.
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