Oasis Day Spa in Weymouth recently marked its 20th anniversary with a new offering, its “Healing Hands Services” for clients living with illnesses that compromise their immune system. Spa owner/founder Julie Mahoney says therapists receiving training specifically for the new service. We spoke to her for this story.
Q. How did this new program evolve?
A. Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen an increase in clients with cancer and other illnesses with the chief complaint of skin dryness and sensitivity. Their doctors would tell them to avoid spa treatments, specifically nail treatments, but these services are what makes them feel good, regardless of -- or being unaware of -- the risks. For example, we can’t use metal implements on them; the skin can be fragile. And we make sure our nail products are organic and simple, with no risk of infection. I also volunteer for a nonprofit that offers free treatment service, Looking & Feeling Fab in Whitman, run by Holly Brown who has really helped me figure out how to move forward.
Q. What other services does the new component have?
A. We also do massages and facials, and have to get information such as if they’re having chemotherapy or radiation, so we can modify treatment for their comfort. We make sure we don’t massage the palms or soles of the feet with a lot of friction, which can cause dermotoxicity, and if they’ve had surgery, we stay away from the incision site. Also, if they’ve had lymph nodes removed, we stay away from that area.
Q. Are clients open about their medical conditions?
A. Sometimes we find they don’t want to talk about their illness and weren’t making us aware until perhaps well into their service. So booking online is a great way for us to get the necessary intake before their appointment. The clients can come in and know their service will be safe, and they won’t need to spend time talking about their illness.
Q. How has response been to the new service?
A. Overwhelming; more than I expected. We just launched in September, so it’ll be interesting in a year to see how it’s gone. The training for Healing Hands also teaches us how to interact with clients and address their concerns. That’s huge, and something we didn’t have before. My goal is to reach as many people as possible to raise awareness for the importance of safe-salon practices.
Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.