Hilton Head Island Wellness Vibe

Looking for a Wellness Destination? Here’s How Hilton Head Heals

Do you know the secret to your smart phone’s battery life?—Simply, manually exit out of the running apps you aren’t using. Now, let’s go a step further. Do you know the best way to charge your own mental battery?—What if I told you it was as easy as exiting out of the day-to-day and existing memory applications that no longer serve you by touching certain points on your body?

Then, what if I told you you could learn how to do it and even get certified right here in Hilton Head and the surrounding area?

Dr. Anthony Mattis

The technique is called The Bars and is grounded in the principles taught in Access Consciousness. According to Dr. Anthony Mattis, “The Bars is a simple yet powerful hands-on body tool that can unlock areas of limitations in our lives. It deals with electromagnetic points that carry limiting beliefs in the areas of money, happiness, joy, peace, calm, gratitude, creativity and healing—just to name a few. At the very least, it’s very relaxing, and at best, it will change your life forever.”

Dr. Mattis is a Doctor of Chiropractic and has been in practice for 14 years. He graduated with a BS degree in Health/Fitness and is a certified life coach, Elite Master BEST practitioner, Bars & Body process facilitator, and certified Passion Test facilitator. Dr. Mattis is one of many local holistic practitioners who want to make Hilton Head and Bluffton a healing destination—not only by providing wellness services, but by also hosting educational courses and certifications.

“It’s so gorgeous here,” began Dr. Mattis. “And it’s peaceful. What a perfect place to come heal!”

Other wellness initiatives with Dr. Mattis include:

  • April 26th—Body Process class from 10am to 6pm at the Just Be Center in Bluffton. This class deals with unlocking physical traumas in the body.
  • April 30th—Passion Test workshop from 9:30am to 12:30pm in Lady’s Island. The Passion Test is a tool to help people discover their passions and purpose in life.

(Note: You may also check out Dr. Mattis’ site for additional information.)

Amber holding the sun picIn addition to covering green living, this blog will continue to look at powerful, restorative and life-changing health opportunities on Hilton Head Island. Check out the below links. You will find information on certifications in exercise modalities like yoga, Pilates and Barre, bodywork workshops and nutritional cooking classes.—Be well, Becca

Other Great Links:

Biking in Hilton Head Just Got Even Better

Hilton HeadDo you want to experience Hilton Head? I mean really experience it? “Getting on bike is the best way to see the Island,” said bike advocate and member of Kicking Asphalt Frank Babel. Babel, who also co-chairs on the town’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (an ad hoc group of volunteers who work with the town), got involved with improving the area’s pathways almost a decade ago. “I started riding and noticed a lot of debris and root intrusion. I decided my mission was to make it safer and more enjoyable for people to truly tour the Island.”

Since then, Babel has been leading the pack in making pathway upgrades and credits Hilton Head’s town council members for systematically maintaining and improving our bike trails. “Bike riding here has exploded,” said Babel, who also laughed, “And just when you think biking around Hilton Head couldn’t get any better—it does.” This is due in part to several of his committee’s initiatives, which include:

  • Expanding the Chaplin Park trail.
  • Continuing to grow the bike ambassadors program. Right now Babel has 35 volunteers who must complete a two-hour training program. These ambassadors bike the pathways to help you with directions or to make activity suggestions. They are equipped with maps and first aid supplies.
  • Building up the number of bike riders attending the RBC Heritage golf tournament. “When we started three years ago, we parked about 500 bikes,” began Babel. “Last year about 2,800 bikes. And this year we are estimating about 5,000 bikes.”
  • Increasing connectivity and circulation. “Enhancements made on Leg O’Mutton Road, Pembroke and Jarvis will open the north end of the Island,” said Babel. “This will connect more parks like Jarvis, Green Shell, and Honey Horn.
  • Boosting safety. When Babel first started out on his trek to improving our pathways he said, “There were only half a dozen that had signal light crossings, now we have 45.”
  • Creating a biking culture. Hilton Head received the Bicycling Friendly Community award in 2011, has over 110 miles of bike trails and offers approximately 20,000 rental options.

Hilton HeadVisitors and residents alike can look forward to increased access in the future with plans to connect Hilton Head to other parts of the Lowcountry like Bluffton and Beaufort, which for Babel means more freedom and fun for all. “When I set out to ride I never know where I am going to wind up. I go left this time or right this time.”

QUICK LINKS:

Hilton Head/Bluffton: A Sporty Spot

My mother was a size 10 and my father weighed over 200 pounds when we moved to Hilton Head in 1990. Now in their 60s, my parents are thinner, fitter and happier than ever. My mother is a gardener. My father a boater and fisherman. And both walk on the beach every morning, year-round.

“Living in Hilton Head just motivates us to get outside and in shape,” said my parents.

My daughter Ransom (age 6) and I enjoying some sunshine.

My daughter Ransom (age 6) and I enjoying some sunshine.

Now raising our three daughters here, my husband and I couldn’t agree more. We feel lucky and thankful that the healthy mentality that comes with being either a visitor or resident of the area transcends all ages and stages of physical fitness. Plus, there are just so many opportunities to get in shape.

For example, there’s Sammy Long. He makes getting fit fun. Long champions an annual ultimate frisbee tournament that benefits local charities and holds weekly practices for his team La Cucarachas. Both the tournaments and the practices are open to the public and once you met Long and/or attempt ultimate frisbee you “flow” (ultimate frisbee lingo for a series of moves that result in an easy score).

Of course, Hilton Head has its staple sports, too.

Check out:

And our water sports are drenched in fitness and good ole recreational enjoyment. You can:

Hilton Head also suits up for some not so expected sports. Interested in rowing?—check out Palmetto Rowing Club. Want to zip through the Lowcountry?—check out Zip Line Hilton Head. And get this, coming soon you can jet pack through Hilton Head.

Last but certainly not least, the Chamber’s Leadership Class is jazzing up Jarvis Creek Park (Hilton Head) and Oscar Frazier Park (Bluffton) with ten pieces of exercise equipment with instructions for all workout levels.

Print“These fitness trails will be free and accessible to everyone—visitors and residents alike,” began one of the projects organizers Glenn L. Love. “We are also excited to announce that Beach Property Rentals of Hilton Head has come forward to sponsor the additional construction of a covered pavilion for the trail at Jarvis Creek Park. Jarvis Creek is frequently used for boot camps and personal training, so the pavilion will provide a covered space for fitness activities to continue on hot or rainy days.”

Love, like my family, appreciates all Hilton Head/Bluffton has to offer athletically. “It is vitally important to maintain an active lifestyle, and we are so fortunate to have plenty of outdoor space and the tremendous scenery of the Lowcountry to enjoy while doing so.”

Having a Fit-cation in Hilton Head

Hilton Head’s history is nutrient-packed with health-consciousness—from its original Native Americans inhabitants who lived off the land to Charles Fraser’s holistically minded development, Sea Pines Plantation. This tradition continues today not only with us locals, but with our guests, too—and now with more wellness options than ever before. Whether you want to be a tourist in your own town or you are visiting the Island, here’s a how-to to getting fit on you next vacation (or stay-cation) on Hilton Head.

Nancy Ellis

Nancy Ellis

Do Yoga, Pilates, and/or Barre. As a Yoga/Barre instructor, whenever I go anywhere the first thing I do is check out the yoga scene. Hilton Head and Bluffton both offer an array of options like Art of Yoga, Core Pilates, Yoga and Barre, Dancing Dog Yoga, and Jiva Yoga Center. Each space provides something a little bit different—from weekend workshops to dynamic classes to money-saving packages. Nancy Ellis, who graces my Barre classes whenever she’s in town, works in Florida part time for a gastroenterologist and part time as a vegan raw food chef. She has a timeshare here and has been coming to Hilton Head with her family for seven years. She comes for a week at a time and refers to her trips here as a “Fit-cation.” Ellis does as much yoga (and biking, kayaking, etc) as humanly possible and creates her own customized yoga retreat.

DelisheeeYo Harvest Salad

DelisheeeYo’s harvest salad

Nourish Your Body Nutrition. Calling all foodies who also like to be fit—we’ve got a treat for you. Let’s start with personal chefs like Peggy Beck of the Joyful Palate, Sarah Mastriani-Levi of Mannafest Living, or Aram Haroutunian of Celebrations Catering & Events—you can work with these talented tasty chefs to create a menu based around your own food preferences and weight loss goals. Ellis also swears by DelisheeeYo in the Village Exchange on Palmetto Bay Road. “DelisheeeYo has great smoothies for that morning pick me up. We especially like their lemongrass ginger green tea and for lunch and dinner the Buddha Bowl and wraps are amazing. We never can decide what to order because everything on the menu is amazing,” said Ellis. There are also several nutritionists, health coaches and comprehensive boutique wellness providers like Dr. Sheila Stephens of Stephens Compounding Pharmacy who can custom design your wellness plan from supplementation to diet choices.

Get Some Spa Time and/or Bodywork. Mistakenly, bodywork is often thought of as an indulgence, but in truth it is a necessity. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular spa visits can rub, scrub, cleanse and ease away “anxiety, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, headaches, insomnia (related to stress), and muscle and nerve pain.” Other studies (reported by the Huffington Post) found that by booking an appointment you are booking a well-deserved, wellness ticket to increased productivity at work, improved mental health, an improved immune system (and therefore less sick days), less PMS symptoms, and improved self-esteem (due to beautifying and anti-aging treatments, as well as the nurturing effects of self care). Hilton Head’s spa and bodywork professionals include experts in skincare, Rolfing, cranial-sacral therapy, massage therapy, lymphatic massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, and Bars therapy—just to name a few.

Nancy Ellis and a relative

Nancy Ellis and a relative

Get Some Vitamin D and Oxygen. How lucky are we to have so many miles of bike trails and pristine beaches?—Plus our parks, natural preserves, watersports companies, and temperate weather! Getting outdoors and in shape here is easy. According to Ellis, “We normally average 15-25 miles a day on bikes. We take coconut water, apples and nuts with us because when we leave in the morning on our bikes we never know when we will be returning!”

Nancy Ellis’ Top 3 Healthy Travel Tips:

  • Download apps like Map My Ride to clock your exercise progress
  • Look for healthy options in maybe unlikely places like Stack’s gluten free pancakes and Mellow Mushroom’s veggie pizza.
  • Bring or buy lots of healthy books and magazines and place them on the coffee table with extra paper and pens so people can flip through them and get ideas about dinner or other meals.

For more information on area businesses specializing in wellness, click here. For more on wellness-oriented special events, check out holistic healthcare practitioner and massage therapist, Carla Golden’s calendar.

Be well, Becca

Get Going with Hilton Head’s Go Tri Sports

Everyone seems to be looking forward to fall. Every time I bump into someone they emphatically say, “I’m sooo ready for fall!” But why? Summer did us right, right?—I mean, you can’t go wrong with comfy beachwear, boat rides to Daufuskie and agenda-less afternoons. But, ask yourself:

  • A) Are you ready to enjoy cooler weather?
  • B) Have you run out of things for the kids to do and ready for some “you” time?
  • C) Do you secretly miss having a schedule?
  • D) All the above

Al Olivetti at Go Tri Sports

For me, it’s “D” and my trick to enjoying the weather, taking time for myself and getting back into a routine is to train for a race. I’ve signed up for the LoCoMotion, a 10-miles-a-day, 3-day race to raise awareness and money for breast cancer. My team is Fan-Ta-Ta-Tastic and my go-to guy for all my training needs is Al Olivetti of Go Tri Sports on New Orleans Rd.

“Go Tri Sports is dedicated to providing triathletes, runners, and cyclists the equipment, knowledge and service to support them in obtaining their athletic goals. We sell the best in equipment and accessories like running shoes (Olivetti will personally fit you to the pair that best meets your needs), bikes, electronics, apparel, hydration carriers, and nutrition,” said Olivetti.

Brands Olivetti Carries and Recommends:

  • Brooks
  • Asics
  • Saucony
  • Cervelo
  • Felt
  • Cannondale
  • Swiftwick
  • Garmin
  • Zipp

Olivetti and his staff bring years of expertise and professional service to your training program. “We strive to make each person we contact a better athlete,” said Olivetti, who starting racing triathlons and marathons in ‘96 and has been going non-stop (from the Ironman distance triathlons and marathons, to the sprint distance triathlons) since then.

“I love racing because I love to compete. I love the challenge, the fear, and the entire process of preparing for a race. Also, I love to train. It is my lifestyle and who I am. I love the energy it provides my body and the clarity it offers my mind,” admitted Olivetti.

And you don’t have to be a runner or high-performance athlete to train/compete. (I’m walking my upcoming race.) It’s all about goal setting. “Goal setting should be a priority for everyone, whether in the athletic context or some other part of life,” said Olivetti. “Goals keep you accountable, they give your efforts a purpose, they allow you to measure your progress, and they allow for accomplishment.”

Olivetti fitting a customer

Olivetti’s Top Training Tips:

  • Enjoy the process.
  • Challenge yourself and you’ll be surprised on what you can accomplish.
  • Use all the resources at your disposal, like friends, coaches, literature, and Go Tri staff members.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with your own methodology or tweak an existing protocol to fit your life.
  • Use proper equipment and keep your gear current. (Ex: Running shoes do not last two years despite what they look like.)
  • Work out a schedule toward your end goal with short and long-range goals mixed in.
  • Check out OnOnEvents.com and Active.com for races in your area.

Be well, Becca

 

Let’s Play: Finding adventure and wellbeing in HHI

Sunset with Shadwick

Amber Shadwick is all about making a profession out of playing. Owner of Fitside, Shadwick offers wellness coaching, personal training, private and group yoga (on and off the beach), corporate wellness and destination fitness (often through Outside Hilton Head). You ask anyone that has had the pleasure of meeting her and they’ll say she’s the real deal because she lives and breathes what she preaches (aka “fun mindfulness”).

“I love being outside—an adventure is always waiting out there,” said Shadwick, who truly appreciates connecting with nature and her wellbeing. “My favorite activity is paddleboarding out to the sand bank off of the Westin, doing some yoga and being mindful of myself and the environment that surrounds me.

Shadwick’s Top 3 Wellness Tips:

  1. Think nature, especially roots. Like a tree, spread your roots and drink more water by exploring being in the water. Then disperse your roots—spread, seek, root, re-root and grow!
  2. Get fresh air and feel rejuvenated. Find every opportunity to enjoy all that Hilton Head or any other destination has to offer and soak in a natural source of Vitamin D—with proper protection, of course! :)
  3. Find freedom in your surroundings with new adventures. Remember we are all always evolving. Seek new exploits and invite healthy, fun and FUNctional activity into our being.

Shadwick acknowledges that sometimes new things can be intimidating, or even scary but says, “fear is actually false experiences appearing real.” She recently overcame her fear of heights while trying Zip Hilton Head and admits, “I’m a really grounded person and thought I would be scared, but I went for it. The people at Zip Hilton Head do a great job of making you feel comfortable and safe.”

Shadwick encourages everyone to be playful and take advantage of all the adventures available in the area. Here’s her top picks from sunrise to sunset to being playful and, yes adventurous, in the Lowcountry.

Shadwick doing SUP yoga

Shadwicks Top Adventures:

  • Kick butt at beach boot camp. You can start out your morning getting fit with Shadwick’s morning time total body workout.
  • Zip-it. Mid-morning is a great time to try Zip Hilton Head and get a unique perspective of the area.
  • Explore via a SUP paddleboard. Paddle out somewhere, explore, sightsee or try a yoga practice and then enjoy a healthy lunch picnic.
  • Hike Pinckney Island. Wait until the afternoon sun is setting and take a scenic, nature-filled hike. You might even bring a light snack and or refreshments and spread a quilt outlooking an inspiring Lowcountry vista.
  • Paddle a full moon kayak adventure. Check Outside Hilton Head‘s site for dates and details.

Be well—Becca

 

Aqua Zumba at Hilton Head Health (H3)

Alyssa Petro teaching Aqua Zumba at H3

Pool + Zumba = Aqua Zumba, a creative and safe workout led by fitness instructor/guru Alyssa Petro at Hilton Head Health (H3). “Water aerobic sports like Aqua Zumba offer de-conditioned or injured people a non-impact way to get back into shape,” said Petro.

Petro, who practiced tap and ballet as a youth and has been ballroom dancing since 2001, has always been into dance fitness. In addition to Aqua Zumba, she is also certified in Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumba Atomic (for kids), Burn at the Barre and Surfset and she is an ACE personal trainer. Listening to Petro talk about her classes and students you are struck with the fact that she truly enjoys helping people feel good physically and emotionally.

“I think it’s super important to move. I believe we all need to work on our balance, strength, flexibility and tone in order to be healthy and happy. The worst thing to do when you have an ailment or challenge is to just sit. I want to inspire people to work through things and work their bodies,” said Petro, who admits she got certified to teach Aqua Zumba because she loves the movements and wants everyone to have the opportunity to dance and have fun.

Mission accomplished. One of Petro’s students, Chris Schultz explained, “I think [the pool] is the only place I could do Zumba. It takes the weight off my knees and feet. I feel supported in the water. I will miss this class when I go home on Sunday.”

Erica Sanner, a H3 employee sampling the class laughed, “Aqua Zumba is different than anything I’ve ever done. You almost don’t even realize you’re exercising.”

LuJuan Rutledge agrees. “Zumba in the water is a lot of fun. It’s playful, refreshing and forgiving on my hips. It’s only my fourth day [at H3] and already I feel my posture changing.”

Adam Martin, H3 Brand Manager

H3 strives to make wellness accessible to all of its guests. According to Adam Martin, Brand Manger, “We offer over 50 different types of fitness and exercise activities at H3.  The dance program has grown tremendously over the last few years.  We are now offering Ballet Barre classes, Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballroom, Zumba, Aqua Zumba, Latin, Contemporary and many more. We feel that if guests find something fun, they will be more likely to continue when they return home from H3.”

Martin encourages you to learn more about H3’s fitness program by visiting http://www.hhhealth.com/fitness-classes and welcomes anyone to email him at amartin@hhhealth.com or call 843 785 3286, ext. 107 for more information.

Aqua Zumba Class Breakdown

  • You will need a bathing suit, towel, and sunscreen. Water bottle and aqua shoes optional.
  • The class is divided into three segments: A warm up, a series of choreographed dances and a cool down.
  • Benefits of Aqua Zumba include (according to the Aqua Zumba certification textbook):
  1. Decreased psychological stress
  2. Decreased insomnia
  3. Increased basal metabolic rate due to increased muscular density
  4. Increased lung capacity
  5. Increased endorphin production
  6. Increased productivity and intellectual capacity
  7. Maintained bone density and elasticity
  8. Ensured protection against stressing the body
  9. Enhanced neuromuscular reactivity
  10. Stabilized blood pressure

Be well, Becca

Staying Healthy in Hilton Head’s Heat

Coligny Beach

Summers past, we have kicked off the season with an epic all day trip to Coligny Beach, the Sea Pines Beach Club or one of the Island’s private plantation club pools. And—despite multiple sunscreen applications—each year my three fair skinned daughters have soaked in a little too much fun in the sun and we have ended up spending the rest of the week applying aloe from our garden and doing puzzles (of other people enjoying the beach). In the past, because 80% of one’s skin damage happens before the age of 18, I was left feeling a little bit defeated by summer and deflated by my hopes of being “Super Summer Mom”.

But not this year. Not my family—and not yours, either. As Hilton Head continues to heat up, we are chilling with 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Get the Gear

  •  Sunscreen. Not all sunscreen is created equal, so despite multiple applications you might feel the burn unless you get the good stuff. According to a 2013 Consumer Report covered by CBS News in May, “Six sunscreens were recommended: Wal-Mart Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50, Coppertone Water Babies, Walgreens Continuous Spray Sport SPF 50, Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch SPF 30 and Coppertone Sport High Performance SPF 30.”
  • Sun proof apparel. Hilton Head’s outfitter shops are well stocked with clothing that can protect mom, dad, the kids and even the dog. Outside Hilton Head sells sun shirts that are quick drying and offer 50 UPF for UV protection from infant to youth sizes from Dakine and Patagonia, as well as Patagonia Sunshade shirts and Columbia’s new Omni Freeze shirts.
  • Hat/Sunglasses. A hat is always helpful. Get a carefree one from the local grocery store and spend your money choosing sunglasses. Look for UV-protection details on sunglass labels. Choose ones that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays—for you and the kids. (Polarized are an added bonus, especially when on the water.)

Step 2: Practice Summer Safety Tips

  • Be a sunscreen wiz—even on cloudy days. Remember to apply to trouble spots such as the ears, feet and nose. We do our first big application before the girls even put on their suits and then reapply every other hour.
  • Drink plenty of water and add electrolyte mix to your water if need be. (Daphne’s Café sells children’s Emergen-C).
  • If beaching it, be aware of the rules and regulations of the beach (signs are posted near most beach accesses) and look out for the on-duty lifeguard—chances are he or she is super attractive and easy to spot.
  • When with kids, periodically do a head count. When I go to the pool with my neighbor Jennifer (who has 3 girls, too), we take turns with counting or having the girls count off.

(Note: For a full list of Shore Beach’s safety tips click here)

Step 3: Have a Good Game Plan (See below for a fun-filled, beat the heat good time)

Friends and family enjoying a picnic

  • Morning. Get going early—whether it’s on the boat, beach or poolside.
  • Afternoon. Pick a fun lunch spot or make a picnic. My family packs sandwiches (gluten free bread, local honey and almond butter), fruit, carrots, organic cheese sticks and water.
  • Late afternoon. Take a break from the sun. We like to go to Daufuskie and listen to Cranford and Sons on Sundays but you may enjoy a movie or shopping.
  • Night. Gregg Russell at Harbour Town or Shelter Cove fireworks are both great options.

Be well—Becca

 

 

 

Finding the Fountain of Youth at the Sanctuary European Day Spa in Hilton Head Island

I’m turning 35 in two weeks and, like Ponce de Leon and his fountain of youth, I have set out on a quest to find the best anti-aging services on Hilton Head Island. My journey has proven a challenging one, given the fact that there are so many outstanding spas and signature treatments in the area. But, alas the two services that seemed to turn back the clock the most—the Bioslimming Body Wrap and the Age Reducing Facial—were unearthed at The Sanctuary European Day Spa in Park Plaza.

Lisa Murphy and the Alpha Environmental Capsule

The Sanctuary has been in business for 16 years and its owner Lisa Murphy has been rejuvenating her clients for over 25 years. “Of course I want people to feel pampered here, and they do,” said Murphy. “But our treatments are more than just about pampering. We want people to leave here with long lasting results.”

And I did. After the Bioslimming Wrap, I lost one inch from my thighs, waist and stomach and nearly two pounds—not bad in 1½ hours, right?! The process was relaxing as Murphy applied aromatic and skin tingling creams and gels. Then I spent 30 minutes in the Alpha Environmental Capsule, which is so anti-aging it’s like going back into the womb. As if I could not feel more relaxed and youthful, Murphy finished the time warping treatment with a cooling cream that made my skin feel downright giddy.

 

 

Bioslimming Body Wrap

The Benefits of the Bioslimming Body Wrap:

  • Losing an average of 1-4cm per measured area
  • Reducing the appearance of cellulite and fat deposits, appearance of varicose, thread and spider veins, and fluid retention particularly in the lower legs
  • Detoxing, slimming, firming, and toning the skin
  • Enhancing weight loss by burning calories for two hours post treatment and continuing the slimming and fat burning process for 12 hours following the application
  • Gaining instant and long lasting results

Next, I felt the years fall away with the Age Reducing Facial. This skin-plumping-o-rama includes a collagen mask and enzyme peel on the hands, face and décolleté. I left The Sanctuary looking like a college grad!—(At least, that’s what my husband said.)

Other Services: (to download the full brochure click here)

  • Fruit Acid Double Peel
  • Light Therapy Facials
  • Vitamin C Lifting
  • Microdermabrasion and Peels
  • Collagen, Aromatic or Vitamin C Masks
  • Makeup Lessons
  • Broken Capillary
  • Professional Waxing
  • Electrolysis
  • Eyebrow Shaping and Tinting
  • Eyelash Tinting, Perm and Extensions and Semi-Permanent Lashes
  • Several massage options like Deep Tissue, Hot Stone, Aromatherapy, and Reflexology
  • Ionithermie (another cellulite killer)
  • Shirodhara (Ayurvedic oil treatment to the forehead)
  • Hollywood Tan
  • The Sanctuary Scrub with Vichy Shower
  • Several signature wraps like the Sedona Clay Wrap, Hydra Quench Wrap and Moor Mud Wrap
  • European or Gel Manicure
  • Spa and Mini Pedicure
  • Mini Pedicure
  • Hand Peels and Mircroderm
  • And several spa packages

Be well, Becca

Carolina GurlSpa Gives Girls a Healthy Dose of TLC

Imagine a spa lounge with colorful lanterns hanging from the ceiling, playful pink walls decorated with butterflies and flowers, cozy furry purple blankets strewn casually across plush chaises, and coffee tables with the most recent edition of National Geographic for Kids and Girls Life.

This is Carolina GurlSpa—where young girls get a healthy dose of positive messages and much needed TLC.

“We wanted the spa to be girlie but not princess-y,” said Liz McGinnes, who used to be a social worker. “This is supposed to be a haven for girls. It’s amazing what girls have told me about experiencing stress with school or family members. They say it makes their tummy hurt or they can’t can’t sleep. They also talk about having low self-esteem and feeling like beauty is just exterior. That’s why we offer a meditation session for our walk ins before they begin their service.”

Carolina GurlSpa's lemon honey mask ingredients

Carolina GurlSpa’s lemon honey mask ingredients

Carolina GurlSpa nurtures the mind, body and spirit with a holistic approach. “We use only high quality products and natural ingredients,” said McGinnes. “And we want to teach these girls how to be at peace by giving them a relaxing massage or showing them how to make de-stressing aromatherapy.”

McGinnes also believes advertising can be confusing and gives young ladies wrong information. This is why so much of her spa services focus not just on pampering but also on educating. “The girls learn about proper skin, hair and nail care by using their senses with vibrant smells like peppermint and healthy, tasty ingredients like fresh strawberries. We make sure their learning experience is truly interactive,” said McGinnes.

One spa activity lets girls make their own smoothie masks and McGinnes explains the benefit of each ingredient. “The yogurt provides a light acid, the oatmeal is moisturizing and calming, the fruits they choose from provide antioxidants, and the honey infuses nutrients. We talk about the properties of each ingredient and the girls describe how it makes them feel.”

“Our clients’ little personalities make me laugh,” said McGinnes. “It’s fun when they come in and do a spa day with mom or have their birthday party here. I see them in their little spa robes and know they feel cared for.”

List of Services

For Teens (BFF=Best Friends Forever)

  • Sweet Carolina Teen Facial: Pore-deep cleansing, breakout busting mask, eyebrow tidy up, and advice from the pros. $75. BFFs $135.
  • I “Heart” My Nails Manicure: Nail trim, cuticle tidy and buff followed by a scented hand massage and topped off with polish. $25. BFFs $40.
  • Pretty Me Pedicure: Bubbly foam soak and refreshing minty foot massage followed by trim and nail buff and polish. $35. BFFs $60.
  • It’s All About You: Sugar glow body scrub, foaming tub, and hot stone massage. $75. BFFs $135.
  • Om GurlsSpa: Manicure, pedicure, teen facial, body polish and glow and hot stone massage. $185. BFFs $340.

OPI Disney nail polish

For Tweens

  • Fancy Fingers Manicure: Strawberry soak, shine and polish. $15.
  • Twinkle Toes Pedicure: Butterscotch bubbles, sparkle scrub and nail polish. $20.
  • Movie Star Makeover: Fancy Fingers Manicure, Twinkle Toes Pedicure, ice cream face pack, hair glitters and face art. $50.

For Ages 4-7

  • Tinies Treat: Butterscotch bubble soak, sparkle scrub. $15 for hands and feet. $28 for hands and feet with one coat of glitter polish.

Be well, Becca