Ayurveda Keys to Wowing Your Clients: Part 1 - Vata
The Euro Institute was founded on holistic principles including Chinese herbal medicine and the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda which treats the individual, whole person as unique - a radical swing away from traditional Western medicine. I found this article on how to better understand your client's "doshas" and how to incorporate Ayurvedic principles into your spa treatments - regardless of whether you offer actual Ayurvedic treatments (our Ayurvedic products are great add-ons to your arsenal, btw - you knew that was coming!). Part 1 of 3 total posts explains the nature of Ayurveda and characteristics of our first dosha - Vata. Enjoy.
Do you ever wonder what makes people so different? Do you wonder why some people are naturally happy and others seem unmotivated? Do you wonder why some clients LOVE hot stone massage and others want to run away at the suggestion of them?
Ayurveda can answer these kinds of questions; it is like a secret language that will give you lots of answers and insights. As a spa professional, I have been trained to offer ayurvedic treatments. Even though I do not offer them anymore, I still use the principles to create deep connections with my clients, and it has served me well in growing my business.
The great thing is when you start to understand these principles, you don’t even need to ask clients the questions directly. By simply understanding their likes/dislikes and observing their behaviors, you can speak to them in a way that positions you as the expert.
This beautiful practice is an ancient healing science from India that dates back well over 3,000 years. It is still used today to diagnose illness and ailments. Literally translated, the word ayurveda means the "science of life."
Basic Ayurvedic Principles
Ayurveda says that the human body is governed by three doshas—Vata, Pitta and Kapha—or constitutions. These doshas are comprised of the five elements of the earth: space/ether, fire, water, air and earth. Most of us are generally a combination of two doshas and sometimes all three. At different times of our lives, we are in different dosha phases. Sometimes we can have a single dominant dosha.
As children, we are often in the Kapha phase. During the teen years, Pitta can kick into high gear with acne breakouts and inflammation. During the perimenopause/menopause, women will experience a combination of extremes such as breakouts (Pitta), weight gain (Kapha) and thinning of bones (Vata).
Each constitution gives us clues, almost like a secret language. It also leads to more "wow, how did you know that about me" moments. However, you need to pay close attention to your clients and their nuances. Finding out what they do for work will give you insights about their dosha.
Creatives are often Vata and Kapha dominant, while logical minded clients are often Pitta dominant. Through this process, we develop the know/like/trust factor, where the better they know us, the better they like us, which leads to trust, loyal clients, referrals and ka-ching. The intriguing thing with really understanding this philosophy is even if you do not know the client, you can level up their experience and leave them wowed.
To help you get started, ask your clients (or observe) their:
Favorite time of year
Preferred drink temperature (hot or cold)
Reaction to change/new things
State of mind
Emotions and reaction to stressful situations
VATA: Vata’s tend to be slender, with prominent features. They rarely sweat, and they are hard to keep still and always on the move. Unfortunately, this makes them prone to burnout after they go for days and then crash. They have a curious and impulsive nature and are often enthusiasic and happy.
They speak quickly and love to chat, even while relaxing. They are often insomniacs, as their mind never stops. They are quick to learn, intuitive and creative, but can easily forget things. They are easily stressed out and can be emotional.
When out of balance, Vata clients are prone to joint pain and arthritis. They can have crooked teeth and often have cavities. They have dry skin, especially their hands and hair. They are frequently cold, even in warmer weather, and they have cold hands and feet. They have a weaker constitution and tend to have "thimble" bladders and can become constipated.
Remedies. Vatas benefit from simple, one dish comfort foods or soups and warm liquids like teas. Use lots of room temperature water, as they tend to get dehydrated. They benefit from regular life routines, especially sleep. They do not do well with excessive travel or cold. It is best for them to avoid coffee, dried fruit and other stimulants. They love the warmer weather and thrive in it.
Busy (mentally and physically)
Dry skin and hair
Struggle with insomnia
Treatments. This is where you come in as a spa professional with your magic. Remember that Vata is governed by air and space, so they need to be warm and still/calm so for them to be balanced. Heads up, as this is not easy for them!
Vatas benefit from nourishing treatments such as a deeply nourishing facial to combat dry skin or a nourishing, grounding massage using body butters to make it even more luxurious for them. As they are prone to poor circulation, stimulation for their circulation is important. However, be sure to not overdo it.
To warm them, think about hot stone massage with a warm space. Consider weighted blankets/heated blankets or a warm temperature in the treatment room. Also, go toward cocooning protocols such as paraffin treatments and heating blankets. Use calming and detoxifying oils for the body, such as sandalwood, chamomile, lavender, as well as eye masks to reduce light and eye contact, so they can relax. Offer them meditative calming treatments such as yoga and guided meditations.
Vatas are open and very friendly, so be social with them. They love to chat. Keep them happy, and they will be loyal. They are great promoters and will be the best source of referrals. They love new and exciting things and are the clients that are the most impulsive buyers. Suggest anything new, and they will snap it up. They are easy going clients until tipped over. When out of balance, chaos ensues for Vata. Their motivation is the fear of missing out (FOMO), so treat them well and keep them informed. They love to be center of attention and "in the know."