October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and spas are doing their part. It's important, because there aren't many of us out there who haven't lost a friend or relative to breast cancer. This is one of my best friends, Susan Clarke, who died almost two years ago. She went undiagnosed because she didn't have health insurance.
So spas are doing their bit to help raise awareness and money for research. The Spa at Flamingo and The Spa at Harrah's Las Vegas are offering 50-minute massages or facials for the price of a 25-minute service, on Tuesday, Oct. 2, through Thursday, Oct. 4. Five dollars of each treatment will go to American Cancer Society's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" campaign.
Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach in Miami has a "Pink Power" treatment, which includes a 50-minute ESPA Swedish Massage and an ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud massage for $150 (plus 18% gratuity). Best of all -- it includes a complimentary full-size ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud, valued at $69, for the first ten people who book the treatment. For every "Pink Power" treatment purchased, Acqualina will donate $10 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in support of breast cancer research. Spa staff will serve guests pink floral iced tea and rose-infused cookies and wear pink ribbons on their uniforms throughout the month of October.
Even more important are the role that destination spas can play in helping women get healthier through weight loss, if needed, and a structured exercise program. "As part of the Red Mountain Resort Wellness team, I have had the opportunity to help many of our guests lose weight and jumpstart a healthier lifestyle," says Kim Watters, Fitness Manager at Red Mountain Resort.
"Because body fat produces estrogen in women, and therefore becomes a significant risk to the development of breast cancer, we know that getting enough physical activity and controlling weight is an important part of cancer prevention."
- A study published in the peer-reviewed online journal "Cancer" in June 2012 found that women who engaged in 10 to 19 hours of exercise per week had about a 30 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.
- Research conducted by the Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that overweight or obese women who lost as little as 5 percent of their body weight through diet and exercise may lower their breast cancer risk by 22 percent.
- Exercise is also important for women who already have breast cancer. The Yale Exercise and Survivorship Study found that two to three hours of exercise per week resulted in a 40 percent to 67 percent reduced risk of death.
Working out should be fun and interesting, so Red Mountain Resort suggests trying a variety of fitness classes and outdoor activities, including activities that they haven't ever experienced, such as Zumba, Drums Alive or Aqua Asana.
Red Mountain also several specialty retreat packages, such as the Weight Loss & Well-Being Retreat, which focuses on promoting the health benefits of weight loss and weight management. Guests can also participate in health testing, educational shopping and dining activities, fitness classes, private fitness sessions and emotional eating lectures and workshops.
"Whether our guests come for a couple days, a week or longer, our goal is to help those who struggle with weight to learn how to reduce body fat and manage that loss over time, leading to improved health and significant reduction in risks for many conditions, such as breast cancer," says Watters.