August 2020
Although the global pandemic from which we emerge, has shaken our industry to its core, could the enforced pause, lead to a kinder, more collaborative way of doing business?

We are ready to welcome back our teams and clients, who may still be feeling anxious as they enter our wellness spaces and although our spaces may look different, the root of our care and compassion is unchanged. Perhaps now you have a team member(s) who will be able to assist staff who may feel levels of anxiety on returning to the workplace? See our article ‘Best Foot Forward’. 

Will you be looking to introduce any new products in the coming months? We learn more about the benefits of CBD products in our contributor article ‘How CBD will be your best ally on the road to recovery’. Although we look to the future, in this new changing world, let us remind ourselves of spa history within Ian Bradley’s article ‘Health, Hedonism and Hypochondria: The Hidden History of Spas’ which is the title of his new book, for which UKSA members are entitled to receive a 25% discount. 

Juliet Wheater 
SpaVoice Editor

As we recalibrate into our “new normal” and understand how we can best look after our mental and physical wellness, along with our Spa industry community trying to best nurture our businesses back to operations - wellbeing has never seemed so important. How do you re-launch with something that's relevant, with an offering that aligns with your client's new-found priorities and offers your business to be part of pioneering new sector? 

CBD could hold all of the answers. 

The UK CBD market generated 150M in the first 4 months of 2020 alone, this was a 50% rise in 2019, naming the hottest new trend, CBD, loved by the likes of the Kardashians and some of the UK’s Top Spa Directors.

What is CBD? 

CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of over 100 compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its close relative THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is completely non-psychoactive, meaning you get the benefits of CBD infused treatments without the high or any of the other negative side effects of cannabis. 

But, how does CBD work, and what are the effects on the human body?

Discovered less than 30 years ago, the Endocannabinoid system is one of the body’s major organ systems, responsible for regulating the body and maintaining homeostasis. Essentially, the Endocannabinoid system is the body’s internal balancing mechanism.

While trying to discover how chemicals such as THC affected the body, scientists discovered a complex system of cannabinoid receptors, CB-1 and CB-2, throughout the body.

With receptors throughout the body, the Endocannabinoid system helps to regulate appetite, metabolism, fertility, inflammation, mood, sleep, pain sensitivity, and memory, amongst other regulations. 

CBD is also the following: 
  • Classified as a Food Supplement in the UK 
  • Approved in the UK by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency)
  • Legal in the UK, as long as its THC content is below a certain level

What are CBD Sublingual Oils? 

CBD can be delivered to the body in various delivery systems or products. Different products have different efficacy rates and are more or less “bioavailable”. This means that certain products will deliver the CBD to its desired site in the body faster. 

One of the highest efficacy rates is carried by CBD oil tinctures or Sublingual Oils. These are taken under thetongue, the CBD passes through the mucous membrane and into the bloodstream. 

CBD oils are directed to be taken twice per day for 2-3 drops, placed under the tongue from the tincture dropper, held in the mouth for 60-90 seconds and then swallow. CBD has a cumulative effect so it is best to take the CBD every day for a consistent cannabinoid level and to achieve CBD’s ultimate targeted state - Homeostasis, which essentially means a complete balance in health. 

What to look for in a CBD product. 

A product that has no traceable amounts of THC. These are NPA (National Pharmacy Guidelines that we follow.)
That the packaging is labeled clearly and with transparent wording, you should be able to understand how much CBD per 10ml tincture there is. The label should not be misleading. 

Look for a 100% organic product, ideally a Hemp oil or MCT Oil. 

5% CBD content for higher, a lower % won't have a great effect.

Ideally, C02 extracted or using a premium extraction method. 

The oil should be clear and vibrant, it should taste clean and not bitter. 

Look for a product with a high percentage of purity. Our products are always greater than 99%, so this is a good level to start at, also GMP certified. 

CBD for Business 

8 million Britons are now buying CBD products with spending exceeding £150M in the first 4 months of 2020 alone. 
The key here is that during these COVID-19 months there has been increased anxiety, people are having trouble sleeping and are actively trying to seek help out with their traditional medical practices. 

53% of purchasers made their first purchase in the last 12 months, this is largely to do with the market being more informed and what this tells us is…. EDUCATION is KEY. 

With the market set to grow to £450M by the end of 2020, now is the perfect time to learn how CBD can be beneficial for yourself, your clients, and your business. 

Having created the world’s first CIBTAC accredited CBD Facial & CBD Body Massage courses for Luxury Spa, this gives us the knowledge and understanding of the context of CBD within this sector. 

La Rue Verte started in the award-winning Spa at Blythswood Square Hotel and is the only CIBTAC - accredited CBD product house. As part of writing the journals for CBD Cosmetology courses, we did a range of case studies and research and development for our pioneering protocols and products. 

We already know the effects of CBD but how were clients responding to CBD Massage for example, how could we determine exact systems of practice that was not only going to leave a feeling of beautiful skin or a luxury experience but actually aim to increase the holistic wellness and even the life quality of clients. 

Un-biased case study for protocol research

Gillian, a Lupus sufferer who attended The Academy for weekly CBD Massage sessions over a 6 week period and took Hashtag Organics 1000mg CBD oil tincture after her second CBD Massage. Gillian’s result proved remarkable with her experiencing a significant reduction in her life-limiting ailments. These included a reduction in restless legs, improved sleep hygiene, reduction in headaches and stomach pain and also increased Gillian’s social confidence due to being less anxious about her health. Gillian today, still feels well, and with the support of her doctor has stopped taking two of her medications and moved to a CBD as an alternative. 

When we look at CBD for the skin, we are also achieving a 3-pronged skincare regime. Our products boast anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties which work in harmony with the CBD Facial & Body Massage.
When we look closer at the Endocannabinoid system present in the Epidermis we can have an influence on the CB1 and CB2 receptors here too, thus having an impact on the sebaceous glands, sweat glands, sensory nerves, and immune cells, all of which we cover in our training and education.

CBD is shaping a new wellness landscape and as a holistic practice has a lot to offer mind, body, and business.


By Juliet Wheater 

Self-care can include a myriad of practices that an individual finds both enjoyable and in some way promotes physical, emotional, spiritual and/or mental health. According to the definition from the World Health Organisation, self-care is the behaviours you do to take care of your own health and can include hygiene, nutrition, leisure activities, sports, exercise, seeking professional healthcare services when needed, and much more.

During a global pandemic, the need to care for our own health, every aspect of it, is of the utmost importance, as we currently emerge from such unusual circumstances and look to navigate a new normal, is not easy.

Returning to work 

Our working lives were changed enormously or indeed, came to a complete standstill, when lockdown was imposed and as it eases, our working lives will change again and there will be mixed feelings about this. 

Some people may feel a sense of excitement, whilst others approach the return to work, with trepidation. Anxiety levels may not diminish right away, as we adhere to social distancing rules, in a workplace that could look quite different and those on furlough, may feel awkward as they work to reconnect with colleagues again. 

If you are a manager, take time to check in with your teams, make enquiries and try to gauge, each individual’s experience of lockdown and how their mental health may have been affected. Remember too, that the ramifications of prolonged stress may well only be realised, after a period of time has passed and that it can be realised physically, mentally or emotionally. 

Establish a routine 

A structured day can be a feel-good way, to feel in control and daily self-care habits, are never more important than now. 

You’ll feel the benefits if you can wake each day at the same time and eat a nutritious breakfast to see you through until lunch. During the working day, set clear tasks and take regular breaks, enjoy a proper lunch break and try and get some natural light safely. Benefit from some light exercise by going for a walk if possible, perhaps with a socially distanced colleague and finish on time, ready for a relaxing evening. 

If a new starter joins your team during this period, acknowledge that they’re not starting under usual or ideal circumstances. Consider daily mindfulness practises for the team. We all have mental health, and whatever our circumstance, this outbreak is going to have an impact on how we think and feel about ourselves and the world we live in and it’s important that we preserve the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of work wherever we can.   

There is a lot of talk of physical vulnerabilities in relation to the coronavirus. But senior managers will feel vulnerable too in demonstrating leadership in unusual circumstances. You may provide access to support services through your workplace - if you do, make sure these are advertised well and find out whether there are specific resources relating to the outbreak.   

If you have mental health champions, allies or mental health first aiders make sure they have the latest information, and that if you change working practices that this network of mental health support carries on if possible.


The UK spa industry needs some good cheer just now as it begins the slow journey out of lockdown. Perhaps this can come from looking to the past rather than the future and reflecting that it was this country that led the way in developing the whole modern concept of the spa. It is an achievement that should provide pride and encouragement as we prepare for the challenges ahead.

Spas have been a central feature of European culture since classical times when the ancient Greeks and Romans discovered the benefits and pleasures of bathing in thermal mineral waters. It was only in the eighteenth century, however, that Europe’s spas came into their own as elegant resorts for a clientele drawn initially by the health benefits of taking the waters but increasingly also by the diversions offered and the chance to mix with the well-to-do. Spas became the pre-eminent places in which to be seen and to socialise. They developed a distinctarchitectural landscape in which the bath house was joined by a pump room, for taking the waters and promenading, and assembly rooms, for socialising, gambling, dancing and concerts. These buildings were situated in attractive parks, adding to the atmosphere of elegance and relaxation. A complex set of rules and strict etiquette governed the social life of spas during the ‘season’, which usually extended from May to September, when ‘the Company’, as the patrons were known, forsook the noise and the stench of cities for the clean air and healing waters of these semi-rural oases. 

The English were in the van of these developments, taking to the waters more enthusiastically and in greater numbers than their Continental neighbours. Bath established itself in the first half of the eighteenth century as the most elegant and popular European spa, with Richard ‘Beau’ Nash establishing the complex etiquette which governed the social and recreational life of the Company. It became the model for Continental spas, notably Spa in Belgium, Baden bei Wien in Austria and Baden bei Zurich in Switzerland, which developed in a similar way in the latter half of the century. They followed Bath’s lead in establishing a daily regime for guests which began with the serious business of drinking and bathing in the waters, continued with morning and afternoon promenades and social gatherings to exchange gossip, and concluded with balls, gambling, concerts and theatrical performances in the evening.  

The growing popularity of spas was a direct consequence of the emergence of what we would now call health tourism. The Enlightenment brought a new emphasis across Europe on environment and on the benefits of travel for healing the body as well as cultivating the mind. The English were in the van of this movement and it was the English spas of Harrogate, Buxton, Tunbridge Wells and Cheltenham as well as Bath that picked up the benefit, becoming the first resorts to which people travelled as much for a change of scene as for other purposes. 

Underlying this spa craze was a widespread preoccupation with ill health. Illness came to be regarded as a state of mind as much as a process of nature. Hypochondria was a recognized medical condition until well on in the eighteenth century, being seen as an ailment caused by imbalances in the stomach and digestive system. It came to be widely considered as nervous in origin and closely related to gout, that classic disease of affluence and over-indulgence. Bath established itself as Britain’s premiere spa on the basis of its claim to be able to diagnose and treat these conditions and its appeal to the gout-ridden hypochondriacs familiar from the novels and poems of the period.

In my new book, Health, Hedonism and Hypochondria: The Hidden History of Spas, I probe behind the glittering facades of Europe’s spas to discover a shadow world of terrifying treatments, shameless self-indulgence and amorous affairs. While the British gave up inland watering places to take to the seaside, Continental spas developed as sybaritic sanctuaries of relaxation and resorts of royalty and aristocracy as well as refuges for those seeking escape and excitement. It is time we Brits took the lead again to pioneer a new approach for the twenty first century wellness industry.

Ian Bradley’s Health, Hedonism and Hypochondria: The Hidden History of Spas is published by Bloomsbury on 20 August at £20 


takes place from 8th - 10th November 2020
at Crown Plaza Hotel, Stratford-Upon-Avon



 will be happening this November!