A holistic approach to beauty recognises the mind-body connection as an important key to wellness and business success.
When she first began working as a beauty therapist in her early twenties, Marienne Barbara instinctively took a holistic approach to both treating her clients and running her business. It wasn’t a conscious commercial decision, she says, just a natural response to the needs of her clients and a philosophy that made perfect sense to her.
“Beauty therapy is all about nurturing,” explains Marienne. “When you treat clients, you listen to them and they often tell you about other health or personal issues they’re experiencing. You work intuitively, recognising that discomforts or pains are symptoms of an imbalance that might be due to diet or lifestyle or because their emotional needs aren’t being met.”
A yoga enthusiast and vegan, Marienne was herself experimenting with different lifestyle options and wellness solutions. She enjoyed researching natural remedies and treatments and sharing her findings with her clients.
“I wanted to help my clients in a holistic (mind-body-spirit) way, by listening to them and suggesting other therapies they might want to try.
“I did a lot of courses and aligned myself with other businesses such as osteopaths, naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists and other alternative therapies so I could learn and offer the best treatment for someone,” she says. “I wanted to retain and grow my customer base. By sending them off to other practitioners who offered complementary services to mine, I felt that they would improve their physical and mental wellness and improve their overall quality of life.”
As well as addressing their beauty needs and suggesting other therapies, Marienne arranged information sessions or fun workshops for her clients. She held seminars and invited guest speakers, including doctors, nutritionists and dermatologists, to do presentations. The feedback from her customers was that they felt empowered through this new knowledge.
“Wellness is all about prevention; it’s about being responsible for you – being proactive rather than reactive – restoring balance and treating the whole person. And, ultimately, what’s good for the customer is also good for business.”
|Today, she believes, the concept of ‘wellness’ is becoming more mainstream and consumer-driven as people seek out alternative solutions to their beauty and health issues. But taking a holistic approach to wellness is nothing new. In fact, in some cultures it dates back thousands of years and Marienne suggests we should look to that accumulated wisdom.
“I believe the Western world, with its reliance on pharmaceuticals, fixing a problem and treating symptoms in isolation, still has a lot to learn from the East. The approaches are so different. Eastern cultures see and treat the body and mind as one – everything is connected, and it makes perfect sense.
Marienne says wellness didn’t exist 25 years ago in the West and today it’s being trumpeted as a new trend. But really, she says, it’s been around forever.
“The word ‘wellness’ has ancient roots. If you go way back to Ayurvedic days, to the Chinese, Greeks and Romans two or three thousand years ago, they were so sophisticated in their approach to wellness. The concept of wellness appears to be coming full circle and people are changing the way they take care of themselves. It’s not just our minds and bodies, it’s society and the planet. There’s been a real paradigm shift. We’re far behind the Eastern world, but people have become more knowledgeable, and are looking for alternatives to modern medicine because it’s just not working for them.”
So how does Marienne see the industry changing in the next five to 10 years?
“I think the wellness sectors are growing rapidly and will continue to grow. As consumers become more educated about their bodies and seek balance in their lives, they’re going to be looking for a much more holistic approach to beauty and wellness.
“It really will be consumer driven. That’s where the industry is heading. Wellness is multi-dimensional. The younger generations are very interested in products and services because they want to look after themselves; men are also catching on to this; and of course the Baby-boomers, who are the core customers of health and wellness-related products and services.”
And with this increase in demand for more holistic services, Marienne says salons and spas need to be open to taking a holistic approach to business, to respond to demand by offering a wider choice of complementary services.
“No one can afford to be one dimensional today. You really need to offer different options to capture your audience. We’re going to be living longer so while there’s a place for modern medicine, it can’t solve all our problems.”
As proof of her belief and passion of the industry in holistic beauty and health, Marienne recently launched a new business. Her company, Benefic, offers a range of Thai Herbal Compress Therapy products that combine thermal, herbal, aroma and massage therapies in the one treatment and the one time.
“It’s a unique treatment that is truly holistic,” she says. “And it’s something that can work in any establishment. Thai herbal compress massage is an ancient healing technique that dates back to the 14th Century Ayutthaya Kingdom in Siam and, interestingly, this product is integrated into the public health system in Thailand so everyone there gets to benefit from it. It’s simple yet effective.”
Article supplied by Marienne Barbara from Benefic Thai Herbal Compress Therapy.
Find out more at www.benefic.co.nz
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Benefic – the name has its origins in the Latin bene facere, meaning ‘to do good’ – and this is our overriding goal, to do good in the world in our own unique way.
The Benefic product range will assist the professional therapists and treatment providers to bringthe beneficial effects of authentic Thai Herbal Compress treatments to their clients.
Benefic founder Marienne Barbara is a qualified beauty and massage therapist, an educator of product ranges, and sales techniques, has been a business owner, and country sales manager, both in Australia and New Zealand.
With more than 20 years’ experience in the health and wellness, beauty, cosmetics and fashion industries she has an in-depth understanding of what therapy providers and business owners need, and appreciates how important is it to provide quality health and beauty products that produce real results for clients.
The Benefic product range will assist the professional therapists and treatment providers to bring the beneficial effects of authentic Thai Herbal Compress treatments to their clients.
Marienne’s sales and marketing experience means she can offer her customers unique insights into how they can effectively promote and incorporate new therapies into their existing treatments and services.
I really enjoy helping people to feel good and improve their health and wellbeing, so it’s important to me that my products deliver what they promise. This product is everything I wanted as a therapy option – it’s a simple yet effective treatment that I knew would be fabulous for professional therapists because of its numerous benefits and properties.”