Go beyond basics to stay well

Beyond Basics Medical Day Spa truly lives up to its name.

If you want to improve your health and looks without cosmetic surgery, this spa can help you to go beyond the basics of pampering and get more out of your spa visits.

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Microdermabrasion, VelaShape and laser hair removal equipment use the newest in elos technology at Beyond Basics Medical Day Spa. Photo: Anna Wootton

Although the terms medical and spa don’t always seem to go together, the marrying of the health and spa industries is exactly what Beyond Basics Medical Day Spa does.

On entering the spa, the sense of relaxation that comes over you is instantaneous. Elegantly decorated, each room features its own décor with softly-playing background music.

The spa offers facials, massages and waxing like many other spas, but even these services come with a difference.

Their facial services are designed to be more intensive, with chemical peels for all skin types often used and microdermabrasion services also offered.

Microdermabrasion is a process by which very fine crystals are used to re-surface the skin. There is no discomfort involved and it can be programmed for any skin type, no matter how sensitive.

A series of treatments is usually recommended, which can lead to a reduction in acne scarring, for example, or the refining of skin imperfections.

Beyond Basics’ massage offerings are much more therapeutic than regular relaxation massage. Dawn Deblieck, the spa’s registered massage therapist and a certified neuromuscular therapist with over 15 years experience, relishes working in the field of massage therapy.

‘It certainly is more rewarding giving corrective massages,’ she says.

Beginning her career in basic massage, Ms Deblieck was soon receiving numerous referrals from doctors and insurance companies, prompting her to seek out further training on a more clinical level. Soon she was working with patients with disabilities and those in rehabilitation.

In fact, Beyond Basics started out in January 2007 in the RVC Rehab Services department of Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital, explains Jacqui Tomlinson-Smith, who is the managing director of both RVC Rehab Services and Beyond Basics Medical Day Spa.

In March 2007, the spa had its grand opening. Being one-of-a-kind on-island, the demand for the spa’s services grew quickly. By December of last year, it moved into its own location at Smith Road Plaza.

Jill Palmer and Tricia Nelson-Hurtt, both clinical aestheticians and certified laser operators for hair at Beyond Basics, were delighted at the opening of the spa.

Ms Palmer left accounting to study aesthetics a number of years ago, with a specific passion for clinical aesthetics. However, after finishing her education there wasn’t a medical spa on-island at which she was able to practice.

‘I was so thrilled when this place opened up,’ says Ms Palmer. ‘I love how the industry is always changing as new technologies and product advancements come out.

‘Clients keep very current as well, which keeps us on our toes! It’s really exciting.’

Mrs. Nelson-Hurtt wholeheartedly agrees. ‘I grew up in the aesthetics industry, as my aunt owned one of the main salons back home in Edmonton,’ she explains. ‘However, I got work in different medical spas in Calgary and was really attracted by clinical aesthetics so I loved when this facility opened up. Every day is different!’

Mrs. Nelson-Hurtt does services like medical pedicures, which help to treat excessive callous, fungal infections, ingrown toenails and other foot problems.

At the moment polish is not a part of these pedicures, but Mrs. Nelson-Hurtt is particularly excited about a line of non-toxic nail polish the spa will soon be stocking.

The spa uses SkinMedica and Obagi products for their skincare services. Some Obagi products are prescriptive-strength while SkinMedica products are human hormone-based products that stimulate cell growth.

Using these products in her facials is one of the things that make facials at Beyond Basics different from a regular spa, Ms Palmer explained.

‘You see immediate results when you leave here.’

Elizabeth Gimler, a medical and clinical electrologist at the spa, is able to do all the advanced spa services on offer at Beyond Basics, from laser hair removal to skin tightening and rejuvenation and has been in the industry for nearly ten years.

‘I love making people look better,’ she explains. ‘Sometimes I get more excited about the results than they do!’

Beyond Basics is proud of its state-of-the-art equipment.

‘Our equipment uses elos technology, which is a very new technology used by a lot of the medical spas in the States,’ explains Mrs. Gimler.

Elos technology uses focused light and laser energy, like normal laser equipment. However, it also adds bi-polar radio frequency, which is even more effective because it is blind to colour.

With regular laser hair removal, some hairs can be missed if they are too light for the regular lasers to pick up, as they only react to pigmentation. However, the radio frequency technology does not notice colour, allowing more hair to be removed for a more effective treatment.

Laser hair removal works by drying up the hair follicle, which is what stimulates hair growth. A series of treatments are usually required, with about four to six weeks wait in between, in order to capture all stages of hair growth.

‘Men often come to us,’ says Mrs. Gimler, ‘as lasers really help in eradicating those red bumps – or folliculitis as it is known – that can be caused by shaving repeatedly.’

Laser hair removal can be done on pretty much any body part, apart from the eyebrows, which are too close to the eyelids to use lasers.

A particularly exciting treatment the spa offers is the VelaShape body contouring and cellulite treatment.

‘Over 80 per cent of women aged 20 and above have cellulite,’ notes Mrs. Gimler. The VelaShape assists in eradicating cellulite by using heat and elos technology to melt and smooth the fat globules that create the appearance of cellulite on the skin.

The sensation is not unpleasant at all; in fact, many say it feels like a hot stone massage, as the machine involves emitting heat and mild pressure over the area being treated.

The VelaShape is the only US Food and Drug Administration cleared circumferential reduction treatment and works by increasing the metabolism of stored energy.

This increases lymphatic drainage (removing the toxins from the body’s lymph nodes) and reduces or shrinks the size of the actual fat chambers, thus creating a slimmer and tighter feel and appearance.

It is also possible to walk out of the spa looking years younger in a matter of minutes, with Beyond Basics’ facial tightening and rejuvenation services.

Both services are non-surgical and non-invasive. In the skin tightening treatment, heat from the lasers stimulates and tightens the collagen in the skin.

Skin rejuvenation can be used for reducing the appearance of pigmentation, age and sun spots, rosacea, spider veins, sun-damaged skin, wrinkles, larger pores and more.

A series of intense pulse light treatments help to eradicate imperfections in the skin, resulting in a smoother complexion without any need for surgery, pain or recovery time.

‘None of our services require any downtime,’ emphasised Mrs. Gimler. ‘You can come here on your lunch hour if you want to.’

Despite the preconceptions of many about medical day spas, they are not merely glorified doctors’ offices. Beyond Basics’ services are as pleasurable as any day out at the spa and its surroundings are no different either. Wrapped in plush robes, it is easy to relax in the calm atmosphere of the spa.

And you will always look picture-perfect upon leaving. ‘We never let anyone leave without sun protection,’ says Mrs. Nelson-Hurtt with a smile, explaining that they do a make-up touch-up using Jane Iredale mineral make-up.

‘This make-up is wonderful; it incorporates SPF into its powders and bases so that you get full coverage, but it does not feel heavy.’

While opening this first-of-a-kind facility involved some risk, Ms Tomlinson-Smith is confident there is a real and growing market for the services Bayond Basics is offering.

‘Many go abroad to have various procedures done and now we can offer those services on island,’ she says.

‘We are in the age of baby boomers and they, as most people, men or women, want to feel good and look good…so I knew there was a ready market for such business and I believe that the people of the Cayman Islands are ready for these services,’ she adds.

‘There is nothing more positive than good skin care!’

For more information, or to make an appointment, contact Beyond Basics Medical Day Spa at 945-2737 or visit www.beyondbasics.ky.

‘An Evening of Beauty’

Find out more about Beyond Basics’ services and products by attending their Open House, ‘An Evening of Beauty’, Thursday, October 16, from 5.30pm to 8pm.

Guests include visiting representatives from both Obagi and Jane Iredale product lines.

Enjoy 15 per cent off all Obagi or Jane Iredale purchases made that evening. If you bring a friend along, you will save an additional five per cent.

Raffle prizes will also be available.

The event is being held at Beyond Basics Medical Day Spa, #7 Smith Road Plaza.

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