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April 15, 2010

Do you med spa? Has it been good for you?


I was taking a nice little stroll through our lovely downtown this morning and passed a couple of our med spas.

The International Medical Spa Association defines a medical spa as a place where you get more than massages, facials, and pedicures. It is:

“A facility that operates under the full-time, on-site supervision of a licensed health care professional. The facility operates within the scope of practice of its staff, and offers traditional, complementary, and alternative health practices and treatments in a spa-like setting. Practitioners working within a medical spa will be governed by their appropriate licensing board, if licensure is required."

The whole concept of a med spa is a bit elusive to me, I admit. Just this week, I had written something—a tad snarky, no doubt--about how I hoped that the developers of new buildings around Locust Street and Mt. Diablo Boulevard wouldn't fill their new retail spaces with more med spas.

I thought, how many more places in town do we need where you can get Botox or Collagen injections and chemical peels?

Personally, I shudder at the idea of the whole idea of Botox or Collagen injections—in order to reduce lines or to plump up the lips. Personally, I just think it’s weird, and it’s symptomatic of something even weirder in our 21st century world these days—but that’s the topic of a whole something else…

Some readers may have a different experience. Maybe for some readers, getting one of these treatments really made them feel better about themselves, physically and emotionally. I don’t want to discount that, and I would very much like to hear from a reader who has had these treatments, and for whom they have made a major difference.

Meanwhile, in trolling around websites about Walnut Creek med spas, I saw that their fans didn’t mostly patronize them for Botox and Collagen treatments. They relied on them for other services, notably laser hair removal, which is something, apparently, you need a licensed health care professional to perform.

Laugh if you want. But, there some of us gals who want that shadow removed from above our lips. Or some women--and men--have a serious medical condition that leads to excessive hair. And it doesn't make them feel too good about themselves. It makes them feel ugly and unworthy in a society that values smooth, hairless, wrinkle-free skin.

From reading Yelp and other online reviews of Walnut Creek med spas, it does sound like laser hair removal is a highly valued, popular treatment.

I don’t want to dump on med spas, and maybe some readers are die-hard fans and for very important reasons. If so, please share. And, of course, as always, you can be anonymous.

At the same time, I think it’s interesting how Walnut Creek has so many beauty-oriented shops, including med spas and regular spas. The blocks of Main and Locust streets are lined with places where we can get our hair highlighted, our eyebrows shaped, and our toe nails made to look like something way beyond the Stone Age.

It’s vanity. It’s the times. ... Of course, humans have always had their ways of being vain, of decorating themselves, of trying to look good.

And, Walnut Creek is not so different from a lot of other places that aspire to provide the Good Life—which these days apparently includes Botox and laser hair removal treatments.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Preening, my dear. There is nothing new about it. As certain as death.

Anonymous said...

Kinda sad that schools are hurting, families are without health care and yet some people lavish themselves with obscenely expensive questionable "treatments."

Anonymous said...

Preening is what humans do, right? But Botox injections?

Anonymous said...

Walnut Creek is a med-spa central, because when it gets down to it, it's an affulent community where many people have discretionary income, free time, and value youthful looks and "style," considering these classy.

This doesn't mean these people don't have problems and issues, of course.

Age catches all of us, of course. Harder for those who spend much of their lives trying to buy youth.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you SM. The idea of injecting a plastic like fluid under my skin seems creepy. However, I do know several women who have had stuff done, "eye jobs," breast augmentation (also creeps me out), and I'm certain, though, they haven't admitted it, peels, laser skin resurfacing and/or injections. The women I'm thinking of look pretty darn good. Makes me wonder, because if these treatments are relatively non-invasive (thinking of peels/laser resurfacing here), and one can afford them, why not? If it makes you feel good? I'm mostly curious about how often this would have to be re-done. I hope someone who has done one of these treatments will chime in. I'd love to know more...

Anonymous said...

anon 8:32

Just curious; you say these women look pretty good, and if it makes them feel good what's wrong with that. Nothing. But look deeper at why you think they look good. Because they look younger? Why do we as a culture equate youth with beauty? To me this is silly and damaging. Foolish. And potentially a very expensive purchase. Yes, when our schools are broke.... etc.

Anonymous said...

Miracullum on Main Street for regular old facials. Jolanta Omski rocks. Been going for 13 years.

Ibrahim said...

Anon 11:47 - Yeah, I get what you're saying, but we do live in this culture. I believe in choice all around. If someone prefers to have a certain "look", that's her or his choice. Of course our priorities as a culture are messed up - schools: very important- world hunger?? War?? Doesn't mean we can't have a nice discussion about cosmetic procedures. Now, anyone had a peel, laser treatment, dermabrasion???

Anonymous said...

Wow, SM, where do you find these creepy, eye-catching pix, like the one of the woman in this post? Very creepy!

On another note, while I don't trust Botox, I agree that women are in a "damned if they do, damned if they don't" situation vis a vis this type of upkeep.

And by god, if there were an affordable, trustworthy natural-looking way to get rid of some of these lines I'm starting to develop, I'd go for it!

I used to think I looked younger than my years (never smoked; that helps), but I'm starting to see signs now. I should wear sun protection, too, especially out here in all this Walnut Creek sunshine...

Anonymous said...

Not having a car, I don't go to downtown Walnut Creek much. I work in SF so I tend to spend $$ there or online -- but the comment about all the spas on a couple streets in particular intrigues me. Is this part and parcel to one aspect I've noted of Walnut Creek, the very blond part that seems to fancy itself a sort of "little L.A.?"

And I will say, I notice that the people who get off BART at the Walnut Creek stop at night tend to look VERY well tended, very well groomed, good skin, well dressed, often not a hair out of place. Then when I get off at my stop, Pleasant Hill, I see a range of folks, from average to attractive, but not with that same moneyed, pampered look.

Interesting to ride BART every day for work, from PH to SF, and notice the different types of people getting on and off at the different stations!

Anonymous said...

Well all I can say is that I look fabulous! I pay my taxes, give to charity, volunteer 20+ hrs a week and spend money a few times a year for injections. I don't see anything too terribly wrong if that is how I choose to spend my extra money! Fillers for those deep lines around the nose/mouth. Hurts during the injection, but topical numbing cream helps. Botox around the eyes and between the eyebrows to inhibit the deep set wrinkles. 2-3 times a year, about $1000 each visit.
Is it worth it? Depends on the person. Obviously, I think so, and have the money to do it.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:42

I find myself feeling sorry for you, and all your money. Money but not rich.

newport spa said...

I had spa treatment once in my life. It was really an excellent experience of my life. There are a variety of services available in a medical spa.