Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Beth DeBlase – Certified Oncology Esthetician

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, as I studied the levels of the pyramid, I could visualize the parallels between the meaning of each need to the level of transition and progression we strive to achieve in creating the philosophy of Spa in our lives, and the lives of our consumers.  The correlation between Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the ancient definition of practicing Spa, are traveling the same path, just in different vehicles.  Though the vehicles are different, the destination is the same, Self – Actualization.

Philosophy of Spa, “Is A Place to Meet Yourself.”  The pinnacle of the pyramid is the place we meet ourselves, according to Maslow’s theory.  With each philosophy you must transverse through each level to achieve our Bliss, (Awareness).  Both philosophies require patience, time, and balance before achieving the next level of awareness.

Once again both theories. Have undergone an evolution of their philosophy for the culture and hopefully deeper understanding of today’s society. Maslow’s evolution indicates that the levels of need can continually overlap, just as the evolution of the Spa experience is, not one size, (experience), fits all.

The psychological needs are the foundational principals, of food, water, warmth, and rest.  The same principles which we build the concept of Spa on, especially water, considered to be vital to our survival.

A new buzzword “farm to table, “encompassing buying organic, fresh fruits, vegetables, as well as locally raised meat and fresh fish, became the Wellness Kitchen, a wellness trending term introduced by the Global Wellness Institute.  Now being incorporated in most spa menu offerings.  Another point of entry into this level is demonstrated by The Spa at Mandarin Oriental in Washington DC.  Where chakra rebalance treatment was introduced, designed to help clients experience recovery, vitality, better sleep, stress reduction, and increased energy.

Our safety needs are expressed in the second level.  Maslow reference safety to home, a structure, and financial stability.  The evolution of this principle and its counterpart to Spa philosophy, is in the differentiation of tangible safety, to the intangible safety we want to experience in our Spa environment.  The tangible or intangible experience being creating is providing the guest with a sense of safety.  Overlapping of both philosophies occurs here as Maslow is referring to a roof over your head, aka safety.  Today’s culture a safe place, is a space created for the purpose of relieving stress and anxiety of our daily lives.  Entering the spa environment with soft lighting, aromatherapy, meditative music, and the ambiance of fresh flowers infuse the mind – body- spirit into a state of relaxation, so a guest can safely transition into the next level of need (awareness).  American spa wrote an article about the benefits of fresh flowers in creating a safe space in your spa environment.  American Spa documented that fresh flowers create a feeling of a safe space in the experience of the guest.

Social belonging, trying to achieve and maintain emotionally significant relationships, and connection to each other.   Friendships, intimacy, and family meet our human need to love and be loved.  Reaching the third level of Belonging and Love.  In the Spa philosophy, belonging is another word for nurturing, of being nurtured.  This type of connectivity has become part of cultures, traditions, and rituals around the globe.  Bathing Houses have been around for thousands of years, but “there’s been a resurgence and focus [on bathing], and an attempt to modernize how it’s offered,” explains Mia Kyricos, president and founder of Kyricos & Associates.  Communal bathing, in many cultures, is still a social activity, while still offering healing abilities.

Esteem, the human desire to be respected and valued by others. Parallels or overlapping of both philosophies lead us into the forth level.  Maslow concerned his theory with the need to have the respect of your peers.  Spa philosophy concerns itself with the need for self respect. Not much has changed in this area, where beauty for example, is still considered a higher need then brains.  Spa philosophy stresses that beauty works at a subconscious level and that if a person has to think about beauty, they won’t be rewarded by it.

Final destination, self-actualization, the parallel version of Spa is self-awareness.  Maslow “What a Man Can Be, He Must Be.  Maslow almost reaches the tip of the proverbial iceberg here, by just trying to reach the potential of oneself.  Reaching true awareness in Spa philosophy incorporates a level of altruism, the giving of oneself to others, to something greater than themselves.  Destination achieved, from who we were to who we are.  Progression is multi layered and multi-dimensional.  What we seek for ourselves, should align with what we want to share with others.

 

 

 

Resources:

Skin Inc. The Wellness Kitchen Trend’s Spa Impact

Skin Inc. Washington D.C. Spa Introduces Chakra Rebalance Treatment

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need @ pinsdaddy.com

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need @ analystforum.com

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need @ Wikipedia