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A Conversation with Justin Wren

March 7, 2024

Pulse: The principles of well-being and self-care are often associated with spa environments. How do they align with your own journey as an MMA fighter and humanitarian?

Justin Wren: Well, from the wrestling and MMA world, we always used saunas and ice baths and needed massage, so we always found ourselves in a spa environment. First, when we had no money, it was laying on the wrestling mats and our training partners rubbing out our shoulders, our hamstrings, our calves, our back and neck. Then when I got to the Olympic Training Center, we would have massage therapists once a week. We’d get in the ice baths, we’d always be in the sauna, especially before tournaments. And in the MMA world, whenever you’re fighting, you’re always finding the spa that had a gym, a sauna, a steam room, hopefully cold plunges, and then massage therapy that could really help you. I would say it changed from performance to taking care of myself later in my MMA career to now having four ice baths—or four cold plunges—and two saunas at home, and starting a podcast around the heat and the cold and the benefits those have for the body.

A Conversation with Kristin Scroggin- Generation THEM: Navigating a Multi-Generational Workforce

January 4, 2024

Pulse: As a Knowledge Builder presenter at the 2024 ISPA Conference, you will address the ISPA membership about the interplay of different generations in spa workplaces . Share a little about your presentation.

Kristin Scroggin: Generation “THEM” examines the why behind each American generation’s common perspectives so we can better understand one another and build more cohesive teams. The presentation gives attendees solid understanding of generational norms and why the people we work with and live with are “so weird.” You will not only clearly recognize yourself in this presentation, you will also see your managers, employees, clients and even family.


A Conversation with Ryan Leak

November 2, 2023

Pulse: The spa world has a long history of efforts to improve individuals’ holistic health. As a community, we sometimes are more successful providing care to others than to ourselves. How can spa professionals balance self care with their mission to tend to others?

Ryan Leak: Practice what they preach. It’s so easy to sell the things that are working well for us. At that point, we’re not selling, we’re just being. I always say, there’s got to be an area of your life where you are truly “off” with Do Not Dis[1]turb on. We can only give out what has been put in.

Pulse: In your role as CEO of a leadership development firm, you work with Fortune 500 companies and professional sport teams and other high-profile businesses. What does it take to be effective and sustainable as a leader?

RL: Sustainable leadership requires truth tellers. What often comes with the territory of leadership is people not being honest with them to save face or save their jobs. Leaders have to have people around them who can be honest with them when an idea or strategy isn’t good.

A Conversation with Suneel Gupta

January 4, 2024

Pulse: Spa is meant to be a place where individuals can find balance. How does your advocacy for emotional resilience and engagement complement the work done in spas?

Suneel Gupta: One of the things I find interesting about your work is you bring people’s lives into balance. What you do is really important—desperately needed. The number one driver of mental health for most of us is our work, our job. There’s an intimate connection between our work and our well-being. The reverse is also true: If we aren’t feeling good, our work is also exhausted. Our wellbeing harmonizes our work.

A Conversation with Taylor Fields

November 2, 2023

Throughout 2023, Pulse will feature interviews with experienced practitioners whose insights about spa specialties will help facility leaders to recruit, engage and retain staff members.

Kristine Huffman for Pulse: You started off in the industry as a spa attendant. How did you get that job?

TAYLOR FIELDS: I made an effort to meet property leaders through social events and interactions in my neighborhood and learned more about the resort. Once I graduated high school, I applied at the property and listed one of them as a personal reference.

Pulse: You are now the corporate director of spas for PCH Hotels & Resorts. Can you tell us a little bit about how you became so successful?

TF: When I wasn’t attending to spa guests, I was out in the retail area or engaging with the front desk and getting involved with more aspects of the spa operation. When I started as a supervisor, I had a lot of angst going into a position where I was suddenly in a position where my peers were reporting to me, but I think a lot of my success can be attributed to caring and treating people with respect. Also, I’m always curious. It helps me be prepared for any type of call or interview or meeting. I don’t like to go in and just wing it. I strive to be a continuous learner.


A form of ayurvedic medicine that involves massage of the body with large amounts of warm oil which is often pre-medicated with herbs for specific conditions.

Acrylic Nails

A polymer coating used as an extension for natural nails.


Finger massage designed to release muscle tension and promote healing by applying pressure to “energy points” or “meridians” in the body.


An ancient oriental healing technique discovered and developed more than three thousand years ago, acupuncture is based on Taoist philosophy.

Affirmation Therapy

This technique is used to overcome physical ailments and emotional problems by repeating a positive statement, similar to the therapy of visualization.

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