Cancer aware spa training offered in Vail | VailDaily.com

Cancer aware spa training offered in Vail

Kim Fuller
Special to the Daily

For someone battling cancer or in survivorship from cancer, going to the spa isn't always that simple. Spa treatments aren't always accessible, as certain modifications depend on the cancer, the individual and the treatment.

After losing both of her parents to cancer, Eagle resident Julie Bach developed Wellness for Cancer, a nonprofit that educates spas and individuals on how to provide cancer wellness services. Bach said Wellness for Cancer has trained staff at over 200 hotel spas and in over 40 countries since 2012.

Wellness for Cancer has a upcoming training from Monday, Oct. 15, to Thursday, Oct.18, at Manor Vail Lodge in Vail. The training includes 16 hours of lectures and videos, followed by two days of hands-on training.

No shortcuts

"We have trained therapists throughout the valley," Bach said, "but we haven't really done one in a few years."

It's important for spas and therapists to not take shortcuts, Bach explained, as cancer aware modifications must not just be passed down from a spa manager to their therapists.

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"You need to have a minimum of three days of training," Bach said, "and it needs to cover many different modalities, include contributions in the material from doc-tors, and taught by somebody who has worked extensively with people who have cancer."

Kordula Schmidt is the lead global trainer for Wellness for Cancer and has been a massage and esthetics therapists for 14 years in the Vail Valley. She has owned and operated spas here, and said she has seen those with cancer and their therapists feel unsure about treatments.

"Ninety percent of spas turn people away, even in our own valley. I want to do more in our backyard," Schmidt said. "It's learning how to gather the information you need to formulate a treatment plan and perform your treatment, while still respecting the boundaries of your client."

As Bach continues to grow the network of Wellness for Cancer internationally, she said her focus has been with leading skincare companies and wellness destinations to continue to push the industry forward.

"We're a wellness valley," Bach said, "so I really believe in bringing all of that back in to help the fabric of the community."