Get to Know The Beach House Spa's Joanna Roche

The Beach House Spa // Photo by Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club

Get to know Joanna Roche, consulting spa director at The Beach House Spa at Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club (Brewster, MA). In this Spa Talk, find out the most bizarre treatment she's ever experienced, the best advice she's ever received, and more from this Nantucket native.

What was the path that led you into the spa industry?
I started working at Canyon Ranch in 1993 and knew intuitively that it was going to change my life. I was 24.

What are the rewarding parts of working in the spa industry?
For me, helping connect people to the tools they need to change their lives is amazing, and creating workplace cultures that support that effort is even better. Inspiring and encouraging people reach their goals and engage in healthy living is so rewarding. Those moments when you feel grateful to be passionate about your work, your ability to influence the world in a positive way and for all the people along the journey who shared their wisdom and guidance are precious. I’ve learned that when you believe in someone and they feel that support, it’s a game changer.

What do you find to be the most challenging?


The challenges are that we don’t reach enough people, either because the economics don’t work or the message is blocked. As an industry, staffing and training are huge issues, and there is a fine line between healing as an art and discipline or a commodity. The spa industry is a business and the balance of healing and financial success is a tricky one. To be a successful leader, you need to be able to intuitively find the healers who make your spa special and then drive financial performance. We need our future talent to be adept at both.

What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?
Bizarre is subjective. I’ve been painted with yogurt and turmeric, soaked so much in Ayurveda oils it took 10 shampoos to get it out of my hair, been walked on, had extra-terrestrial beings removed from my energy field, and had readings with healers whom I’ve never met tell me I have lived many lives as a witch, warrior, and mystic.

What has surprised you most about the spa world?
That it is transformative—both as an industry and an experience—always learning, changing, and adapting. We seek out spa as the change agent and on the continuum of health and that can be simple or very complex.

Where do you think the industry is heading?
Wellness is the way of the future and will change the way we see healthcare and inform the way we manage our health. With women making 80 percent of all healthcare decisions and 85 percent of all consumer purchases, wellness has fast tracked on a financial trajectory that will exceed expectations. Trending now is explosive growth at Goop and an entire section called The Wellery at Saks Fifth Avenue focusing on all things health and wellness. Smart operators that see the opportunity will incorporate a range of wellness into resorts, retail, and clubs and see increased profitability.

What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded?
I’ve been invited into the men’s locker room more times than I care to admit. There is a range of strange requests, from energy work on pets to wine delivery mid-facial to keeping many secrets.

What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?
Bizarre is subjective. I’ve been painted with yogurt and turmeric, soaked so much in Ayurveda oils it took 10 shampoos to get it out of my hair, been walked on, had extra-terrestrial beings removed from my energy field, and had readings with healers whom I’ve never met tell me I have lived many lives as a witch, warrior, and mystic.

What new spa treatment would you like to try?
It’s not new, but I’d like to try panchakarma.

What’s your go-to spa treatment?
It is deep-tissue massage or acupuncture, and occasionally a healing on the spiritual realm, such as chakra work or a soul reading.

What two things about you don’t we know?
I was on “Jeopardy” in college and have been to every state but three: Alabama, Alaska, and Mississippi.

If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would it be?
I’d be a singer for a rock band or a lawyer for women’s rights or the environment.

How would you sum up your personal philosophy?
Lately, I’ve been working and speaking a lot on meditation and the right and left brain connecting. Balancing the intuitive and analytical parts of ourselves are critical entrepreneurial skills. As a mom, I think often of that quote, “The days are long, but the years are short.” I try to be mindful and grateful for the moments I have with my family and the gifts in my life. I am humbled by the many failures and successes that have made the journey at times both difficult and joyful. My philosophy: Drink it all in and live with your whole being, life is short and precious, don’t waste time on regrets, ask for help when you need it, and offer it when you can.

What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Three things: “Always treat every guest as though they are a guest in your own home.”—Enid Zuckerman, founder of Canyon Ranch and mentor

“All the answers are inside you—look inward not outward for your truth.”—Judy Seinfeld, real estate developer, philanthropist, and mentor

“You can be anything you want to be.”—my dad
 

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