Author: Laurie Maher
When I was asked to review Nina Hardy and her new spa Divinity Holistics & Beauty, I jumped at the chance. Who doesn’t love a trip to the spa?
Nina’s goal and intention when she opened Divinity this past November is to empower women. She has seen 60+ new clients over the last 2 months who travel from as far as Olean, Middleport, and Niagara Falls for her services. “Many women are seeking alternative ways to feel better,” she says. “Today it is so easy for us to run for a script to solve our ailments and emotional pain.” Nina hopes to help women discover natural ways without medication.
Nina’s primary services right now are Microblading, Yoni Steam, Reiki and Crystal Chakra Balancing. Soon, she will be offering Eyelash Extensions and Aromatherapy. When I arrived at her spa, I hesitated as the entrance on Elmwood is tired and had suffered recent flood damage due to the rapid snow melt last week. The staircase was dark, and I thought what am I getting myself into? But once I climbed the stairs and entered her suite, my concerns were put to rest. Nina’s space is clean, inviting, warm and it smells great. The room at the front of the spa is spotless and somewhat surgical, like a medical exam room and used primarily for microblading. The back room is peaceful and is used for her more holistic treatments – reiki, chakra balancing, and Yoni steam.
Many of her customers who come for microblading suffer from alopecia (baldness) or hair loss from cancer treatments. Nina offers discounted microblading services to cancer survivors and cancer patients with medical clearance. “It helps them to feel beautiful and increase their confidence. I want to be able to provide a service that they otherwise would not be able to afford.”
I also learned that her most popular service is the Yoni Steam – vaginal steaming. V-steaming also referred to as a hip bath, chai-yok is a holistic health treatment whereby a woman squats or sits over steaming water containing herbs such as mugwort, rosemary, wormwood, and basil. Ancient Greeks, Mayans, Koreans, and Indonesians were all known to practice some form of vaginal cleansing using steam. Over the last decade it has re-emerged in spas across the country. I had never heard of v- steaming. After a bit of preliminary research, I discovered that that there are both strong advocates and critics touting the benefits and the potential dangers of this practice. Gwyneth Paltrow, who preached the practice on her weekly lifestyle newsletter Goop, and Christy Teigan (super model, cookbook author) who posted her experiences on Instagram are fans. And for those who are familiar with the Real Housewives reality series, Cindy Barshop (of NY Housewives) opened the VSpot in NYC offering this ancient form of hydrotherapy to the public.
Nina discovered Yoni steam due to her own personal medical issues. She has high blood pressure and was not able to take the medications her OB/GYN suggested. She started looking into alternative methods for relief including reiki and became certified in holistic practices. Some believe that steaming alleviates an array of issues including stress, depression, infertility, hormone imbalances, headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, irregular cycles, etc. These claims generally have not been proven by scientific research. “Giving women the outlet to release and feel like a woman is vital,” Nina extols. “I get many women who are victims of domestic or sexual violence and I fully intend to bring my services to women’s shelters and housing units locally where women may be emotionally or mentally torn due to previous violence against them or who are just seeking solace from the daily burdens we endure.” Nina is a lovely person and her purpose is to truly help other women.
So how could I write this article without trying Yoni-steam for myself? I will admit I was a bit nervous and really had no idea what to expect. Nina started my session with a 5-minute guided meditation to get me relaxed and focused on giving time to myself. The experience was lovely. It was incredibly peaceful and comfortable, and I can say I have not felt that relaxed in ages. For me, sitting in a quiet, dark room for 45 minutes with soothing music and great smells and literally no interruptions or distractions was wonderful. For a brief time, the stress of daily life evaporated. I look forward to my next visit to try the chakra balancing and although microblading isn’t for me, I can’t wait for her to start eyelash extensions soon.