SAN DIEGO -- There are two self-indulging expenses capable of eliciting feelings of immense satisfaction: a great haircut, and a relaxing, stress-relieving massage.
During a downturn in the economy, however, these services may seem like an unnecessary financial splurge on something born out of desire rather than need. If obtained at the type of place that also features multiple steam rooms, hot tub, and saunas, that may be true, but not if you visit a local, independently owned salon.
Meet David Feiling, who is successfully integrating holistic health and beauty at an affordable price at the Double D Salon in Hillcrest.
Unlike many hair stylists, Feiling incorporates his extensive Western and Eastern medical background to provide his clients with a one-stop-shopping venue of holistic and cosmetology needs.
In addition to styling your hair, Feiling offers massages that incorporate hydrotherapy or aromatherapy, can provide nutritional counseling and can help eliminate various types of conditions through hypnosis/EFT.
“It seems too good to be true,” you say. It is not.
Feiling, born and raised in Riverside, has called San Diego home since his Navy days in 1990. Before pursuing a holistic health practitioner license in 1996, he spent 15 years in the medical field, working in areas such as oncology.
“It was the [cancer] patients that inspired me to go into holistic health,” Feiling said.
As part of his curriculum, he was required to learn different massage techniques, but Feiling also had the opportunity to learn about whole food nutrition counseling, traditional Oriental medicine and his favorite, hypnosis.
Upon obtaining his license, he worked in various salons and spas where he befriended many talented stylist and aestheticians. Their abilities inspired Feiling to further his education and begin earning his cosmetologist license in 2005.
When he and DJ Cahoon, his business partner and friend of 19 years, opened Double D Salon in 2007, Feiling integrated his holistic and beauty services under one roof.
“It’s been great,” Feiling said. “It is a vision I have been thinking about for quite some time. It enables me to talk to clients about my other services and when they feel comfortable, we start working on both needs.”
Feiling specializes in four types of therapeutic massage techniques: lymphatic drainage, deep tissue, shiatsu and stone therapy.
“I enjoy these therapeutic massages because it’s about relieving stress and taking someone into a very holistic environment,” Feiling said. “Into a state of relaxation that uses everything - the candles, the music, the senses – to help someone step away from the rat race of today’s society.”
At the request of his clients, Feiling incorporates aromatherapy into his one-hour massages.
He explains that using essential oils can affect the mood, reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. When inhaled, the scents work on the brain and nervous system through stimulation of the olfactory nerves, which in turn has a therapeutic effect on the body.
To help induce soothing, purification, and energizing of the mind and spirit, Feiling relies on the aromatherapy effects of lavender, eucalyptus, bergamot, geranium and grapefruit.
“I do offer different essential oils but these are the ones I have personally experienced relief from,” Feiling said. “And I truly believe in the essential oil’s ability.”
He uses the eucalyptus as an example, citing its antibacterial capabilities that can open up mucus membranes while also refreshing and invigorating the mind and spirit.
Feiling also points out that “true” aromatherapy blends a carrier oil with an essential oil. The oil is then massaged onto the body with specific movements that create warmth and help the body to facilitate and use the aromatic oil.
Hydrotherapy and hypnosis/EFT
A massage is not always what a body wore out from stress needs, so Feiling offers two other techniques that can specifically help address issues afflicting one’s mind, body and spirit.
The use of water, known as hydrotherapy, is applied in methods that vary from spa to spa, but Feiling administers it with body wraps.
Benefits of hydrotherapy include body detoxification, a decrease in cellulite/water weight, toned and tighten skin, and improved circulation. The treatment lasts an hour.
Feiling was curious about hypnosis/EFT the most from the moment he began his holistic certification.
He recalls that while in school, he applied 500 of his 1,000 training towards hypnosis.
“It’s an excellent way to get people relaxed and for treating anxiety, phobias, addictions, fear and depression,” Feiling said.
He explains that energy-filled therapy (EFT) involves tapping on the body’s meridian points to aid and often eliminate the conditions mentioned above.
In conjunction with hypnosis, Feiling works with each individual’s comfort level to reach an intense concentration similar to meditation, extreme relaxation and a heightened suggestibility level.
“Obviously the more they share with you the easier it is, but I like it because I don’t even need to know what the issue is,” Feiling said. “I teach individuals how to administer it on themselves so they can learn to work on the issue themselves; the important thing is their subconscious level.”
Like hydrotherapy, hypnosis/EFT is an hour-long treatment.
The $45 massage
It is hard to believe that one could enjoy a 60-minute massage for only $45, but Feiling makes it possible with his three-month membership.
By committing to at least one massage a month for three consecutive months, clients can take advantage of the special offer. You are charged $45 each month even if you miss your appointments, but on the other hand, if you stick by the commitment and decide to treat yourself more than once a month, any additional massages would also only cost $45.
Feiling works on all types of hair. He is a bit shy to admit that he is good at it, and really cares enough to take his time and listen to his clients’ needs.
All of the products Feiling uses in his salon are organic and natural, with the exception of hair color, because, he says with a chuckle, that is just not available.
“I do all types,” Feiling said. “But I really enjoy long hair, and especially love long hair on women. I try to initially talk women out of cutting their long hair when they come to me expressing a desire to go short.”
He also notes that as a male stylist he can relate to men’s issues and hair troubles so cutting a man’s hair is an easy task, adding with another chuckle, that most men do not really do too much with their hair, they usually ask for a basic cut.
However, he is a firm believer that a stylist relationship with his clients is all about building a bond and dismisses the belief held by some, that only one person can cut their hair.
“I didn’t get in the industry to be a hair god; I shy away from the people that believe only one person can cut their hair. I keep up with the latest trends, I take classes, because I enjoy doing it and not because I am trying to be something big,” he said.
“Statistics say that when cutting hair, 10% is in the cutting technique,” Feiling said. “The other 90 percent is psychology, just you resonating with that particular client and I think that’s true for me and my clients.”
“A lot of the feedback from my clients is that they love the I take the time to listen to what they want and don’t rush,” he continued. “It all goes back to your rapport with the client. You can give ten people the same hair cut, but someone is not going to be happy with it.”
Double D Salon
Feiling and his business partner employ a small staff. Including themselves, there are five stylist that work at the Double D Salon.
“We’re like a family,” Feiling said. “DJ and I both worked in large salons full of drama, but we make it known the our place is drama free. There is great energy here. We’re just here to go to work, have fun, and take care of the client, nothing more.”
He is equally thrilled of the success his salon has had so far given the economic times he recognizes affect everyone. To continue to be successful, he says, you have to continue to work with the community.
“When times are rough you have to acknowledge what is going on with your clientele and in the community,” Feiling said. “You can’t be like ‘I am better than everyone, I am going to stick with these prices' you got to work with people and eventually it will pay off and come back to you. We’re not giving things away for free, but we listen to the community and help out.”
To book an appointment online with Feiling and to learn more about his services, click HERE. Appointments fill quickly, but if time permits Feiling is always willing to take a walk-in.