Making Dignity a Priority

from Caractère Paris

Plus sized Massage Panties

For a patient, having examinations can be one of the more unpleasant parts of going to the doctor. Apart from potentially uncomfortable procedures, many patients are embarrassed when having investigations, particularly when they are invasive. Whilst there are curtains and screens, for the patient the thought of being exposed is off-putting and scary. Even when hospitals and clinics consider dignity for patients and provide sheets, gowns and underwear they don’t get it right. Anyone who has ever worn a hospital gown that doesn’t tie at the back or is too small and leaves gaps will know the embarrassment of wearing them. Many of these gowns come in one size only and do not meet the needs of larger patients which leaves them exposed. And even when the clinic provides disposable underwear it is so small it barely covers anything and can make the situation worse.

But now there’s a practical solution for patients coming to clinic and who are in hospital. A new disposable panty has been launched which is comfortable and comes in different sizes. It is in black too which maximises discretion from stains and other mishaps. For the patient there is no worry about being able to cover their intimate parts or looking ridiculous in an ill-fitting pair of pants. There are sizes accommodating waist sizes up to 53 inches so making an obese patient feel uncomfortable and embarrassed is no longer an issue. The message this gives the patient is that you as a clinician have thought of them as an individual and addressed a very simple need.

The disposable panty can be used in clinics, hospitals, beauty salons and many other situations. It is ideal in urology clinics and for operating rooms. These panties are unisex so can be used by men and women alike. For people having orthopaedic surgery these work well and protect the patient from unnecessary exposure on ward rounds and in the operating room. Another advantage of the disposable panty is when there is likely to be some wound leakage or bodily fluid discharge. These panties save the patient getting their best underwear messed up and cover them well, even when they have catheters and other tubes and drains. They are perfect after giving birth too. As they are disposable there is no laundry to worry about and they can simply be thrown in the bin.

It is often the small touches that mean the most to the patients when they are ill or having tests. So using these disposable panties that actually fit is something that can put the patient at ease and avoid the embarrassing stereotypical hospital underwear scenario. After all, which one would you prefer if you were the patient in that position?

If you need more information please follow this link or contact Caractere +44 020 3608 1542

 

Legionellosis or Legionnaire’s Disease in Spa and wellness centre

Are you the owner or manager of a spa, hot tub or pool, or do you provide showers and air conditioning for your clients? Make sure you are fully aware of the dangers of legionnaire’s disease and the risks to your clients, and understand what your legal obligations are.

What exactly is Legionnaire’s Disease?

legionella

Legionnaire’s disease is a serious disease caused by a tiny aquatic organism which thrives in warm, damp environments. It can be inhaled in fine droplets, leading to pneumonia and a high fever. As the disease takes up to 10 days to develop many other people may be infected before it is realised that anything is amiss. Air conditioning systems, humidifiers, nebulisers, ornamental fountains and many other types of equipment containing water may also be sources of legionnaire’s disease.

How can it be prevented?

 

A spare swimsuit for pool to keep the pool clean.

Because of its long incubation period an outbreak is easier to prevent than to control and there are strict regulations in place to safeguard public health. The essential feature is a controlled system of regular testing and keeping water systems clean. Although legionella bacteria can be found in many sources, including fresh water, it becomes dangerous when slime is allowed to develop and when the temperature reaches 35-45 degrees centigrade.

What are my legal obligations?

According to www.hse.gov.uk, under general Health and Safety law you are obliged to maintain your water systems in good condition and assess the risk of a problem developing. This means drawing up a risk assessment, identifying potential sources of legionnaire’s disease and preparing a course of action to monitor that risk. You must keep accurate records and be able to prove you are taking your responsibilities seriously.

The Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations state that if you have a cooling tower or evaporative condenser on site you must notify the local authority in writing. Contact your local Environmental Health department.

 

What should I do on a daily basis?

disposable flip flop for pool and spa

If you employ five people or more, you must have a written risk assessment and keep careful records of your monitoring of the water system. Make sure you have a responsible person do this and that all your staff know the correct way to use equipment.

Keep the system and the water clean, and avoid a situation where an outbreak could develop. Keep the water too hot for the bacteria to survive or add an antibacterial solution to prevent growth.

Consider employing a firm of consultants to check your supply.

Vakker og Fredelig, Fjorder i Norge: Hiking Norway’s Fjords in Comfort and Style

from Caractère Paris

A Cruiseship in Molde, Romsdal

The coasts of the Scandinavian countries, and those of Norway in particular, are world renown for their spectacular fjords and incomparable views. More often than not, visitors opt to experience their magnificence from below, either on coastline cruise boats or in small canoes. However, as experienced hiker Bill Russell points out, taking “hikes into the surrounding mountains… really provides the visitor the fullest opportunity to experience the beauty and culture of the area in a special way not available by boats alone… it’s a glorious experience viewing the fjords from above.” In fact, he goes as far as to say, “Fjord hiking is the experience of a lifetime.” With over 15,000 miles of coastline and thousands of fjords, fortunately one could never run out of new sites to explore.

from Caractère Paris

Meloyfjord Sunset from Amnes

Sounds intriguing, no? If unfamiliar, you might be wondering what a fjord is exactly and about the origin of their funny name. The word “fjord” comes from Indo-European origins, with fara meaning travelling or ferrying. The Old Norse adaptation of this verb, fjǫrðr (or fjord) indicates a body of water that resembles a lake, often used for cruise and ferry ship transit. In geological terms, the name defines a lengthy, thin inlet surrounded by cliffs of steep hills or mountains. Fjords were created thanks to thousands of years of glacial melting since the last ice age. In fact, as the glaciers melted, through the abrasive pressure exerted by their weight on the land below the ice, the glaciers carved out deep tunnels. After they melted, these tunnels eventually became submerged by the sea. At the same time, this intense pressure pushed the surrounding land upward, creating the picturesque views that enthuse many a traveller to visit Norway today.

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Bergen from the Fløibanen Funicular

Often, hikers begin their voyages in Bergen, considered by many one of the world’s most beautiful cities and the “gateway to the fjord country.” Rich in an elegant mix of classic Norwegian style and the new minimalist Scan school of architecture, with plenty of cultural institutions, Norway’s second largest city has enough to offer on its own to be worth a visit. However, it’s the city’s proximity to the fjords that interests most tourists.

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Sognefjord, Norway, just outside of Bergen

Given the mountainous terrain, one can expect to travel an average of five to eight miles (11-18 km) per day. Waterfalls, rolling streams and quaint cabins line the journey. From Bergen, one can reach Sognefjord in a day, the world’s third longest fjord (the longest in Norway) at 203 km (136 mi) and the second deepest (again, the record holder for Norway) at 1,308 m (4,291 ft). The surrounding  mountains rise another 1,000 metres (3,281 miles), providing unrivalled views of the coast from every perspective. However, don’t let what sounds like a steep incline intimidate you — there are hiking paths available for every fitness level, from the professional to the amateur.

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Geirangerfjord, Norway

Further north along the coast, the Atlantic road continues along some of the country’s most beautiful and lesser known fjords. The Troll’s Road, Trollstigen, was a feat of modern engineering when constructed. It cuts directly into the Andalsnes mountain with hairpin turns, surrounded by waterfalls that have been described as “simply breathtaking.” Trollstigen leads to Geiranger, where many view the remarkable Geirangfjord from boat. Experienced travellers boast that the best vistas are from the trails north of Hellyslt. While in the area, the neighbouring Strynevatnet Lake contains gorgeous waters of a unique turquoise colour that cannot be found elsewhere. Also, the peaceful rural town of Hjelle serves as a perfect point to stop and rest.

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Sørfjord and Lofthus in Hardanger

One cannot go wrong by continuing along the Panorama Road, which wraps around the Gamle Strynefellsvegen fjord a third of a mile above sea level with stunningly picturesque views. Not to miss: the Kjenndal, Loen, Olden and Briksdal Glaciers. The nearby Saebo and Hjorundfjord sport some of the most remarkable views in all of Norway. With an extremely steep incline (nearly vertical), one is left with the feeling of floating on top of the world. The Highway 60 that passes by Geirangerfjord and Sunnylvsfjord sports what has the reputation of “one of the best vista spots in Norway.” Vinnufossen, in the neighbouring region of Sunndalsora, is the sixth tallest waterfall in the world. The gorgeous, protected Amotan Park will help visitors reconnect with nature, in addition to offering more scenic valleys with impressive waterfalls and a highly recommended hiking trail, the Trodalen.

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Stigen Farm, Aurlandsfjord

If you have yet to book the next flight to Oslo, listen to a short excerpt of one hiker’s experience of the fjords: “We hike past mountain farms, similar to the one situated 600 meters above Simadalsfjorden and only reachable by foot until the beginning of the 1970’s. We glimpse these old farm houses, where you can see how your ancestors used to live, and where it is still possible to meet people who protect the local song heritage by singing the old tunes, and by playing the Hardangerfiddle.

from Caractère Paris

Mountain pasture on the Geiranger Fjord

“As we hike along the heritage trails in Ulvik, in the hills and mountains that surround the village, you get to know more about life in the area in the days gone by. The trails beckon and the high pastures where flocks of sheep graze, clear streams, blue lakes, and striking mountains provide hikers with plenty of off-the-beaten track adventures.”

Sounds delightful! At Caractère, we offer a variety of items to make your fjord hiking experience easier and more comfortable. Our products include supplies designed for rural guest houses and camp sites, which range from disposable sheets and blankets to towels and baby hygiene products. For those who plan to take advantage of Scandinavia’s world renown saunas and spas, we also provide massage wear, slippers, sandals, bathrobes and towels. Comfortable, recyclable and easy to use, you cannot go wrong with disposable supplies from Caractère. Best of all, we ship anywhere in Europe, including the UK and Norway. If you choose to go, have a wonderful trip and please write to us about your travels.
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Finally, some links to help you plan. For hiking route ideas and itineraries, see the hiking and itinerary pages of Norway Fjords, Fjords.com, REI, FjordNorway, Russell Tours and Web Walking. For guided hiking tours, visit The Norwegian Trekking Association’s official website. For more fantastic pictures of fjords, see The Norway Fjords and Fjords.com.

Finally, a short video about hiking in the fjords from Visit Kristiansund:

The Fountain of Eternal Youth: A History of Roman Thermal Baths

by the German painter L. Alma Tadema

Baths of Caracalla

Yet again, the origin lies in the name. Thermos, the Greek word for “heat,” situates itself among many concepts recovered and recycled from ancient Greece by the Romans, who popularised the communal bath system during the fifth century BC. Initially, the Romans privatised the baths’ use for the elites, such as Senators and merchants. Ahead of their time in terms of hygiene, as with most things, the Romans discovered the basic health benefits of thermal baths by the first century. However, the use of spas on a mass scale took until the Empire of Augustus, who was advised by Agrippa to make his generals frequently take cold baths. With the trust of the Emperor won, the ‘public bath’ concept was born.

by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

The Baths at Caracalla

The first spas spread rapidly throughout the Empire, transforming into a popular site of congregation and socialisation for members of every profession, social class and milieu. While originally known for its health and hygiene functions, the spa soon became an indispensable component for a healthy society — a sort of community centre and meeting place all-in-one, where all types of relationships and business intermingled. The sense of relaxation and intimacy provided by this place, designed with attention to architectural detail unimaginable today, was elaborated by an entranceway with restrooms, exercise areas, a primitive version of a locker room, saunas and steam rooms, and three deep basin pools filled with water of different temperatures: one hot, one warm to tepid and one cold. Through the various rooms, guests could benefit from Roman thermal baths in nearly identical ways to how visitors to the modern version of the spa do today.

Today a church

Roman Baths of Diocletian

In continuous use until roughly the sixth century, which depended on their location, many of the Roman baths were destroyed or neglected during the disintegration of the empire. Over the Medieval period, given the mounting support for Christian morality, modesty, and the intolerance for promiscuity, the baths were often transformed into monasteries. One such example is the Baths of Diocletian, the largest of any baths built in Rome, which could at one time accommodate up to 3,000 bathers, was transformed into a series of religious buildings during the sixteenth century.

During the twelfth century, the repair of many older spas and the opening of new ones were undertaken, mainly in the Tuscan and Emilia-Romagna regions, which to this day remain the regions of Italy with the highest concentration of spas. The Baths of Casciana and those of di Lucca, originally property of the Countess Matilde, count among the many examples. Their use was once private, with a four week long treatment that consisted of various baths between 30 minutes to two hours, with the time gradually decreased over the period of treatment. The principle behind this very exact regimen remains a mystery, but it is believed to date back to Hippocrates’ Theory of Humours, which attempted to treat symptoms of disease with their exact opposite. For example, sulphur-rich water was used to treat skin infections, and waters rich with minerals were intended to cure infertility. The steam rooms were also a very popular cure for body odour linked to sweat.

at Hotel Helvetica

Contemprary Spa in Porretta

Renaissance thinkers and artisans rediscovered the classical charm and advanced theories (for their time) of Greco-Roman cultures, which put considerable pressure on local leaders, such as princes and lords, to ameliorate the former spas in terms of structural features and artistic design, but their use remained essentially non-medical, for example at the Porretta spa in Emilia. Later, during the age of imperialism, and especially after the remains of Pompeii coincidentally surfaced in 1779, a romantic vision of Roman culture led many elites of the era to want to reinterpret their lifestyle and customs. Numerous paintings on display at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris exhibit this viewpoint, where the term, “a century of the baths,” denotes the formation of a well-defined civil society.

England's most famous bath

Roman Baths in Bath, England

Since the late nineteenth century, due to medical progress and experimentation, along with the gradual gentrification of society, leaders regained a sense of social obligation for hygiene, even if this obligation remained limited to the privileged classes. Not only did the nobles of Europe rediscover the therapeutic sense of a day at the spa, but also a dimension of overall well-being, which included body, mind and spirit. In the modern era, scientific progress proved the advantages of combined therapies, exemplified by the importance and variety of today’s wellness centres and spas. For example, those suffering from chronic illness in Northern Italy have deemed the Baths of Casciana in Pisa an indispensable part of rehabilitation. Other well-preserved spas from the Roman era preserved a fun and relaxing attitude, such as the hot springs of Saturnia or Petriolo, openly accessible by all ages and social classes for recreational as well as therapeutic use. (Baths of Caracalla by the German painter L. Alma Tadema)

An interesting phenomenon over the past few years has been the rise of specialty spas

England's most famous bath

Bath, England at night

flanked by villas and boutique hotels that offer a mix of public baths and private therapeutic services, often catered by a specialized team with experience in medical treatments, physical therapy, massages and other services. While non-clinical in nature, these specialised spas advertise custom treatments and wellness programs in targeted sessions of a few days to weeks, in a naturally pleasant environment to rejuvenate both body and spirit.

Some other locations where original Roman spas can be found in abundance include France, England, Germany, Spain and Turkey. Here is a list of some such locations, many still functioning in their original capacities today and others renovated or redesigned for other uses, as provided by Wikipedia:

  • United Kingdom: Bath – Roman Baths; Exeter, Devon; Leicester – Jewry Wall; Ribchester, in Lancashire; Tripontium, near today’s Rugby, Warwickshire; Welwyn, in Hertfordshire; Chedworth; Fishbourne Roman Palace; and York.
  • France: Arles – Thermes de Constantin; Glanum, near today’s Saint-Rémy-de-Provence; and Paris – Thermes de Cluny.
  • Germany: Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg; Trier; and Weißenburg.
  • Italy: Baths of Agrippa, Baths of Caracalla, Baths of Diocletian, Baths of Titus, Baths of Trajan,  Pompeii (ruins), and Herculaneum.
  • Spain: Caldes de Malavella, Gerona; Caldes de Montbui, Barcelona; Clunia, Burgos; and Lucus Augusti, Lugo.

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For a list of spas in Italy, please see http://www.termeitalia.info/
For a wide variety of products ideal for spas, such as soft and durable bathrobes, slippers, sandals, bathing suits, Asorbtex and microfibre towels, please visit Caractère’s spa page at http://disposable-linen.co.uk/bed-sheet-towelling-bedding/contents/en-uk/d115_spa-wellness.html
For all other Caractère products, see http://disposable-linen.co.uk/bed-sheet-towelling-bedding/

All Sizes Accepted for Massages, Tanning Beds and Hair Removal Treatments with New G-String Underwear in 3 Sizes and 2 Colours

A wide variety of health benefits have made massages one of the most popular salon and spa treatments around the world. During this time to relax and feel inner peace, the slightest inconvenience has the potential to ruin what otherwise would be a wonderful massage experience. This is why masseurs go to great lengths to ensure they provide their clients with the ideal environment for massages – a clean table, privacy while undressing, dim lights, relaxing music, aromatherapy and even therapeutic oils. However, a difference in gender between client and masseur can sometimes make comfort difficult to achieve. Even some clients don’t feel comfortable stripping entirely in front of masseurs of the same sex.

from Caractère Paris

White G-String Thong Underwear

This is where disposable G-String style panty underwear is the ideal solution. Comfortable and soft, they cover the woman’s essentials to ensure privacy without looking outdated, ugly or cheap. With the same look and feel as reusable under pants, clients won’t be able to tell these panties are disposable. The disposable aspect means the masseur doesn’t have to worry about cleaning stains, odours or menstrual fluids off of reusable underwear. Individually wrapped, the G-String panties are guaranteed to be clean and hypoallegetic every time.

from Caractère Paris

White G String Thong Undies

A highly popular product, the Coif’Hygiene division of Caractère has been manufacturing the G-String for several years. Originally, they were only available in a single size and colour, but an increasing number of our clients have asked us if it were possible to change the colour or to enlarge the G-String’s size. It turns out that with their rise in popularity and accessibility, a wider variety of clients are seeking massages. Changes in living patterns have also played a role in the transformation of the clientele. Since practically everyone knows about the benefits of massages, masseurs and massage product manufacturers have had to adapt their practices. Caractère then offered larger sized G Strings exclusively, only to later discover that some loyal customers preferred the older, smaller version.

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Women's Black Thong G String Undergarments

To keep everyone happy, the company decided to make available the most popular size and colour combinations together. For smaller panties, white was the salons’ colour of choice. For medium to large size G strings, both white and black are available. Finally, for the extra large size, discretion is often the client’s primary concern, so they are available in black.

If price is a determining factor for your business, we make these cover-ups affordable at roughly 20 pence per unit. While still very accessible, the XL model comes with a slight price increase to account for the extra material necessary during manufacture. The other sizes are the same price, no matter the colour. These G-Strings are also ideal for tanning beds and hair removal salons where access to the sides of the leg is necessary to accomplish the respective tasks. All of the G-strings are individually wrapped and sealed with respect to the idea of hygiene and cleanliness.

To be Prude or to be Nude? Massages in Total Comfort with Massage Apparel

Every one knowsg-string massages are a time to relax. Yet preparing for a massage can be (and all too often is, unfortunately) a stressful experience.

First, you have to choose the right day and time to visit your therapist, and make sure nothing stressful is scheduled before or after the massage that would take you out of the zone of inner peace.

Second, you have to choose the rig
ht therapist: one who won’t massage too hard, but not too soft either; with the right style — Swedish, Californian, Ayurvedic or deep tissue; with the right oils so that your skin leaves the appointment feeling nourished, without breaking out in pimples the next day.

Third, right before the session, the moment most likely to cause awkwardness and stress comes: the time to undress. Some parlours require their clients to strip down entirely and become naked, then crawl under a sheet or towel they provide in order to give the guest an illusion of privacy.

Certain places even pretend it isn’t traumatic to change into your birthday suit in front of a therapist — a guy or gal you may have met mere minutes earlier.

According to a poll on About.com to which over 5,000 people responded, “What do you wear during massage,” more than half of the respondents said, “Nothing. I remove all my clothing.” However, this isn’t necessary anymore because salons and spas have now started to provide their clients with massage apparel.

This new development assures the client privacy and comfort before, during and after a massage. Some unfamiliar with the world of massage may wonder exactly what is massage apparel.

Massage wear is disposable, single-user (but not necessarily single-use) clothing made to protect and keep warm clients who receive massages. While simple in design, it comes in extra soft fabrics and comfortable cuts that guarantee relaxation.

Caractère Paris offers a full line of massage apparel, including underwear, shorts, shirts and jackets.

disposable Men's G-string

disposable Men’s G-string

A wide variety of underwear, such as thongs, slips, and panties, exist for the essential comfort of massage clients. The male thongs are a great starting point, covering the essential bits and pieces without rendering the massage difficult. They come for roughly 25 pence each, an accessibly affordable improvement for any massage service.

For women, a stylish and elegant G-String takes the first step toward proper clothing during a
massage. They’re also perfect for tanning salons in order to minimize tan lines and for masks or other chemical treatments that would stain most clothing.

Another option for the more modest female client is the panty, with a wider backside that affords better coverage. With both at slightly more than 20 pence per unit, how can one not provide their clients with this essential? Finally, even plus sized individuals can enjoy massages in discretion with the Large Disposable Adult Panties Underwear. Among these four products, there is a size and style for virtually everyone.

Luxury salons also provide their clients with a full line of comforting and warm massage apparel, which includes shorts, shirts and jackets.

The shorts come first in the list of priorities because of the area they cover. Their comfortable, soft Absorbtex ® material is durable, resistant to rips or tears and will absorb oils or other liquids used during salon treatments, such as masks and body wraps. They come in three sizes, each with an elastic band around the waist that keeps them in place.

The massage shirt is the other essential for full-service salons. They are generously cut and come with a set of buttons down the front that allow easy, fast dressing and removal. Each shirt comes individually wrapped, with a variety of sizes available for every client.

Finally, the massage jacket is the optimal finishing touch for any massage. It comes in a stylish, fashionable look that resembles a kimono, with a V-neck opening, pockets and belt to secure the jacket around its wearer and offer maximum comfort during the massage.

On top of all of this, the above products are all recyclable, meaning you can play your part in protecting the environment by avoiding having to wash, dry and buy new reusable apparel for when you clients want to take it with them. Any salon owner will tell you that (especially if it is the guest’s first time in a salon), the slightest detail can make or break his or her experience. In these cases, attention to detail on the part of the salon owner is essential. Investments, even small ones in things like massage apparel, will pay off over the long run in satisfied return customers and word of mouth advertising.

from Caractère Paris

Massage Jacket