Children, just like grownups, also get stressed. And unlike adults who can come up with creative ways to battle stressors, kids can get stuck. These insights sparked a conversation about the value of children’s wellness with husband and wife Drs. Carl and Roselyne Balita during the opening of their Little Lamb’s Kiddie Spa-Salon-Clinic-Playland at Greenhills Shopping Center.
The power couple’s business venture is the first of its kind in the area and it is an improved version of the branches they began operating in 2006. Little Lamb’s Kiddie Playland is a spa, salon, and barbershop, clinic, and play place all in one. Who would have thought this brilliant idea came from a seven-year-old more than a decade ago?
Dr. Carl and Dr. Lyne’s daughter Lyca was just seven years old in 2006 when she tagged along to her parents’ wellness session. Then little Lyca threw her tantrums the moment she was told, “Kids are not allowed in the spa.” The girl was able to argue why she and other young ones also need the relaxing services and successfully nudged her entrepreneurial parents to act on the business idea. To better illustrate the time-lapse, Lyca is now a law school graduate and currently taking the bar exams.
The first branch of Little Lamb was in Tomas Morato in Quezon City. It has since been recognized as the first and only in the Philippines and was awarded twice as the Best Kids Spa in Asia by the Asia Spa Awards in 2010 and 2011. It helped a lot that Dr. Carl has long been business-minded, with his review centers located nationwide in his notable list of projects. According to the multihyphenate, Little Lamb’s Kiddie Playland is his show of support for his wife’s practice as a pediatrician. The registered nurse, midwife, and professional teacher, with a Master of Arts degree, and two doctoral degrees in Humanities and Education, believes that his wife’s expertise is the strong foundation of Little Lamb’s business model.
“We thought of putting her pediatric clinic in Little Lamb since she’s promoting wellness. We concentrated on preventive over curative [medical care]. We started in Morato and ended up in Uptown [Bonifacio Global City, Taguig] until the pandemic hit,” Dr. Carl said.
He and Dr. Lyne believe now that they found a good place in Greenhills, San Juan to offer a venue for kids who are used to vertical living. They both acknowledged that the young ones today experience a lot of stress given the prolonged confinement at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than the feature of having a play place to drop off kids while parents or guardians go shopping, Dr. Carl and Dr. Lyne emphasized the value of touch therapy and the long-term benefits of reflexology and massage for kids. They take pride in having former child stars who are still active celebrities as patrons back in the day and employing well-trained caregivers, haircutters, and massage therapists who specialize in handling children.
Passion for advocacy emanates from Dr. Carl and Dr. Lyne as they talk about the unique business. Their love for what they do and concern for their clients-slash-patients were evident. “Dr. Lyne veers away from the usual scrubs or white suits. She can immunize the kids while they are playing or being massaged,” Dr. Carl enthused. He talked about how his wife eliminates the usual fear of doctors observed in kids by creating a relaxing atmosphere for the little ones.
Toward the end of our conversation, Dr. Lyne tied everything back to her advocacy to promote children’s wellness. It was obvious that she sees this as more than a business. Dr. Lyne is so hands-on that even the massage oil is a unique blend she creates herself. It is a mix of food-grade virgin coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and sunflower oil. “The tendency is, when the child accidentally licks the usual mineral oil, it can lead to vomiting. Mineral oil is a by-product of the distillation of petroleum. It is a mortal sin to massage the kids with that,” the passionate pediatrician said.
Dr. Lyne added that she and her therapists generously share and demonstrate massaging tips and techniques to parents and care providers so the touch therapy can be extended at home. “Touch alone can provide a lot of benefits like relaxation, growth because of deep sleep, and bonding,” she said. “The kids’ muscles do not need that much pressure like the adults’. Gentle strokes, while they are being bathed or breastfed, are already beneficial.”
While it should be easy for her to offer treatment to kids when they get sick and beneficial for her business-wise, Dr. Lyne stays genuine and adheres to the idea that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. She consistently pushed for children’s emotional and psychological well-being as this will deeply affect the other aspects of young lives. That, to me, is the most touching part.
Check out Little Lamb’s Kiddie Playland in its new home on the 2nd floor, Pb 211 A&B Connecticut Arcade, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan.
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