Are you nervous about your first Spa visit? Not your first time, but you are not sure what the proper protocols are? You are not alone.
A spa treatment is an extremely intimate service; sometimes more so than going to your physician. Going in unprepared for the treatment may make your feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Since I have been helping a friend at her spa, I have learned what happens and why, and hope that the tips I have prepared will help you make the most of your spa treatments.
- Yes, you take everything off for a massage or a body treatment and most everything for a facial. If you feel uncomfortable with that, say something so the therapist isn’t surprised. The last thing she wants to do is get oil on your under garments. Our spa has disposables that you can wear, particularly if you are getting a bikini wax.
- You will be getting undressed and redressed. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that are easy to get in and out of.
- Leave your jewelry at home. Unless you are put into a robe and given a locker, your clothes and jewelry will be in your room during your treatment. Be mindful that there may not be much space and that your jewelry could get knocked over or left behind. I can’t tell you how many times a therapist has run to the desk with jewelry that someone forgot. And I have a little collection of odd pieces that are still unclaimed. Also, it takes time to take jewelry off and put it back on. You only get a limited amount of time. You want to make the most of it.
- When it comes to a spa, being early is being on time. Just one late person can throw the schedule off for the entire day. The same goes for the end of your service. While it is alright to relax a minute before getting up, even encouraged, you need to remember that the room needs to be cleaned and set up for the next client. Do not dawdle.
- While most spas have a cancellation policy, they will understand if you are sick. You should never go to a spa while ill as massage therapy pushes the toxins through the body and you will leave feeling sicker – not something you want to pay good money for. However, when you cancel, you should reschedule at the same time. If you reschedule, they may not charge for the missed appointment. I know I don’t if someone reschedules due to illness or if they are a regular client.
- While you will be massaged with oil, you should not leave oily. The massage therapist should rub the oil in. Our therapists also apply hot towels, which not only helps with the oil, but feels great as well. Your hair, however, will have a bit of oil in it and if you wear makeup, it will most likely not look the way it did upon your arrival. Best not to wear it if possible.
- Cleanliness is important. Our therapists scrub up to their elbows between appointments and use hand sanitizer. While it may seem common sense to shower the day of your treatment, I have seen people come off the beach in their bathing suits for a bikini wax.
- Tips are important to the therapists. A good therapist will take your needs into consideration and customize your treatment accordingly. Please remember that they only get a portion of the fee and have expenses. For example, our staff provides their own sheets and massage oil. If they want scented candles in their rooms, they provide them. Some even offer complementary extra services such as hot stones or aromatherapy for their most valued customers. A 20% tip is customary and should be cash or check. Many spas pass their credit card fees on to the staff for tips placed on the cards. I find that when clients realize this, they bring cash or a check and are happy to do so. Finally, like wait staff, therapists are assumed to make a certain amount in tips that they are taxed on by the state and the IRS as income. In essence, this makes a poor tip a costly tip for the therapist.
- You can talk during your treatment, but you should not feel obligated to do so. This is your time. When I get a massage, I prefer to listen to the music and concentrate relaxing. It isn’t often when you get time to yourself with no interruptions so take advantage of it.
- Now that I said you don’t need to talk, I am going to tell you to speak up. If your therapist is using too much or too little pressure, tell her. If you have pain in an area you want her to concentrate on or avoid, let her know. If the bolster under your legs, the head rest or the room temperature are too high or low speak up, don’t suffer through. Remember, you are paying for the service and you should get the maximum experience and benefits of spa therapy.
Your spa treatment should be relaxing and completely stress free. If you know what you are going to expect and what is expected of you, your time at the spa will be more enjoyable. I hope my experience at the spa helps you with yours.