Guest Author - Chris McBeath
What are the health benefits to visiting a spa?
Since stress is a major cause of disease and debilitating health conditions, the most obvious health benefits are those derived from stress release and relaxation. Many services also have specific therapeutic value, such as lowering blood pressure, improving flexibility or boosting the immune system, and all services are intended to help restore the body’s own natural balance.
Should I take any special precautions?
Most therapists will consult with you on your health history to determine the appropriateness of the services chosen. For example, many spas provide specialty massages to expectant mothers, and adjustments are made to accommodate allergies, muscle spasms and areas affected by surgery. If you have any of these physical conditions, be sure to tell the therapist.
What do I need to bring?
Most spas will provide you with a robe, slippers, towels and personal locker for your use during your visit. While most facilities are co-ed, there are usually separate facilities for men and women. If a spa has a pool or fitness facility, you may want to bring along your swimsuit and/or workout gear.
Do I have a choice of a male or female therapist?
Absolutely. Simply state your preference at the time of booking.
When should I arrive for my appointment?
Always arrive at least 15 minutes early to allow you time to change into your robe, and enjoy a few moments of calm. Do remember to use the restroom. Keep in mind that should you arrive late, the appointment will still be completed as scheduled in consideration of the next guest.
There are so many services, how do I know which one to choose?
If you’re conservative in nature, try a ‘known’ treatment such as a facial or pedicure to start. It’s an excellent way of judging how you feel about the quality of service you receive. Chances are, you’ll feel comfortable enough to try a full body massage or herbal wrap next.
Do I have to take all my clothes off?
Whatever makes you most comfortable. Generally, undress completely for body services since therapists use professional draping techniques to ensure your privacy at all times, only exposing the area to be worked upon. If your treatment involves water, a swimsuit may be optional for some services. Remember, spas will never compromise your modesty.
Can I talk during a massage or similar treatment?
Your therapist will take their cue from you. You can be silent or quietly talkative. Be sure to give the therapist feedback as to your comfort. If their touch is too rough or too light – mention it!
What’s coming next?
If this is a first-time treatment, the therapist will usually outline the procedures before he or she starts. If you have any questions during the treatment, simply ask.
What about gratuities?
Find out if gratuities are included at time of booking. If not, tipping is entirely up to you according to your experience and desire. Many guests choose to tip as they would in a hair salon.
Is there any other spa etiquette I should know?
After your treatment, vacate your room fairly quickly so that it can be prepared for the next guest. Most spas have a relaxation area for guests to enjoy their post-treatment ‘glow’ at leisure.
The last word
For many people, allowing others ‘to do for you’ is a difficult concept to grasp yet it’s the very essence of the spa experience. Since professional spas are a safe environment which do not include anything other than the therapeutic or spa services you’re expecting, relax and enjoy being pampered.