Although I know many people who have been to a spa, I also know many who have never been as well. Some people find them intimidating, others may find them to be expensive and others aren’t sure what they are really for. There are many reasons to visit a spa, and if you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend the trip. That said, your first time might be a bit daunting. Although you may have a lot of questions, the following tips may put your mind at ease enough that you will be ready to venture out and explore the spa domain:
- Gidgets and Gadgets: Once you enter the spa, especially the quieter areas past reception, turn off your phone, your pda, your blackberry and any other noise making device. If you can’t bear to turn it off completely, turn off the sound. No one wants to be disturbed by the endless ring of a neglected phone. Further, this allows you the ability to ‘get away’ from life for a short while so that you can enjoy your experience.
- Clothing: Upon arrival, most spas give you a clean, fresh robe to use during your stay. If you don’t want to remove clothing for a treatment, call the spa ahead of time and discuss what options you have. Certain treatments can be done fully clothed, while others may require you to remove most or some of your clothing. In the US, spas are required to keep the parts of your body that are not being worked on covered, including your genitals and breasts. For treatments that do require you to remove your clothing (e.g., most massage and hydrotherapy), you can still leave your underwear or a bathing suit on during the service.
- Hygiene:If you are getting a treatment that requires you to remove your clothing, you should rinse off before you go into your treatment. This is courteous to your massage therapist, but it will also make your skin ‘ready and receptive’ to any oils that may be applied. Further, apply deoderant after you rinse off.
- Physical Mishaps: Whether you are a man or a woman, physiological responses to your treatment can be somewhat unpredictable. Yes, at times men can get an erection during massage. Yes, you may pass gas. Yes, you may even drool. If you are at an ethical and professional spa (and where happy endings are not part of the service), the therapist will remain professional. Therapists, both male and female, understand that men may be stimulated during non-sexual massage and may get a partial or full erection. They also understand that gas may be released and saliva may be drooled. The therapist will generally ignore it. For men who are especially concerned, wear supportive under garments such as a men’s Speedo bathing suit or briefs.
- Communicate: If at any time, you feel uncomfortable or are in pain during a treatment, you should tell your therapist. If they don’t fix the problem, you have the right to terminate your treatment. Make sure you communicate to the manager or spa director if the problem was not resolved.
- Tipping: Just as you would tip a good waitress for good service, it is appropriate to tip your therapist for their good service. Standard protocol is 15 – 20%, but if you are feeling generous, by all means, give as much as you’d like.
Any tips you’d like to share?