Hot stone massage

13 Spa Etiquette Dos and Don’ts

Hot stone massage

The spa can be a wonderfully relaxing place, just what you need after a stressful week at work or school. But sometimes, the spa experience can be more stressful than it should. Understand that there are certain protocols that will definitely make your visit to the spa more enjoyable. Read on for some helpful spa etiquette tips, whether it’s your first time in or you’ve been going for years.

Hot stone massage

CC Image courtesy of whl.travel on Flickr

Arrive at least twenty minutes early for your appointment. This will give you enough time to get into the right frame of mind, “I’m here to relax,” rather than “I need to finish this quickly so I can move on to other projects.” A spa experience, whether for the day or just an hour, should completely refresh and rejuvenate you. If you want time to sit in the sauna or Jacuzzi, you should arrive even earlier.

That said, don’t spend the whole appointment talking about things that stress you out. Stressful topics include work, your spouse, and kids. Not only will this keep your mind focused on the hard things, but it won’t make your esthetician any happier either!

It’s best to leave children at home, unless they’re older and you’ve scheduled a separate appointment for them. For example, mother-daughter massages can be a great bonding time for the two of you. But because young children take more energy, it’s better to make alternate arrangements for them during your appointment. That way, no one is distracted or frazzled by a crying child.

Turn your cell phone off before stepping into the spa. And we don’t mean set it to vibrate, but turn it completely off. This will signal to your brain that this time is meant for complete relaxation, and you won’t be tempted to check for messages. Checking your phone will cause stress, not only in your experience but for all the other guests around you.

shower Head

CC Image courtesy of Unique Hotels Group on Flickr

Don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel uncomfortable. Though you will usually undress for massage and body treatments, the therapist will keep you covered and only uncover the area that he or she is working on. If you’re uncomfortable at any point with the amount of coverage, speak up.

Along the same lines, let the therapist or esthetician know any particularly troubling areas you’re experiencing, and your comfort zone. Perhaps your lower back is hurting more than the rest of your back. Perhaps your neck is especially stiff. Letting the therapist know that will mean your spa treatment is targeted to your needs, without interfering with your comfort level.

Relax and enjoy the treatment! You’ve scheduled this time as a way to recuperate, relax, take a break from the daily grind. Letting your muscles relax and mind wander are the best ways to enjoy the entire spa experience.

Treat the spa employees with respect. Ideally, you will have been scheduling massages and spa treatments at Athena Salon for a long time, and will have a personal relationship with many of the people here. But even if it’s your first time in, keep in mind the delicate balance of guest and esthetician. You’ll get better service (at a spa and everywhere) if you don’t look down on the employees.

Don’t forget to tip! You’re thanking the esthetician for the amazing work she’s done, along with thanking the spa for hiring her to be part of their team. Without a trained, skilled, pleasant esthetician, your spa experience would be less than stellar.

Feel free to share any thoughts or concerns at the front desk, following your spa treatment or massage. If there’s a matter of concern, that needs to be brought up so the spa can address it. If you loved the esthetician, do mention that as well. She and the spa owner will be glad to know she’s doing a great job.

Schedule some time after the spa appointment to gear yourself back up. Rushing from the spa back into your hectic schedule will stress you out all over again, reducing the calming effects that the spa has had.

After a spa treatment, especially after a massage, you should drink plenty of water. Your body’s muscles have been worked, and the process will dehydrate you. To counteract those effects, be sure to drink lots of water for the rest of the day. You should avoid alcohol and any heavy meals, since either of those will slow your body’s ability to recuperate.

Expect miracles! But it’s best not to expect them after a single treatment. It may take time for your muscles to relax permanently, and for your body to produce the stress-reducing endorphins that are a bonus of spa treatments. In order for your body to feel the greatest positive effect, you’ll need to get a few treatments in the space of six months.

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