The Pre-spa Enlightenment
What do we want from a spa? As with many, we are seeking relaxation, rejuvenation, renewal. We want to be transported to a place of peace on scents of jasmine and lavender. A spa is not simply a place; it’s a glorious vehicle that carries us away to another world.
But we are also keen on maximizing our investment of time and money. We need to know that we will be cared for; that we can happily and willingly leave our cares at the threshold, to have the peace of mind knowing that all will unfold as it should.
The below guide should enable you to enjoy your stay to the fullest, all the while allowing you the knowledge that you took care of all those mundane but necessary details.
…What to bring
As little as possible.
Think of the experience as shedding encumbrances, detoxifying, liberating. Bring enough money for the tip (approx. 15-20% depending on how pleased you are with the treatment). Have money for whatever products you may wish to buy afterwards.
…What to wear
What to wear to a day at the spa is a personal choice; however, in keeping with the relaxed atmosphere of the experience, you should consider nothing but light informal clothing; wear nothing that may pinch or bind as many treatments require extended periods sitting.
If you are going to a resort or destination spa, the above may be academic as you will most likely change out of your clothes and into a spa robe.
A word about nudity and massage:
It is customary, indeed preferable; to remove ALL clothing before the massage begins. This gives the therapist unimpeded access to muscle groups and body manipulation. It also gives you the natural feeling of just being in your “birthday” suit. However, this is never mandatory or ever insisted upon. If you are uncomfortable with total nudity you may simply wear loose fitting undergarments.
…What to expect
Expect to be greeted in a friendly manner at your arrival.
After the preliminary acknowledgement of your arrival, the front desk may pass you to a lounge attendant or directly to the therapist. This will vary depending on the type of spa you enjoy. If it’s a day spa, it is likely to mirror what I said above.
If it’s a resort or destination spa, you will probably be given a brief tour of the facility or be allowed to take a “look-see” for yourself. After that, you will be given a locker and be invited to change into a robe. When ready, you will be ushered to a comfortable lounge, there to await your appointed time.
You may be offered refreshments. Herbal tea or juices in moderation are beneficial.
…What to do
Be prepared to enjoy your time!
Make sure the attendants/therapists are made aware of your needs. They work for you, you should get what you want!
Try to have no issues “hanging-fire.”
Clear your calendar for that day. Getting a massage, a facial, manicure, or pedicure is not simply maintenance of self, it’s a matter of rejuvenation, of resetting ones spirit. Balance.
Hydrate yourself and have only enough food to ward off hunger.
Drink in moderation only herbal teas or natural fruit juices before your treatments.
…What not to do,
Abstain from the use of alcohol.
If you are going for a single treatment like a manicure/pedicure, this caution is less important. However, if you are going for treatment where detoxification is the goal (i.e. massage or skin treatments), the introduction of alcohol is counter-productive to a successful detoxification.
Do not have large meals before your treatments.
During a massage, greater circulation is the objective; however, digesting a meal causes the blood to focus in the organs. This may cause nausea during a massage or water treatments.
…What’s next? Go grab some serenity!