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Take the Guesswork Out of the Spa

Aug 21, 2008
With more Americans than ever discovering the spa lifestyle, it would appear the road to wellness is a smooth path. But there are still those who have yet to discover the benefits to this life-affirming approach to living. In fact, for those who yet are unaware of what to expect from a spa and its treatments, the spa concept may seem a stressful venture.

The spa experience is meant to reduce stress, not cause it, according to a spokesperson from the International SPA Association (ISPA). The key to experiencing the full benefits of the spa is to first take out some of the guesswork.

One of the most accessible ways to experience the spa for beginners is a day spa. Day spas are local and most often offer basic treatments such as Swedish massage, facials and body treatments. First-timers should peruse the day spa's website to learn more about the treatments offered and follow that up with a pone call to learn more. Spa staff are always happy to answer questions and help beginners book an appointment. Referrals from friends and family are also a great way to learn about spas.

Some might also be nervous about what treatments will cost, as well as tipping. Just like other service-oriented businesses, spas come in a variety of price points. Check around for treatments that best fit the budget. Also, prices for treatments are typically listed online. Staff can also provide additional information in regards to pricing. When it comes to tipping, if a service has been rendered in a satisfying manner, it's expected the client will leave a tip. Typically, spa-goers should tip 15 to 20 percent for the cost of service, or about $10 to $15 for a treatment. Tips are made the time of check-out and many spas provide small envelopes at the front desk for a tip.

On a first visit, it's important to arrive approximately 30 minutes early. This gives guests time to soak in the ambiance a bit before a treatment. First-time visitors will also need to fill out a medical form listing any existing medical conditions or concerns. This is important for the therapist who will be providing the service. Some treatments can not be provided to clients with preexisting conditions. Staff will also provide guests wit a tour of the changing and relaxation areas, in addition to a robe and slippers.

The issue of clothing, or lack of it, is most often a concern for those new to the spa experience. A professional spa will never compromise a client's modesty. When guests change into a robe for a treatment, they can choose whether to wear underwear beneath the robe. A massage therapist has been trained in the art of draping a blanket, so that only the portion of body being treated is exposed.

During a massage or other body treatment, the therapist may seek feedback in regards to comfort and any areas that might need special attention. It's important that clients communicate to the therapist any discomfort they may be experiencing. In regards to conversation during a treatment, the therapist takes a cue from the client. Some prefer quiet conversation while others prefer to remain quiet.

Following a treatment, the therapist will quietly leave the room, allowing the client to take a few minutes to get up off of the table. While clients are not expected to rush out of a therapy room, it is good spa etiquette to keep in mind the room may be reserved for another client. A therapist should always provide a client with a glass of water following a massage, which will help cleanse the body of toxins.

First-time visitors who schedule a body wrap or hydrotherapy should expect not to be draped so as to receive the maximum results of the treatment. Swimsuits are optional in this case. When using a sauna or steam, clients always wear sandals provided by the spa and sit on their towels as a form of courtesy to other clients and to protect one self from germs.

Next to a massage, a facial is the second most preferred spa treatment. Using mineral essential cleansing products, facials are performed to purify, nourish and tone skin. Typically, most facials take about an hour and it's not necessary to be unclothed during the treatment.

Taking the guesswork out of the spa experience is not hard with a little bit of preparation. Many have already discovered the spa to be one of the most effective ways to reduce stress, achieve wellbeing and indulge in some much-needed pampering. A small amount of research can deliver big dividends.
About the Author
Geologix Inc. manufactures products using a proprietary formula featuring 34 natural minerals contained in the ancient sea water from the famous Michigan Basin -- a concentration of minerals higher than that found in any known body of water in the world. Mineral Essentials focuses on spa, skin care, and massage products to moisturize and provide anti-aging protection for great skin. Mineral Essentials
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