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The FAQ's of the Spa

Jan 16, 2008
With one out of five Americans having visited a spa, chances are those who have not yet experienced the spa are at least aware of its benefits and services. To take the guesswork out of an experience that has been designed for relaxation, the International SPA Association (ISPA) has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I find the right spa for me?
A: It's important to do your homework beforehand. Spa newcomers will want to learn the difference between day spas, destination spas, and club spas before determining which one is the best fit. Prior to visiting a spa, phone them to learn more about their services and treatments. Professional spa staff will be happy to answer any questions. Family and friend referrals are also a great way to learn about specific spas and their services.

What can I expect to pay?
A: Just like a hotel or restaurant, spas come in a variety of price points so it's not difficult to find services that complement the pocketbook. Nearly all spas list their prices online, have a printed menu of services, or can provide service prices over the phone prior to booking a treatment.

What should I ask for when I book my appointment?
A: Becoming familiar with spa treatments and services prior to booking an appointment is helpful. Do you want to try a massage? A mineral-essential facial? Spas can provide a menu of services that describe each treatment and its therapeutic value. At the time of booking, it's important to express any preferences regarding a male or female therapist. Also ask about the spa's cancellation and tipping policy. Some spas include the tip in the bill while others do not.

When should I arrive?
A: It's a standard rule of thumb to arrive 30 minutes prior to a treatment in order to check in and take a few minutes to enjoy the spa surrounds. It may also be necessary to fill out personal and health information prior to the service or treatment. At most spas, guests are provided a tour of the changing and relaxation areas, as well as being provided a locker key, robe, and slippers. After the service is completed, guests may leave their robes and slippers in the designated area.

What should I wear?
A: It is a spa's policy to never compromise your modesty. While most spas provide a robe to change into before treatment, it's up to the guest whether they want to wear their underwear beneath the robe. During a massage, only the portion of the body that is being treated will be exposed at a time. For treatments that involve water therapy such as watsu, a swimsuit is appropriate. Thai massages require loose, stretchy clothing. It's also a good idea to leave jewelry at home or remove it before a treatment. Don't forget to turn off the cell phone.

Do I have to talk during my treatment?
A: It's up to the guest whether they want to talk during their treatment. Staff take their cues from the guest, but it's always appropriate to ask questions. If a therapist's touch is too rough or light, it's important to speak up. The therapist is there to provide guests with the perfect spa experience. For those with an injury or physical condition, let the therapist know prior to the treatment. They can suggest adjustments or enhancements to the treatment. If a guest feels at all uncomfortable during the treatment, it's perfectly appropriate to tell the therapist and then leave the room. Guests should then speak to a spa director or manager to tell them about the problem.

How long can I stay after the treatment?
When a treatment has ended, the therapist will extend an invitation to "take your time getting up" while they exit the room. While guests are not expected to rush out of the room, they do need to keep in mind that the room may need to be used for the next client. After getting dressed, guests are met by their therapist who will lead them back to the changing/locker area. Afterward, guests may enjoy themselves in the relaxation room where light snacks and water are offered. It is recommended to drink a lot of water following a massage to help flush toxins that were released during the treatment. Guests are also invited to use the toiletries available in the locker areas to freshen up before leaving the spa.
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, and Acheaway
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