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Know the Code: Getting the Most Out of Your Spa Experience

Jan 16, 2008
You enjoy a good massage, but do you just grin and bear it if your therapist's touch is a bit too strong? Or what if the water is isn't quite right during your pedicure treatment? If you find the music a smidge too loud in the treatment room, do you mention it to the therapist?

"The spa is meant to de-stress, not stress you," said International SPA Association (ISPA) President Lynne Walker McNee. "Not only should you say something, you actually have the right and responsibility to do so. You have the right to control your spa experience no matter what type of spa you wish to visit or treatment you choose to enjoy."

With one in four adults having been to the spa, spas are for everyone. They are considered an integral part in a modern healthy lifestyle. With those numbers on the rise, it's more important than ever for spa-goers to be educated about their rights and responsibilities once they enter a spa. In fact, the ISPA has created the Code of Conduct in partnership with the Resort Hotel Association to enhance spa-goer's comfort level during their spa experiences. The Code of Conduct is available from the ISPA website in English, French, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese.

The Code outlines the rights and responsibilities of spa guests to ensure the spa experience is conducted in a professional manner. The code is especially helpful to those who are new to the spa experience and spa industry as it describes spa etiquette and helps manage guests' expectations.

To begin, it's imperative spa guests communicate their preferences, expectations, and concerns. "Consumers want to be free to express their expectations and concerns and feel safe in the process," said ISPA Chairman Jim Root. "With the development of this new code, both parties are able to share in the responsibility of creating an engaging and empowering spa experience." Those request and concerns should be met in a helpful and professional manner by spa staff.

It's also imperative guests disclose complete and accurate health information and reasons for their visit. Some therapies or products when combined with a guest's medical regimen or condition could have adverse effects. Full disclosure also allows therapists to gain insights into a guest's needs as well. For instance, those spa goers who may have received physical therapy for chronic pain or injuries can greatly benefit from the services of a massage therapist who is made aware of specific physical needs. They may even offer to provide focused attention on areas of the body which are causing discomfort. Spas have a wide range of mineral essential-products whose use can result in a dramatic reduction of pain in some cases. Guests can also expect that their disclosed health information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

It should be a given that during their visit, spa-goers should treat staff and other guests with courtesy and respect. Belligerent guests can not be tolerated in an environment that was designed to provide stress relief to its guests. It is the right of the spa staff to remove anyone who is not adhering to the spa's published policies and procedures.

Guests of the spa have the right to a clean, safe, and comfortable environment. If this is not the case, or if a guest has any concerns, they also have the right to stop a treatment at any time for any reason.

Consideration, dignity and respect should be hallmarks of any certified spa. Trained spa staff should always respectfully conduct themselves according to the treatment protocols, as well as the spa's policies and procedures.

For those who are new to the spa experience, it is also acceptable to ask questions about the spa experience, its services, as well as the training, licensing and certification of the spa. An educated spa goer will have a much more enjoyable time than those who feel unsure about their rights at the spa. And truly professional staff are eager to receive feedback regarding their guests' expectations and experience. Their goal ultimately is to enhance overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.
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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