Spa Etiquette: 101

141415613_e61e87c39aEtiquette, tips and tricks to getting the most for your money, and making your experience one you will never forget. Compiled from thoughts I have while working, colleague’s suggestions, and the Facebook group Colorado Bestheticians.

— Arrive early. Your service will begin AT the time you set it for, and end at the time allotted for that service. This will include any time to change, trips to the loo, consultations. To get your monies worth, arrive early. You can use any extra time to begin the relaxation process.

— If you want a deep tissue massage, make you appointment early in the therapist’s day.  Deep tissue uses a great deal of energy, your therapist will be able to “go deeper” when she/he has more energy.  Deep tissue costs more, because it is harder on the therapist.

— Be aware of the different “modalities.” Massage has many different “types.” Most people assume that a massage is a massage. ASK the person who sets your appointment. A quick primer of the two most common modalities: Swedish massage is the most common, and what people tend to think of. It’s main goal is to promote all over relaxation and increase circulation.  It works with the most superficial layers of skin, and muscle. Deep tissue – “go[es] deeper.” It works the underlying layers of muscle, and fascia (the protective/binding layer surrounding muscle). If you have a chronic, or reoccurring “knot” (adhesion) deep tissue is the route to go.
For more details on different modalities:

— Children. We all love children, but your time at the spa should be that. Your time. Some spas, have steadfast rules about no children in the spa.  If it is not possible to leave them with someone, and you must bring them, please bring something that will occupy their time.  And also, do not allow them to run amok. There are dangers even in a spa. Not to  mention that if you are having a treatment that requires concentration on the part of the therapist, You wan them fully focused on you.

–Always, always, shower before you have a Brazilian, or massage. It is just polite.  If you’ve just run a marathon or completed a mega-workout and that is the only time you can squeeze in your Braz. Ask your spa if you can shower, or wash up before hand. Believe me, no one is going to judge you for that.

–Tipping. Estheticians, massage therapists, and stylists, work in the service field. This means we provide a service. For that, we need to be paid not only for the cost of the service (something that many have NO control over), IN ADDITION TO a tip. It is standard, to start the tip at 20% (this goes for dining tips as well). Then to adjust up or down from there. Anything less than 20% is an insult. And not tipping, even if the service was not what you expected, is just unacceptable. This is how we make money. This is how we survive.
IF  you are unhappy with a service, please speak to the service provider. Most of the time he/she will fix it. If it is a personality conflict, speak with the manager; or write a review. But still tip – 10%. They will get the message and still be able to feed their children.

–If you are on medication, have had recent medical treatments, you NEED to communicate this in detail to your provider. Some services can be very dangerous for some people.  We ask questions, because we need to know these things. I recently had a guest who mid-massage felt his blood sugar dropping and only then told me he was diabetic. Diabetes is a contraindication for massage. Mainly because is increases circulation, and stirs up lymph and other bodily fluids that can knock glucose balance off. I almost had a panic attack at this point during the massage (thankfully, he also had booked a facial, and I went straight into that, after getting him some juice). It is not that if you have the conditions, you CAN’T be massaged or treated, quite the contrary, many conditions benefit tremendously from massage, but we have been trained in how and when to proceed, and your safety is important to us.

— Related to the above…. If you are sick, or feel like you are coming down with something, do not visit a spa for a massage or spa treatment. It will not only potentially make you sicker, but you risk infecting everyone at the spa as well.maxresdefault

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