Thursday, June 6, 2013

Spa Etiquette: What To Do And What NOT To Do

[As published on Emmagem.com HERE]
Let’s have a show of hands: who loves spas? If you’re nodding in assent while reading this, then we, my friend, are spa buddies. I love my spas and treatments, though I admit not having enough time (or resources) to indulge as often as I want to. My ultimate dream in life would be to travel the world, live in the most luxurious hotel rooms with the best toiletries, and enjoy the most pampering treatments in award-winning spas.

My dream holiday.
While we’re on the subject of spas, I’ve realized that visiting a spa for the first time can be a daunting experience. It’s not that the therapists are unfriendly, but sometimes they’ve been doing this for so long, they tend to forget that we’re not familiar with the routine in a spa.
Here’s how to get yourself physically and mentally ready for an enjoyable spa experience. After all, you’re paying for it, so you deserve to make the best out of it :)
Always arrive 10 minutes before your appointment.
Your appointment will start on schedule, so even if you arrive late, your treatment will usually end at the same time to be fair to other customers. Arriving earlier makes sure you have time to wind down properly, so your mind won’t be preoccupied during the treatment.
Wear comfortable clothes and underwear.
Something that’s easy to slip out of without consuming too much time is best. Also, try not to wear fabrics that stain easily, such as white tops or fragile silks, as massage oils can seep into the fabric. Leave your precious clothing items at home and opt for loose, cotton clothes instead.
Bring a hair tie if your hair is long.
There are only a tiny handful of places thoughtful enough to provide hair elastics, so it’s best to bring your own. I always put my hair up during body massages so that it doesn’t get in the way. Don’t want to wake up with lank, greasy tresses, eh?
Put your cell phone on silent.
Remember to switch off the sound and put it on silent or vibrate mode. That way, it won’t disturb anyone else. However, if your phone is on vibrate mode, it’s best to stash it in your bag, away from a hard surface that will create that jarring, buzzing noise that can be super-annoying when you’re halfway through your facial and can’t pick up the phone.
To strip or not to strip?
After the therapists leaves me alone so I can change, there’s always this moment of utter confusion. Should I or shouldn’t I remove all my clothes?
For facials:
Some places don’t require you to, but therapists recommend removing your bra. This is because most facials come with a shoulder or back massage (usually when your mask is working its magic) and your bra will be in the way. Most importantly, you must be comfortable enough to be able to fall asleep.
For body treatments:
Remove all your clothing and wear the disposable panties/bra provided. Some places don’t readily provide disposable panties, so you can request for a pair if it’s not given to you by your therapist. If you have to shower (ie. after a body scrub), you can also request for a fresh pair before proceeding with your following treatments.
Communicate with your therapist.
Don’t like scalp massages because they mess up your hair (I know I don’t)? Tell your therapist before the treatment starts! They’ll be more than happy to spend a little more time kneading other parts that need attention. If your shoulders feel tense after weeks of sitting in front of the computer, you can also tell them so they’ll work more on loosening them up for you.
Don’t overstay your welcome.
Some ultra-posh spas have a relaxation area where you can hang out after your treatment and sip tea/read magazines. The ‘polite’ amount of time to stay there shouldn’t be more than half an hour.
Enjoy your spa time, Gemmers!
(Images: breaffyhouseresort.com, singletripadvisor.com, wellnessvietnam.wordpress.com, rodrigosamper.com, cinderellabeauty.co.nz, travaasa.com)

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