Don't have time to go on a whole spa vacation? A day spa can give you a chance to relax and enjoy some treatments without packing your bags. Here are some ways to make sure you enjoy your time at the day spa.
1. Take care in choosing a day spa. Look for:
* Friendly, nurturing staff, from the person at the front desk to the massage therapists, estheticians, nail technicians, and make-up artists. All therapists should be licensed.
* A quiet, relaxing, well-designed environment. It will usually have soothing music, low lighting, and pleasant aromas.
* Equipment such as hydrotherapy tubs, whirlpool tubs, steam rooms, sauna, steam cabinets, Vichy shower, etc.
* A menu that explains the treatments and staff that can answer any questions in detail.
* A request for you to complete a medical disclosure questionnaire.
2. Select your spa treatments.
The basic spa treatments are massage, facial, body treatment, manicure and pedicure. A massage will help you relax and get rid of muscle tension. (A Swedish massage is a good place for beginners.) A facial is a deep cleansing of your face, and a body treatment exfoliates and soften the skin on your body. Most spas offers manicures and pedicures, but some small spas don't. You can also combine services -- a massage and a body treatment is a good combination (get the body treatment first) or a massage and a facial (get the massage first.)
3. Choose your therapist.
The quality of the therapist determines the quality of the treatment. Get a personal reference if you can. Also, think about whether you prefer a male or female therapist.
4. Prepare for your spa experience before you go.
* Drink plenty of water before and after services to enhance the benefits of your treatments.
* Don't eat for at least an hour before or after your massage.
* Arrive early so you have time to enjoy the sauna, steam or whirlpool before your treatment. If you get in a whirlpool, shower to get rid of the chlorine before a massage.
* Allow your mind to calm down before your treatment. Most spas have a meditation room that lets you quiet down.
* Although most spas have lockers that lock, you might want to leave valuables at home.
5. Enjoy your spa experience.
* You generally remove your clothes for massage and body treatments, but you are draped with sheets or large towels. (Read more about nudity and the spa.)
* Relax. Take slow, deep breaths before your treatment begins. Envision every muscle in your body relaxing.
* Be open to the experience.
* Communicate with your therapist. If you have any feedback on the temperature or amount of pressure, let them know.
* You can talk or not, as you prefer. The therapist usually follows your lead.
6. Be appreciative.
* When the treatment is over, take time to slowly reintegrate, rather than rushing off.
* A tip of 15% is appropriate.
7. Extend the spa experience at home.
Take care of yourself at home. Most spas sell the products they use. Don't feel pressured to buy, but it's a good idea to get into a skin care routine at home.