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First Time At The Spa

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Is it your first time at the spa? Relax! This article will walk you through the basics.

If going to a spa for the first time makes you nervous, you're not alone. Many people have their first spa experience when they get a gift certificate to a day spa . Some people don't even use the gift certificates because they're anxious about what will happen and the finer points of spa etiquette !

The biggest area of concern is taking your clothes off for a massage. Don't worry! Modesty is always preserved during massage . You can keep your clothes on for certain types of massage, like reflexology . And the truly shy can always get a facial or a spa manicure and pedicure.

When It's Your First Time At the Spa

* Ask for a tour before you book an appointment. The spa may or not be able to accommodate you, but it's fair to ask. Here's how you can tell if it's a good spa.

* When you book your appointment, tell them it's your first spa visit. They should take time to answer any questions you have.

* Feel free to ask questions about which spa treatments would be right for you. The most popular are massage, facials, body treatments and spa manicures and pedicures.

* When booking your spa treatment, they will ask if you have a preference for a male or female therapist.

What Happens At The Spa

* Arrive at least 15 minutes earlier, more if you want to enjoy facilities like hot tubs and steam rooms.

* Check in at the front desk and remind them it's your first time.

* You should be shown where your locker is and how it works. This should have a lock on it. If they haven't already given you a robe and slippers, they are inside.

* Change and enjoy facilities that help you relax for your treatment, like the steam shower, sauna or hot tub.

* A hot shower before your massage is always a good idea. It's essential if you've had a dip in the hot tub. (You need to shower off the chlorine.)

* Go to the waiting room (sometimes called a meditation room) a few minutes before your treatment is scheduled to start.

* The therapist will come and pick you up when your appointment is scheduled to begin and escort you to the treatment room.

* In the room, the therapist will instruct you in how to get on the table -- face up or face down -- and leave the room.

* If you're getting a massage, you will take off your robe, hang it on a hook, and get underneath the towel or sheets.

* The therapist will knock before reentering. Here is more about what happens during the massage, and how to get the most from your massage.

* At the end of the treatment the therapist will leave the room while you put your robe back on, and wait outside for you to emerge.

* You can return to the meditation lounge to rest, or proceed to your next treatment.

Types of Spas

There are several different types of spas . The most common is the day spa . Here are tips on how to choose the right day spa for you and make the most of your trip to the day spa .

Other first-time spa-goers have their first spa experience on vacation, at a resort/hotel spas . Resort/hotel spas come in a wide range of sizes and styles, from small private inns like The Harbour Inn in St. Michaels, Maryland, to the lavish, sprawling resort spas in Hawaii.

People who are interested in weight loss or jump-starting a health lifestyle often choose destination spas that offer an all-encompassing spa experience. Examples are Lake Austin Spa Resort or Canyon Ranch.

Saving At The Spa

Spas provide wonderful, nurturing experiences, but they aren't usually cheap. Here are articles on what you can expect to pay at the spa and how you can save on your spa vacation. Here are a few more thoughts on finding bargains at the spa. And there are many affordable destination spas.

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