If the idea of going to a spa makes you nervous, you’re not alone. Many people have their first spa experience when they get a gift card to a day spa. Some people don’t even use it because they’re anxious about what will happen and the finer points of spa etiquette.
But you can relax—literally! The biggest area of concern is usually taking your clothes off for a massage. This shouldn’t be a worry, because in America there are very strict protocols for draping during massage. Only the part of your body that is being worked on is exposed. The rest of it is covered with a sheet and blanket or sometimes a large towel. You can keep your clothes on for certain types of treatments such as reflexology. And the truly shy can always get a facial or a spa manicure and pedicure.
FIRST TIME IN THE SPA? DO THIS
If you want to find out what a spa is like, you can always 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. There are a few things to look for when researching ahead.
When you book your appointment, tell the spa concierge it’s your first spa visit. He or she should take as much time as you need to answer any questions you have: what different spa treatments are like, what they would suggest for you, when you should arrive, and so forth. The most popular spa treatments are massage, facials, body treatments, and spa manicures and pedicures.
The spa concierge will usually ask if you have a preference for a male or female therapist. If you say you don’t have a preference, you will probably be booked with a male. It’s fine to state your preference. Most people feel more comfortable with a female therapist, especially in the beginning
DON’T FORGET TO ENJOY
When you get back home, continue the good feeling by taking care of yourself. Most spas sell the products they use but don’t feel pressured to buy, although it’s a good idea to get into a proper skin care routine at home.