Whether you’re an aromatherapy apprentice or an Endemologie expert, stepping foot into a spa can be a bit of an etiquette nightmare. Clothes off or on, shower first or last, speak or don’t speak? Since a spa experience is meant to be one of relaxation, you don’t want to ruin it by spending your time wondering whether you’re in breach of an unwritten set of rules. Here is a handy guide to help you enjoy your spa visit.
You don’t want to be late for your spa appointment. If you are then you may find that there won’t be enough time for your therapist to carry out your treatment and you may lose out. Quite apart from that, you’re there to relax, so rushing in last minute, dishevelled and stressed won’t help you switch off.
Most good spas have a relaxtion room to spend time in before and after your treatment. They usually offer the use of loungers, drinks of water or herbal tea, magazines to read or music to listen to. Try taking advantage of this extra bit of chill out time by turning up early and getting in the mood.
No matter how busy or important you are, having a mobile phone switched on in a Spa is a definite no-no. You’re there to relax, and to get the most out of your day you need to switch off – that goes for your phone too. Besides, nobody else wants to have their chill out session spoiled by your dodgy ringtone and harrassed business conversations.
It may sound strange, but using lots of pools and steam rooms can actually dehydrate your body. You’ll need to drink plenty of water to keep yourself topped up. Water also has the added benefit of helping you detoxify, which is a great way to compliment any kind of body treatment.
The rule of clothing depends entirely upon which country you’re in, so it’s best to ask if you’re unsure. In general, it’s only acceptable to go naked in treatments or saunas when the sessions are private or single sex, although in the UK most people will wear a swimming costume during every session.
When it comes to spa treatments, your therapist will advise you. Generally, you’ll be asked to remove whichever bit of restrictive clothing your treatment requires, and asked to get onto the bed and cover up with a towel. Your therapist will only remove the towel in stages, keeping the majority of you covered at all times. On some occasions you will be asked if you’d prefer to wear paper knickers. These are great for keeping your clothes wax or cream free, and they do manage to protect your modesty every bit as well as normal underwear.
It’s not normally necessary to shower before you have a treatment, but obviously if you just went for a ten mile trail run before coming in you might want to take a route to the Spa that goes via your bathroom.
If you’re using steam rooms, saunas and Jacuzzi’s, then it’s good practice to shower in between each session. Not only does it help wash off any excess sweat, but using a series of hot and cold temperatures can help to stimulate the skin and remove the toxins which will let you get even more out of your spa treatment.
To Chat or Not to Chat
Like mobile telephones, talking can seem intrusive when it’s loud and ‘in your face’. Keep volume levels to a minimum in public areas and respect the quiet of others around you. In the spa treatment room you can talk to your therapist or not, as you like, and they will take their lead from you. If you’re getting a massage it’s perfectly acceptable to doze off so don’t feel embarassed if you have to be woken at the end.