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Advice to Help You Make the Most of a Spa Visit

Bring a hat, be considerate, and more.

Illustration by Ryan Snook.

Nobody told me I’d walk away from my wonderful facial with glowing skin—and greasy hair standing on end. Nobody advised me how a well-endowed woman was supposed to lie face down on a massage table without uncomfortably crushing her assets.

I’ve learned to bring a hat to wear after a spa treatment. Also, a rolled-up towel under your chest can mean the difference between feeling pulverized and feeling pampered. Here are more tips.

Ask in advance what your service includes. Facials often include a massage of the shoulders, neck, and arms. You may not also want a massage on the same day.

Ask who is doing your massage. A spa may fail to mention that you’ll be getting nearly naked with a therapist of the opposite sex. If you’re ill at ease, request a different therapist.

Don’t lie there—speak up. If you aren’t comfortable, don’t suffer in silence. Ask for a pillow under your neck or knees. Request that the music be turned down or the heat turned up. You may get up to use the bathroom.

There’s naked and nearly naked. It’s your choice whether to undress completely for a massage—keeping your underwear on is okay.

You’re paying for a service, not a sales call. It’s fine for a spa to offer free samples or a list of products used. But you may decline purchasing them if you’re not interested.

Be considerate. Spa etiquette goes both ways. Try to arrive 15 minutes early, showered, with your phone off, and ready to relax.

Day Spas 2013 ››

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