Going To The Spa: How to get the most from your Massage

For some, going to a spa can be a delightful treat for yourself, or for others, it can be an anxiety-producing experience.

I must admit my first experience happened to be in an upscale spa where when I opened the door, I felt like I had stepped into a world of the unknown. I quickly got it together and relaxed. I was late because I got lost and turned around in the infamous Atlanta traffic. I called the spa immediately to let the proprietor know my dilemma. That was actually the root of my anxiety.

Upon entering the establishment, the quietness, coupled with the soft music and the euphoric ambiance helped to quiet my anxious spirit. It soon dissipated completely with the aid of my skillful, sensitive therapist and forgiving myself for being late. Ahhhh!

My advice to spa goers is to always confirm your reservations. Upon arrival turn off your cell phone. When you start texting and checking emails, you defeat the purpose of “me time” and retreating from your daily routines - and definitely no picture taking. Same goes for having a private therapist to come to your home.

Speak in low tones so you don’t disturb other patrons. Arrive on time, anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes early depending on the type of spa. You will have to fill out forms and undress. Speaking of undressing, massage is usually done in the nude or according to your comfort level, but you are skillfully covered at all times during the service with the exception of the body part being worked on. In order to receive the full benefits of a massage:

• One must believe in the power of touch.

• Communicate clearly all of your physical, mental and emotional needs to your therapist.

• LET GO!!! One must submit body, mind and emotions to the present moment.

• Breathe and trust the work.

• Be conscious but RELAXED.

• Feel what your body needs and learn to release it.

DO talk to your therapist if you feel the need to do so. Ask for what you need, a blanket, more pressure, a pause etc.

DO let them know if you prefer a male or female therapist.

After your treatment, relax a bit, meditate, and express your gratitude (self-talk) for the experience. Don’t linger too long out of respect for other appointments.

DO remember to tip. It is customary to tip 15 to 20 percent.

DO check on their cancellation policy. Most spas and private therapists require 24 hours notification or you may be charged the full fee for the service.

Oh, by the way, I have never been late again for my spa treatment. I follow my own rule… “Whatever you do, just do it with Class!”