They want you to be happy
Perhaps more than any place you pay to visit — restaurants, hotels, theaters —the people who work in a spa want you to be blissfully happy and relaxed. They want you to have an experience that transcends the day-to-day. In a spa everything focuses on that goal, including décor, lighting, services, and amenities.
But they can’t read your mind! They want you to tell them what you need and want. They don’t know if a massage touch is too firm or the steam room is not hot enough. They simply want you to be happy!
Sometimes you just need to speak up!
You need to use your spa voice. This is not your inside voice, your library voice, or your screaming, mad voice. It is not the whispery voice you use with hand over the phone as you leave a meeting to take a call. It is a calm, assertive voice that simply shares your needs and desires with everyone at a spa.
Many of us don’t think of ourselves as being calmly assertive, and yet we do it all the time. “Please pass the butter.” “Can you turn the music down a bit?” “No, on second thought, I’d really rather go to Ventano’s.” All of these sentences are usually uttered in a calm, assertive manner—no drama, no need for any kind of anger or forcefulness. But when it comes to our own comfort, our own personal experience, it may be more difficult to speak up.
Here are some simple examples that I bet you too, could handle:
I am extremely hot-natured, and the heated treatment beds that most people sigh at the thought of, leave me over-heated and exhausted. I always ask to have them turned off. Not a big deal, but it dramatically improves my experience. The opposite of this might be true for some of you — feel free to ask for an extra blanket or back-supporting pillow if you’re on the chilly side or uncomfortable.
On occasion, I’ve left a spa service and gone directly to an event or to meet a friend. I usually don’t shower after a treatment, preferring instead to leave the moisturizing oils and lotions on my skin as long as possible This often translates into wild hair! When I know I’m going out, I request that we skip the head massage and that product not get in my hair. I’m the one who misses out—a head massage is heavenly—but it is worth it to me to leave the spa looking presentable.
Sometimes (but not often), a stylist or masseur simply talks too much. They may ask too many questions or be overly chatty. If you are wanting to zone out and be in the moment, you need to learn to say, “This feels good, and I’d really like to enjoy a quiet time now.”
If you need to go to the bathroom—simply ask. It will take a few moments out of your scheduled appointment, but it sure beats being uncomfortable.
One time in Chicago, I had a male therapist who I just didn’t mesh well with. He made some remark as we walked to the treatment room that I think was meant to be funny, but wasn’t to me, and I just didn’t like his attitude for some reason. He talked and talked throughout the entire session, complaining bitterly about his job, his life, his car. I was so irritated, that I don’t even remember the quality of the massage. After it was over, he tried very hard to sell me one of the oils he had used. I was more frustrated upon leaving than when I arrived.
In retrospect, I should have asked for another therapists or cancelled the service. Difficult to do? Oh yes! Not even sure I could do it now, but I believe it would be the right thing. Maybe I need to practice my spa voice in the mirror.
For some reason, telling someone that the touch is too hard, or that something hurts is very difficult for me. I go to a massage therapist because I trust him/her and I feel like they know their jobs better than I do. However, they don’t always know me. I want deep rubbing on shoulders, back, and arms, but I have tender feet and toes. If I don’t communicate that at the beginning, the massage would not be as pleasurable. Trust me. A massage therapist or esthetician would much rather have you speak up at the beginning, then yelp in the middle of a treatment. The yelping makes them feel really bad!
One of my first massage experiences (more than 33 years ago) was in a crazy alternative bookstore in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a massage studio above. The place had new age books and crystals and smelled of a sweet, pervasive incense. At the time, I didn’t know what an “appropriate” massage included. In retrospect, I should have said, I’m not comfortable with being touched there,” realizing that breasts and derrieres were not places for massage therapists’ hands. This has never happened to me since. Let me assure you that all recent experiences have been very discreet and modesty has been maintained. But trust me, I would certainly speak up if this ever happened again.
So my recommendation to you? Practice your spa voice. It will lead to spa experiences that fit you perfectly!
Moon phase is waxing crescent and 26% full. We are currently in the moon sign of Sagittarius and will have a full moon on the 12th.