|Spa culture: What you shoud know
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By Meera Ravi » With the fabulous range of treatments available at spas today, it’s all too easy to forget that you, the guest has to be actively involved to make a difference with the treatment you choose.
The good news is that the rules of the game have remained pretty basic. Regardless of the setting – super luxurious or cheerfully modest – it’s entirely possible (and, in fact, required) for you to be positively transformed by your spa visit. Here’s how:
1. Go often. Make a habit of taking a much-needed break and pamper yourself. Learn what you like, what heals and nurtures your body and soul. Regular visits will let you experiment till you find what works for you and can change your life.
2. Give yourself time. Yes, we go there to unwind but rushing in 15 minutes late and stretching out on the massage bed, all sweaty and strung-up, is not fair on yourself or on the therapist. You have less time to reap the rich rewards of a full session and the therapist too cannot perform to his/her best ability.
“At Jacques Dessange, we advise clients to come in at least half hour early so they can take in some preliminary water treatments like our sauna, steam room and whirlpool,” said Louise Moy, “This helps them to unwind and reach the actual massage therapy room ready to get the best from the treatment.”
Allow for plenty of time before and after your booking in order to transition from your real world to the spa world. Taking the time to unwind and slow down before your appointment will make your visit more pleasant (mind) and more beneficial (body).
With most spas running like clockwork with no more than 10 minutes between sessions to allow for prepping the room for the next client, every minute counts. When you’re late, spas can’t afford to give you that time at the other end of your treatment, which means you’ve just taken your 50-minute massage down to a 40-minute session. Suffice it to say, your body would have loved to soak up the extra attention.
3. Know what’s on offer. It will save both you and the spa reception/booking agent a lot of time if you have taken a moment to look at their treatment menu online or as a brochure. Make note of the things that interest you and ask the booking agent if she thinks any of these are right for you based on your experience level, preferences and health concerns (if any).
4. Understand your treatment. Being informed about how a certain therapy may be able to affect you (whether in the sense of pure relaxation or for getting over a particularly harrowing party season) can deepen your session – both emotionally and physiologically. Understanding the cultural background to a service can enrich it as well.
5. Learn what is expected. Treatments, such as a seaweed bath and algae wrap, are detoxifying therapies that can disturb your physical equilibrium as they strive to eliminate toxins from your system. This isn’t to say one should avoid powerful treatments. On the contrary; use them wisely and understand some of the ways to support their effects afterward. A wise therapist will advise you of follow-up behavior – be it not drinking alcohol for the evening or taking a hot soak and a nap immediately after.