So you’ve decided to treat yourself to a day at the spa. You’ve booked the best massage at the perfect location (and hopefully you used My Spa Pass to save some money!) – all that’s left to do is spend the day in complete relaxation and luxury.
But if you’ve never had a massage before, it can be hard to relax if you don’t know what to expect. To help settle your nerves, here’s a rundown of what you can expect from your massage treatment…
Before the massage
Before your massage begins, your massage therapist may ask you some general health questions. This is so that they can get a good idea of your overall health, lifestyle and any painful or especially tense areas in order to plan the massage and adapt their techniques to best suit your individual needs and help you achieve your health and wellness goals.
If you’ve booked a massage that incorporates skincare, they may also ask you about your skin type and any specific concerns (such as dryness, acne, sensitivity etc.), as well as what your usual skincare routine is.
If you have any health conditions or allergies, these will be covered in the health forms that you’re asked to complete upon arrival at the spa (find out more about what to do when you arrive in our previous blog post). But if you have any specific concerns, you may also want to mention them to your massage therapist at this point as well.
One thing that a lot of first time spa-goers are nervous about is privacy.
If you are having a body massage that requires you to remove your clothes, your therapist will leave the room in order to give you complete privacy while you do so. Whether you choose to remove your clothing completely, to your underwear, or stay covered is entirely up to you.
You will then lie down on the massage table (your therapist should have told you whether to lay on your front or back) under the towel or sheet provided and the therapist will knock before they re-enter the room.
If you need to turn over during the massage, the therapist will either turn away or hold up a sheet to maintain your privacy while you move.
The spa’s (and more specifically, the treatment room’s) environment is a large part of the overall experience. The purpose of a spa is to allow you to relax, so the decor, sounds and scents will all be designed to create a calming atmosphere (even down to soft-close doors and quiet shoes worn by staff).
There may be soft music playing in the room during the massage, but if it’s distracting at all, you can ask for the music or volume to be changed, or turned off completely – your massage is all about you, so don’t feel uncomfortable asking if it’ll make the experience more enjoyable.
The massage table will be padded and may also have additional parts or cushioning for extra comfort or support, such as a face cradle which allows you to comfortably lay down on your front without needing to turn your head to the side.
During the massage
Depending on the the type of massage that you’ve booked, the session may last between 30 – 90 minutes and your therapist you may work on your whole body or specific targeted areas.
A typical full body massage may include working on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, neck, shoulders and abdomen. If there are any areas that you would like your massage therapist to focus on more (for example if you have especially tense shoulders), then let them know and they will adapt the massage to allow more time for these areas.
You will be draped (covered by the sheet/towel) at all times during the massage, and only the area that is being worked on will be uncovered. The therapist will cover you up before they move on to the next area.
Throughout the massage, your therapist should make sure that you’re happy with the techniques and pressure being applied, but if you do feel any discomfort at all, be sure to tell your therapist so that they can adapt their technique.
After the massage, your therapist will leave the room again to allow you time to get up and redress. Hopefully you’ll feel very relaxed so feel free to take your time getting up from the table and don’t rush yourself. The therapist will then knock again before re-entering the room and show you the way back to the rest of the spa.
Are you ready for your first massage?
If you’ve already booked a massage then we hope you have a fantastic time. Going for regular massages can have amazing benefits for both your mental and physical health and wellbeing, so if you’d like to book more treatments in the future, take a minute to see if your local spas are available through My Spa Pass.
We’ve partnered with some of the best spas across the UK to offer our members exclusive access to discounts on spa days, breaks and treatments all year round.