important to note
that massage spas are overwhelmingly not "full service". Despite the fact that
anything may be possible under certain circumstances, it is not recommended to
pursue an experience beyond the realm of therapeutic / sensual massage. The spa's
masseuse may be competent in performing both types of massage.
However the likelihood of receiving the technically more challenging
therapeutic massage is always a certainty.
Bearing in mind that the majority of massage spas tend
to be quite busy with customer traffic flow, this active client activity often
results in a less then calm or serene atmosphere. Even within the massage
cubicle walls are thin and the door may be left somewhat ajar. Sound
intrusion from various sources often disturbs or even breaks the mood of a
fine massage. It would wise, if at all possible, to consider and plan a spa visit during less busy hours.
Generally upon entering the spa you will be asked if
this is your first visit and whether or not you've had a massage before. Payment
will usually be requested in advance ($50. to $80.-) for one hour. The fee often
includes a table shower and body scrub, sauna and the massage itself. Tips for the masseuse
are important. The client should be aware that most masseuses share only a small
percentage of the spa entry fee. Some masseuses work strictly for tips. Like any other service you may tip more or less
depending on the level of quality, competence and enthusiasm. If the massage was
satisfactory the minimum tip should be $40.- for a one hour service.
To begin with you will either be escorted to a
locker/changing room or directly to the massage cubicle / room. Even though you may not receive explicit
verbal instructions, it is expected that you fully disrobe and don the
bathrobe and slippers which have been provided (if you are planning on receiving
a shower). If you are not planning to shower simply disrobe and wait for
the masseuse to return. Although you may feel a somewhat awkward to have stripped down
naked, while anticipating the return of the "fully dressed" masseuse, this
is expected and customary.
The table shower
table shower is located in a fully
tiled and well drained bath area. Just as the name implies you will be washed
while laying on a cushioned table. The masseuse will first take your robe,
before motioning that you lay face down on the table. The masseuse will be fully
dressed and have slipped on a pair of knee high rubber gardening boots.
Unfortunately the effect of the outfit is not particularly sensual. You will be
rinsed repeatedly with very warm water, lathered in soap from neck to toe, and
scrubbed with sandy grit (if you are to receive a body scrub). The
procedure will be repeated (after you are asked to turn over) facing up.
Following a final rinse you will helped off the table and carefully and
thoroughly dried. The shower is considered a portion of the one hour
The full body massage
Upon returning to the massage cubicle you will again be
helped out of your robe and you will be asked to lay face down on the massage
table. Your face buried in the circular cutout at the end of the table.
The masseuse will ask what "how you would
like your massage". If you desire a therapeutic massage,
"medium" or "heavy" would be the correct response. If you rather
prefer a sensual massage, the appropriate reply is "soft"
or "light". You may also request an oil massage, which
should be desirable in comparison to a dry massage, particularly in the event
that the masseuse has a heavy hand.
Every massage begins with the back or shoulders,
regardless of the style. If the massage is therapeutic 75 to 90 % of the
time may be allocated to the back of the neck, shoulders, back, arms and legs.
It is very much a "back massage", as opposed to the sensual massage which is
There is a good deal of variation as to when you will
be wrapped in a hot towel. The timing will vary with the custom of the masseuse.
Most likely, hot towels may be applied after the back massage signaling the end
of the back massage. It's also possible for hot towels to be applied at the very
end of the massage.
Warmth & friendliness
Customer treatment sometimes tends to be a bit brusque
initially. This somewhat reserved or even cool attitude will vary widely from
salon to salon. If the initial experience has at least above average merit, a
repeat visit will greatly enhance the relationship and friendliness one can
expect from the spa during future visits.