Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I should have written about this first, because it is so very very important. With the increase in awareness in spa relief, rejuvenation and wellness there are more people and pets enjoying healthy services than ever before. Here is a list of safety first when having a spa service out in the world and in having a spa service in your own home, office or location.


1) Do they have a licensed staff, are their staff well trained and have certificates posted?

2) Look at the housekeeping and cleanliness of the spa and the therapists. Are their nails clean? Are the blankets clean, the sheets??? Many spas cut corners in housekeeping and laundry services not washing the blanket or just turning the sheets over. Always look around and ask for a tour to the room if you can before having a service. Ask for the lights to be turned on if you can't see. Many spa rooms are dimly lit. If the spa is not clean, you should not have a service or you should bring your own linen set-up. We'll talk about that a bit later...

3) You can ask what type of product will be used on you, and most places allow you to bring you own product. I recommend this at discount spas or with private therapists. Luxury nutritious organic product makes all the difference. I always like to bring my own so there is no cross-contamination of skin cells or hairs, dirt, etc., that can occur when using a lotion or body butter and not using a spatula to remove the product. Some therapists use their hands and dip. I can't recommend enough investing in a line for your spa services unless you know for sure the products used on you will be beneficial to you and your skin condition and goals.

4) Male or Female? You can choose. You don't have to have a male masseuse or a male manicurist. You can request a female. You can even request a female with specific qualifications. You can also request a male. Couple's frequently have a male and a female team, and that's completely allowed. Sometimes, if you have a condition, the spa needs to consult which therapist is trained or comfortable working with you. Not every therapist does pregnancy services or end of life. Stones are specific to higher trainings. Your spa concierge will tell you your options and you can specify when booking what you expect in goals. This helps the concierge choose just the right staff for you. If you have a preference, you should schedule in advance 3-7 days.

5) Are you comfortable? Are you cold? Too warm? Your therapist wants you to be happy and comfortable. Let your staff take care of you to the best of their abilities. If it is a regular request, ask them to note it in your file.

6) Medical concerns should always be discussed with your doctor. Manicurists, estheticians, massage therapists... no matter how great and experienced and nice... do not replace medical care, medical treatment or medical consultation. If you have a medical concern, call your private doctor or your doctor's nurse and review your condition.

7) Obese? Muscular? Thin? Anorexic??? Your types and condition is very much a important in services, especially massage. Having a special body type or body issue is a really great time to focus on your health. Taking care of your health will take care of your skin and appearance. Having a great body treatment will also help treat and nutrify your skin that may have sufferred due to your health. that involves nutrition to the skin It's wonderful, regardless of your body type, having regular services begins a relationship with your health that promotes positive. If you are too shy to go to the spa, have the spa come to you! Spa-Go's was developed for those who couldn't or wouldn't go to a spa, it's perfectly fine to have services in home.

8) Detox/Cleansing?? If you have a drug condition, illegal or prescriptive, circulation treatments like massage will stimulate the drug within you to come out, so you need to be very careful and aware. Massage and circulation techniques as well as heat creates the body to metabolize the drug out of the fat cells and into the blood stream. Detoxing to prescriptive drugs and illegal drugs should be done medically supervised. Spa services offering cleansing and detox are geared towards average conditions such as too much junk food, soda and possibly smoking and alcohol. I caution anyone using spa services to medically detox. The spa is a great place to get in touch with yourself through healthy treatments and make changes in your lifestyle so you can live longer and feel better. I enjoy a nice detox mud wrap about every other month.

9) Children and the spa should always be acquainted prior or the parent/caretaker should ask if the spa accomodates children. Many therapists do not work with children and many spas have rules allowing children in until a certain age. There are many great spa locations, however, just for kids and/or mommy-me spas. Teaching children how to care for their health and enjoy healthy relaxing and rejuvenating treatments is a positive tool in educating your children early on regarding their self and their feelings.

10) Tipping/gratuities at the spa are tricky. Many spas add on a gratuity already, so always ask. The treatments are done on the most of personal levels. Ask if the staff receive 100% of their tips, some don't. Ask if the staff have to share tips with others, sometimes they share with concierge and booking staff or management. It is common to see 15-20% tacked on to your services, you always can leave extra, some places still let you hand tip, some make tipping mandatory. Specialized services, mobile service and late nights or holidays are generally an additional 10%.

11) Underwear or Not? I say take it all off! But, you don't have to. If you don't feel comfortable leave it on. Spa-Go's has a full menu of clothes stay on treatments. We understand those wishing their privacy and the modest client. It is all about you! Reflexology, manicures/pedicures, facials, shiatsu, hair and make-up can all be done with your clothes on... If you leave on your underclothes the therapist knows how to work around it, it is no big deal. . If you leave your underwear on, however, it is harder for the therapist and sometimes uncomfortable to the guest to manipulate the hip muscles and hip joint. Therapeutically, you should be stimulated and circulated, rubbed and massaged, squeezed and kneaded from head to toe. Private body parts and areas are never part of a therapeutic massage, facial or mani/pedi. A trained therapist is an expert at draping sheets and linens so that your private areas are never exposed and you always feel safe and comfortable. So, underwear? or not?? Your choice!

12) Eeek, That technician, or therapist that they have paired me with is so unacceptable. What do you do? You say no thank you. You don't let the service go further. You have the right to having your personal treatment with a therapist that you enjoy and although your decision shouldn't be based on appearance, if you are paired with someone that is not clean or is not in clean clothing you can most certainly say no thank you! If you ordered a female and they send a man, that is unacceptable. Some companies don't know their staff, they don't know their habits, they don't even know if they are licensed and they don't care! If you have expectations or prefer a select type of staff, please let your concierge know. Just understand that licensed trained staff are not always "10" looking models. Many are highly trained, hours of schooling and committed to their field within the healing arts. You don't want a staff person that is just doing it for the money, you want a therapist that is a knowlegable healing arts professional. Spa-Go's has newly licensed to experts in their fields. Just ask and we'll take care of you to the best of our ability.

13) Linens, are they white? Have they been bleached? Have they been professionally laundered? Has the blanket been changed at every client or is the blanket shared by everyone and just the sheets changed? Who really knows unless you can see that they are "hotel" looking. Many spas do not use a linen service and that's ok. But feel free to inspect their linens. Ask how they launder their linens, towels and robes. It matters! When in doubt or when traveling to the discount spa, we recommend a spa bag of 2 flat sheets, a blanket and pillow case for the safest in spa experiences. A wrap if you are having facials and a robe if you are having body services. I enjoy my own sandals as well and take my own hairbrushes and combs. Most people don't look at the sheets. Unfortunately, some people don't change the sheets each time, they just flip the sheets over. Look... Look at the product. Look at the room. If it isn't clean, don't go through with your service and let the manager know they need to reset the room to your satisfaction. If they won't acommodate you, shop around.

14) Spas where girls wear little skirts and low v-neck shirts, where they don't tell you the price over the phone and work 24 hours a day, when they don't have a menu and tell you to come to an apartment, house or condo... These are good signs that this service provider may be catering towards another market. When in doubt, ask questions. Massage establishments must be licensed and in areas where massage can take place. The rooms and door should not be able to lock out customers or the police. When they lock the door it is illegal. You should be able to get out of the spa at all times. Look for spas where trained health professionals work to give you the very best value for your money and your health. You wouldn't want to try a new place in town and realize that other things were going on exactly where you are now naked and your therapist is wearing jewelry, chewing bubblegum and is hardly dressed. I shouldn't make a joke, because some of the nicest upscale luxury spa locations have been busted for doing therapeutic and sexual services. It's good to know who the owner is. We don't recommend anyone gets mixed up with the underground spa locations in and around Los Angeles.

15) Water. Even after a manicure, you should drink 2 full glasses or bottles of water to detox and flush out your system. Even a manicure is a circulation treatment and your body will go... "oh great, let's get rid of this waste", and with the added water, the lymph just sends that waste right on out! Plenty of water after a spa service is necessary. Without water after a service you may experience a head-ache due to the waste not being able to exit. Water plumps up your skin too! A natural boost.

16) Keep jewelry on you or leave it at home. If having services in your home, put all valuables away and out of sight. Take therapist or professional to a general area of your home for control purposes and your own safety. Make sure when having in home services the staff that are brought in or referred are background checked and tested or pass a thorough employment interview. So many agencies now are just sending anyone. It's dangerous out in the world. You should always have your belongs away from you and you should have your purse put away as well. (I put tin foil in my purse so if someone tries to open it i hear it crinkle... I thought of this when I raised teens and I still use it when I close my eyes and my purse is in the room, I get nervous i may fall asleep and be robbed)... Easy.

It's buyer beware in the spa world, so look and listen and ask...
Make your spa day or service the very best.

Anne Fisher
Lifestyle, Massage & Spa Expert

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