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9 Tips from Spa Week to get pampered like a pro

We share many of our favorite bath and body products here on Daily Grommet, and although bringing a piece of the spa into your home is wonderful -- there really is somehting so relaxing about  a nice trip to the spa. We've asked our pal Michelle Joni Lapidos (Social Media Director at Spa Week), to share some tips for first time spa-goers.

by Michelle Joni Lapidos

As the editor of Spa Week Daily, I have fallen madly in love with the all the healthy benefits of the spa lifestyle (here is video evidence). I’ve discovered that Cupping and Gua Sha banish back pain overnight, and that Photo Facials can change your complexion in an instant. I’m thrilled that so many more of you will get to experience the wonders of spa-ing this fall, and many of you for the first time! In that spirit, here are 9 tips to get your "spa on" like a pro:

1. Book in advance and share information ahead of time

Most spas don’t accept walk-ins, especially during Spa Week when they’re at their busiest. Book your appointment beforehand and be sure to let the receptionist know if you are pregnant, have any special needs, allergies or medical conditions. By offering this information ahead of time, the spa will be fully prepared to accommodate you upon your arrival.

2. Request a Male or Female therapist upon booking

If you’re booking a hands-on treatment such as a massage, body wrap, or scrub, be sure to request a therapist based on your comfort level. If you don’t mind either way, then you don’t have to say anything.

3. Arrive (at least!) 15 minutes early

For many, a spa visit is the ticket for a bit of R&R. Arrive at the spa earlier than the time of your appointment so you can unwind and clear your mind before beginning your treatment.

4. Wear casual attire

If you’re coming from the office, bring casual clothes to wear after your treatment. You may walk in feeling stiff and stressed, but you’ll leave feeling refreshed and revitalized, so bring something comfortable to wear post-treatment.

5. Speak Up!

Is the pressure okay? Is the water too hot or cold? Are you comfortable? Remember, your therapist isn’t a mind reader. If there is anything they can do to make your experience more pleasurable, don’t be afraid to let them know.

6. Avoid consumption of alcohol on the day of the treatment

Alcohol consumption and spa treatments are similar in one aspect: the dehydration factor. Avoid any alcoholic beverages if you are planning a trip to the spa.

7. Drink plenty of water

A spa treatment often releases toxins from the body, so be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your treatment to keep yourself properly hydrated. This also comes into play if you plan on using spa facilities such as a steam room, sauna, or whirlpool.

8. Tax and gratuity are not included

Standard gratuity is 15-20% of the orginal spa treatment cost. Even though the spa is giving Spa Week customers a discounted treatment, your therapist is still doing the same amount of work. If you are unsure of the original price of the treatment, don’t be afraid to ask. While you are not required to tip, it is common courtesy and a great way to show your therapist that they did an exceptional job.

9. (My favorite tip)… Embrace the NUDE!

 Don’t be afraid to shed your inhibitions - and your panties - for your deep tissue massage. For our video guide to spa etiquette, press play.

Interested in booking a spa treatment? Learn more about Spa Week Fall 2011, featuring $50 spa treatments at 800 spas nationwide, starting ONE WEEK away, Oct 10-16. (See all participating spas on spaweek.com, and book yours now!)

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