How to Spa

If the idea of going to a spa makes you nervous, you’re not alone. Many people have their first spa experience when they get a gift card to a day spa. Some people don’t even use it because they’re anxious about what will happen and the finer points of spa etiquette

Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

But you can relax—literally!

The biggest area of concern is usually taking your clothes off for a massage. This shouldn’t be a worry, because in Thailand there are very strict protocols for draping during massage. Only the part of your body that is being worked on is exposed. The rest of it is covered with a sheet and blanket or sometimes a large towel. You can keep your clothes on for certain types of treatments such as reflexology. 

And you don’t have to worry too much about knowing what to do, because someone will be there at every step to tell you where to go, what to do and what happens next. 

When It's Your First Time at the Spa

If you want to find out what a spa is like, you can always ask for a tour before you book an appointment. The spa may or not be able to accommodate you, but it’s fair to ask. There are a few things to look for when researching ahead.


When you book your appointment, tell the spa concierge it’s your first spa visit. He or she should take as much time as you need to answer any questions you have: what different spa treatments are like, what they would suggest for you, when you should arrive, and so forth.

qualified therapists

What can I expect from a massage?

Perhaps the most daunting part of a massage for first timers is getting undressed. Your technician wants nothing more than for you to be relaxed, so undress to the point where you’re comfortable. The technician will always give you privacy and time to get ready. Once you’re on the massage table, there will be a sheet or towel for you to slip under. You’ll typically start the massage face down, but the technician will let you know if this is not the case. At some point during the massage, you will be asked to flip over.


Don’t be embarrassed if you fall asleep during your massage, this happens often! 

Be sure to drink a lot water after facials and massages to help flush out any toxins that may be put into motion during massage.


Don’t be surprised if you’re feeling sore the next day, either – your technician likely hit muscles that haven’t been used in a while, so it’s normal to feel as if you’re recovering from a workout.

Before you go

Don’t eat for at least an hour before or after your massage. Drink plenty of water after your service to enhance the benefits of your treatments, and enjoy your massage.


Arrive early so you have time to enjoy the sauna, steam or whirlpool before your treatment. If you get in a whirlpool, shower to get rid of the chlorine before a massage. Allow your mind to calm down before your treatment. Although most spas have lockers that lock, you might want to leave valuables at home.

Enjoy Your Spa Experience

Most people know generally remove your clothes for massage and body treatments, but you are draped with sheets or large towels. Relax—no one is judging your body. Take slow, deep breaths before your treatment begins. Envision every muscle in your body relaxing, and simply be open to the experience.


Communicate with your therapist. If you have any feedback on the temperature or amount of pressure, let them know. You can talk or not, as you prefer—the therapist will usually follow your lead. When the treatment is over, take the time to slowly reintegrate, rather than rushing off. A tip of 15% to 20% is appropriate.


When you get back home, continue the good feeling by taking care of yourself. Most spas sell the products they use but don’t feel pressured to buy, although it’s a good idea to get into a proper skin care routine at home.



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