The Massage and Facial Haters Guide to Going to a Spa

Posted December 27, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five

When my in-laws suggested a week long trip to a high end Wisconsin spa, I had mixed feelings. I was excited to try something new, go to Wisconsin, and experience Christmas with my in-laws whom I love. One problem though, I kind of hate spas. Correction, though. It’s not that I hate spas. It’s that I generally hate massage and facials. Now before you say something like, “Oh, clearly you’ve never had a great massage!” let me interrupt you. I’ve tried massages countless times, and most of the time I’m inwardly screaming “Stop it, you bitch, that hurts!” A good massage, to me, is somewhere between a gentle pat on the back and the way you’d rub a child’s back to get them to go to sleep. On the facial front, as much as Kathi Toll would chide me for it, I’m a never had acne and still just use soap and water kind of girl, and after a facial, all I do is break out.

So imagine my predicament. I’m going to a spa….for five days…and I don’t think I like spas. What was I going to do, get a new mani/pedi every day? But alas, I have mastered the craft of no massage and no facial spa attendance, and I’m going to tell you how you can, too.

  • Look at the WHOLE MENU! Too often, when we look at the menus for salons or spas, we navigate only to the truly vanilla portions of the menu – massages, manicures, pedicures, facials – and completely avoid what I’d call the “weirdo” parts of the offerings. Some of the coolest things available at spas are almost foreign in nature. From a bamboo ginseng wrap to a harmony bath (hell if I know what either of those things really do, but damn they feel good), doing the less common things on the spa menu can mean you’ll love your experience.
  • Revel in the whole day, not just the single treatment. Part of what’s amazing about a spa are the amenities. Cuddle up in that comfy robe, sit in the steam room or sauna, read the trashy magazines (I’m talking Star, not Playboy). These kinds of relaxation experiences can be just as important as the 60 or 90 minutes you’re in a treatment.
  • Take notes. It’s easy to get so stressed out you say, “I need a spa day.” But as you’re getting your treatments, think about incorporating them in to your own life. My husband loved the exfoliation he got from one service, all of which was done by a Clarisonic. I said, “Hey! I have one of those.” Wouldn’t I be the best wife ever if I let him use my Clarisonic every now and then? Whether you’re having a massage or some weird wrap, take some mental notes about the kinds of techniques the technicians are using and employ them later when you need an at home spa day.
  • Think outside the body. We think of spas as treatment for skin and muscles, but they go far beyond that. In my quest to think outside the box for my own trip this Christmas, I had to think outside the body….to my hair! I’m incredibly excited to have a Moroccan hair treatment and a blow out. I’d never think of a hair treatment at the spa, but I’m so glad I did.

So go ahead, ladies, give yourself a spa day even if you’re not a massage kind of gal! There are all kinds of treatments that will help you relax and glow!

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."