I wouldn’t say that I am a regular spa visitor by any measure, and any of the top spas in Cape Town would instantly recognise me as a novice as I crossed the threshold and entered the spa with uncertainty. However, having had a few treatments under my belt, it has given me greater insight into getting the most from a spa treatment.
Warts and all
Not everyone has perfect skin, plucked, shaved and smooth, or looks like they just came from the salon when they arrive for their spa treatment. We all have body issues and busy schedules that (for me in this case) prevent us from looking like Metrosexual Man. This can lead to feelings of anxiety before and during a spa treatment that may prevent us from fully relaxing and getting the most out of visiting the spa.
Remember that the employees at the spa (Ginkgo Luxury Spa Arniston for me) are professionals who will not cringe or flinch if you happen to have less than baby smooth skin glowing with vitality. The best advice is to leave the anxiety of your self-image at the door and allow yourself to melt into the luxury of being pampered.
Most of us are only comfortable being naked if we are safely locked in the bathroom with soft lighting and the blinds down and sometimes not even then. Only wearing boxer shorts, or the supplied disposable underwear and a towel during treatments, and then robe with slippers when in transit between treatments, makes you hyper-aware of being naked. Once again this robs you of the full effect of the spa treatment. Remember that you can talk to the masseuse if you are feeling uncomfortable and they will accommodate you so that you can feel more relaxed.
Succumb to the experience
Just like tight, sore muscles warm up and release tension when massaged, we become more comfortable with ourselves in a spa environment. With each subsequent spa visit, the experience becomes more and more enjoyable. If you find that you fell asleep on the massage table (as I did) it is a testimony to the skills of the masseuse – a sign of total relaxation and nothing to be embarrassed about.
When you are done, don’t head straight for the changing room, rather take some time to make use of the relaxation room to let you spa experience settle in. Select from a range of exotic teas or sip some bubbly or juice and lie back and wallow in total bliss.
I found that a spa treatment not only affects your body but also affects your mind and your general state of well-being, making you feel different – invigorated, refreshed, giving mental clarity, a sense of peacefulness and of course feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and exceedingly comfortable in just a robe, warts and all, partially naked.