Something that takes me aback when I’m at a spa is when I am going to indulge myself to a treatment and the room has not been prioritized. The facilities themselves may be outrageously gorgeous or perhaps they are rather dull – regardless of the actual state of the room, a lot of the focus of creating a space that encourages that wellness feeling should be put in the treatment room itself.
When you are at a spa the very purpose should be that of healing, especially through water but it should also be your senses being stimulated in a positive way. You will, naturally, fall at ease at a spa where everything is clean and it looks inviting. It is harder to relax when you constantly annoy yourself over the tiles from the seventies that, perhaps is giving you headaches, or how about those nooks and hooks where the sealant has cracked up and the edges have begun to bear the mark of rot. This is the case with treatment rooms as well, you don’t fall to rest quite as easily in a room that is only there to offer treatments and has no personal touch to it, a room that may be used for different types of services (waxing, massage, pedicure etc). Now I am not saying that everything should be super expensive, “over the top” and exclusive – but it should be satisfying to visit a spa, and not least should it be a total experience to get a treatment. These are my thoughts on how to stimulate all the 5 senses in a treatment room:
Vision — colors can make you feel elated or seem soothing. Color schemes in a room have a lot to say if you manage to fall to rest. Lighting also plays a part here, a quiet muted lighting placed in the right places will help your body relax. The lighting can also be set to focus around a specific element, such as a painting, a statue, or a color scheme. Candlelight can quickly set the right mood. The location of the décor and products in the room can help to provide a feeling of tidiness and tranquility.
Smell – in SPA’s it is very common to use essential oils, diffuzers or scented candles as a source to influence the sense of smell. We, as clients, will recognize the scent of well-being and be reassured by it. There is, however a fine line here, one has to make sure that the scent is not too heavy as it is quite as easy to feel uncomfortable by the strong essences.
Touch – the textiles that we touch during the treatment are also elements that helps set the mood. Soft comfortable towels, a soft bathrobe, right temperatures on the floor are all helping to decide if you can relax properly.
Sound – music adapted to the type of treatment you are having, usually preferably in the background but with volume high enough to bring the rhythm and pace of the music. Avoid disturbing noises such as ticking clocks, people speaking in the adjacent room etc. I will assert that what sounds you hear during a massage treatment is essential to making you manage to relax physically and mentally, be it an aromatherapy or deep-tissue massage.
Taste – the best way to end a treatment (or start, all depending on what treatment you are getting) is definatley by being offered a nice warm cup of organic tea. This will be a way to make the effects off your massage last longer in a physiological way. The smell and touch of the tea will also help stimulate you mentally.
I believe these elements contributes to the creation of both immediate reactions but also to streamline long-term effects in the treatment. I must also say that if the therapist is very skilled, you will probably soon forget about other details – although I would argue that overall experience is always the best.