Whether men choose to spa for relaxation, or treatments – such as massages – that better your health and physical well being, spas now tempt gentlemen from all walks of life.
That said, spas can also cause anxiety for some men – especially first timers. Thoughts of walking into a pink palace filled with cucumber slices, and facing dripping red nail polish – looks from female guests as they dip their feet into perfumed water.
Here are some tips and treatments that are guaranteed to make a guys first, or fiftieth, trip to a spa an enjoyable experience.
1. Research. Find a spa designed for, or catering to men. If you live near a larger urban centre this shouldn’t be difficult but if none are to be found in the city where you live, an online search should locate spas near you. Look at online images or ‘tours’ of their facilities. Make sure it has a ‘vibe’ you will be comfortable with.
2. Pedicure. While massages continue to be the most popular spa treatment for both men and women, don’t rule out the pedicure. It’s one of the most important treatments a man can have. Most men don’t have a very favourable relationship with their feet. Second only to your heart, this is the hardest working part of your body and, for most men, is the part that needs the most TLC.
Plus, if you’re diabetic, your feet are as vital to your self-care as your diet and lifestyle.
If you arrive at the spa finding a row of pedicure chairs, a gaggle of girls, and feel uncomfortable, ask that your pedicure be given in a private treatment room. You’ll have a more relaxing and empowering treatment if you feel you’re in a ‘safe’ environment where you don’t feel ‘on display.’
Do not let your esthetician come at your feet with tools that resemble razor blades (called a Credo) or rasps. This is foot care, not woodworking.
Men with calluses and especially men with diabetes should take special note that calluses are the body’s natural defense against friction and incorrect posture. Having them ‘shaved’ or overly removed tells the feet they’re under attack. Calluses will return quickly – thicker and harder than before. Insist on the use of a foot-paddle, only to smooth roughness. Follow-up with a foot massage and any negative feeling you may have had will quickly dissipate.
3. Face Treatments. Soap, water, a can of shaving foam and a disposable razor do NOT add up to ‘skin care.’ Nor is a counter full of products. Talk with your esthetician about your concerns. From razor-burn to ingrown hairs, from acne to crow’s feet, your therapist should help you nip these concerns in the bud with a minimum of product and a lot of education targeted to your specific problem area.
4. Massage. A positive massage experience is all about communication. Talk. Talk. Talk. Let your Therapist know what you are looking for, and what your concerns are. Are you looking to relax? Are you looking to ease those sore muscles? Do you prefer your massage a little faster paced, or gentle and slow?
These are all questions that will aid in making your massage experience one to remember. As much as you are checking out your new therapist, they are also getting to know you. Help them understand what you are looking for. When the treatment is over, you’ll both reap the benefits.
Daniel Francoeur and Robb Gorman are the duo behind Ottawa’s Bodé Spa, one of Canada’s leading spas for men. Both travel throughout North America, teaching professionals about the virtues of male spa care. For more information on Bodespa