Who’s Afraid of a Spa Day? (I Am!)

I was recently given a gift card to a local spa.

The package is for a “Half Day of Renewal,” which according to their website includes:

…a 60 minute massage, Garden Spa Facial, Garden Spa Mani/Pedi Combo, Hydrotherapy Treament and light lunch.

Is it wrong that I am completely terrified to go?

I have never had a massage. In fact, when I was given a gift card for a 60-minute massage years ago, I never went. I let the card expire. I never even offered it to someone else, I just put it out of my mind.

Honestly, I’m a little freaked out by the whole idea of it. What’s wrong with me?!

And I’ve only had a manicure once (a $10 deal at a total dive), and what could only loosely be called a “pedicure” offered at a vendor’s suite at a blogging conference last year.

The closest I’ve come to a facial is using an apricot scrub at home.

I’m just not really the spa type.

And, again, the whole idea of it kind of freaks me out.

Please tell me: have you been to a spa? were there any fears or inhibitions you needed to get past? do you have any tips for a first-timer?


  • Amy Millett

    I’m jealous! I’m a huge fan of pedicure because of the foot massage that comes with it! I’ve only had one professional massage and it was only like 15 minutes, but you can always tell them if it’s too hard or too soft. My best advice would be to just RELAX as much as you can the whole time you are there and try not to think about anything that is stressing you out. Just soak in the me time as much as you can! 

  • Brittany @ My Decoupaged Life

    I’m jealous too! Pedicures are AMAZING…I completely plan on splurging and getting one right before the baby comes. I’ve had an hour long massage before. I agree with Amy…just relax. I’m guessing the staff will be very helpful and attentive. Massages (especially at a nice spa) are very professional and really you don’t have to strip down entirely if you’re uncomfortable with it. At least in my experience they talk to you the whole time to make sure that you’re comfortable and they aren’t pressing too hard. I think you definitely deserve it and you will leave feeling awesome. Just embrace the experience!

  • Jamee Shipp

    I know exactly how you feel!  I was given a spa treatment at my wedding shower to be enjoyed the day before my wedding.  I’d had one massage before, but it was with someone I knew and trusted, so it wasn’t too bad.  I really didn’t want to go get this massage before my wedding.  I was super self conscious  and worried about getting naked and having someone rub me down.  I wasn’t able to avoid it though because it was given to me by a family member and they would have known that I didn’t go and I’m sure it would have made them feel bad.  So, I sucked it up and just went and it was AMAZING!!!  I got a massage/scrub where they have shower heads above the table and use scrubbing salts and amazing oils with the massage.  They were very professional and made sure that I was modest at all times and felt very comfortable.  It sounds like your certificate is to a nice place and they are pretty much guaranteed to make you feel comfortable.  I recommend going even if you don’t want to and I’m almost positive you won’t regret it.  If anyone deserves a day at the spa, it’s you!

  • Christy Nelson

    I try to go as often as I can! The first time was a bit nerve wracking but it really didn’t need to be. I go in with the attitude now that I know I’m going to be naked, they aren’t going to see or touch my private bits, and it’s their job (they are professionals). If you’re tense about it the whole time, it won’t be an enjoyable experience so get the anxious feelings out of your mind and surrender to the process! You will love it.

  • Rachel D

    1) Don’t be self-conscious.  The spa folks have seen it all.  Thin legs, chubby legs, hairy legs.  Any discomfort they might have had they got over in massage school.
    2) Keep as much clothing on as you’re comfortable with.  Perhaps you’d like to wear undies.  That’s okay.  If you’re so freaked out about being partially dressed that you can’t enjoy the massage, it defeats the point.
    3) It’s YOUR massage.  Pick what you want.  An hour-long massage that focused on head, hands, shoulders/neck (hello stress!) and feet would be DIVINE!
    4) If your hands a feet are in horrible shape, again, don’t be self-conscious.  The mani/pedi folks have seen it all.  Just give a good tip for the extra work.
    5) Mentally check out.  Half of the reason it’s relaxing is because you’re getting away from crazy everyday life.  Take off your watch.  Turn off your cell.  Sit quietly, sip warm tea, and be alone with your thoughts.
    Enjoy!  I’m jealous!

  • Gretchen from Lifenut

    About a year and a half ago, the Mile High Mamas bloggers were treated to pedicures at a spa in Denver. I was so nervous about that night. I gave myself a full pedicure at home before going to the pedicure, except for painting my toenails. So silly. The real pedicure was really nice and relaxing, especially the foot soak and massage.

    I’ve also had spa massages. One was during my first pregnancy. The other was when my husband surprised me with a getaway to a 5-star resort. He booked a couples massage, which was totally, utterly bizarre. It felt good, but there we were, totally undressed, on our tummies, side by side, with people massaging us as cheesy new age music played, incense burned, and candles flickered. I felt oily for the next 3 weeks. But like I said, the massage itself was amazing. You really do have to let your mind wander to enjoy those things, I think.

  • Rachel D

    I saw Gretchen’s comment about feeling oily and thought of one more thing.  I’ve had massages that feel oily afterwards but most don’t.  It’s all in the product they use, which sometimes depends on the type of massage you get.  Be sure to ask about the product ahead of time.  I’m very picky about what I allow on my face and hair.  Who needs oily hair?

  • Deb Averett

    Getting a massage and a pedicure are two of my favorite treats.  The first time I got a massage, I was a little freaked out.  The person’s name was Dani and I thought Dani was a girl, but turned out to be a guy.  Turned out to be the best massage I’ve ever gotten.  Every massage therapist I’ve seen has been very respectful and uses sheets to cover your body and the parts they aren’t massaging.  The lights is usually dimmed and they are always professional.  You will love it so much and wish you would have done it sooner.  Enjoy it, you deserve it!

  • Anonymous

    Stacey, it’s Lauren from the Better U program! I did my spa day there last month. I wanted to tell you a couple things about it.

    -You are going to be in a robe with just your undies. It’s part of the spa experience. And I was uncomfortable at first, but I soon got used to it as part of the experience.
    -The facial was probably the most relaxing part for me. I’m not sure if you have skin allergies, but don’t be afraid to ask the lady what being used on you. It’s not something to be embarrassed about. Ask questions. They want you to be relaxed, so if you’re nervous about the experience, take a moment to talk to someone about it.
    -The hydrotherapy is basically you, naked, taking a bath in a strange place. Yup. I thought it was weird, but baths are about my favorite thing and the pressurized jets did feel nice! Maybe if this is uncomfortable to you, tell them you want to skip it. Again, don’t be shy. They want you to be happy.
    -The massage is totally customizable, but they won’t know you’re uncomfortable if you don’t say anything. If it’s your first time, maybe you just get your back, shoulders, arms, and hands done. No shame in it.
    -The lady who did my mani/pedi was nice. I did chip my paint like a day later, but I work on computers, so that’s par for the course.

    If I haven’t scared you off yet… I do want to say it was a very relaxing half day that  allowed me to sort of unwind and let down my barriers. I’d go ahead a take advantage of the day… and don’t worry about telling them you are uncomfortable with one part of another. This is all about you, hon. Enjoy it!

  • Everyone has already mentioned some good suggestions, but I love massages and mani/pedis.  And they have seen it all, so they won’t even notice if you aren’t a cover girl model (who is?).  Where I go, they usually tell me to keep whatever amount of clothes on i feel comfortable with and I usually keep my undies (and sometimes even my bra) on.  Also, if it is a place that has both male and female employees, they usually ask you which do you prefer (I always pick woman).  Feel free to ask questions- What’s in the lotion they are using, how much experience do they have, etc. 

    Also, don’t be afraid to speak up.  If they are using too much (or too little) pressure, say so.  They would rather you tell them how to fix what they are doing, then you walk out and hate your experience.  And, if you are really nervous, talk to the place to see if they would let you break your package up… Maybe start with the mani/pedi and then come back another day for the facial and another for the massage… Or start with the Hydrotherapy (if it is the same as the Hydrotherapy at my local spa of choice.. it is merely a waterbed looking thing that has jets inside the “mattress”.  No one is touching you (again, that is what the hydrotherapy treatment is at my spa… ask to be sure).  That might help relax you just enough to be able to enjoy the rest.

    I think it took me like 3 or 4 massages to really be comfortable.  Last year, on my honeymoon my husband and I had couple’s massages… and that was a whole other experience… which definitely upped the nerves factor, but it turned out great and it was one of our favorite outings during our honeymoon…. we are actually doing another couples massage this year when we celebrate our 1 year anniversary.

  • Jennelsonlane

    The spa can be intimidating your first time. The trick for me was scouring the “menu” and finding things I thought I could enjoy.  If you’re feeling modest, they won’t make you get all the way nekkid. Just tell them it’s your first time and they’ll be very nice.  I enjoy herbal wraps, hot stone massages and pedicures.  If you’re not into a massage, think about maybe a deluxe manicure.  Most places will do a parafin hand dip, which feels like heaven, and a short chair massage along with your nails. If you decide to go, I hope you have fun!

  • Sherry

    Stacy did you wind up going to this?  I, too, am a total chicken when it comes to these things and avoid them simply because of the ‘unknown’.  I hope you go and that it’s a great experience!