Spa Treatment Protocol
If you haven’t already, now is a great time to start offering customized SPA treatments to your clients. SPA treatments are a great way to diversify your practice offerings and attract new clients. Many consumers are seeking options to help them manage stress and improve personal care. These clients are seeking therapies they can integrate into their existing health care routines that will help them improve health and prevent future problems.
Capitalizing on the momentum toward self-care does not mean you need to offer a large expanded variety of SPA menu items, in reality, a small offering that allows clients to customize to their needs will get you more flash to bang. Customers are looking for options that help them learn how to care for themselves, are affordable, and convenient.
MASSAGE WAREHOUSE SPA TREATMENT PROTOCOL
This protocol is designed to give therapists a basic online for performing SPA therapies in a dry room setting. This protocol can be easily adapted if you have access to water sources such as in room showers. It can further be adapted by breaking out each step to create your own customized SPA treatments.
STEP 1 – PREPARATION
|Loofahs and Sponges||Scrubs||Body Brushes|
We need to prepare the skin so that the treatment step is as effective as possible. We do this by exfoliating the skin using the exfoliation technique that best suits your client’s needs, treatment duration and setting.
Exfoliation softens and smooths the skin by removing dead skin cells and debris. Exfoliation can be a very relaxing experience for the client and has the additional benefit of stimulating lymphatic flow and circulation.
There are many products and tools available that can be used for exfoliation. Selecting the right one is easy if you consider a few simple details:
- Client’s Needs – It is important to think about the intent of the therapy when selecting an exfoliation product or tool. If a client is older, they may have thinner skin and may need a gentler exfoliant, compared to someone who is younger or who works in the sun and has thicker skin. Additionally, a client who has oily skin may need a different product than someone who has dry cracked skin.
- Treatment Duration – If you are performing a “mini” treatment it may be more time efficient to choose to use an exfoliating tool, such as a dry brush in comparison to an exfoliation product that has to be applied and removed.
- Setting – It is important to consider the setting in which the therapy is taking place when determining what exfoliation products or tools to use. If you work in an office or in a client’s home that is carpeted, it may make more sense to use a Dry Brush, exfoliating gloves, Buff or other water based product compared to an oil based Sugar or Salt Scrub. This is especially true if you have not perfected your application and removal techniques as the oil based products, if not managed properly, can get oil on the carpet which then attracts dirt leaving dark stains. If you are in such a situation and need a more aggressive exfoliant you can combine a buff with an exfoliating glove to get the same effect.
STEP 2 – TREATMENT
|Herbs & Wraps||Balms||Aromatherapy||Parapango|
The treatment step is where we accomplish the therapeutic goals of the session. The goals may include the desire to hydrate dry skin, firm or reduce the appearance of cellulite, detoxify, reduce pain or discomfort, or to relax and reduce stress. One popular and effective technique used during the treatment step is to wrap the body in a thermal blanket for 15 to 20 minutes. Treatment products are selected based on the treatment goal, duration of the therapy, and setting.
A Few Things to Consider when Selecting Products:
- Treatment Goal – Be sure you understand what the client considers the treatment goal to be. They may want to hydrate dry skin AND reduce stress. In this case, you may consider adding several drops of an essential oil, such as Geranium oil, that has both relaxing properties for the mind and healing properties for the skin. * Remember essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin, but should be mixed in a carrier oil to prevent irritation.
- Duration of Therapy – Some treatment products are applied and removed while others are left on the skin and become the finishing product. Additionally, once applied some products need to remain on the skin longer than others to give time for the therapeutic properties to take effect. Be sure you understand the requirements of the product you are using to maximize benefit. Typically, products that are applied and removed will need more session time than those that stay on the skin to become the finish product.
- Setting – Dry Room product are easily removed with warm towels, making them versatile and easy to use in almost any setting. Some treatment products are designed for Dry Room therapies, meaning, you do not need a water source like an in-room shower to use them, others are not Dry Room friendly and require a water source. Be sure you are using the appropriate product for your environment by getting familiar with a products properties before using them on a paying client.
- Compatibility of Product/Technique – All products used in a SPA treatment should enhance the treatment goal, but we also need to think about how one step leads into the next. For example, if you are using a treatment product that will become the finishing product, it is very important to ensure a complete removal of your exfoliant, otherwise the client will leave still feeling grains of the exfoliant on their skin! You might even decide to exfoliate using a dry brush in this situation. If, on the other hand, you are using a mud for your treatment step, the mud will often grab any remaining exfoliant and both will be removed with the warm towels.
STEP 3 – FINISH
|Creams & Butters||Lotions||Hot Stone|
The finish step of our SPA protocol includes finish products and finish techniques. The finish may last from 5 minutes to an hour, depending on the intent.
Finish products are the last product to be applied to the skin. Like products used in Step 1 (Prep) and Step 2 (Treatment), they should contribute to the intended treatment goals of the therapy. The finish product is typically intended to “close” the skin by protecting it from the outside world and by replacing moisture that may have been lost during Steps 1 or 2 of the treatment. As mentioned earlier, the product used in Step 2 (treatment) may become the finish product. This is often the case in an aromatherapy wrap.
Finish techniques, like products, are selected based on their contribution to the treatment goals of the therapy. If the primary treatment goal was to de-stress, then a 30 minute Swedish or Hot Stone massage would be great ways to finish the therapy. If the treatment goal was to detoxify, a 30 minute Lymphatic Drainage massage may be appropriate. If you are performing a 30 minute “mini” treatment, 5 minutes of rocking, compression and stretching may tie the therapy together nicely. The important things are to consider which techniques best suit the treatment goals and to properly schedule the session to include the appropriate amount of time needed.
SUPPLIES & TABLE SETUP
Dry Room SPA therapies can be performed in almost any massage office and even at a client’s home with a little forethought and preparation. It is important, regardless of setting, for the room to be on the w
arm side so the client does not become chilled as product is applied and removed.
List of Supplies You Will Need:
- Massage Table
- Massage Bolster
- 1 Massage Face Cradle Cover
- 1 Fitted Bottom Massage Sheet
- 1 Flat Full Size Top Massage Sheet
- 1 Double Bed Size Heavy Blanket
- 1 Thermal Blanket
- 1 Twin Sheet Size of Thermoplastic Film
- 2 Large Bath Towels
- 6 -8 Hand Towels
- 2 -3 Rubber SPA bowls or Sealable Dispensing Containers
- 1 Towel Warmer or Small Crook Pot for Mobile SPA
Basic Massage Table Setup (In Order from Bottom to Top):
- Fitted Sheet
- Flat Sheet
- Thermal Blanket
- Thermoplastic Film
- 2 Large Bath Sheets
- Add Head Rest with Face Cradle Cover
APPLICATION & REMOVAL STEPS
After conducting an intake to determine if any contraindications exist and to clarify treatment goals, direct the client to undress and lay in a prone position (face down) under the top bath towel and on top of the bottom bath towel. Leave the room while they do so.
Some offices have supply cabinets or rooms, while others have products and equipment in the treatment room with the client. If you work in a location with a supply cabinet, dispense applicable products into rubber spa bowls while the client is preparing for the therapy, otherwise dispense products into bowls as you introduce them to the client prior to application. This is a final check to ensure that there are no allergy or client concerns. You should have already placed 8 to 10 moist hand towels into your warming devise.
Step 1 – Preparation
- Undrape client to expose the back to just
below the top of the hips.
- Apply approximately (varies based on client size and product) a tablespoon amount of exfoliant to the back in one long stroke running from the base of the neck to the top of the sacrum. Spread the exfoliant from the center line out to the sides of the body using small circular motions with both hands. When your hands reach the side, bring them back to center and moving slightly higher up the back and repeat motion to the sides. Continue this motion until you reach the shoulders. Repeat movement, working down the back until you reach the sacrum, then make a third pass, ending at the shoulders. *Pressure is coming from your fingertips. Motion is small circular movement – NOT massage – do not rub the exfoliant in. Each area should receive 3 passes. The skin should become slightly pink and rosy.
- Apply a small amount of exfoliant to the back of the arms. Working one arm at a time, in small circular motions, move from the shoulder to the wrist, back to shoulder and back to wrist, finish with exfoliation to the front and back of the hand. *Be sure to lift the arm and shoulder slightly to allow you to exfoliate the front of the arm. Pay special attention to the elbow or areas of rough, dry skin.
- Cover the back with the top towel and un-drape the client’s left leg. Make sure to drape properly to ensure client comfort. * You may elect to offer disposable panties or clients may wish to keep bottom under garments on.
- Apply approximately (varies based on client size and product) a tablespoon amount of exfoliant to the back of the left leg in one long stroke running from the ankle to the top of the hip. While facing the head of the table, spread the exfoliant around the crest of the hip and gluteal area in small circular motions with one hand, keeping client comfort in mind. Repeat this movement three times.
- Starting at the top of the leg, continue spreading the exfoliant from the center line to outside of the leg. When you reach the table return to center working down the leg one section at a time. Once you have worked one third of the way down the leg, begin to perform movement to the inside of the leg as well, keeping client modesty in mind. Once you reach the ankle reverse direction, returning to the top of the leg and back to the ankle. *Movement is performed in small circular motions with both hands.
- Exfoliate left foot using the same movement, cover leg with bath towel and repeat on right leg.
- Once exfoliation on the posterior body is complete, undrape the client’s back.
- Remove a towel from warming caddie and, after checking for comfort, lay the towel across the client’s back to cover from neck to the top of the hip. Press the warm towel into the client’s back to soften the exfoliation product for easier removal. Then, using a bunching motion, gather the exfoliant with the towel as you work the towel down the back.
- Fold the towel in half long ways with the side that was touching the back to the inside, leaving the unused portion of the towel on the outside.
- Lay the half folded towel across the back of the left arm and press gently. Again, using a bunching motion, remove the exfoliant from the front and back of the arm.
- Using the last unused side of the towel repeat removal on the right arm.
- Cover the back and arms with the top bath towel.
- Undrape the left leg and lay a fresh towel across the leg covering the hip and the top of the left leg. Press the towel into the hip and leg, before sliding it down to cover the lower leg. Press the towel into the lower leg. Slide the towel back to the top of the hip, using a bunching motion gather the exfoliant with the towel as you work down the leg to the foot. Cover the leg with the top bath towel.
- Depending on the thickness of the towel and your speed, you may be able to use the un-used side of the towel to repeat removal on the right leg, assuming the towel is still hot. Otherwise, repeat removal with a fresh towel on the right leg. Cover when complete.
- Ask client to flip to a supine position. Insert a
breast drape if appropriate.
- Using the same technique as on the posterior body, apply exfoliant to the upper chest, belly and anterior of both legs.
- Using the same technique as the posterior body remove the exfoliant from the left leg, then the right, then the belly and upper chest. One towel for the chest and one towel for both legs.
Step 2 – Treatment
- Have the client sit up so that you can roll the bottom bath towel down to the top of the hips. While the client is sitting up apply your treatment product to the back, then have the client lay down onto the plastic film.
- Have the client left their hips slightly so you can remove the bottom bath towel by sliding it out from under their backside and legs.
- Have the client bend the left leg up slightly so you can reach the backside of the leg. Using one hand, apply your treatment product to the back of the leg. Have the client extend the leg and apply product to the front of the leg. Once complete wrap the leg in the underling plastic film. Cover with the top bath towel.
- Repeat on the right leg.
- Moving to the head of the table, undrape, apply the treatment product to the arms, belly and upper chest. Wrap in plastic and recover with the bath towel.
- Cocoon the client in the thermal blanket and regular blanket. Client stays in the cocoon for 15 to 20 minutes. This is a perfect time to do a face/scalp massage.
- When appropriate unwrap the cocoon. *Do this slowly to avoid creating a draft.
- Undrape the left leg and pull the plastic film off the leg, gathering as much of your treatment product with the plastic as possible. *Be sure to roll the film into itself to contain the product.
- Using a warm moist towel cover the entire front of the top of the left leg. Press the moist towel into the leg. Slide the towel down to cover the bottom of the leg. Press the towel into the leg. Fold the towel in half so that the inside is the unused portion. Then fold the towel into a quarter fold so it is easy to hold in one hand. Use this to clean off the foot and remove any remaining product that is on the front of the leg.
- Moving the plastic film to the inside place the foot flat on the top of the thermal blanket with the client’s knee bent. Clean the treatment product off of the back of the leg.
- Once complete bend the left leg to 90 degrees and bring the left ankle to the outside of the right knee. This will hold the left leg out of the way while you roll the remaining plastic wrap in on itself, fold the thermal blanket and regular blanket to the inside. Return the left leg to an extended position on top of the top sheet.
- Repeat on the right leg using the same technique. *Use the clean side of the same towel if it is still warm enough, otherwise use a fresh towel.
- Undrape the upper body. Making sure the breast drape is still in place. Remove the plastic from the right arm, collecting as much treatment product as possible and rolling the plastic in to contain the product.
- Fold a fresh moist towel in half long ways and lay across the arm covering from shoulder to wrist. Press the towel into the arm. Wipe to remove product from the front of the arm. Cross the arm across the chest to remove product from the back of the arm. Plastic wrap should still be covering the chest so you can rest the arm without getting product on it. As the arm rests across the chest roll the plastic wrap close to the body, roll the thermal and regular blanket in and return the arm to rest on top of the top sheet. Repeat on left arm using the other side of the half folded towel.
- Once arms are complete, open the half folded towel and refold in half the short way with the unused portions on the outside. Use one side to remove product from the upper chest and the other side to remove product from the belly. Recover with top bath towel.
- Have the client sit up ensuring the plastic wrap comes with them. Have a warm towel ready. Remove plastic film, gathering as much treatment product as possible and rolling plastic wrap inward to contain product. Lay the warm moist towel across the client’s back and press several times. Leave the towel in place. Roll the thermal blanket to the top of the hips, keeping it separated from the plastic film. Then accordion the regular blanket and top sheet so they are bunched at the top of the hips. After removing the treatment product with the hot towel have the client lay back down onto the bottom most sheet.
- Gathering the plastic film, thermal blanket, regular blanket and top sheet in your hands on either side of the clients hips, ask the client to lift their hips as you slide the material down to kne
e level. Now ask the client to lift their heels, bring all the materials out from under their legs and back up to cover the client.
- Remove the plastic and the thermal blanket and your client is ready for the finishing step!
Step 3 – Finish