LEXINGTON, Ky., May 27 With many Americans eagerlyawaiting some extra cash in their pockets thanks to the economic stimuluspayments, now is the time to make an investment in your health. As the voiceof the global spa industry, the International SPA Association and its 3,000members urge you to invest your newly acquired funds on your mind, body andspirit.
"What's more important than investing in your health?" said ISPA PresidentLynne McNees. "Wouldn't you rather relax, reflect, revitalize and rejoice at aspa than spend time in a doctor's office being treated for stress-relatedillnesses? Spas give you permission to pause, which is absolutely critical inour 24/7 society."
There are more than 14,000 spas in the United States and many offerclasses on self-improvement, which can be learned at the spa and then appliedin daily life. In fact, 51 percent of spas offer educational programs andnutritional consultations, 40 percent offer healthy eating classes, 39 percentoffer stress management classes and 26 percent have educational offerings onobesity or other weight issues.
If you've been hesitating to take your first trip to the spa, the extramoney in your pocket affords you the opportunity to test the waters. As one infour adults will go to a spa this year, you know someone who has been, so makethem your spa mentor. Spa-going in groups - with friends, family members or asignificant other - is a popular way to help ease you into the spa experience.
These eight tips will give you the 411 on everything you need to knowbefore you go:
About the International SPA Association
ISPA is recognized worldwide as the leading professional organization andvoice of the spa industry. Founded in 1991, ISPA advances the spa industry byproviding invaluable educational and networking opportunities, promoting thevalue of the spa experience and speaking as the authoritative voice to fosterprofessionalism and growth.
Debra Locker, International SPA Association
1.859.226.4374 and [email protected]
Do Your Homework - Research the spas in your area and determine your needs before booking an appointment. Spas offer a menu of services that describe each treatment and its therapeutic value. ISPA's Web site has a glossary (http://www.experienceispa.com/ISPA/Visit/Spa+101/Glossary.htm ) of spa terms that you can reference. -- Speak Up - At the time of booking, express whether you prefer a male or female therapist. Don't be afraid to ask questions about what to expect or what a treatment involves. -- Take Your Time - Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your treatment and take advantage of the spa's amenities. You can start relaxing in the sauna or zone out in the relaxation area. After your treatment, you may linger at the spa for as long as you like. -- It's Up to You - Spas will never compromise your modesty. It's up to you as to what you wear or don't wear under your robe. Not feeling chatty? It's also your decision if you want to talk during your treatment. -- Affordable for All - Just as there are hotels and restaurants at varying price points, you can expect to find a spa experience in any price range. Nearly all spas list their prices online or just simply ask the cost when booking your treatment over the phone. -- Tipping Tips - Tips in the 15 to 20 percent range are customary, though some spas include them as a service charge - so ask if you are unsure. -- Look for the ISPA Logo - With more than 3,000 members in 75 countries, an ISPA member spa has signed a Standards & Practices agreement and respects your rights as a spa-goer by using the ISPA Code of Conduct. (http://www.experienceispa.com ) -- More questions? - You can find more advice in ISPA's Spa 101 Guide (http