Many of our guests have waited until they were able to be fully vaccinated to return to the spa. We understand that people with higher risk factors are rightfully anxious about returning to close-contact situations. We strive to balance our guests’ understandable desire to do everything they can to feel safe and secure returning to the spa with our employees’ right to health privacy.
As a business owner, licensed massage therapist (and former Public Health student!) I understand. I’m on the cautious end myself. Spending 4 months with my business shuttered in 2020, I believe so strongly in vaccines as a way forward that I jumped at the change to participate in a research trial. Despite my personal enthusiasm and desire to share about my own COVID19 vaccine, the pandemic has also brought up interesting challenges regarding maintaining employee health privacy among questions from guests.
If you wish to book with an employee who is fully vaccinated against COVID19, please call the spa. Most of our employees have been able to receive their COVID19 vaccinations and have granted the spa written consent to let their guests know, upon request, that they’ve been vaccinated. We respect the wishes of those who have not granted this written consent to disclose vaccine status and ask our guests to do so as well. For your comfort, we are happy to assist you in booking with someone who has provided consent to share that they’re vaccinated.
East Village Spa has always operated with utmost care and caution to keep our service providers and guests as safe and healthy as possible, before and during the pandemic and we are eager to continue to do our part to advance the health and wellness of central Iowans, whatever the future brings!
This post is written by Cassie Sampson, BA, LMT. Cassie owns East Village Spa in Des Moines, IA.
Every year during cold and flu season we do a bit of education on massage and illness. This year we’re getting some different questions due to COVID19 and the wide community spread in Iowa.
Every year during cold and flu season we do a bit of education on massage and illness. This year we’re getting some different questions due to COVID19 and the wide community spread in Iowa.
Q: I have a fever, but tested negative for COVID19, can I get a massage?
A: No. Fevers indicate inflammation. Your immune system is fighting something and you need to rest. Right now, everyone is so focused on COVID19, that we’re forgetting other illnesses like strep throat, the flu, or even a kidney infection can knock us down for a bit. In addition to spa services potentially making you feel worse, some of these illnesses are very contagious and we do not want to get them or risk spreading them to other guests. Please wait for at least 48 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications) after your non-COVID19 related fever is gone before scheduling a service. Your body and provider will thank you.
Q: My household member tested positive for COVID19 but feels fine. I’m asymptomatic and tested negative. Can I keep my appontment?
A: NO! We answer variations of this question at least daily. Please understand that we owe it to our employees to provide a safe workspace. We are following the most up-to-date CDC quarantine guidelines. This means that if you’ve had a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID19, you cannot book for at least 14 days since that contact. If you live with this person, that means 14 days since the last contact you had while they were considered contagious-EVEN IF YOU TESTED NEGATIVE.
We know this is a long time. We know this is frustrating. We are committed to following the same procedures for our providers to keep YOU safe too, so if we let them see you, we’d have to take them off of our schedule for 14 days. No spa service is worth that health or financial risk.
Q: I had COVID19 awhile ago and I feel pretty crummy, can I still come in?
A: Yes! When your healthcare provider has determined you are no longer contagious (which might be longer than 2 weeks for more severe cases) we are happy to see you. We currently see several guests who have struggled with longer-term complications from COVID19, the “Long-Haulers.” While there’s still much research needed, we know that this is a source of stress, anxiety, and physical discomfort. We’re here to listen to your needs and do whatever we can to assist you through your recovery.
Learn more about our COVID19 risk reduction procedures here. We look forward to taking great care of you at East Village Spa and pandemic or not, will continue to strive to ensure your services are safe, relaxing, and therapeutic.
We’ve gotten questions from clients who aren’t ready to venture back out to the spa asking the best way to wax themselves at home. Our top tip: DON’T! Here’s why:
Wax quality matters
The wax we have is high quality and we’re comfortable using it. The wax you can order for yourself online or pick up at a store that doesn’t require a professional license is not stellar. Not only will a low quality wax hurt, but it could tear, burn skin, or be really hard to remove.
Not every type of wax is right for every person, or every body part
Your hair type, skin type, and any products or medications you take will determine the kind of wax (or combination of waxes) you need to use. Using the wrong kind can cause excess irritation, dryness, bruising or even skin tears. We have several kinds of wax on hand and our licensed estheticians will select the right wax for your hair type and any products you’re using at home.
Waxing hurts: ESPECIALLY when you DIY
Estheticians that are seasoned waxers are able to remove hair as painlessly as possible with different techniques that you won’t be able to do yourself at home. Inexperienced waxers are likely to just break hair off instead of pull it from the root. This leads to ingrowns, uneven results, bumps, and increased risk of infection.
Take it from one of our non-esthetician team members who shall remain anonymous. The first time she tried to wax herself, she applied the wax, started to pull the strip, saw stars and then panicked for a LONG time wondering how she’d get the wax strip off without ripping it (Call a neighbor, live with a strip of wax on your bikini area, or tough it out?) Sadly, once the wax is on, there is only one way to get it off and that’s to pull! It is REALLY hard to do that to yourself!
Remember the 90’s?
We’re STILL helping many of our clients with weird brow shapes courtesy of 90’s trends. If you try to wax your own brows, it could go very, very wrong. Worst case scenario, tweeze sparingly if you really can’t get in to a pro. Thankfully, full brows are in now!
Look for a safe esthetician
If you’re ready to take the wax out of the microwave (YIKES!) and put down the plastic butter knife, look for a safe esthetician. Our licensed estheticians wear gloves 100% of the time, pandemic or not, when waxing. Your esthetician should never dip the wax stick back into the wax after it has been used, and the space should look clean. You should also expect to complete a short health history so your esthetician knows if you are taking a medication, using a product, or have a health condition that could impact your service or make your skin more likely to bruise or tear.
During the COVID19 crisis, our estheticians will wear a mask and expect their guests to as well. For services where guests would have to remove their mask, like a lip or chin wax, expect your esthetician also to wear a face shield and work in a room with a HEPA air filter for your protection and theirs.
When you’re ready to book:
If you’re ready to book, visit www.EVDaySpa.com to book online. Not ready yet? This is the PERFECT time to grow out your hair for waxing. Remember, hair needs to be at least 1/4 inch long for the wax to pick it up and give you a smooth wax. If you’re isolating at home, there is no better time to grow hair you normally wouldn’t to get a great wax when it is safe for you!
We’ve spent the last 3 months learning everything we could to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID19 to our guests and employees. There is no perfect solution and every service will come with risks, despite our best efforts. We feel confident that, short of staying closed, we are doing everything within our power and we’re confident our guests will serve as our partners in risk management.
We’re dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest developments in COVID19 research and following safety guidance from the CDC to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID19 to our guests and employees. We are also working to learn how we can best serve guests who are struggling with longer term effects of COVID19.
We continue to require properly-worn masks for guests in the spa except during facials, lip, and chin waxing services. Masks are required during all other services without exception. We are happy to provide you with a surgical mask. We have seen thousands of guests wearing masks during their massages with no complaints of discomfort, most guests are surprised how easy it is. For tips on how to be most comfortable in a mask during your massage, click here.
All service providers are wearing masks, in many cases high filtration masks like KF94 or double masks. Estheticians are wearing masks and face shields during facial services where guests remove their masks.
We are monitoring guidance from the CDC and will modify our policy as it is safe to do so. Thank you for understanding.
HEPA air filtration and plexiglass barriers
All of our treatment rooms are equipped with a HEPA air purifier to filter particles. Room air is completely exchanged about every 2-5 minutes. Our guests can be confident that in our treatment rooms they will not be breathing the same air as the guests before them.
We’ve installed plexiglass barriers at the desk and in the nail room at manicure stations as an added barrier in addition to masks.
Hand hygiene and reducing surface contamination risks
We use hospital grade Rejuvenate antiviral and antibacterial wipes that disinfect surfaces like head rests and our hot stones in one minute. As always, we soak all of our nail and skin care tools in barbicide and we never, ever double dip a wax stick.
As we always have, we wear gloves when it makes sense (during waxing, facial extractions, or when there is a risk of contact with blood borne pathogens, for example.) Our employees always use good hand hygiene via hand washing and sanitizing.
Table coverings: We’ve added waterproof coverings to all pillows including body pillows, and to our table warmer. All can be thorougly sanitized . We switched out heavy blankets for heavy towels so we can launder them after every service.
We’ve got hand sanitizer everywhere you turn and guests will be expected to use it before and in some cases, during services. We will do the same!
We’ve always had an amazing evening cleaning employee, she’s back and continues to deep clean our treatment spaces each night. Our landlords have increased cleaning of common building spaces including restrooms.
Employees won’t work sick, please don’t visit us when you’re sick (or have been exposed to COVID19!)
I can’t stress this enough, we’ll need guests to cancel when they are even a bit sick. We’ve always asked clients to do this, but it is a matter of utmost importance now. We are waiving cancellation fees for any amount of notice if guests cancel for COVID19 reasons.
If our employees are at all under-the-weather, we will cancel or reassign their services until we have more information. We will follow CDC guidelines in determining when an employee needs to quarantine for an exposure. We error on the side of caution, so please understand if this impacts your service.
We’ve got a detailed plan for testing, tracing, and notification if an employee is suspected of having COVID19 or has been exposed.
All guests will be reminded of our wellness policies at booking, in their confirmation, and upon arrival via signage. Guests with any COVID19 symptoms will be asked to reschedule.
Understanding long-haul symptoms of COVID19
We are eager to see how we can help the many people who are experiencing long term challenges after COVID19. While this is an emerging area of research, be assured we are learning everything we can. If nothing else, we are eager to help with the stress that comes along with chronic illness.
Thank you, if you’ve read this far, you’re probably as concerned as we are about health and safety. If you have any questions before or during your session, please let us know. We’re eager to serve you and we are sincerely grateful for your patience as our policies evolve with our understanding and guidance from leading scientists.
We’re so excited to welcome our guests back in a limited capacity. In order to operate during a pandemic, we had to make changes. We thank you in advance for your patience with us as we figure everything out in our first weeks back. Our guests are our partners in risk management. Some of these are state requirements, some are due to professional best practices and CDC guidelines. If you don’t feel you can adhere to these policies, we understand that you might choose to wait to schedule with our spa until a later date.
1. Guests must wait in their cars until we call or text to let you know your provider is ready.
This is fairly standard for salons and spas right now, it enables us to adhere to our capacity limitations for social distancing and helps your provider have the time they need between services. Please be ready on time. As we are still learning our new systems, we promise, you will still get your full service time if you arrive on time, even if we’re not able to bring you in a few minutes before like you’re used to!
We can’t wait until we’re able to relax this because one of our favorite things is chatting with our guests at the desk.
2. All guests and providers must wear a mask throughout the duration of your visit.
If you don’t have a mask, let us know before you come up and our receptionist will have one waiting for you on a table outside the spa. We are temporarily unable to provide facials, lip, chin, and nose waxing because of this requirement. We’ve all had massages in our face masks when training to reopen, it isn’t bad! If you think you’ll be uncomfortable laying face down, book the side-lying massage instead.
Masks protect those around you which is why both providers and guests need to wear them for them to be effective. Because of the amount of time droplets linger in the air and the high percentage of asymptomatic people, we can’t waiver on this policy as it isn’t fair to our providers or the guests in the room after you. Even if you feel fine, many people are PRE-symptomatic and highly contagious for several days before they know they’re sick.
The only exception: if you’re receiving a facial or lip/chin wax you can remove your mask as needed in the treatment room and replace your mask when your service is over. Consider bringing a clean mask to put on after services.
3. We require a credit card or gift card on file to charge at the completion of your service to minimize contact at the desk.
You’re welcome to add a gratuity to a credit or gift card. We do accept cash as well, but as always, need a card or gift card to hold your spot. A contactless check-out is preferred and it is also a bit quicker to allow us to reduce the number of guests in our lobby so we can adhere to physical distancing guildlines and local gathering rules.
4. We cannot permit guests to bring others to their services
If you are accompanying a guest who requires assistance to get on or off the table or who is a minor, please let us know in advance so we can make adjustments, otherwise only guests are permitted in the spa when we reopen so we can adhere to our temporary occupancy limitations.
5. Please use the provided hand sanitizer before entering.
We’ll be asking you to wash your hands or use sanitizer frequently during your visit. All of our service providers will be doing the same. We always have! But we’ll make sure you see us now.
6. If you have any potential symptoms of COVID19 or believe you were recently exposed, or have engaged in a high-risk activity we need you to cancel or wait to schedule.
This not only keeps our employees and guests safer, it helps prevent another closure of our spa. We are temporarily waiving cancellation fees for illness or COVID19 exposure-related cancellations as long as you let us know. A lengthy and costly closure of a service business would be especially devastating if it could have been prevented by a cancellation. We promise, we will be closely monitoring our employee health status and risks as well and we will cancel in a heartbeat if we worry they could have COVID19.
If you’ve recently flown or have attended an indoor event or visited a crowded indoor space, please consider waiting to schedule for two weeks. We ask this courtesy as a consideration for the health of your provider and the survival of our business.
7. We must temporarily require all guests to sign a COVID19 treatment and release form in the 24 hour period prior to every appointment.
This is a must and is pretty standard practice for any responsible personal service business now. We prefer you to do this form via a link we’ll e-mail to you prior to your session. We cannot provide your service without this form.
8. Please understand that our schedules will be changing
Our schedule is (hopefully) going to be quickly changing based on the local COVID19 situation and employee illnesses or potential exposure. Whether that means more temporary closures or the ability to add additional employees we aren’t sure when and how this will impact our future bookings. School schedules, and daycare availability will also impact our bookings. We thank you for understanding as we do our best to navigate these changes as best as we can.
We missed you, but we understand if you aren’t ready to return!
While we’ve been very deliberate in our safety and risk management plan, no personal service received in a pandemic is going to be risk free. By booking and receiving a service with our spa, our guests acknowledge and accept this risk. If you aren’t ready or able to return, we completely understand. If we can support you virtually or through our web store, please let us know! Please, take the time you need. Don’t feel pressured because you have a gift card or 2020 voucher, we’ll extend the date.
Feel free to e-mail us with questions at EVSpaDesk@gmail.com, we are happy to explain any policies or precautions we’re taking. See our temporary limited menu here.
I wish we had a crystal ball to tell us exactly what things would look like 3 months, 6 months, and a year from now for spas. All we have have to go by is ever-evolving information from trusted health authorities and advice provided to other other health professions. We’re closely monitoring countries that are further down the road in battling the COVID19 pandemic.
We’ve been doing the heartbreaking task of cancelling all appointments on our books through July (and will likely continue to do so further out.) Realistically, I’m not sure if we can open in any safe capacity by July. When we do open, the existing appointments on our books won’t match the new realities of our schedule. I promise, WE WILL REOPEN.
We aren’t sure of every safety measure we’ll need to implement, but these are a few ways the spa will be a bit different for awhile:
The biggest change: Two distinct teams that don’t overlap any shifts, providers, or receptionists. We see this in some essential offices like veterinary clinics. This ensures that if a team member is exposed to COVID19, we won’t need to 100% close our spa again. We can at least operate at half capacity, especially if widespread testing isn’t available.
We will offer longer hours to reduce the number of employees and guests in the spa at a time, increase the time between services, and stagger check-in and check-out times to keep you safer.
We won’t be able to book groups of more than two until the COVID19 threat is under control.
We will require masks for providers and guests, which could pose a challenge for some services (facials, lip waxing) if can’t work around a mask.
We may have to do enhanced health screenings and lean into low-contact check-in/check-out (online intakes, cards on file, etc…) options.
We’re researching alternatives to table warmers. While they’re under multiple layers of linens, they can’t be cleaned in the way we’d like when facing a pandemic. We will not use them until the risk of COVID19 has passed or until we find a safe solution.
It isn’t all doom and gloom!
Check out this video I filmed with my dear friend, Tricia Rivas, owner of Trixie’s Salon and founder of the Dreamcatcher’s Foundation. When this is all over, you’ll see some positive changes in the spa and salon professions.
Spa professionals like massage therapists and especially estheticians have been named some of the professions with the highest risk of contracting COVID19 at work. I would rather wait to open until we have a better idea of safety modifications than put my employees, their families and guests at risk to make money. This might mean we don’t open the day we’re given the legal “go ahead.” I PROMISE we will be back and you can rest assured that when we return, it will be with a very comprehensive plan for safety.
We’ve had quite a few questions about our COVID-19 closure and we’ll do our best to keep the answers updated here. Thank you for your support so far!
How long are you closed?
While Iowa is currently allowing spas to open, we’ve chosen to stay closed in accordance with CDC and medical provider recommendations. While we miss our guests and providing services, we know the best thing we can do for their health is to remain closed until we see a 2 week decline in cases in Polk County, when there is adequate testing and tracing, and when we can reliably source the items we need to provide services (this is a challenge for a business our size). Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for the most current updates.
We know that most other spas, nail salons, and massage therapists will be seeing guests before us, as they are legally allowed to do. Every business has different financial circumstances and every guest has different health needs. We absolutely understand if you choose to go elsewhere until we feel confident that risk is reduced enough for us to provide treatments. We’ll welcome you back with (metaphorical, because social distancing!) open arms.
How can I book an appointment?
We have to temporarily disable online booking because we have to ensure only one guest is checking in or out at a time. Once we re-open booking, we will do so by call or text to (515) 309-2904. I don’t anticipate we will have our new schedule and temporary service menu hammered out until at least June 1, so we aren’t able to pre-book appointments just yet. Once we are able to relax some social distancing guidelines, we’ll reopen online booking.
Will I be able to book my same schedule as before?
Due to social distancing guidelines, we are making changes to our shifts and hours. It is my goal to bring back every employee that wants to return. This is no small feat with limited hours in the day and our capacity reduced to less than half. We will be adding Sunday hours to increase availability.
We will have to split our team into two non-intersecting groups. If you’re accustomed to seeing the same massage therapist and esthetician when you come for a massage and facial visit, if they are not on the same team, you’ll get to enjoy another one of our amazing providers. Being diligent about isolating teams means that we won’t have to close entirely if an employee or guest is diagnosed with or exposed to COVID19.
Will you still honor my gift card?
YES! Our gift cards have a 5 year expiration. On the gift card, we have a suggestion that you please use them within a year (we don’t want you to lose them and we want you relaxing sooner, rather than later.) For the few gift cards that are outstanding that expire during our closure, we’ll extend the date by the number of months we were closed.
What about my holiday vouchers?
Every year, from late November though December we have a gift card sale where we offer an extra $20 weekday service voucher with every $100 gift card purchased IN the spa. If you have some of these 2020 vouchers, we’ll extend them for use throughout 2021, so hang onto them! You’ll still need to present them in person since we don’t track them.
Do I have to wear a mask?
Yes. Masks protect others and all of our employees will be wearing masks properly to protect you. We will temporarily require guests to wear masks to protect employees (and therefore future guests). If preferred, we are happy to provide a disposable mask to you prior to entering the spa. While masks aren’t a perfect solution, their use by all employees and patrons of a business significantly reduce the risk of an outbreak that will harm the community and close our spa. Repeated business closures are expensive and the cost of outbreaks could force permanent business closueres. We can’t risk our health or careers.
Will your menu be the same?
At first, we’ll only be able to offer services that permit a face mask, so unfortunately we can’t offer facials or lip, chin, or nose waxing when we first open. We have most of our regular massages and modifications available for massage therapy, including side-lying massage techniques, for those who feel claustrophobic wearing masks face-down. We have been practicing with immediate household members and find that masks are not as uncomfortable as you might think! Your provider will be more comfortable working with you if you wear a mask, which will make the service much, much better.
We’re developing a few new treatment protocols for things like anti-aging hand facials, foot peels, back facials and more to offer a wider array of cool new services while we are temporarily suspending facials.
Can I book a party at the spa?
Unfortunately social distancing guidelines will not permit the ability to host spa parties. We have created two separate nail rooms so we can still do two pedicures or two manicures at a time, but they will need to be done separately. We’re pleased with how great the two nail rooms look and are excited to help make getting a nail service relaxing and Zen in a private space.
For the same reason, we had to temporarily suspend couple’s massages so we don’t have 4 people in a small room for an extended period of time. Again, these changes are temporary until social distancing guidelines are relaxed.
Can I get products from the spa while you’re closed?
We have a new web store courtesy of lots of hard work from Kelly. Almost every product we carry is available online! Even after we re-open, we will strongly encourage guests to order online for pick-up or shipping because we will need to limit walk-ins to the spa, which will include retail browsing.
Is it safe to buy a gift card right now?
Absolutely, and they’re valid for 5 years. I promise, we will reopen. As a business that has been around for quite awhile now, we’ve been able to develop an emergency savings fund. Instead of investing in fancy spa amenities (locker rooms, saunas, etc…) we’ve invested in our team and our future. The funds from gift cards help us to pay our ongoing expenses like rent and employee health insurance. We will be required to significantly reduce the number of guests we see for awhile, but we promise, you will be able to use your gift card with some advanced planning.
East Village Spa and our team thank you all for your support and well-wishes! We have appreciated providing your wellness services since 2008 and are so eager to continue again as soon as we can!
Most of what I could say about my feelings as a business owner and employer during this pandemic have been said, far more eloquently, by others. I’m not alone in my fear, anxiety, overwhelm, and sadness. Whether your job is slammed, you’re bored and lonely, or you’re working in close quarters with children while also being their cook and teacher… this is, as mom would say when we were kids, “the pits.”
As we’ve been reaching out to guests to cancel months worth of spa services that, oh the irony…everyone suddenly has the time and SUPER need for… our guests have been fantastic. Many have asked what they can do to support us. Here’s a simple list, not just for supporting East Village Spa, but many small businesses.
Reach out! Literally, just by checking up on us, we know you care and you give us hope that things will eventually be ok when we re-open. It means the world.
Send a note or post a review for us to share with your providers. The CARES act will ensure that they are financially set throughout their furlough (a huge relief for owners) but many are struggling because their career is their passion and they’re wondering (and worrying) about their guests. We’re checking e-mails every weekday. We’ll forward well-wishes and any Yelp or Google reviews to them!
Engage with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’re keeping our skills sharp and minds occupied by generating lots of content in our downtime. We can help via knowledge until we can physically help again.
Purchase a gift card: We PROMISE we will re-open. We were in a fortunate spot as we were saving for some big non-essentials for a few years. We will definitely reopen, but any online gift card sales now not only help us financially, but give our spirits a boost.
Avoid temptation to ask providers to work in secret. Many people see this as an offer of help. The CARES act has made sure providers receive good compensation during their furlough. Asking them to violate the law and risk their health makes them uncomfortable. Whether it is your hairdresser, esthetician, nail tech or massage therapist, know they’re thinking about you and WISHING they could help. There is no safe way to do services because of the nature of this virus and if you DID get an amazing manicure right now, everyone would know you’re not following the rules. By the end of this, crazy hair, unruly cuticles and bushy brows will be “Covid-Chic” Take this opportunity to grow your leg hair long enough to try waxing when we open again!
We look forward to seeing all of you when it is safe. We’re realistic and cautious, so we don’t expect to reopen soon. We most recently pushed our open back to May 1st, but a summer opening would probably be the best case scenario. Baby steps. Deep breaths. We’ll connect with all of you virtually until we meet again (and we promise to save you some chocolate at the front desk!)
We closed our spa to protect public health on March 16th. On March 17th, the Governor announced that health spas needed to close as part of the COVID-19 emergency declaration. We strongly agree with this. No amount of cleaning and caution can stop the spread of this challenging virus in a spa setting, especially with so many people asymptomatic, yet contagious.
I personally want to thank you for the kind words, online gift card sales, and support during this very strange and scary time. I can assure you that we will be back in business, as soon as we are allowed to AND as long as we do not feel we would jeopardize health of our team, guests, and community. Our providers are like family to me and each other. We’re chatting frequently and eating too many cookies. Our dogs are thrilled.
As people who are drawn to caring professions, it is a challenge when the best way we can care for others is NOT to provide services to them.
This is a temporary setback and the business was prepared (as well as we could be) for an emergency. I can assure you, we will survive this shut down. Please keep in touch with us while we are closed, we’ll pass on any well-wishes to your providers. We’re checking e-mails, texts, and voicemails on weekdays. Tune into our Facebook and Instagram feeds. We have quite a bit of time on our hands to create content we hope will make the time at home a bit easier for all of you! We’re working on building a webstore and making some other updates we’ve had on the back burner.
We wish you good health and moments of peace and calm. We’ll save some of our yummy chocolates for you to enjoy when we’re back!
The weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day always bring lots of questions about couple’s massages. These are a fun way for people to enjoy time together, but ridiculous and unrealistic “reality” TV show portrayals of couple’s massages can leave people baffled about what they can actually expect. Here’s are the top 5 things our therapists want you to know if you’re thinking of booking a couple’s massage.
1. Couples massages aren’t just for romantic couples.
At East Village Spa we see mother/daughter and BFF duos in the couples room frequently. Particularly heartwarming for our LMTs are the times our licensed massage therapists get to treat family members together when one person is looking after a loved one with an intellectual or memory impairment and chooses to relax with their family member in the same room to help them feel comfortable. A couple’s service is appropriate as long as both parties are comfortable disrobing (to whatever level they choose) in front of each other and sharing health information with their massage therapist in front of the other party.
2. Let your partner relax without judgment
During a massage, people fall asleep and snore. Your massage therapist sees that as a compliment (and if the session is geared towards relaxation massage, this is the goal!) During a couples massage, let your loved one be themselves, even if they are sawing logs next to you. One of our therapists’ pet peeves during couples massages is when one guest scolds their significant other for snoring during a session. This startles not only your partner but both of the massage therapists too. Don’t wake your sweetie, let them snore! If snoring will interfere with your ability to relax, you might consider booking your services in separate rooms.
3. Don’t stare (or glare) at your partner’s massage therapist!
Licensed massage therapists are health care providers with extensive training and high ethical standards. Nothing is more awkward than one when a guest receiving a couple’s massage stares (or in some cases, glares) at the therapist providing a service to his or her significant other. This makes us incredibly uncomfortable and self conscious. When someone stares at a massage therapist, it is difficult for us to focus on the task at hand: attending to your loved one’s muscles and tissues, watching for subtle signs of discomfort or relaxation to help us provide the best therapeutic service we can.
4. Couples massages on reality TV are far from real!
We’re amazed by the number of couples who want to hold hands during their session. If your tables are close enough for you to hold hands, then they are too close for your massage therapists to work around. Nobody wants only half of their body massaged! Hold hands on your walk to and from the treatment room, but enjoy your own relaxation space on the treatment table. Rose petals on the table might look pretty on camera but in reality, they’ll stick to you and smash into the carpet and your therapist will end up having to pick them all off as he or she goes. Lastly, you won’t be staring longingly st each other, deep in conversation. You’ll be resting quietly face down in the face cradle or face up looking at the ceiling, much safer, more comfortable positions for your neck.
5. Do you! Couples massages don’t need to be the same.
Some people think a couples massage will be perfectly synchronized, but in reality, they are completely customized for your unique preferences in pressure, technique, and focus area. For example, one person can get a sports massage and another can get a prenatal side-lying massage in a couples service. As long as the massages are the same length of time and we know in advance which services you want so we can pair you with the appropriate specialists. Some services like hot stone massage or our barefoot bars aren’t available in the couples rooms due to space and equipment availability.
Ready to book a couple’s massage? Give us a call at (515) 309-2904. Online booking isn’t available for couple’s services, but we’re happy to help over the phone. We look forward to helping you relax together! Be aware that these services are so popular they are often booked several weeks out for evenings and Saturdays so please plan ahead! We do keep a waitlist for last minute cancellations, so don’t hesitate to add your names to the list for those who like to be more spontaneous. Learn more about our services online!
Blog by Cassie Sampson, LMT, Owner and Justin Behanish, LMT, Managing Massage Therapist at East Village Spa in Des Moines, IA.