Will I have to undress when I’m having a full body massage?
For most spa treatments, you can keep on your swimming costume or underwear. If you are having a back massage, you can wear knickers. Some treatments, such as Reiki and shiatsu, are done through your clothes. If in doubt as to what's expected, ask when you book your treatment or spa day.
Full body massage
For a full-body massage, you can opt to keep your pants on or go completely in the buff. You'll find that most massage therapists are very skilled at protecting your modesty and making you feel comfortable; you'll never have to uncover anything you'd rather not.
Your therapist will explain how much you need to take off, give you a towel to cover yourself and then leave the room while you get ready.
She will knock a few minutes later before coming back in to do the treatment. She then only uncovers the bits she is working on.
If I have an "all body" massage, will it literally be my whole body?
A full-body massage doesn't have to include your sensitive areas. You can say which parts of your body you don't want to be touched.
A full-body massage usually includes your arms, legs, hands and feet, your neck and back, your stomach and buttocks. The area around the breasts is usually massaged but not the breasts themselves. You can always say you hate having your breast area or buttocks or whatever touched. If you're at all unsure, try booking for a "back, neck and shoulder" massage first to see how comfortable you are with being touched in those areas. If all goes well, then next time you can book a full-body massage.
Even with a full-body massage, most of you stays covered most of the time. Your therapist will unwrap your arm and shoulder, for instance, or uncover your leg while she massages that part of your body. When she needs you to turn over, she will hold the towel up as a screen so you can turn over in private. Simple when you know how!
Whether you choose a swedish massage or aromatherapy massage; Thai massage or deep tissue massage - all are designed to relax and reduce muscle tension and stress levels. Trust that your therapist is focusing on her massage techniques and ensuring you are having a personalised relaxing massage.
For some of the messier treatments, such as exfoliation and wraps, your massage therapist will give you a pair of very glamorous paper knickers to wear, which cover just the necessary bits. Even with these treatments, however, you will be covered most of the time. Afterwards, you hop into the shower covered by a towel to wash the products off your skin yourself.
If getting remotely naked is a no-go, but you still need some pampering and stress relief, opt for a heavenly head massage with essential oils or some soothing reflexology to work on those pressure points.
Will I be able to make sure I have a female masseuse?
Most spas will ask a woman if she minds if her therapist is male.
If you feel strongly about having only a female to massage you, let the spa know when you call to book your appointment. Most spas have enough therapists to adjust the rotas and make sure that you get what you want.
Male therapists are much more common abroad than in the UK, so if you are booking a spa holiday somewhere exotic, check whether you get a choice.