Clients come to your spa or massage studio for relief from pain or stress. But that doesn’t mean the experience should be strictly clinical. While your therapeutic expertise is what they are after, many are looking for an escape from everyday demands and pressures. What they desire is a “Zen-like” experience to enable them to relax and unwind.
This means that a well-rounded holistic approach to healing should be conveyed beyond your hands-on treatment. Take a critical look at your spa or massage practice environment. What does the ambiance – the sounds, colors, lighting and even art on the walls – say? Does it support a message of healing that is inclusive of the body and spirit?
By putting yourself in your clients’ shoes, you may find that you need to make changes to provide the calm and comfortable environment that soothes the mind while you heal the body.
Create the perfect ambiance
Here are some things to think about as you go to create an atmosphere that heals clients from the inside and out. By providing a unique and memorable experience that clients associate with your spa or massage practice, you’ll keep them eagerly returning. The ambiance you create will also support your brand, which sets you apart from the competition.
You can’t underestimate the importance of colors you choose for your spa or massage practice. Colors can influence moods and feelings positively or negatively. While there is a large palette of choice, you’ll want to choose colors that are soothing. Among these consider cool shades, including certain greens, blue and violets and shades like aqua, seafoam and lavender. They promote rest and relaxation. If you want to use more vibrant warm colors, like red, yellow and orange, keep in mind that they tend to promote activity over restfulness. Bold is fine, but you’ll want to cool them down by adding white to the orange, as an example. You may also want to consider earth tones, which are restful. When it comes to white, creams and eggshells are preferable to white, which may create an atmosphere that is too clinical. 
The right lighting also contributes to the ambiance that helps clients relax. Avoid bright lights, especially in treatment rooms, since they are hard on the eyes and not relaxing. Dim lights are more effective at creating a tranquil environment. You might want to even consider candles.
When it comes to relieving muscle and joint pain, massage may be music to a client’s ears. But why stop there. If you want to create a truly relaxing atmosphere for your massage clients, make sure that music is a key part of the experience. As the author Leo Tolstoy said, “Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own….” Considering the power of massage to do the same, music and massage seem to be a perfect match.
With that in mind, you want to be sure that the music you select complements your work and doesn’t become the focus. Music should be in the background and not so loud or intrusive that your client thinks more about the music than the massage. Also avoid music with a distinct tune or sing-a-long type lyrics since they can interfere with a client’s ability to relax. And make sure you match the selection to the length of the session so that you don’t need to change the album, skip through tracks or have the recording begin again.
By using different essential oil blends and aromatherapy as part of your spa or massage practice ambiance, you can contribute to the relaxing experience for clients. Aromatherapy candles made from essential plant oil emit a scent that fills a room with a wonderful fragrance. The aromas they release can also have therapeutic value. An aromatherapy scented candle can disperse a soothing, uplifting or rejuvenating aroma, depending on which type of pure essential oil is used. You might even want to create a signature scent that creates an association between you and your clients. Incorporate the scent in soaps and towels and linens, too.
Of course, no amount of ambiance will make up for a visit that is fraught with delays, misunderstandings about desired results, poor-quality products and your lack of focus on a client’s needs.
Ambiance may not be everything, but it can change the way a client views your spa or massage practice. When you create a place where clients can “get away from it all,” you become a necessary part of their total wellness regimen.