Battleground Spa
By Steve Capellini

When people get the initial inspiration to build their own spa or expand their massage practice into spa modalities, they have a tendency to romanticize the industry and focus only on the positive aspects of the endeavor. This is a good and perhaps necessary thing, as it creates enough momentum for the aspiring therapist to create something new and change old patterns of thought. However, it also leads to some Pollyanna-ish thinking later in the process. People in general, including therapists, think of spas as quiet, beautiful environments where not much, if anything, can go wrong. However, once you’ve got your spa up and running or you’ve incorporated spa services into your practice, you’ll find that, behind the scenes, there is a virtual battleground of intense, often abrasive, activity going on. There are many more details to keep track of in a spa than in a massage practice. There are more client complaints and more opportunities to be disappointed, because expectations are so high.

In “Battleground Spa” (see my article of the same title in Massage & Bodywork Magazine), you’ll need to know the ins and outs of daily procedures, handling workflow, dealing with product, laundry, client scheduling, room maintenance, equipment upkeep, and more. There is more to delving into spa services than learning how to do a wrap or a scrub, and it is precisely these nitty-gritty details of the work that I hope to get across to students in the upcoming Biotone Spa Workshop at DSM. If you are seeking some down-to-earth and honest answers to the practical questions you have about expanding your practice in the spa arena, I hope to be able to help you in October. There is also another tool that might guide you in this endeavor: take a look at my compiled “Spa Letters” on There you will find lots of advice as you grow your practice.

Good luck, and I hope to meet you along the path!

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