No matter your spa’s location, focus or overall demographic, there are 5 core classic treatments that can be tweaked to please any spa-goer’s palette. Contouring, facials, massage, lifestyle programming and complete makeovers are a welcomed base of treatment to any general menu. Each of these treatments can be enhanced to deliver the maximum in results with an added dash of pleasure regardless of the size or scope of your spa.


Facials are second only to massage with regard to popularity at spas and are a classic offering that cannot be overlooked or underestimated as a service that every spa-goer should take part in as a regular weekly or monthly treatment at a dayspa or as a core treatment throughout a stay at a resort or hotel spa.  While the European facial is a classic option offered at almost all spas, many spa-goers have grown bored of the common facial and the common facial isn’t really appropriate for the standard spa-goer who is likely to have specific esthetic needs and goals during a professional facial and home care follow up.  There are many options with regard to facials that can be easily adapted to the particular client’s needs and the typical esthetic room set up.

Living Cell Therapy- Using phytelenes or plant essences that are buffered to enhance a facial is a natural way to enhance the classic facial. Plant essences like chamomile extract, tea tree, lavender, grapefruit or similar essences naturally work to compliment the goal of a classic facial when used during a facial massage, as a treatment oil during the steaming process or when used under a masque. Using an essence is an easy, relatively inexpensive add on that adds exponentially to the results of a typical facial.

Enzymatic Therapies- The addition of a papaya or enzymatic exfoliating session can be a wonderful addition to a classic facial. Glycolic, alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy treatments work in the same manner. By gently exfoliating the skin fine lines and wrinkles are diminished, treatment products penetrate with ease and the overall appearance and texture of the skin is enhanced. Again, the add on of an enzymatic treatment is simple and cost effective while shifting the focus of a classic facial to that of a specialty treatment.

Multi-layer Masquing- A change as simple as using a molding masque when performing a classic facial can make a world of difference not only to the results achieved during the treatment but also to the perceived value of the client. While using an ampoule like collagen, bee propolis or an RNA factor under the initial layer of masque a layer of gauze is used to separate the underlying masque from a top layer of masque that is either rubbery and malleable or somewhat hard and shell like. The results are somewhat miraculous in that the ampoule treats and seeps into the epidermis, the initial masque complements the treatment effects of the ampoule and the outer masque both draws out impurities and adds to the affects of the underlying masque. No matter the treatment goals, a multi-layer masquing approach is effective and impressive.


Contouring services aren’t always on the menu but should be. When marketed correctly contouring treatments are an easy series sale that is nicely coupled with homecare as a natural treatment follow up.  The problem with contouring is it isn’t always an obvious sale. To sell contouring the client must be educated, prepared and literally scheduled for a series of treatments. Furthermore, there must be an obvious methodology or treatment protocol that is effective.

Body Wraps- Body wrapping or European Pressotherapy is a classic, age-old treatment for detoxifying the lymphatic system, reducing inches from targeted body zones and refining the texture and appearance of the skin. While herbal body wrapping is the most classic approach, in recent years fango (mud and paraffin wax) wrapping has become even more popular. In fact, many kits allow for fango wrapping without the need for a wet room. Nonetheless, body wraps can be customized to the individual and performed with herbs, muds, essential oils or a combination of all three. Draping for body wraps include ace bandage wrapping, mylar sheathing, plastic strip wrapping or muslin wrapping. No matter the method, wraps must be performed in a series of treatments—typically six in succession.

Endermologie- Endermologie is a French invention that involves using a roller over a body suit and current that helps to break down cellulite, redistribute body mass and refine body shape and muscle tone. While the equipment is quite costly, Endermologie is approved of by the FDA as are their efficacy claims. Those clients who expect technology, proven results and some sort of scientific evidence for their contouring treatment are ideal for this series sale. Moreover, Endermologie clients are not only apt to engage in a series sale but also repeat the process making their service sale commitment relevant to your spa’s financial bottom line.

Fusion Massage

While massage is the most popular service offered at spas it can be a perplexing service to offer spa-goers particularly at resort and hotel spas. These days many spa-goers have a personal massage therapist who regularly performs massage services on them as a lifestyle option. Like a favorite meal or a favorite color, these clients can be very specific about their massage wants and requirements. Of course massage therapists are all individuals and their services greatly differ. Furthermore, massage techniques are various and make for a different sort of massage experience depending on the techniques used for any one massage. A solution to this dilemma is to offer what is now dubbed as fusion massage. In reality this new modality is simply an offering of a variety of massage styles within one Swedish or standard massage tailoring the service to the client’s preferences and needs.  Offering fusion massage is really a matter of employing therapists who are well practiced in a variety of massage techniques and experienced in the application of blending techniques. Also it is very helpful to allow more time for the client and the therapist to meet and plan the massage at the onset of the treatment so a thorough understanding of the client’s preferences are expressed and understood before the massage gets underway. Offering a more skillful massage truly effects the client’s perception of the service, the treatment outcome and the likelihood of a repeat booking. Moreover, it allows for the standard one hour massage to be as exotic, classic or therapeutic as the spa-goer would like.

Lifestyle Programming 

Lifestyle programming is yet to be offered at a majority of spas. The reasons are unknown but thought to be organizational in nature. Furthermore, to offer lifestyle programming additional staff such as a nutritionist, personal trainer, and other complementary professionals are necessary. With that said, however, lifestyle programming can be as simple as combining spa treatments to form a year’s worth of therapies working towards the same goal.

Examples of lifestyle programming are relatively simple:

Detox Programming: Combining body wrapping, dry sauna treatments, alginate baths, Vichy showers, lymphatic drainage massage and deep cleansing facials with the appropriate nutrition, exercise and homecare routine can more than make a difference after several months. Allotting for treatments on a consistent basis throughout the year helps the client to budget and anticipate results oriented therapies that when matched with lifestyle adjustments can really make changes to one’s overall health and appearance.

Anti-aging Programming: Who wouldn’t love to be exposed to the latest in anti-aging therapies?! This can be easily programmed by combining treatments encouraging a youthful image, metabolism and feel. For instance, programming balneotherapy (water therapies), anti-aging facials, fusion massage, detoxifying sauna treatments, body scrubs and essential oil body treatments matched with daily nutritional supplementation can create a monthly routine of esthetic and general health care that will enhance the spa-goers approach to healthful aging. This type of programming can be broken down to monthly sessions or scheduled over a year’s time for maximum results.

Complete Makeovers

In this age of the spa salon services have been all but lost or disregarded as a part of the menu. While salons certainly have a loud, somewhat less peaceful agenda salon services can be invaluable to the overall package offered at the spa. For instance, a color cosmetic makeover can do wonders for the client’s overall self esteem and appearance after a wonderful massage and facial. Oftentimes clients don’t know of the correct color combination for their skin type and hair color and have little education on makeup application techniques. A color cosmetic makeover is not only an obvious source of revenue but also a great way to complement classic spa therapies.

Offering styling tips for wardrobe and accessorizing is another natural adjunct to spa treatments. Have a  stylist available to work on “coloring” the client and choosing appropriate makeup and wardrobe hues for their lifestyle. A stylist can work closely with spa staff to complete lifestyle programming goals like weight loss or a bridal schedule pre-wedding.

Regardless of your menu options, try offering these classic treatments with your spa’s unique twist on the treatment elements, pricing structure and thematic details. Building on classic treatment foundations makes training simpler for your staff and understanding service components easier on your clients. Furthermore, having a supply of backbar items available for similar core treatments that are only slightly enhanced is more streamlined and cost efficient. Take a look at your menu and check for treatments that can be eliminated and areas of treatment where classics can be added. Making these simple changes to your service protocols can make a big difference in your spa’s overall effectiveness within your organization.