If the idea of going to a spa makes you nervous, you’re not alone. Many people have their first spa experience when they get a gift card to a day spa. Some people don’t even use it because they’re anxious about what will happen and the finer points of spa etiquette.

But you can relax—literally! The biggest area of concern is usually taking your clothes off for a massage. This shouldn’t be a worry, because in Nigeria there are very strict protocols for draping during massage. Only the part of your body that is being worked on is exposed. The rest of it is covered with a sheet and blanket or sometimes a large towel. And the truly shy can always get a facial or a spa manicure and pedicure.

And you don’t have to worry too much about knowing what to do, because someone will be there at every step to tell you where to go, what to do and what happens next

1. Choosing a Spa:

Most of us make our decisions based on convenience—what’s close by, and within my budget?While these are great factors to consider, there are other things you should take into account. Like what are the special offerings of the spa? It’s great if you can find special equipment such as hydrotherapy tubs, whirlpool tubs, steam rooms/steam cabinets, sauna, Vichy shower, etc., which will help you spend more time relaxing.

You could get all these information by reading the spa menu/offerings and reading reviews of previous visitors online.

2. Select Your Spa Treatments:

The basic spa treatments are massage, facial, body treatment, manicure and pedicure. A massage will help you relax and get rid of muscle tension. (A Swedish massage is a good place for beginners.) A facial is a deep cleansing of your face, and a body treatment exfoliates and softens the skin on your body. Most spas offer manicures and pedicures as well.

You can also combine services—a massage and a body treatment is a good combination (get the body treatment first) or a massage and a facial (get the massage first).

3. Before You Go:

Avoid eating an hour before your spa treatment, so that you are not bloated and become uncomfortable. Drink plenty of water after your service to enhance the benefits of your treatments. Arrive at your slated appointment slot, and relax your mind before your treatment starts.

4. Enjoy Your Spa Experience:

Relax, no one is watching you. Take slow, deep breaths before your treatment begins. Envision every muscle in your body relaxing, and simply be open to the experience.

Communicate with your therapist. If you have any feedback on the temperature or amount of pressure, let them know. You can talk or not, as you prefer—the therapist will usually follow your lead. When the treatment is over, take the time to slowly reintegrate, rather than rushing off.

When you get back home, continue the good feeling by taking care of yourself,and plan for your next spa date!