In my last blog, I discussed the design elements we use to help clients transition from their hectic, stressed lives to a place of calm, relaxation, and regeneration. Once the client arrives at the treatment room, the transition continues. However, the design of the treatment room must be two-fold. It needs to support and continue the relaxed and comfortable mood for the client while simultaneously catering to the therapist’s practical needs.
The massage table needs to be ergonomically adjustable for a tall or short therapist, allowing them to give the client an optimal bodywork experience. From the client’s standpoint, the table must be comfortable with a high thread count cotton covering with a cradle for head and back support.
There are many functional aspects to the therapy room. A sink and dispensary need to be available for the therapists to wash their hands and prepare different oils or treatments depending on the type of bodywork that will be performed. Some rooms will have accessories like a hot towel warmer or a hot stone massage and a small heating compartment for the stones. We declutter the room and have things like towel changes for busy spas occur in a separate cabinet accessed from outside the room so you don’t see anyone interrupting a service.
We want the room to be perfect for mechanical systems, but we don’t want clients to see any of the technology and be distracted. We use mechanical systems that allow the therapist to adjust the room’s temperature within minutes to accommodate every client’s comfort threshold regarding warmth or coolness. Again, for both comfort and practicality, the light level within the room must be adjustable. The therapist can dim the light to create a calm environment for the client and yet must be able to bring it up for cleaning and setting up the room.
While the functional elements are necessary, from a design standpoint, you don’t want the use of the equipment to be extremely visible, cumbersome, or distracting. The client should never feel that the therapist is stressed while providing them with relaxation, so we invoke an aspect of Kabuki Theater in our designs. In Kabuki, stagehands are dressed all in black against a black background, so they are virtually invisible, making the set changes invisible. In the same way, we try to make any of the mechanical systems and operations disappear.
Our spas are designed to transport each client to a place of relaxation, regeneration, and peace.