Spa menu body care product,shower,shampoo,lotion and blue sea salt

According to the International Spa Association (ISPA), spas raked in a whopping 15 billion dollars in revenue in 2014, up 5.3% from the year before. Americans enjoyed 176 million spa visits with an average ticket of $88 per visit. In fact, the spa industry has experienced continued growth over the last five years.

If you could jump on this trend and offer your clients a variety of spa services with little investment on your part, would you consider it?
Sure you would—and it’s a lot easier than you think. By adding a few simple pieces of equipment, some basic supplies and a couple of new products, you can increase your bottom line and add an interesting diversity that your clients are bound to love.

Spa regulationsBegin Your Spa Menu Design

The first thing you need to consider when considering adding a spa menu design to your existing services are the laws governing your practice. Does your state or municipality consider scrubs and wraps within your scope of practice?
Visit your licensing website and read through the laws and regulations. If it’s not clear, make a call to your massage therapy board. Your local massage schools would be familiar with the laws and scope of practice in your state as well. Laws change frequently and you are ultimately responsible for knowing which laws apply to you.
For instance, pedicures, which focus on the care of the nails and skin of the feet, can only be administered by cosmetologists and nail technicians in most states.
Any spa treatment that involves applying a product to the face, beyond facial massage, should be left to an esthetician or cosmetologist. Not only are facial treatments out of the scope of practice for massage therapists in most states, there are a myriad of additional considerations and potential contraindications.
Review your liability insurance policy to see if any spa services are excluded. Some companies require proof of additional training. Others may even exclude coverage if the products you used were homemade.
Having proper insurance coverage and understanding your scope of practice are crucial when planning a spa menu.
Next, you’ll want to research the spas in your area to see what services they offer. If their menus include scrubs and wraps, it’s likely these services are not only popular in your area, but within your scope of practice.
You could even call the reservation desk and ask which treatments are most often requested.

Top down view of keyboard with the words share your thoughtsAsk

One of the best ways to research which spa treatments your clients might like is to go directly to the source. Email a survey to your client list. SurveyMonkey and KwikSurveys are both free—and asking which treatments clients might like to experience.
To get the best results, your survey should be short and focused with simple, closed-ended questions and take no longer than five minutes to complete.
Questions might include:
“If I added scrubs and wraps to my menu, would you try one?”; “Would you enjoy a refreshing foot soak prior to your massage?”; and “Would you be interested in adding a 30-minute sauna to your massage session?”
To increase your response rate, offer an incentive such as “$5 off your next visit when you fill out this survey.”
If you don’t have a client email list, attach a short, anonymous survey to your health history form. Your clients will love being involved in the creation process. Make sure to send them a notice when your new menu is available and offer them a discount on their first spa service.

Young woman getting a massage in a spaTraining

While some spa services are fairly easy to administer, others can be complex with many steps between the health history intake and the session wrap-up. There are additional contraindications to consider when adding heat, water and certain products to the skin.
Understanding spa sanitation and proper treatment protocols is also very important. You’ll want to learn the therapeutic benefits your client will receive from each procedure so you can get them excited about your expanded menu of services.
Check with your local schools to see if they offer spa training, or look for a continuing education class to learn the basics. To learn a variety of treatments, expect to invest between six and 36 hours of your time.
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork offers a list of continuing education providers who offer spa-related courses, including live classes, conference offerings and home-study courses. Be aware that some states limit how many continuing education hours can be done online or by home study.


Depending on the results from your market research, your spa menu design may include a combination of stand-alone treatments, express offerings and add-on services:
  • Stand-alone treatments are typically 60 to 90-minutes long and incorporate some massage.
  • Express services are those that can be completed in about half an hour. Area-specific body scrubs and foot soaks are good choices for anyone looking for a little pampering without a large investment of time or money.
  • Add-on services are those that you incorporate into your regular massage offerings. They often do not require any additional time, and therefore can boost your profits significantly. Suggestions include custom aromatherapy massage blends, hot towels for the feet, face or back (or all three), or an exfoliating foot scrub.
Pricing your spa menu services correctly is essential. Charging too much can turn clients away and undercharging can seriously impact your profits. Keep in mind the time it takes to set up, administer and clean up after your spa service. You’ll want to factor in the cost of your products as well.
Research spa facilities in your area to get a benchmark for pricing your spa menu services, but consider the amenities they may offer that you don’t. Spa-goers will expect to pay more for steam rooms, swimming pools and lockers, so adjust your pricing accordingly.

Relaxing foot bath with white orchidsEquipment

If you stick with dry-room treatments, or those that don’t need a shower to remove the product, you can set up your spa room with very little added investment. Since you’ll be removing muds and scrubs with warm, moist towels, you’ll need a heating unit. A roaster works well for this purpose or you can choose to invest in a hot towel cabinet.
Rubber bowls will heat your product without the risk of burning your hands and can be nestled between the hot towels for support.
For body wraps, you’ll need a Mylar sheet and a paintbrush to apply the product. When purchasing linens, keep in mind that muds can stain white sheets and towels so look for darker colors such as browns and blues.
One of the most popular area-specific treatments on today’s spa menus is that which focuses on the feet and provides a quick, refreshing pick-me-up or relaxing addition to a massage.
When shopping for a basin or bowl, purchase one large enough to comfortably accommodate any size feet. You’ll also need a pitcher to fill it at the sink and an easy way to move it to your client. A rolling plant caddy works great for this purpose and can be found at any hardware or discount store.
Choosing products for your spa services can be a daunting task. There are thousands of companies selling scrubs, muds, body butters and essential oils at a huge range of price points.
Look for products that contain skin-nourishing ingredients from companies whose philosophies align with yours. Ask your colleagues for recommendations and test a product line before purchasing. (Of course, this is just a laundry list to consider and does not replace training.)

Shop assistant passing package to customerRetail

The thought of selling products can be scary for many massage therapists. Our job is to make our clients feel better, and this nurturing attitude often conflicts with the idea of selling retail products to our clients. However, providing good customer care includes teaching your client how to extend the benefits of his spa services long after his visit.
Offer retail sizes of the same products you use in your spa treatment room and complimentary items such as candles, bath oils and relaxing CDs. When your clients use these items at home, it will remind them of their spa experience and encourage them to return again and again.


Adding spa services to your existing massage practice is not only financially rewarding, it’s fun, adds variety and gives your body a break. For very little investment, you can grow your business and create loyal repeat customers.

About the Author

Linda Beach has been inspiring and educating massage therapists for more than 25 years. She recently sold her massage and esthetic school to follow her dream of living in Belize and traveling the world. She now spends her days teaching others how to create more time-and-money freedom through her new company, A Passionate Dream Life. Beach also hosts continuing education retreats in exotic locations.