Salon Etiquette: 5 Things Your Spa Therapist Wants You To Know

By Ashleigh Cometti
Collage / Julia Gessler

For the latest instalment in our Salon Etiquette series, we talk to Endota’s Kimberley Conboy about massage appointments.

Welcome to Viva’s Salon Etiquette series, where we glean the inside scoop for every must-do and please-don’t while you’re sitting in the salon chair/clinic/treatment room.

From hairstylists and nail technicians to facialists hairstylist and hair extensions trainer Tessa Burlison.

As a skin expert and education coordinator at day spa Endota, Kimberley Conboy has just about seen it all when it comes to massage clientele.

The Australian wellness cohort acquired Forme Spa earlier this year and took over all nine day spas in New Zealand, including its three Auckland locations in Parnell, Ponsonby and Mt Eden. Each was reimagined sea of green, pointing to the sage-hued organic skincare and wellness products lining the shelves.

Below, I asked Kimberley every burning question I’d saved up after years of trialling massages both here and abroad (the good and the not-so-good) for your reading pleasure.

ASHLEIGH COMETTI: This series is all about maintaining good salon etiquette. What are five things people do during a massage appointment that you love?


  1. I love it when people feel completely relaxed. You’re allowed to let yourself fall asleep and fully enjoy the experience.
  2. It’s great when someone lets us know if they prefer softer or harder pressure. Communication is key!
  3. We’re here to help, so if any burning skincare questions arise, I love when people ask away.
  4. Our treatment room is a safe space, so it’s okay if a client is feeling emotional throughout their massage.
  5. Feedback is important! We’re always wanting to improve our services, so I love it when clients give feedback to the spa.

AC: What about five things people do that you’d rather they didn’t?


  1. Not communicating with the therapist on whether you feel cold or uncomfortable. Most massage services are around the 60-minute mark, that’s a long time to sit there in silence if you’re not enjoying it.
  2. Please don’t feel the need to lift your arms, legs or feet when the therapist is massaging them — we want you to relax. Trust us, we can easily find those tricky spots to massage out knots and tension without your help.
  3. Giving very limited information on your client card doesn’t allow us to ensure your treatment is the best and safest for you, so please always let us know as much detail as possible.
  4. No phones, please! This is a time especially for you to relax and unwind, so please turn your mobile phone off or switch it onto silent.
  5. You don’t need to talk throughout the service, just lie back, relax and enjoy the peace and quiet while we perform your treatment.

AC: Do you believe more education is needed around the massage services offered?

KC: We definitely need to continue to educate people on massage as regular maintenance for themselves, their muscles and their mental health — rather than just a luxury.

AC: What’s the best way a Viva reader can request a change in pressure without making things awkward?

KC: Indicate this on your client card, let the therapist know during the consultation and if you need a change in pressure during the treatment, tell the therapist: “Would you please be able to go firmer/softer in this area?”. We don’t mind at all!

AC: What massages do you offer, and what are the desired results of each?

KC: Organic Relax — a 60-minute full body massage with a light-medium pressure designed in rhythmic slow strokes to help slow down breathing and blood pressure to reduce stress and relax the body. Featuring our warm healing stones to help ground and soothe.

Rest & Restore Massage — a 60-minute full body massage, light-to-medium pressure with more focus on the back, designed to slowly release tension and great for those that have muscular aches and pains but don’t want firm pressure. Includes our Arnica and Menthol Exfoliating Back Scrub and application of the Clove and Mint Recovery Balm.

Customised Massage — tell us what areas you need to focus on and the type of pressure and we will design the massage for you. This 60-minute massage allows us to work on your focus areas and use a variety of pressures so you can achieve relaxation and stress relief.

Soothing Stones — an 80-minute full body massage using warm basalt stones to deliver soothing heat deep into tight tense muscles. This is a deeply relaxing treatment, also great for those with high stress.

AC: If a client finishes their appointment and doesn’t experience the desired result of their treatment, how should they go about letting you know?

KC: Please ask the receptionist if you could have a word with an owner or manager and then let them know your feedback. It’s important that we get the feedback on the day so we can rectify things for you and address it promptly.

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