September 2011

FACES DAYSPA - Spa Treatments NOT Just For Women Anymore

Author: Debbie Szpanka | Photographer: Attic Fire

By nature, man is a warrior. In foreign territory, he observes the movements of others, scans the scene and tries to blend; hoping the natives never suspect he is not in full control. Culture shock may attempt to enter his psyche, yet he swats it away like an irritating gnat. He proceeds into a dark room—one he has never seen before, attempting to understand the native tongue of this new world. The question looms on his mind. At the verge of being exposed, he asks himself, “When she said, ‘take off what you are comfortable taking off,’ what did she mean?”

“In my first massage, I wore my socks,” said Mark Robertson, a Savannah morning radio anchor and program director. “I was comfortable in my socks, and I didn’t think they would be massaging my feet.

“I now know after 20 years of massages, my feet are part of the package and they get treated, too.” Robertson said.

Employees at FACES DaySpa say Robertson’s experience is very typical of a man having his first spa treatment.

“We thought men knew what to expect,” said Alexis Sargo, spa coordinator at FACES DaySpa. “Many times, it’s a foreign world to them.”

FACES spa concierge Elizabeth Hancock said just like Robertson, many men don’t know what or what not to wear to a spa treatment.

“We tell them to undress to their comfort level,” Hancock said. “That means you can wear underwear or you can be naked, however, your comfort level is for under the sheets, not on top.” Hancock said she has known massage therapists who were shocked to see a naked man on top of the massage table when they enter the room.

“As spa professionals, we now realize men may need more information,” Hancock said. “It’s hard for men to relax if they feel they aren’t in control of the situation, and that can defeat the whole purpose of their visit.”

Mike Walsh, executive director of Mental Health America for Beaufort and Jasper Counties, said men’s socialization may get in the way of booking an appointment.

“As a generalization, men are socialized to perceive physical touch as competitive, not cooperative—just look at most male sports,” Walsh said. Walsh, who is also an assistant professor of neuropsychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine, said some men have bought into the myth that only women take care of themselves. “The reality is, the better you take care of yourself; the better you can take care of others whether that’s family or a business.”

Patricia Owen, owner of FACES DaySpa, said once men get past the initiation phase, spas open a whole new world. “On any given day, up to 30 percent of our clients are men,” Owen continued. “Once they realize how relaxing it is, they get over the fear of the unknown very quickly.”

Mike Covert, owner of Covert Aire, said he experienced a paradigm shift from the time he entered FACES to the time he left. “Having a facial or a pedicure had never been on my bucket list,” he said. “When I was in the waiting room, I was thinking about all the nagging details of the day: who I needed to e-mail or call when I was done.

“During the treatments, I don’t remember the moment when I stopped thinking. If the facial continued any longer—holy moly—I would have been out completely.”

Covert said every man should do this for good health and good looks. The 275-lb, 6’4” owner of heating and air conditioning business said he grew up in the farmlands of Virginia and remembers the men from his childhood with weathered skin and calloused hands. “I doubt treatments were in their repertoire, however, we have only one life, one body—we get only one shot of making this last.”

The woman in Covert’s life agrees.

“I haven’t seen Mike that relaxed in a very long time,” Theresa Covert said. “Usually, when he gets home, he is back on the phone or the laptop. After his treatments, the laptop remained closed, and we spent the evening talking with each other and with our daughter. When you are relaxed, you are able to focus on what really is important.”

Steven Hamilton, a project manager for an electronics company, said he got his first manicure about seven years ago when he saw how good his co-worker looked before a black-tie holiday party.

“At first, I said, ‘Dude, that is so wrong,’” Hamilton said. “Then, I got one.” The Bluffton resident said the manicure changed the way he felt about himself.

“Just like when you get a haircut, you feel fresher and better. That’s how a manicure feels,” Hamilton said. “It also cuts down on yard work ’cause when I look good, I am not going to ruin it by cutting the grass.”

Hamilton recalls when his wife, Dawn and his cousin flew into Dallas to visit him on a business trip. “We bought a few bottles of wine and some cheese and crackers and each of us had a manicure and pedicure. It was awesome because I was with my wife and also because it was a bonding experience for the three of us. Once you get one, you will always want one.”

As Hamilton experienced, FACES DaySpa also has many venues for a man and his favorite woman to bond during a relaxing treatment.

Elizabeth Hancock of FACES DaySpa says getting dual spa treatments re-focuses the couple on each other versus the demands and details of the day. “As individuals, our daily demands chip away at our attention,” she said. “During and after a couples’ massage or spa treatment, the shared experience gives both of you similar, relaxed mindsets. As a couple, how many times do you both have a peaceful focus on each other? How wonderful is that?”

Un-MEN-tionable No More: Tips for a Man’s First Spa Experience:

- Pampering Time: Arrive 10 minutes before appointment so your full session is about your treatment, not undressing, paperwork, etc.

- The More the Better: If early, use the shower and/or sauna to enhance your spa experience.

- Speak Up: If you need special attention in an area (i.e. back, neck) or if the massage pressure is too strong/soft, speak up. The therapist needs your feedback to optimize your satisfaction.

- Comfort Zone: Wear what is comfortable for you. Most men are naked or in their underwear for a spa treatment. If you want to wear your socks, go for it!

- Quiet, Please: If you want to talk with your therapist, feel free. Being quiet may help you relax. It’s perfectly fine to zone out.

- The Tipping Point: Gratuity is based on your satisfaction. The rule is between 15-20 percent.

- Cancellation Policy: Please call 24 hours in advance to change or cancel your appointment.

Monday Night Special: FACES DaySpa offers 15 percent off services for men. Combine that with British Open Pub’s $5 coupon for FACES’ clients (located next door to FACES) and enjoy a treatment, a drink and a football game. Can life get any better?

FACES DaySpa is located at 1000 Wm. Hilton Pkwy. in the Village at Wexford. For appointments and more information, call (843) 785-3075 or visit

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