Addressing Body Image Concerns: How to Start Conversations in the Spa

Four women of diverse backgrounds and body sizes hold a sign that reads Every Body is Beautiful, advertising a blog post about addressing body image concerns in your spa business plan as part of inclusive wellness

In the spa and wellness industry, to create an inclusive environment is to openly encourage and support people in intimate ways. For clients with body image concerns, comfort and personal care are vulnerable experiences. But if you handle with empathy and compassion, your spa environment can improve not only physical wellness, but mental health and self esteem as well!

Particularly as you work to create a quality spa that enthusiastically welcomes clients of all sizes and shapes, it is paramount that you are ready to provide care through sensitive, supportive, and non-judgmental conversations. Here are our top ways to do just that in your business, and in your everyday life!

1. Creating a Body Neutral, Judgment-Free Zone

Cultivate a welcoming, non-judgmental atmosphere in the spa. If you choose to have artwork or other visuals in your space(s), assess the diversity of bodies being represented in the pictures. Besides race, is there a variety of body sizes, visible disabilities, or even age represented in your artwork? Consider replacing photos or artwork to quietly demonstrate welcoming diversity at your spa. 

Approach body image discussions with sensitivity and empathy. Especially when talking about physical needs, body shape, and size, let the client take the lead on how they prefer to describe their body. If a client is self-deprecating, avoid dismissing or minimizing their feelings. Instead practice body neutrality, by focusing on the goals of the treatment they came for, or reassuring them that the space is meant to be safe for everyone.  

2. Initiating Open and Supportive Dialogues Around Body Image

Foster open dialogue with your clients by asking thoughtful questions. Some examples to get you started include:

  • How do you feel in your body today? 
  • What helps you feel comfortable or relaxed? 
  • What are you hoping to feel after your treatment? 
  • Where on your body do you want me to focus on during our time together? 

Listen attentively to clients’ concerns, remembering that their responses are invaluable feedback for your subsequent interactions, and future patrons. 

Provide informative explanations to empower clients in making comfortable, informed choices during treatments. Remember to be realistic about what you are able to provide for them: for example, it’s easy enough to replace a piece of artwork or play different music at the moment. But if someone tells you they find it hard to climb steps at your doorway to get inside, maybe it’s time to start setting aside money in your spa business plan, to install a ramp in the future. 

3. Tailoring Inclusive Wellness Services for Client Confidence

The best way to tailor treatments to boost self-confidence and address individual body image concerns is by involving clients in the process. They are the experts on their own experience, after all! Work with them to create personalized plans for future appointments, and provide post-treatment guidance for ongoing positive body image. 

Remember that everyBODY is worthy of a positive spa experience, always. It’s not your job to actively change people’s perceptions of themselves, but you can help nurture more positive body image and self-esteem at your spa. Part of holistic health includes the mental, and this can in turn boost your spa sales and success! 

For more examples of how you can create more inclusive spa concepts, and celebrate body diversity in your spa business. For more strategies and solutions, see our blog posts on how to talk about bodies neutrally, and three easy ways to make your spa more inclusive. When you are ready to grow your business and harness the power of diversity and inclusion to expand your clientele base, visit us at LargerLuxury.com for our expertise and training. 

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