Massage 101: What to Expect at Your First Massage

Finally decided to get a massage?

Good decision! A massage, performed by a licensed professional, can be one of the most healthful and rejuvenating things you can do for your body and mind. It not only relaxes muscles and improves blood flow, it relieves stress and anxiety as well.

Massage 101

But why have you been putting it off? Most people say they put off getting a massage because they don’t know what to expect. So we’ve taken time here to give you our “Massage 101” to help you get over that hump. Here are fourteen things to know and do to help you feel totally comfortable going into your first massage.

1. Your Appointment

Talk to friends and family members to get references and look up online reviews. Check out websites to find a place you feel comfortable with. You can also speak to your spa coordinator about what type of therapy is best for you. Or even better, talk directly with your therapist ahead of time so they know exactly what you need.

2. Your Choice

At Bella Vita, our massage therapists specialize in many styles of massage. The most popular among first-timers are Swedish, Hot Stone, and Full-Body Balance. Swedish massage is primarily for full body sessions to promote relaxation, circulation and relieve muscle tension. A Hot Stone massage incorporates Swedish massage and thermotherapy via basalt stones to promote healing. Finally, our Full Body Balance incorporates a variety of massage techniques including 50 minutes of firm to deep tissue massage, 15 minutes of reflexology for the feet, and a 15-minute scalp massage.

3. Your Therapist Preferences

When you call, please don’t hesitate to ask about therapists’ techniques and experience. At Bella Vita, all our therapists are female, but wherever you book, it’s fine to request a male or female therapist specifically. But remember, all professional spas have draping protocols to ensure modesty, so you do not have to worry about being exposed.

4. Your Massage Time

Being on time for a massage is important. And not just because you value your therapist’s time. We all want to be considerate of one another and be prompt whenever possible. But with a massage, you want extra time to relax, speak to your therapist, and get undressed calmly. So arrive 15 minutes beforehand. At Bella Vita, you’ll be offered a warm, aroma-therapy neck-wrap and a drink of your choice.

5. Your Peaceful Escape

To get the most out of the experience, turn off your phone or at least put it on silent. Let coworkers, family, clients, and kids know you won’t be available for a while if you can. Remember, this is about relaxation! Let this be a brief but powerful escape from the business of life.

6. Tip: Leave the Jewelry at Home

Jewelry will almost always be in the way on some level during a massage. (Rings, too–you do NOT want them to interfere with the hand & finger massage!) So leave it at home or in your office safe. If you forget, you can keep it in the room with you, of course. However, for some, just knowing that a precious item might be forgotten or lost can add stress.

7. Tip: “Go” Ahead of Time

Okay, it happens. People forget to go before a massage begins. And it’s a bit of a “buzz-kill” to have to get up part-way through the heavenly experience of a professional massage to use the restroom. And it can cut into your time as well. So remember to take time to go before your massage begins. Our therapists are pretty good about reminding you as well.

8. Your Pre-Massage Preparation

When it’s time to go into your massage, your therapist should meet you and walk you back to the room. If you’re feeling nervous, please don’t hesitate to tell them at this time. Also, ask any questions you may have and repeat any special requests. Your therapist will talk with you, give you instructions on getting undressed and getting onto the table and under the draping. Then they’ll leave the room to give you time and then knock before coming back in.

9. Your Clothes?

One of the most difficult things for many people during their first massage is knowing exactly how much clothing to take off (or leave on). Most people actually take everything off. However, you’re perfectly free to leave your underwear on. Again, our therapists work hard to make sure you’re comfortable and do not feel exposed. So they use modest draping techniques to ensure that only one part of your body is uncovered at a time. That way you’ll never be “exposed” in front of your therapist.

10. Your Skin

Many first-timers wonder about the use of oil in a massage. People are concerned about a greasy feeling afterward, and about getting residual oil on their clothing. At Bella Vita, we use a 50/50 mixture of oil and lotion. This gives the lubricating effect of oil but does not leave you feeling greasy afterward. In fact, your skin absorbs the oil, leaving your skin moisturized and nourished. Any residual oil & lotion can be easily wiped away with a towell. And if you like, you may use our luxurious shower afterward.

11. Your Experience

Once the massage begins, please feel free to let your therapist know what might make the experience better for you. Is the music too loud, the temperature too hot or cool? Or is the pressure too hard or soft? Don’t worry about offending our therapists with reasonable requests. Any professional therapist will appreciate the feedback. They want to be sure you’re a happy client who’ll come back again and again. Also, let them know if you feel pain so they can adjust if needed. Finally, inform your therapist if there’s a particular area that needs more attention, or if there’s an area where you’d rather not be touched.

12. Your Relaxation

It’s important to communicate with your therapist during your massage therapy session. However, experts say that too much conversation during a massage can reduce its relaxing effects. So keep personal conversation to a minimum. Your therapist needs to keep her attention on how your muscles are responding to therapy. And it’s a good idea for you to pay close attention to your body as well. This focus allows you to more effectively release stress and find true relaxation. So feel free to speak up when you need to, but remember to relax!

13. Tip: Tipping is Customary

You’ll usually pay for your service on your way out of the spa after your appointment. When you do, please don’t forget to show your appreciation to your therapist with a tip of at least 15% to 20%. We’re very proud of our service providers here at Bella Vita. We think they are the best of the best, and we hope you’ll agree! 

14. Tip: Plan Your Next Appointment Now

If you had a positive experience, the best time to plan for the next one is now. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do. The time and money you invest will produce dividends of health and well-being in body, mind, and soul. So go ahead and plan for that next massage, even if it’s a few months out. We always give reminder calls ahead of time so you don’t forget.

We Look Forward to Serving You!

At Bella Vita Spa and Salon, we specialize

Experience the HydroPeptide Rapid Repair Peel!

New skin for springtime

It’s springtime, and a great time to refresh your skin! Winter’s dry air can damage delicate facial skin cells. And you can’t fix them. What you need is new skin. And it’s there, but you need help to reveal it’s beauty.
Visit us for our NEW PolyPeptide Rapid Repair Facial Peel. Experience the power of 5 potent exfoliants as old skin is gently and safely removed. And relax as PolyPeptide’s Collagel Mask locks in hydration and rejuvenates your skin! 

Get a fresh, radiant complexion

Our professional Esthetician will pamper you as this powerful peel makes your skin feel and look amazing. Due to their ability to improve cell turnover, these 5 powerful exfoliants leave your complexion radiant and fresh.
PolyPeptide’s new Collagel Mask not only locks in hydration but also helps amplify active ingredients like peptides and antioxidants. Skin is left refreshed, hydrated, and more radiant. Come treat yourself to this luxurious facial peel! 

Not just any peel

So what makes this peel so special? First, it’s the proprietary blend of 30% Glycolic, Salicylic, and Lactic Acids. Then they’ve added Mushroom and Pumpkin Enzymes, Aloe and Allantoin to help calm the skin.  The combined acids and ingredients will leave your skin glowing, healthy, and smooth!
To promote a youthful complexion, Hydrogel technology is infused with key collagen supporting peptides and hydrating nutrients to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while brightening the under eye area.*
  • Helps boost collagen in the skin for a plumper, firmer appearance.
  • Provides immediate hydration and locks it in the skin for long-term comfort.
  • Helps to calm and cool skin after peeling treatments.
Because this is a professional peel being applied by a licensed Esthetician, you should not receive this treatment if the following applies to you:
Allergy to Aspirin
Sensitive Skin
Current Sunburn
Retin A/Retinols/Renova
Acne Treatments (Accutane or prescribed Acne treatment)
Open lesions
Please discontinue use of Retinols and any acne treatment 3 days prior to and following the treatment.

Book Your Appointment Today

Come and experience the freshness and rejuvenation of a Rapid Repair Facial Peel from Bella Vita Spa and Salon in Tulsa, Oklahoma. What a great addition to any spa day! Call us today at 918.369.8482. One of our friendly associates will help you plan an hour or a full day of luxury. Our licensed Estheticians will treat you like royalty and give your skin that fresh springtime glow.


Lunches of Love Fundraiser

Maybe you’ve already noticed this beautiful basket in our gift shop. If not, you need to come in and check it out! Not just because it’s valued at over $900.00. And not just because you could be lucky enough to win it. There’s actually a much better reason!


The Free Lunch Gap

Most of us know that Public Schools in Oklahoma offer free or low cost breakfast and lunch programs to elementary students, but did you know in middle and high school the families need to fill out extensive paperwork and the program is greatly underutilized leaving many students without lunch? 
These kids come from homes that either don’t know about the programs, don’t understand how to fill out the proper papers for the programs, or don’t want to be part of the program.  These students are able to charge up to $8.40 for lunches, (the average lunch is $2.40, about 3 days worth of lunches) but after that, they can no longer charge and they are given a different lunch from other students with the ability to pay.


“Lunch Shaming”

Generously, schools will provide a lunch to these kids, but it is a different lunch than what is being served.  This creates a serious problem of it’s own.  It’s called “lunch shaming”.  Kids can be cruel when they see another student sit down with a lunch that is different from the lunches that can be purchased.  If a student sits down with the “different lunch”, all the other kids know why.  These students are now branded as those who not only can’t afford a $2.80 lunch, but who also owe the school money.  Students who receive the “different lunch” are often humiliated to the point that they decide it’s easier to just go hungry.  That’s an even bigger problem and we say this is unacceptable.



Hunger and Education Don’t Mix

According to the American Youth Policy Forum, student hunger poses a huge risk in education.

In addition to the cognitive, emotional, mental, and physical consequences of food insecurity and poor nutrition, a wide body of research indicates that these consequences follow children into the classroom, often resulting in poor academic performance.

  • Children from homes with persistent food insecurity have shown smaller gains in both reading and math than their food-secure counterparts.
  • Food-insecure children and teenagers have been shown to miss school more frequently, and are more likely to repeat a grade than food-secure children.
  • Food insecurity has been shown to reduce a child’s chances of graduating from high school.
  • Growing up food-insecure has consequences even beyond K-12 education. Research shows that workers who experienced hunger* as children “are not as well prepared physically, mentally, emotionally or socially to perform effectively in the contemporary workforce.”


Lunches of Love Fundraiser

Tulsa area schools often have school lunch deficits of over $100,00.00 per year. That could pay for a couple of teachers! At Bella Vita, we want to help end this problem in our city. We may not end it on our own, but we think that with the help of our amazing clients, we can make a difference!

Here’s how we’ve decided to help. We have put together this amazing gift basket, valued at over $900.00. We’ve included a Bella Donna Spa Package and lots of our favorite spa and salon products.

On April 5, we will draw one name from the raffle basket. That person will receive the lovely gift basket! Then, as a bonus, they’ll get to name the Tulsa area public middle or high school that will receive the donations!


How You Can Help

1. Share about this project on social media. Use the links at the bottom of this post to share to your favorite Social Media platform.
2. Talk to your friends about the issue and encourage them to purchase raffle tickets or donate.
3. Donate at Bella Vita or by phone with a credit card.
4. Purchase raffle tickets! You’ll feel great knowing you’re helping pay for student lunches in the Tulsa area and helping put a stop to “lunch shaming.” And as a bonus, you could win this wonderful gift basket!
5. Once this Lunches of Love Basket is raffled, you ALWAYS have the opportunity to go to ANY Middle School or High School and make a donation to the unpaid lunches of students.


Giveaway On April 5th!

We know we have the most amazing clients in America, and we know you care about these kids as much as we do. Thank you in advance for helping us reach out and show them our love. We look forward to giving away this beautiful gift basket to a lucky winner on April 5th! But more than that, we look forward to giving your gifts and donations to our Tulsa area students in need!


HydraFacials Explained 

HydraFacials Explained 

If you haven’t tried one of our HydraFacials yet, now is the time! We’ve added a new one to the list that is sure to be the result driven facial you’ve been looking for. Let’s break them down for you:


  • Lymphatic Drainage
  • Cleansing and Exfoliation
  • Glycolic/Salicylic blend 7.5% peel
  • Extractions, and Antioxidants with Hyaluronic Acid



Anti-Aging HydraFacial-

  • Lymphatic Drainage
  • Cleansing and Exfoliation
  • Glycolic/Salicylic blend 7.5% peel
  • Extractions, and Antioxidants with Hyaluronic Acid
  • Derma Builder
  • Red LED light therapy 

For a results driven facial, the Derma Builder is an infusion of advanced age-refining peptide complex, focused on targeted aging areas such as, the corners of the eyes, between the brows, above and below the lips and across the forehead.  This peptide complex smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and enhances the skin elasticity. The red LED lights focus on stimulating and building collagen and elastin, and helps with any redness or irritation in the skin.



NEW: Ultimate Anti-Aging HydraFacial-

  • Lymphatic Drainage
  • Cleansing and Exfoliation
  • Glycolic/Salicylic blend 7.5% peel
  • Extractions
  • CTGF (Connective Tissue Growth Factor)
  • Red LED light therapy
  • Antiox Plus-Antioxidants, Peptides, and Hyaluronic

It’s the Ultimate treatment for anti-aging, hydration, and cell repair.  We use the same steps in the HydraFacial, but add CTGF, Antiox Plus, and red LED lights.  CTGF is Connective Tissue Growth Factor that repairs damaged cells, and is applied on the entire face, not just targeted areas.  The Antiox Plus, is Hylauronic Acid for sustained moisture retention, but also contains multi-peptides and antioxidants for extra firming and repair to the skin.


If you’re ready for a facial that will bring results, give us a call today! Call us at 918-369-8482 or email at

Corporate Holiday Gift Program

Be everyone’s favorite Santa!


The time for Holiday giving is here and Bella Vita Spa and Salon, at 105th and Memorial, can help you bring joy and relaxation to everyone on your list!

Special Corporate Holiday Gift Card Bonus Program!

A Spa Gift Card is always the right color and always fits perfectly! 

Take advantage of these great offers!


  • Give $400 in gift cards & get a FREE $30 bonus card!
  • Give $600 in gift cards & get a FREE $50 bonus card!
  • Give $800 in gift cards & get a FREE $70 bonus card!
  • Give $1000 in gift cards & get a FREE $100 bonus card!*


At Bella Vita, we offer individual services as well as customized spa packages to make your gift the one they won’t forget!  Through personal attention to your needs, our caring and dedicated staff of licensed Therapists, Techs, Estheticians, and Stylists, strive to make your spa experience the best of their life!  A warm neck wrap, hot spiced tea, heated massage and facial beds, couples massage room, and more!


Visit us online today at for a virtual tour!


THREE convenient ways to buy!


  • Stop by our beautiful gift shop at 105th and Memorial today!
  • Call us at 918-369-8482 and speak with a friendly Spa Representative!
  • Buy online at


…and as always, you’ll receive


FREE gift wrapping!

FREE shipping!

NO hidden fees or charges!


Bella Vita has been honored with numerous Oklahoma business awards for the past 11 years—the TU Golden Heart Award, Oklahoma Magazine Best of the Best, Tulsa People People’s Choice Award, and The Tulsa World’s Best In The World Award. Let us help you show your clients, employees, friends, and family how much they mean to you this holiday season!


Call, visit, or go online at TODAY, and give the perfect holiday gift, Spa Gift Cards from Bella Vita Spa and Salon!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The Staff at Bella Vita Spa and Salon


*All purchases need to made in one single transaction, and these corporate incentives expire Dec 31, 2017

How to “Wrap-up” Pain The Right Way!

Clients of Bella Vita Spa and Salon in Tulsa & Bixby have known for years that our neck wraps are the perfect thing for pain, muscle soreness and stiffness. They’ve always loved the combination of heat and aromatherapy that nothing else gives, and now science is catching up! Current medical studies now prove what we’ve known for years…Our Heat Wraps Really Work!

Heat Wraps Found More Effective Than Analgesics for Back Pain

Low level heat wrap therapy proved significantly more effective against pain on the first day of treatment than over the counter pain relievers, and lasted more than 48 hours after treatment was completed, compared to 4-6 hours with oral analgesics, according to a New Jersey University medical study (UMDNJ).

Dr. Scott F. Nadler, director of UMDNJ’s School of Sports Medicine, pointed out that:

“Confirming that this treatment is effective is important to patients because it gives them a treatment option that does not have the potential risk to the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract that can accompany inappropriate analgesic usage.”

Dr. Nadler also said that compared to ibuprofen and acetaminophen, the heat wrap:

  • gave between 33% and 53% more pain relief
  • improved muscle flexibility between 48% and 71%

Bella Vita clients don’t need medical studies to know that heat wraps are not only therapeutic and soothing, but are a much better way to deal with pain, soreness, and stiffness. It’s just nice to know that science is on our side!

With Holiday shopping already beginning, our heat wraps are the perfect gift for so many people on your list. Stop in soon and get wraps for all those special people…and don’t forget about yourself!


Leave the Kids at Home

A day at the spa is one of the most relaxing things you can do for yourself. The special pampering break is dedicated specifically to you – no distractions or stress involved. And for many people, that means no kids!


Although we know our clients have well-behaved children, we encourage them to leave the kids at home while receiving spa treatments. 

Many spas have an age rule regarding spa treatments. Here at Bella Vita, if a child wants to receive a treatment, a consent form from the parent or guardian must be completed. Call our Spa Coordinators anytime to discuss which services would be most suitable for your child. 

Going to the spa should be “you time”. Nothing should keep you from enjoying your facial or message. So, for everyone’s sake, leave the kids at home and come pamper yourself!

Tips for Tipping your Masseuse

How much should you tip for a massage?

This is a common question for spa package customers. Many people are not massage regulars, so there is no shame in asking this important question!

The typical tip amount for spa services is between 15 and 20 percent. If you have seen more than one service provider in the same day, leave 15-20 percent of the total amount of your bill. The tips will be dispersed between each employee according to the portion of the service they provided.

Masseuses appreciate a 20 percent tip and like it even more if given in cash. Your tip can be left on a credit card or check, but most often good ole’ fashion cash is preferred. That’s because if you tip on your credit card, most spas will pay that tip out with the therapist’s weekly or biweekly paycheck. If you tip in cash, the therapist gets to take it home that very same day. Either way, here at Bella Vita, our employees will get 100% of their tip, so no need to fret!

If you’re tipping with cash in a provided envelope, it’s always best to write the therapist’s full name. If a casual spa doesn’t have tipping envelopes at the register, you can discreetly hand the cash tip to your therapist with a quick, “thank you!”.


To schedule an appointment either view our website or call 918.369.8482

To Talk or Not To Talk

Many people wonder whether or not they should talk to their masseuse while getting a massage. Like many other spa treatment questions, the answer is up to you!


It’s usually best to close your eyes, lie back and relax into the massage, but ultimately it’s up to you. Be sure to speak up if you’re feeling too cold or too hot, if you experience any pain or if you would like the massage changed in any way.


Massages are intended to make you feel better – therapists would much rather you tell them what isn’t right rather than keep a stiff upper lip and not return because you didn’t enjoy your experience.

While in a massage, you are encouraged to speak to your massage therapist about the pressure of the massage.  Let them know if you’d like it a little deeper or to lighten up a bit on certain areas.  Other that, there is no need for further communication.  This is your opportunity lay there, relax and enjoy your well-deserved massage!


In the end, the massage is for your enjoyment and relaxation. If you prefer silence, your masseuse will abide. However, if you enjoy small talk, feel free to chat with your masseuse. Their job is to make your spa experience as enjoyable as possible!


Do you prefer small-talk or silence during your massage?

Find Your Inner “Spa Voice”

If you are in a spa setting that is communal (ie: manicure/ pedicure room, intention room, etc.), be careful how loud you speak, and the topics that you speak about with your service provider and/or others in the room.


Imagine having a relaxing pedicure while the lady next to you blabs about “the latest gossip” or worse yet, talks about her aching corns! A spa environment is sacred, and to disrupt it with gossip, banter, loud voices or rude comments spoils it for everyone.


If you’re a chatty Cathy yourself, then just try to relax, practicing some deep breathing exercises. Breathe in slowly through your nostrils and breathe out slowly through your mouth. Listen to the music, close your eyes and enjoy the moment.


Being considerate is essential.


Cell Phones

Don’t embarrass yourself and disrupt the quiet by forgetting to silence your cell phone. To some people a spa is like a church: a sacred place they go to seek solace, peace and most of all, quiet. Remind yourself to turn your phone to vibrate, or even off altogether, before you enter the spa.


When enjoying services at Bella Vita, we kindly ask that you use your “spa voice” and turn off your cell phones.  There’s nothing relaxing about being in the middle of massage or facial and hearing phones and loud voices interrupted your quiet time.  Use your time at the spa as a get away from your busy week and enjoy an hour or so of peace and quiet.



To schedule an appointment either view our website or call 918.369.8482