Spa Therapy

"Spa Therapy" phrase presently signifies wide range of treatment, which may or may not be associated with aqua (water) therapy. Spa word was used in the past in reference to water treatment. Spa word was originated from Latin word "Spargere" means sprinkle or moisten. Spa word was also linked to Latin expression Salus Per Aquam means "health through water". Spa word is also believed to be originating from a "Spa" name of the town in Belgium. During primeval period most of the provinces and faith believed bathing in spring water or Holy River results in physical and spiritual purification. Asian and Roman kings and rulers were treated with hot tub, mud bath and sauna after war or combat exercises. Water treatment was branded as "Spa therapy" and "Spa Aqua Therapies" were accessible exclusively to royal families. Presently the term "Spa" defines a place for massage as well as nail, facial and water treatments. Some spa facilities may offer either nail or facial treatment only. Therapy places for body massage, nail treatment, facial therapy and foot massage may use word "Spa" without involvement of any type of aqua therapy.

Spa Therapy

Spa therapy became very popular after Second World War in Europe and United States as a therapy for pain and injuries during recovery period. Later International Spa Association was created to protect interest and trademark of "Spa Treatments". The International Spa Association defines spas as the "Place dedicated to enhance overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit." Word Spa is not regulated just for water treatment. Now days the word "Spa" is often used to describe a facility involved in treating illnesses causing abnormalities of mind, body and spirit. Spa word is also regularly used for treatment of nails, facials and aromatherapy.

Massage therapy provided in Spa are mostly for relaxation and also for musculoskeletal pain. Massage therapist carefully plans treatment for musculoskeletal pain after detailed discussion with their clients. Massage therapy is frequently combined with steam sauna before and after massage. Cosmetic treatment such as facial and skin therapy is preceded by treatment with steam sauna. Steam sauna helps to hydrate and soften skin. Most spa therapists specialize in massage therapy, but it is possible to work as a spa therapist without performing any type of massage. Few spa therapists may specialize in only beauty treatments and skin care.

Massage therapy is combined with other beauty treatments. Most spa therapists have a degree in massage therapy and training in cosmetic treatment. Cosmetic and beauty treatment includes pedicures, manicures and skin treatment. Spa therapy is also promoted as a holistic treatment. Holistic treatment accomplishes healthy living, rejuvenates the emotions, balance the mind, spiritual enhancement and harmonious existence. Spa treatments also includes "Alternative Therapy" such as use of herbs and oils for joint and muscle pain.

In today's day and age, Spa is more of a concept which combines health, leisure, relaxation and beauty. Due to this the term "spa" is commonly used incorrectly to describe various enterprises in the leisure, health and relaxation industry which may comprise of a hotel with swimming pool or a small salon having a Jacuzzi. Although they provide very good treatment and service, they are not a "spa" in the true sense of the word, as a true spa is the one which gives longer lasting health benefits using natural resources.

The modern spa therapies are designed to concentrate on our active and hectic lifestyle of today's times. Spa treatments are easily found in all four corners of the world. They can range from a simple chair massage in a departmental store to a full-day pampering at a luxury spa. Anyone can visit these outlets for relaxation. Some spas also offer color therapy and qi gong (soaking and massage). These treatments give you a more balanced and integrated life and help in revitalizing your tired body, reviving your mind and energizing your spirit.

Classifications of Spa:

Urban Spa:

Also known as a Day spa and commonly located in a city centre, shopping centre, health club, hotel, airport or department store and only provides day treatments. It is one of the least expensive methods to enjoy a spa experience.

Destination Spa:

This comprises of a short stay at the spa. It is meant to improve your health and usually located at the site of mineral waters or hot springs. It is also found in exotic locations worldwide. It also includes healthy diet, physical activities and education in all aspects of health. This type of spa is more suitable for a single spa goer.

Medical Spa:

This spa provides all the regular spa treatments along with focusing on some specialized treatments which are administered by a medical practitioner only. These treatments include: Botox, medical peels, laser, dermal fillers and microdermabrasion.

Hotel/Resort Spa:

This type of spa is increasing in popularity day by day where the hotel has a spa within it. These days, a traveler wants more than a room and boarding. The hotel spa differs in sizes from a small country house to big hotels offering different spa facilities such as wet rooms, sauna, swimming pools etc.

Cruise Ship Spa:

This spa is situated aboard a luxury cruise liner and offers the same facilities as the regular spas including; spa float, thalassotherapy, mud wraps, seaweed, thermal treatments and hydrotherapy.

Thermal or Mineral Spa:

These spas are built around naturally appearing mineral waters and are usually present in mountainous locations. They are famous for 'taking' the water for improving health along with giving many beneficial spa treatments.

Eco Spa:

This type of spa offers organic treatments and is environmentally friendly due to the materials used for building the spa and its energy saving techniques in the daily running of the spa.

Ayurveda Spa:

This specializes in ayurvedic treatments and is useful in preventing and healing diseases and their symptoms along with boosting the immune system. The Ayurveda spa treatments are customized according to individual client's needs following a consultation with the physician. The treatment program also comprises of yoga and meditation.

Thalassotherapy Spa:

Warm sea water is used in this type of spa as it has curative benefits. It also helps in relaxation, detoxification, de-stressing, and calms aches and pains for treating insomnia. The sea water and its derivatives also help in restoring the body's natural chemical balance.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: October 13, 2015

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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