Friday, May 30, 2008

Spa Design Part 2


There are various stories about the origin of the name.

The term is derived from the name of the town of Spa, Belgium, where since medieval times illnesses caused by iron deficiency were treated by drinking chalybeate (iron bearing) spring water.

A Belgian spring of iron bearing water was called Espa for "fountain", and was used in 1326 as a cure by an iron master with such success that he founded a health resort which developed into the town.It is also suggested that the term Espa may be derived from the name of the resort, and that its source could be the Latin word "spagere" meaning to scatter, sprinkle or moisten.

It is often suggested, with little evidence, that the word is an acronym of various Latin phrases such as "Salus Per Aquam” or "Sanitas Per Aquam" meaning "health through water", all of which seem to have modern sources.

According to the International Spa Association:
Spa - an entity devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.


Different kinds of spas serve different purposes.

A. according to treatment and services:

1) Day Spa – facilities have no overnight accommodations, offering beauty, wellness and relaxation programs that may last an hour. Many also offer salon services.

2) Destination Spa - Its sole purpose is to help you lead a healthier lifestyle through spa treatments, exercise, and educational programming like exercise classes, body treatments, mind-enrichment & stress-reduction activities, spa cuisine. You stay at least two nights. Some have minimum stays of three or seven nights. Spa cuisine is served exclusively

3) Medical Spa - A facility offering treatments that require a doctor’s supervision whose primary purpose is to provide comprehensive medical and wellness care in an environment that integrates spa services, as well as traditional, complimentary and/or alternative therapies and treatments. The facility operates within the scope of practice of its staff, which can include both Aesthetic/Cosmetic and Prevention/Wellness procedures and services

4)Holistic Spa - Spas focusing on alternative healing methods and nutrition, mainly vegetarian or macrobiotic holistic healing seeks "high level of wellness" integrating body and mind in a higher consciousness

5)Structured Spa - Spas with a strict set of rules whose entire facility is geared towards the achievement of a particular goal such as weight loss, or fitness.

6) Sports/Adventure Spa - Hotel or resort providing therapeutic baths and body treatment and that offer special sports and outdoor adventure programs that include anything from golf to skiing, fly-fishing to marathon conditioning.

B. according to location:

1) Club Spa - A day spa located in a fitness facility or health club whose primary purpose is fitness and which offers a variety of professionally administered spa services on a day-use basis.

2) Cruise ship spa – A spa aboard a cruise ship providing professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices.

3)Mineral springs spa - A spa offering an on-site source of natural mineral, thermal or seawater used in hydrotherapy treatments.

4) Resort/hotel spa - Usually located in beautiful environments providing professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices. In addition to the leisure guest, this is a great place for business travelers who wish to take advantage of the spa experience while away from home.

5) Airport Spa - It is located in an airport and specializes in short treatments aimed at the traveler, like 15-minute chair massage and oxygen therapy. Some also offer longer treatments.

To understand and organize this overwhelming variety of spa offerings, the International Spa Association (ISPA) has defined the "ten domains of SPA" or segments of the industry as:
1. "The Waters"
2. Food, Nourishment, Diet and Nutrition
3. Movement, Exercise and Fitness
4. Touch, Massage, and Bodywork
5. Mind/Body/Spirit
6. Aesthetics, Skin Care, Natural Beauty Agents
7. Physical Space, Climatology, Global Ecology
8. Social/Cultural Arts and Values, Spa Culture
9. Management, Marketing, and Operations10. Time, Rhythm, and Cycles

Not every spa includes every domain.

Spa- goers are drawn to indigenous treatments and products, especially when traveling. New textures, aromas and sounds with meaningful story-telling help forge connections to people, places and traditions.

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