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The History Of Spa Treatments And Their Different Types

Jun 26, 2008
Spas originated in Belgium during the 16th Century. The term spa is generally associated with a type of water treatment also known as "balneotheraphy". Spa towns or spa resorts offer such treatment. Some also offer the medication or equipment for such treatment. Thus, the term has various related meanings.

The term spa is generally associated with a type of water treatment also known as "balneotheraphy". Spa towns or spa resorts offer such treatment. Some also offer the medication or equipment for such treatment. Thus, the term has various related meanings.

The word originated from a small town in Belgium, where in, during the medieval times illnesses that was caused by lack of iron were only treated by drinking chalybeate or iron bearing found in spring water. During 16th century, an old Roman had an idea about having baths from medicinal plants and drinking it in order to treat diseases.

Hence, it was in the year 1571 when a certain William Slingsby discovered that medicinal effects of the Chalybeate spring in Yorkshire. He then made an enclosed room from this Chalybeate spring, which he called "Harrogate". Thus, this is considered as the first Spa resort in England that made use of medicinal waters.

However, the practice of going to hot or cold springs, in hope of finding a cure for some ailment started from the ancient up to the prehistoric times. This is when Archeologists found hot springs in France and Czechoslovakia that revealed Bronze Age weaponry and offerings. In the United Kingdom, ancient legend credited early Celtic kings due to the discovery of the hot springs in Bath, England.

During the 18th up to the 19th Century, bathing became a more common and suggested practice by the physicians due to the benefits that cleanliness can provide.

By the mid-19th century, European spa's started the concept of bathing aside from drinking these medicinal waters. Aside from pavillons, Trinkhallen and fountains, bath houses from the Roman era were revived. In the United Kingdom their Spas started with structures that cover the drinking function. This is from typical fountains to pavilions that emphasize Trinkhallen.

There is also a lot of regimen when it comes to bathing in the 19th century. This would include soaking in hot water, steaming in vapor, drinking hot water and relaxing in a cool room.

Thus, at the start of the 20th century, European Spas had a mixture of a strict diet and exercise as their regimen. This is set as a bathing procedure that will provide lots of benefits for the patients.

Due to its popularity, the benefits derived from Spas reached the United States, where in, some medical practitioners discovered that the thermal waters of resorts such as the Hot Springs in Virginia, and in Saratoga Springs, New York, were not as beneficial to the health as compared to using ordinary heated water.

Spa as a place for treatment

* Spa town - This is a place that is most frequently visited due to the healing properties of the water.
* Destination Spa - This is a type of Spa usually found in resorts and used for personal care treatments.
* Day spa - This is a type of Spa usually given at beauty salons.

Spa medication or equipment

* Spa - mineral water
* Trim Spa- used for loosing weight similar to using pills
* Soda Fountain-used in the United States
* Hot tub
* Foot spa- a tiny bowl where in the feet is immersed in hot boiling water, washed and also massaged


Club Spa - A facility whose main purpose is to offers several professionally administered spa services.

Cruise Ship Spa - A type of Spa that available while onboard a cruise ship.

Day Spa - A type of spa which offers a variety of professionally administered spa services to clients on a daily basis, particularly in beauty salons.

Dental Spa - This is usually done in a dental facility, under the supervision of a dentist. In this type of Spa, traditional dental treatment is combined with certain Spa services.

Destination spa - A destination spa is a facility that possesses the main purpose of having individual spa-goers guided in developing healthy habits. Thus, historically, this requires staying or visiting for about seven days in order to promote a lifestyle transformation which can only be accomplished by providing a comprehensive activity that includes physical fitness programs, Spa services, wellness education, special interest programming and healthful cuisine.

Medical spa - A facility that operates under the full-time, on-site supervision of a licensed health care professional 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. This facility operates under the practice of its staff, which can include both aesthetic and cosmetic procedures for prevention and wellness results.

Mineral Springs Spa - This is a type of Spa that makes use of a hut that offers natural treatment via on-site sources that includes thermal, mineral, or seawater usage. This is also regarded as "Hydrotherapy Treatments".

Resort or Hotel spa - This is a type of Spa owned by either a hotel or a resort that provides Spa services that are professionally administered, where in, wellness and fitness components are mixed with a menu selection of Spa cuisine.
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