People tend to interpret the term “wellness” in different ways. Some immediately think along the lines of beauty, whereas others connect the term with fitness and others again believe it to be about rest and relaxation.
Since the concept of “wellness” is not protected, there is no definite definition of the term and, hence, no distinct criteria for what the concept encompasses. However, experts within the area by and large agree that wellness is first and foremost about relaxation, about overcoming stress, and about nutrition. The question as to what wellness means to the individual will entirely depend on this individual person’s needs and requirements. In other words, it is up to wellness users themselves to answer questions as to how best to obtain peace of mind, which techniques and therapies that will work, and what will lead to generally improved well-being and a better physical condition. If we know our body and its needs, then the road will be open to obtain harmony, for the body as for the mind.
The term spa is derived from Latin (salus per aqua) and means health through water. Water constitutes both the packing and content of the water experience – so no spa without water.
During the Roman Period, health resorts – or hydros – with thermal baths were built around hot springs. Such Roman hydros were sumptuous, since the emperors were keen on displaying luxury and grandeur. The life of the Romans was one of pleasure and abundance. The assumption is that, when between campaigns, the Romans would use thermal baths as their place of residence. In 1326, in Belgium, a health resort was established under the name of SPA. In 18th century Europe, this resort was one of the most popular. People of all stations in life would flock to this spot to bathe in the health-giving waters and be cured of their diseases.
In the 1980s, the body and its balance came in focus in USA, an interest later spreading to Europe. In USA, this interest led to the development of a new concept, namely the concept of SPA. The key objective of the SPA concept was, and still is, health and improved well-being, a more hale and hearty life, less stress, more energy and improved balance.
Mental and physical well-being requires well-balanced living, but as our requirements vary from one person to the next, there is no ready made prescription for a balanced and harmonious living. The Spa concept comprises four basic cornerstones representing a holistic approach involving both body and soul and affecting our well-being. The four cornerstones are:
- Healthy food
- Physical exercise
- Mental relaxation
- Good facial treatment and body care
Visibly and vividly, these four cornerstones must work together in order for SPA to work holistically. What will work in order to create or maintain balance for the individual – and to which extents – is, however a purely individual matter. And wellness is about leading a good life, not about moral finger-wagging.
Wellness comprises a wealth of options: sauna, spa, body care, aroma therapy, walks, massage, manicure, pedicure, fitness, mental exercise, Yoga, good and healthy food and – not least – time and peace and quiet. The richness in variation is insurance that there will always be something to all everyone’s taste and financial capability. The treatments further share the same point of departure, namely to stimulate our five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Focus in on the integral whole which only few of us have the time to practice in our everyday life. Nonetheless, it provides both internal and external harmony.