Traditionally in the 16th Century, Spas were communes where people gathered to partake in the mineral and sometimes thermal springs and baths. They were places of rest and renewal with a detox element to aid in the elimination of the excesses of a rich diet.
These places often revolved around towns or resorts, which had thermal or mineral springs. The mineral springs often contained salts and trace minerals. The warm water bathing aided relaxation and the high salt and sulphur content helped skin conditions. Drinking the water was believed to aid digestion and the elimination of toxic overload.
To stay with the original meaning of the word, a Spa must offer hydro treatments. Ideally, it should also offer juices or specialized waters to aid in the elimination of heavy metals. Heat treatments were also part of their traditional offering. Bath in England was a traditional Spa town. In Germany many towns with the name Boll or Baden had an original Spa resort as part of their town services.
Nowadays, the word Spa is attached to almost every hotel, plus many stand alone day retreats. There can be many treatments on offer, from chocolate body wraps to make-up lessons and deep-tissue massage. It can often be difficult for regular punters to chose the best treatment or even understand what is on offer. The better Spa’s offer consultations prior to treatment choice. These consultations take into account what is happening for a person that needs rebalance and care. The therapist then advises on a program based on these needs.
So, what should you expect from your Spa visit today? That you leave feeling rested, renewed and ready to embrace your life again. That your skin is glowing and you look great. That some of the nasty habits of having too much sugar, caffeine and refined foods have released their grip on you. Stiffness and tightness in your being and muscles has loosened and you feel softer and more flexible both mentally and physically, with more openness to receive all that Life wants to offer.
My favourite Spa is in Florida, the Oasis Therapy Spa, which is attached to a clinic where one can partake in juice fasts, an alkalizing diet, and rest by the salt-water pools. The deep-tissue massage and the natural facial treatments combined with the dietary cleanse leave me totally renewed and looking younger for my years. I try to get there once a year for two weeks
Another place in Southern Colorado, with its natural outdoor thermal pools in the San Luis Valley, is slightly more rustic but again a place for renewal of body and soul. In Ireland my getaway is Cloona Holistic Health Spa in Westport. It is not a pure Spa as such, but the closest I can get to that renews me in every way. A total pamper without the detox, if one wants to also indulge in rich food is Samas Spa in Kenmare.
In a time where we are racing and under much pressure with little time to be and think, Spa’s are the new sanctuary and places where people experience the ‘Sabbath” in their busy week. They should be restful and quiet and allow one to be.
It is better that there is an holistic element in the treatment menu, with treatments such as Rolfing Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu and Deep Tissue Muscular Release, Mystic Therapy, Light Therapy to name a few. Natural beauty treatments that aid lymph flow and use totally natural cosmetics are also a must.
You should go back to your home and work with less toxic overload ,mentally, spiritually and physically. Feeling refreshed and renewed in your mind to take on the challenges that life brings.
A banker friend of mind in Chicago sees spa time as an investment his business. He says he makes clearer business decision as a result of those retreat days. That is what a good spa offers you in today’s climate. Enjoy. Take time. The rewards will be so worth it.
Mary Berkery, Founder and CEO of Heaven and Earth Day Spa, is a Beauty, Massage and Reflexology therapist and tutor. Mary is also qualified in macrobiotic diet and living food nutrition. Her seminars and workshops on Body, Beauty and Soul care are an inspiration on living with beauty health and awareness in today’s world.
Positive Life also recommends:
Temple Spa www.templespa.ie
Kilronan Castle www.kilronancastle.ie