On My Mind - THE
EXPERIENCE - Part 2
by Julie Register
Something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through.
Part 1, I said that I believe time and a
quiet, comfortable place to prepare for and recover from treatments are essential
elements of the spa experience. No matter how great the treatment or service is,
it is diminished by not having this time and a quiet, comfortable place in which
to spend it. However, excellent customer service, relaxing and effective treatments
delivered in quiet and private rooms, and a place to prepare and recover from
treatments is the bare minimum in my opinion.
I was reminded of this during
my recent visit to the Roman
Baths in Bath, England. When ancient Romans used the thermae, the predecessor
to our modern spas, it was an extended experience - a process. A typical routine
might begin with a workout in the palestra, followed by a visit to three progressively
warmer rooms starting in the tepidarium, the largest and most luxurious room in
the thermae. Here the bather would stay for an hour or so while being anointed
with oils. This would be followed by a visit to the caldarium with small private
bathing stalls offering a choice of hot or cold water. A visit to the hottest
chamber, the laconicum, would follow. Here the body was vigorously massaged and
the dead skin scraped off with a curved metal tool called a strigil. The bathing
ritual would end with a cool dip in the pool of the frigidarium. Refreshed and
clean, the bather then retired to the outer areas of the thermae to relax in the
library or assembly room.
I find my personal favorite and most rejuvenating
spa experiences have been those in which I roughly follow those steps - preparation,
cleaning, heating, treatment, and rest. Tabacón
Grand Spa and Thermal Resort in Costa Rica, Toskana
Therme in Germany, One
Spa in Scotland and The
Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in North Carolina spring to mind, but there
are many others. The key ingredient at these spas was water - listening to it
flow, being immersed in it, feeling its support, losing the boundaries between
the body and the water, feeling tension dissipate and losing the sense of time.
These were not rushed experiences. I was able to linger.
and expensive facilities are required to provide those experiences. I don't expect
those facilities from every spa. Nor do I usually have the time to spend an entire
day at the spa. However, "spa" does have its roots in water. "Sanus
Per Aquam" [S P A] is probably the most popular etymology of the word spa.
It means health by or through water. Not surprisingly, the first of ISPA's ten
domains of SPA is "The Waters."
I think every spa should offer
something to capture the essence or offer a taste of this foundation in water
for all of their guests, and many do. They have special showers, offer foot baths,
or incorporate water into treatments such as Vichy showers and hydrotherapy baths.
This helps to transform a place that delivers treatments to a place where you
can have a "spa experience."
That's my opinion of The Experience.
Thanks for "listening." I am interested in your opinion. Share it with
me at jar@DiscoverSpas.com.
On My Mind Articles
Lantana Spa at JW Marriott San Antonio
Farm to Treatment Table Lavender Experience
This package is available Saturdays only, May 12 – July 14 (excluding June 8), must be booked one week in advance and requires 48 hours notice for cancellation.
Hill Country Lavender Farm tour,
a bottle of organic lavender massage oil made at the farm,
lunch at Replenish Spa Café with items featuring lavender, and a lavender-based spa treatment featuring the organic lavender massage oil from the Hill Country Lavender farm.
You can clean your home, fruits, vegetables and meats with the same 'Aqueous Ozone' that spas and other companies use. Tersano's ‘Aqueous Ozone’ Cleaning Systemt is the world's most effective chemical-free cleaner. ‘Aqueous Ozone’ quickly oxidizes (kills) viruses and bacteria (including E.coli, Salmonella, MRSA, C-Difficil), mold, mildew and other contaminants on any item or surface - from toilets to bedspreads - before changing safely back into water and oxygen. ‘Aqueous Ozone’ is 3000 times faster and 50% more powerful than bleach and chlorine-based cleaners. It is 100% chemical free - no toxins, carcinogens or chemical residue - and safe for babies, pets and people with sensitive skin or those with strong reactions to normal cleaners. ‘Aqueous Ozone’ has long been used in water treatment, food sterilization and medical therapies for its remarkable anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. It sounds too good to be true, but the data show how effective the system works.
I'm a believer.
Hearth Health Month at mySpaShop including the best in health and wellness products from companies that give to those in need.