FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Health Spas

Mar 1, 2011
2011 / March 2011

For thousands of years, men and women have searched for therapies to prolong life and benefit health. The word “spa” is said to derive from the town of Spa, Belgium, celebrated since the Middle Ages for its medicinal spring waters. Pilgrimages to Spa were so popular that by the early 17th century “spa” described any place with a medicinal spring marketed to tourists. Soaking in such waters was also deemed beneficial, so “spa” came to mean any place that featured heated baths, such as Bath, England, established by the Romans as a spa resort in the first century.

Today, the terms “health spa” and “destination spa” generally refer to a facility with a comprehensive approach to bolstering health, combining fitness, healthy eating, relaxation and renewal with spa services. With the emphasis on living better, getting healthier and learning something about yourself, services go far beyond pampering.

Destination spas come in a range of prices and personalities, so it’s important to determine what you’re looking for in terms of facilities, amenities and special programming. Prices range from a few hundred dollars a night to many thousands a week. Facilities run the gamut from intimate inns accommodating a dozen guests to sprawling estates that can host hundreds.

A visit to a health spa begins with an assessment of your current lifestyle and wellness so that a program can be designed to meet your specific needs. Fitness programs may include exercise routines, hiking, kayaking, yoga, tai chi, Pilates or even snow sports in certain climates. Therapeutic spa treatments often include massage, hydrotherapy and stress reduction techniques such as meditation. Many spas offer workshops in spirituality, behavior modification or lifestyle changes. Treatments may address chronic disorders such as headaches, fibromyalgia or pain.

One of the oldest health therapies is the Ayurvedic tradition; some spas offer Ayurvedic therapies on their spa menu while others are solely Ayurvedic spas. These centuries-old therapies from India aim to balance and reawaken the body’s natural healing mechanism; guests learn how factors in their individual make-up affect physical tendencies, emotions, motivation and behavior.

A common denominator among most destination spas is nutritional education that emphasizes healthy eating — often based on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, though these are not necessarily organic. Some spas are geared to weight loss, with restricted calories and portion control. Others have an all-you-can-eat approach. Many do not allow alcohol; some serve alcohol with dinner.

Health and destination spas have a spirit of friendliness because guests have a shared interest in improving their health. Many spas organize guests into small groups so people can get to know each other while eating and participating in activities. There is usually a high staff-to-guest ratio; and staff members tend to be friendly, energetic and enthusiastic about their programs.

Whichever type of spa you choose, make sure it is licensed by the state or government as a health spa and is following the guidelines mandated by law. The providers need to be experienced, registered and licensed in their specialties. This includes therapists, counselors, dieticians, massage therapists and behavioral psychologists. Nutritionists should be registered dieticians. Fitness staff should be registered physical therapists or exercise physiologists. If a health care team is present, the physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses must be registered and licensed.

Make sure the facility is regularly surveyed by the state or government; find out the date and outcome of the last inspection. Spas must follow state regulations for cleanliness and chlorination of hot tubs and swimming pools, which must pass regular inspections by a health department. If these guidelines are not followed, spa guests run the risk of contracting hot tub rash, Pseudomonas infections and other recreational water illnesses. Always consult your physician before a spa visit to ensure you are in good condition for activity programs and treatments.


Hitting Home

It’s difficult to leave a life-changing, nurturing environment and return home to reality. Here’s how you can prolong the benefits of a spa stay.

*  At the spa, attend workshops on health, human relations or spirituality

*  Bring a journal to record your thoughts and take notes

*  Bring home a memento to inspire you to stay on the path of wellness

*  Take time to transition; take a few days at home to integrate the experience into your life

*  Be realistic about re-entry; list your work and home priorities but don’t expect to get to them all

*    Have a massage within a week of returning home

*  Nurture yourself throughout the year with massages, facials and exercise

*  Follow up from home with your spa professionals if needed

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Nov 12, 2019

Finnair Adds Daily Tokyo Flights

Finnair will start daily flights to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on March 29, 2020. The new flights are on sale now.

Thessaloniki: Culture, Good Food and Shopping

Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.

News
Nov 12, 2019

Alaska Airlines Boasts New Pixar-Inspired Livery

Alaska Airlines recently debuted its new Pixar-inspired, special-edition aircraft livery. On both sides of the Pixar-themed Boeing 737-800 aircraft, travelers spot recognizable faces from the Toy Story franchise, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie. Rex the Tyrannosaurus appears on the boarding door and the little green aliens show up on the aircraft’s winglets.

eFlyer Reviews
Nov 12, 2019

Piccola Cucina Estiatorio Review

Chef Philip Guardione used to spend his days and nights on Manhattan’s Prince and Spring streets, where his popular restaurants Piccola Cucina Enoteca and Piccola Cucina Osteria attract locals and tourists who love his Sicilian-inspired cuisine as well as the street scene in the vibrant SoHo neighborhood.

Your Home Away From Home

Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.

eFlyer News
Nov 12, 2019

InterContinental San Juan Set to Reopen Next Month

The New InterContinental San Juan is officially reopening next month. The opening marks the completion of the property’s first major renovation in more than 20 years.

Daily
Nov 12, 2019

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok Completes Renovations

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok completed renovations on its River Wing, concluding the hotel’s most extensive renovations in nearly 150 years. The River Wing redesign followed restorations of the hotel’s Authors’ and Garden wings. Newly renovated guestrooms and suites feature updated facilities, but maintain the hotel’s signature Thai elegance. The renovations also increased the number of suites in the wing, as well as enlarged guestrooms with views of the Chao Phraya River.

TAP Air Portugal Adds 15 Flights Each Week From U.S., Canada

TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020,  a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.

Feature
Nov 11, 2019

Israel Tourism’s Huge 2019

Israel is experiencing a record-breaking year for tourism, and is adding the infrastructure to prove it.