Types of Spas

champagne_red_spa_ladiesNo two people visit a spa for the same reason.  One person may visit to receive a relaxing massage and a facial while another may visit for the benefits of an aromatherapy treatment or to lose unwanted pounds.  Out of this vast array of interests came the need for the development of a wide variety of specialized spas to ensure that spa goers were offered the services they desired.

Why do people visit spas?  Well, spas are a relaxing place to go to be pampered and nurtured in surroundings that are serene and calming.  Spas are a tranquil place to go to cleanse, heal, and enhance overall well being.  When most people think of spas they think of basic beauty and therapeutic treatments, such as facials and massages.  However, spas are able to help us in a variety of ways reaching far beyond just beautifying and relaxing.  When visiting a spa, you can talk to experts who can help you improve your fitness, improve your eating habits and learn about nutrition, maintaining or losing weight, and managing stress.  Spas are even places where you can commune with nature, take time for personal reflection, and meet other people with interests similar to yours.  In essence, the type of spa you choose to visit should be a reflection of what your goals are.  Do you want to get a facial or a massage?  Do you want to improve your overall physical fitness?  Alternatively, would you like to learn how to lead a healthier lifestyle?  No matter what your goals are, there is a spa that can help you meet them.

Some of the most basic types of spas are the Beauty Spa, Hotel Spa, Wellness Spa, Fitness Spa, and Medical Spa.  Each of these types of spas are tailored to meet the specific needs of their clients, whether those needs are to improve their customer’s self-esteem with a facial and new haircut and color, or to improve their customer’s physical health through a series of alternative medical treatments.

Beauty Spas offer both spa and salon services to patrons all in one convenient location.  When one thinks of a Beauty Spa, images of Day Spas often come to mind.  One defining characteristic of this type of spa is that its facilities do not include overnight accommodations for patrons.  These spas offer a full range of beauty and relaxation treatments to their patrons.  These treatments may last anywhere from 30 minutes to an entire day.  In 1996, Entrepreneur Magazine voted Day Spas one of the year’’s hottest businesses due to the fact that they represented the most rapidly growing segment of the spa industry over the previous years.  Many Day Spas are the product of “upgrades” by owners of salons who decide to begin offering spa services to clients in addition to the traditional salon services.  Because of the wide range of services they offer and the flexibility that comes with being able to receive a spa treatment in as little as 30 minutes, Day Spas are appealing to many types of people.

As the name implies, Hotel Spas are spas situated within a hotel.  This type of spa has become increasingly popular worldwide.  Hotel Spas are often desirable because they provide a relaxing retreat for people wishing to escape their hectic, everyday schedules.  Hotel Spas are much larger in size than Day Spas and offer their guests overnight accommodations.  Hotel Spas also offer a wide array of treatments, and guests are able to participate in a number of additional activities depending on the location of the spa.  For example, a Hotel Spa in the mountains may offer skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing outings to its patrons while a Hotel Spa on the ocean may offer its patrons scuba diving or snorkeling.  Hotel Spas also frequently feature aerobic and fitness facilities and restaurants.  Like any other type of spa, Hotel Spas offer their own unique menu of treatments and the decision of which Hotel Spa to visit should be based on individual goals.

Fitness Spas are the result of the melding of spas and fitness clubs into one location.  Each of these components maintains unique goals.  The goal of any fitness club is to encourage people to maintain and enhance their physical health.  The goal of any spa is to help people learn to relax and feel better about themselves.  Despite these differences, each component maintains a similar underlying goal:  to provide visitors with a rewarding experience that will benefit them even after they leave the facility.  Creating an environment that promotes the goals of each facility is a very difficult task.  Therefore, many Fitness Spas are a health club/day spa combination.  The health club portion offers patrons all the services of a traditional health club while the spa portion offers patrons traditional Day Spa and salon services.  This melding of spas and fitness clubs may appear to some people to be a kinder, gentler way of getting and staying in shape while providing the perfect way to unwind after a workout.  This is a large part of the appeal of Fitness Spas.

Wellness Spas maintain a focus on increasing and maintaining the overall wellness of their visitors.  This is accomplished through a number of classes and activities where visitors learn how to live a healthy lifestyle.  Individuals who suffer from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, cancer, arthritis, obesity, or excessive stress, or even individuals who want to quit smoking can benefit from a visit to a Wellness Spa.  What makes Wellness Spas so unique is the way in which they utilize a staff of medical experts to combine highly specialized treatments to improve visitors’ health in an environment where they can also receive beauty treatments, improving their well being both inside and out.

Medical Spas are a type of spa that offers treatments based on alternative medicine therapies.  Medical Spas are staffed by doctors and other medical professionals who are committed to improving wellness through the use of alternative medical therapies.  Medical Spas and the use of alternative medical therapies have had increasing popularity in the past decade.  In 1997, 4 out of 10 Americans reported using alternative medical therapies and from 1990 to 1997, the total number of visits to alternative medical facilities increased by 47 percent from 427 million to 629 million.  This number exceeds the number of visits to traditional medical practitioners during the same time period.  Between 2002 and 2006, the medical spa arena is projected to experience a growth rate of 40%. Treatments at Medical Spas include such things as herbal therapies, chiropractic therapy, self-help imagery, hypnosis, homeopathy, biofeedback, acupuncture, and energy healing.  Medical Spas are also becoming very popular as adjuncts to plastic surgery, chiropractic, dermatology and anti-aging physicians’ existing medical practices.

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