What does the word SPA mean?
To give a definition of SPA, it is worth referring to the etymology of the word itself. The most common explanation is that it is an abbreviation of the Latin saying “sanus per aquam” or also “sanitas per aquam”. The saying loosely translated means “to health through water”, “through water to health”. The etymology of the term SPA can also be found in the name of the 14th-century Belgian spa, which was located in the Ardennes, and was simply called Spa. The health resort was famous for its source of healing mineral waters. The name of this resort has been introduced into the English language. Initially, the SPA simply meant a resort, a town with healing waters or cosmetic and therapeutic treatments performed with the use of water. There is another source that may indicate the origin of the word SPA. The source of this term is believed to be the Latin word spag ere. It denotes the act of spraying water. In Walloon we find the word espa, which means fountain.
All interpretations have a common denominator – water. So in the case of SPA, water and its invaluable pro-health effect is the basis for explaining the concept itself. At the end, however, it is worth saying that the term SPA itself was popularized in the USA. It appeared and began to function in the early nineties of the last century. Today, the word SPA functions as a synonym for “using water”, the most commonly used medicinal. It is a sauna, swimming, water massages, baths in healing, thermal or ordinary water, but always enriched with minerals or ozone.
Is SPA a synonym for Wellness?
The idea of SPA is primarily health-promoting activities. But it also includes cosmetic treatments that are definitely beautifying and relaxing activities – affecting the body more aesthetically and mentally. They allow you to get calm, relax and… rejuvenate. There is also a very popular, holistic approach to health and human satisfaction. It shows the individual as a whole. The task of the SPA is to implement the philosophy that in order to improve or maintain health, one should use as many different possibilities as possible.
Therefore, there is a summary of the words SPA and Wellness. They are not synonyms, but related to each other. Wellness, however, is a concept broader than the SPA itself. Above all, Wellness adheres to the philosophy of achieving harmony of body, mind and spirit. Through this harmony, a person is able to achieve maximum well-being. Wellness is a healthy lifestyle.
Wellness is rooted in antiquity. The concept understood today appeared in the late 1950s. The definition of wellness was introduced by Dr. Halbert Dunn with the idea of a healthy lifestyle. Cosmetic, beautifying and renewing treatments do not have to be performed in resorts. They should be accompanied by physical activity, proper diet, etc. So it is a definition in opposition to SPA. According to the European Union of Health Resorts, SPA means a source of mineral waters. It may be the place, the place where the source was discovered. It is a city that has natural mineral water springs. There may also be a company that provides treatments with the use of healing waters. On the other hand, Wellness provides people who stay in such a place with access to various services.
Among the places that aspire to the role of SPA, one can distinguish Day SPA centers, in which treatments last no longer than one day. The client comes for a few hours. There are also specialized facilities with special stays lasting from a few to several days. This is called Resort SPA. Day SPA also includes places such as: large beauty salons, SPA zones in fitness clubs. There are also separate companies that deal with the beauty and relaxation of customers, but do not have accommodation facilities. These are the so-called wellness clinics, located mainly in cities. Resort SPA are hotel facilities with an attractive tourist location. They offer a full range of treatments – cosmetic, beauty, relaxing and biological treatments. The sports-attractive spaces are an advantage. Certain sports can be practiced freely here.
Wellness and SPA zones are located in hotel facilities. Treatments are not cheap, but can often be purchased together with a stay package. On the other hand, DAY SPA, depending on the scope of the offered treatments, costs several hundred zlotys. Also, luxury does not always have to be the most expensive.