WHAT IS SPA?
The word spa conjures up images of mud baths and meditation classes, spa cuisine in a serene desert setting.
But spas, lately, seem to be popping up everywhere: office buildings, strip malls, village storefronts. Salons and Korean nail places throw the word around. How can they all be spas?
First, there are different kinds of spas. At a destination spa, the whole environment is geared toward the four cornerstones of a spa experience: mind and body fitness, healthy eating, relaxation and treatments. You generally go there for at least two or three nights and immerse yourself in the spa atmosphere. Some people go to help them make lifstyle chnages. The destination spa is sometimes confused with a resort spa, which is one of the many amenities at a resort, along with golf, tennis and as much fatty food as you feel like eating.
At the day spa, people can drop in for massages, facials, body treatments, manicures and pedicures. Often, day spas are an extension of a hair salon. This is fine, as long as the spa offers a quiet, serene, environment.
But no one is regulating use of the word spa. That's why some salons promote spa services when all they have is one massage table, or use names like "spa pedicure." If you have any doubt, check out the facilities yourself before booking an appointment. Just drop in and ask for a quick tour.
At a minimum, a day spa should offer professionally administered massages, facials and body treatments in a quiet, serene atmosphere. At its most elaborate, a destination spa like Canyon Ranch has a staff of physicians, psychologists, nutritionists and physical therapists. It offers so many classes, lectures and services that and so many things going on that you could spend months there and still not experience them all.
What does it mean? It's up to you, the spa-goer to figure out what kind of service and experience you want, and find the place that suits you.
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