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Health Spa

Find a Health Spa in Bridgeport

A Health Spa is a services center that people visit for personal health, life enhancement, fitness, and personal care treatments.  Spas are often located in a resort setting or other aesthetically pleasing locations. Destination spas often offer an all-inclusive program that includes facilitated fitness classes, healthy cuisine, educational classes and seminars as well as similar services to a beauty salon or a day spa. Guests reside and participate in the program at a destination spa instead of just visiting for a treatment or pure vacation. Destination spas are often in tourist locations or in spa towns.  Other types of spas include resort spas, day spas, club spas, cruise ship spas, medical spas, and mineral spring spas.

A destination spa is a facility with the primary purpose of guiding individual spa-goers to develop healthy habits. Historically a seven-day stay, this lifestyle transformation can be accomplished by providing a comprehensive program that includes spa services, physical fitness activities, wellness education, healthful cuisine and special interest programming.  The total environment at a destination spa is dedicated to health and life enhancement. The experience at a spa is meant to be transforming for the participant — a full immersion into healthy and joyous living. Guests come for the structured and personalized programs that blend fitness activities, healthy cuisine, wellness education, discovery classes, relaxation and renewal into an experience that leaves the participant rejuvenated.
   
Typical services at a spa include:  nutrition counseling, weight loss, medical treatments, exercise consultations, cooking demonstrations, massage, reflexology, facials, pedicures, manicures, waxing, body wraps, aromatherapy, and exfoliation.  Some spas may specialize in procedures that they are famous for. Consequently, spas may employ doctors, nutritionists, chefs, masseuses, exercise physiologists, acupuncturists, hairdressers, cosmetologists, and other wellness professionals.  Services may be all-inclusive, in packages; or charged per service, depending on the facility.  Some spas may have themes such as medical, day, detoxification, or weight loss. Resort type spas often have other activities such as golf, tourism, horseback riding, tennis, and water sports.
   
Spas often include types of balneotherapy.  Balneotherapy involves the treatment of disease by bathing. It may involve hot or cold water, massage via moving water, relaxation or stimulation, and the addition of herbs, oils, and salts. Many mineral waters at spas are rich in particular minerals that can be absorbed via the skin.  Many spas prepare baths from peat or mud mixed with hot mineral water. Mineral peat consists of decomposing vegetable soil that has been so long in the neighborhood of the medicinal spring that it has undergone peculiar and variable chemical changes. The peat is mixed with the hot mineral water until the bath has the desired consistency for a rejuvenating effect. Mud baths are chiefly prepared from muddy deposits that act as a large poultice applied to the entire surface of the body to draw out toxins. Mud baths in addition to the influence of the thermal retention capabilities exert a considerable mechanical effect on the soft tissues.
   
Spas can vary greatly in price and services included depending on location or clientele.  However, increasingly there is a trend toward providing more affordable spa experiences and thereby expanding the market.  Spas are often found in major tourist destinations and can be a wonderful getaway from the common vacation.

Author: Christopher Holder, ND Candidate '07


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