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The History Of The Spa

By Sintilia Miecevole

The very thought of a spa is enough to give a tingling vibrance to our tired body. In the fast-paced life with heavy loads of work we hardly get the time to take care of our body. No wonder, the advertising agencies cash on the word spa to sell all kinds of products. In the midst of all these connotations we may lose the real meaning of a spa. Literally, the word spa refers to a health resort located near a water body like a spring or at the seaside.

The word comes from a place called Spa in Belgium where there are those historic springs. In the olden days the wounded Roman soldiers would come to these mineral springs to bathe after war in order to soothe their aching bodies and heal their injuries with the warm water of the spring. Since then any natural or manmade place that has medicinal spring is called a spa. In eastern New England these mineral springs were also called soda fountain.

However, according to another story the word spa is derived from the Latin phrase 'sanitas per aqua,' or 'health through water'. All this shows that spa is synonymous with water having medicinal value. That is not to say that the spas that pop up in every nook and corner of the city claiming to provide therapeutic baths and massages have springs with medicinal water.

Nevertheless, the idea behind modern spas is the same. They include the resorts that provide hot tub or hydro massage facilities to calm the body and the mind, irrespective of whether or not it is located near the water body. Moreover, spas include resorts that provide complete privacy to people.

Spas are quite popular in countries like Germany, France and Italy where people go to revitalize their bodies. Many times they may not even bathe in the fresh water of a spring or sea, but just drink it. Spas are known to cure all types of problems like eczema, arthritis, liver problems and kidney stones. In European countries even the insurance and health agencies are ready to bear the expenses of this therapy. People don't mind queuing up outside spas because they hope to get rid of their illnesses. Many people have been successfully cured by this therapy.

The modern spas are very different from the original springs of medicinal water. They include the Jacuzzi, sauna, and water-based mud packs in the spas. What has not changed is the fundamental principle behind it - to obtain peace of mind and good health.


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