The International Spa Association defines spas as ‘places devoted to overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body, and spirit’. It’s no surprise then that spas are at the forefront of wellness, the latter of which is one of the fastest growing industries on the market today.  In our very busy, stress-filled lives, we are continuously seeking ways to sustain a healthy wellness lifestyle and rejuvenate our bodies and minds.  But why exactly are we so hooked on spas?

Where medical and spa meet

There are so many reasons why we love going to spas, most of which usually fit within reasons that are either aesthetic (or cosmetic) or for health/wellness purposes.  Aesthetically, spas provide us with a one-stop shop for treatments in beauty rejuvenation and/or weight loss. Because most spas now offer minimally invasive medical procedures in a relaxed environment, they become the natural choice instead of having to go to a doctor’s office for any kind of advanced skin care or body and facial rejuvenation.

Treatments offered in spas are also very safe as they are performed by skin care professionals who use more advanced concentrated products that are more effective in addressing your skin concerns. Spa therapists are also usually able to provide you with customised advice on your specific skin care needs or body shaping options. Regular visits to the spa for any beauty treatments, such as manicures, pedicures, facials, and waxing, amongst others, ensure that we consciously set aside time to look after ourselves and enhance our beauty in some way.  It’s all about feeling good.

Spa and well being

While going to a spa may seem like a real luxury in these tough economic times, it should be considered a necessity, especially in terms of promoting our overall wellness. Spas allow us to disconnect from our daily routines, unplug and refocus on our well-being and at least reduce the stress that is part and parcel of our modern lives. From a health perspective, several studies have shown that facial and body massages help reduce stress levels, boost our natural defenses and immune system, remove toxins, improve circulation, and reduce blood pressure. Added to this, massage can be a very effective method of natural pain relief, whether you’ve got muscular pain, chronic headaches or a migraine.

Spa visits improve health and mood

Studies have also linked the frequency of spa visits with better quality sleep, fewer sick days, reduced absenteeism from work and fewer stays in hospital. Perhaps, though, at the very core of justifying why we visit spas, is that it just makes us feel good and boosts our mood.  Treatments such as massage increase our brain’s level of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin – and the more of those that go around, the better!

Spas in demand

It is clear from the increased number of spas in South Africa, with more than 700 facilities countrywide (figures from Health and Beauty Spa Industry in South Africa 2017), that people are increasingly seeking the spa experience as an alternative or complement to their other more traditional leisure activities. They provide us with limitless options in enhancing our beauty or reviving our wellness, or most likely, both.