My Spa Journey
“Sanus Per Aquam”
The term SPA is traditionally used to mean a place where water that is believed to have special health-giving properties occurs. This is usually a mineral or hot spring, and can include cold water treatments. The term is derived from the Belgian town of Spa. Contrary to popular belief, ‘sanus per aquam’ is not the source for spa, but a false etymology or backronym.
There are various stories about the origin of the name. A Belgian spring of iron bearing water was called Espa from the Walloon language term for “fountain”, and was used in 1326 as a cure by an iron master with such success that he founded a health resort which developed into the town. It is also suggested that the term Espa may be derived from the name of the resort, and that its source could be the Latin word “spagere” meaning to scatter, sprinkle or moisten.It is often suggested that the word is an acronym of various Latin phrases such as “sanitas per aquas or sanus per aquam” meaning “health through water”, or “Solus Per Aqua” meaning “water in itself”, all of which seem to have modern sources.
Somewhere that makes you go aah! If that is a pool of mineral water, then so be it. But nowadays a SPA can mean much, much more. In fact the term SPA is now applied to any establishment whose aim is to increase the wellbeing of your mind, body and soul as long as it includes at least one hydrotherapy treatment. If that sounds a bit vague – it’s meant to be! Paths to wellbeing are as varied as you are and if you can be sure of one thing, it is that you are bound to find a SPA that will suit your needs perfectly, whether that is yoga, meditation, weight-loss, spiritual retreat, pampering, holistic treatments, alternative and complimentary therapies, golf, ski-ing, riding …
According to the International Spa Association:
Spa – an entity devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.
TYPES OF SPAS:
- Club Spa – A facility whose primary purpose is fitness and which offers a variety of professionally administered spa services on a day-use basis.
- Cruise Ship Spa – A spa aboard a cruise ship providing professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices.
- Day Spa – A spa offering a variety of professionally administered spa services to clients on a day-use basis.
- Destination Spa – 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.
- Medical Spa – A facility that operates under the full-time, on-site supervision of a licensed health care professional whose primary purpose is to provide comprehensive medical and wellness care in an environment that integrates spa services, as well as traditional, complimentary and/or alternative therapies and treatments. The facility operates within the scope of practice of its staff, which can include both Aesthetic/Cosmetic and Prevention/Wellness procedures and services.
- Mineral Springs Spa – A spa offering an on-site source of natural mineral, thermal or seawater used in hydrotherapy treatments.
- Resort/Hotel Spa – A spa owned by and located within a resort or hotel providing professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices. In addition to the leisure guest, this is a great place for business travelers who wish to take advantage of the spa experience while away from home.
My passion for Spas started 9 years ago when i had my first massage ever. Mind that i never been a fan of massage. The idea of having someone touching, rubbing and pressing my skin bothered me big time…
I visited a Spa 9 years ago and 9 years later i still remember my therapist’s face. The whole Spa experience, the whole Journey, the treatment, the relaxations, the fragrances, the aromas, natural ingredients, the feeling, the atmosphere, decorations, the music, the spa teas, the benefits etc…everything made me change my mind forever. It made me very curious and from there i decided to discover this way of healing the body and mind that was booming in Asia.
7 years ago, i saw the opportunity of studying in depth about Spa. There were a few Diploma courses in Hong Kong, and i decided to enrol!!!Uhhh i don’t regret a single bit!One of the best decisions eva!!!I still remember my father being very sceptical about this decision, as Spa in Macau always had a very bad reputation…imagine 7 years ago!!!
This is were my Wellness Journey began…
I decided to give it a go and change my career path. I enrolled myself in CIBTAC, NA, and CIDESCO Diploma Courses for Spa Business and Management, Body Anatomy and Physiology, Spa Therapies and of course Body Massages, Oil blending etc…Was an amazing year of intense studying, dedication and absolutely amazingness. I learnt so much..and of course, the passion grew…After my graduation, i had my first Spa Job (4 days only) as a Spa representative at the Malo Clinic, at the time of the 1st IIFA. After that, i was able to be part of the pre-openings and trainings of course of Hotels and Spas including: Grand Hyatt Macau and the largest Sheraton in the world – the Sheraton Macau…
Well, i’m not going to describe my working experiences or explain my CV. The idea here is to show you how this passion about Spa was born, and how this led to where i am now.
From the Spa experience grew the wellness and well being bug. At some point i start noticing that Spa treatments and Spa lifestyle walking hand in hand with Yoga and Nutrition..There was a beautiful Mind, Body and Soul connection to the situation and that’s when i discover the Yoga TT an hour away from Macau. Was another long year of intensive commitment and hard work…but the rewards?!?Oh my…Yoga changed my life.And the commitment to Yoga studies will continue for sure. Right after i took the Yoga T.T. i enrolled for the Diploma in Holistic Nutritionist & Sports Nutritionist, Detox Specialisation and finally Naturopathy where skin care products and Life and Wellness coaching classes were part of this intensive and longggggg course.
With all this qualification, experience, love, dedication and patience i managed to start seeing clients privately and attend their needs, i build wellness programs for them and for one of the 5 Stars Resort in Macau, i trained Spa staff, i was Spa Coordinator and assisted in the training of the spa operations and management, i was part of therapist trainings and brand training led by world renowned Spa Gurus,from Pre Natal to Aromatherapy Massages, Signature massages to facials, from exquisite scrubs to luxurious gold treatments…i had it all!!Since i was directly involved in keeping the Spa standards always on the top i became extremely picky, exigent and observer…Every Spa, every treatment room i go, i always leave a not giving positive comments or constructive feedbacks and this reflects not only in the work space but also in my house within my family too.
I am in a very very happy place. With all this achievements, sometimes i forget how all this journey started. I can’t forget that it’s thanks to Spa that i am here today. I still dream about having my little Spa one day!!
I managed to spread the bug to Hubby – he also loves his massages and until today we visit Spas, we have treatments, we get pampered, i buy Spa magazines, i read about Spas, Spa concepts, latest trends..I remember the boom of the Spa Cuisine and when Spas start being part of Hotels and Resort…How often we see “Resort and Spa” or “Hotel and Spa” nowadays?!Then the first retreats appeared including Spa/Body treatments, yoga and cuisine…how interesting?the evolution is absolutely astonishing. Now there’s even underwater Spas!!Spa packages, Wellness vouchers, Massage and Facial gift certificates are everywhere!!Sky is the limit for this industry!No wonder i deduced to make part of my lifestyle.I love it soo much!!!And because of that, i will start typing about my spa experiences every where i go!!!!I will visit the top 5 Spas and Wellness Retreats (Luxurious or not) around, experience their treatments and above all type about it.
I will choose them based on Customer Service, Spa Menu, Spa cuisine, Spa Reviews, exquisite Treatments, Ambience, Friendliness, Location and Wow factor. I am so excited about it!!!!I can’t wait to start it!!!!It’s going to be a truly Spa Quest!
Follow me on this amazing Journey, i am excited in taking you with me
For now, i am focusing in Spas in Macau – that i know soo well and Spas and Wellness Retreats that i have been already. After, i will focus in the Spas i will be visiting next