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12.2.1 Spa and Wellness.

Read the text and answer the questions below

Spa and Wellness

Spa has become a wellknown word to describe a place where wellness programs are realized. On the other hand it is difficult to define its meaning because it is very complex and also because its meaning may vary from country to country. Specialist literature in the English speaking countries first used the term ’spa’ to describe the preservation of health by using water. The International Spa Association (ISPA) defined it differently. In their view spas are places devoted to overall wellbeing through a variety of professional services that encourage visitors to renew their minds, bodies and spirit. The spa-experience comprises four areas, i.e. relaxation, reflection, revitalization and rejoicing. This process is usually referred to as the complexity of the 4Rs. (Relax+Reflect+Revitalize+Rejoice).

In Europe spas as health service providers are mostly associated with the provision of services related to medicinal waters, but today different fitness programs and beauty care treatments also play an increasingly significant role in spa tourism.

The American spa is increasingly becoming a health-centered institution because service providers pay a special attention to healthy eating, exercising, beauty and body treatments and meditation. In addition to conventional western treatments American spas also utilize ancient cures deriving from north America or the far East. Despite the differences all types of wellness services serve the same aim, and, the popularity of wellness has strengthened both Europe and in America.     

From Ferenc Győri: Introduction to Health Tourism

1. What is a spa in general terms?

2. What do specialists mean by the word ’spa’ in different countries?

3. What is ISPA?

4. What are the areas of a spa experience?

5. What programs and treatments do play a role in European spa tourism?

6. What extra services do American spas use?

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