Spas and Medicine are Becoming Partners,
Susie Ellis, SpaFinder Insider
Our time has come. Prevention is “in.” What spas offer is “in.” Wellness is “in.” Part of the reason we have arrived at this place is because people are understanding the importance and cost savings of reducing stress and staying healthy. Another reason is the global economic crisis which has resulted in a government stimulus plan which has made health care reform a priority in the US.
We shouldn’t let this opportunity pass us by.
I just spent two full days in Washington D.C. at the Summit on Integrative Medicine and The Health of the Public as a guest of Deborah Szekely’s. This very important meeting was held at the National Academy of Sciences and included many formidable speakers; Senator Tom Harkin, Dr. Mehmet Oz (of Oprah fame), Dr. Dean Ornish, Jon Kabat-Zinn and about 40 top medical professionals from around the country. It was a gathering of very smart and powerful people and I felt humbled to be able to listen to the ideas, take notes and at one point even share an insight.
Videos of each summit session are available on the summit website. If you have time to listen to only one talk – I suggest you listen to Dr. Dean Ornish. Although he talks very rapidly, he does a great job in explaining the exciting opportunity we have.
Literature describing the summit included this statement, “the summit was designed to explore the science and practice of integrative medicine — health care that addresses together the mental, emotional, and physi
cal aspects of the healing process.” Note the similarity to the definition of spa we use in the spa industry, “establishments that promote wellness through the provision of therapeutic and other professional services aimed at renewing the body, mind, and spirit.”
I was struck by how often the distinguished speakers spoke about the importance of exercise, diet, stress reduction and mind/body medicine. They used terms such as wellness, integrative health, integrative wellness, behavior modification, and health coaching. There was a lot of reference to patient-centered medicine or people-centered care and mindfulness. These are all terms that we use often in the spa industry! Unfortunately, however, not once did I hear the word spa mentioned.
That’s a problem.
Let’s talk about that in the next blog post.
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