For many years, a large number of spas have been using terms such as’ holistic’, ‘mind body spirit’ or ‘mind body soul'. But when you ask these spas what they are actually doing for the mind, and more particularly for the spirit or the soul, the majority would probably be hard pressed to answer convincingly. Even if the spa manager could come up with an answer, I would be surprised if many or even any of their therapists would be able to speak authoritatively on what they or their spa offer in this respect.
Likewise terms such as ‘wellbeing’ and ‘wellness’ are bandied around, but I think many spas could be doing a great deal more to promote these concepts. I would encourage spa management to have brainstorming sessions with their team to see how their spas could more actively promote and deliver on both wellbeing and wellness with their spa clients and within their communities. I am sure there are many touch points within spas where these aspects could be creatively developed to make a positive impact and contribution.
I would also urge more spas to encourage team members to donate some of their time either each month or each year to doing something really positive and pro-active within the local community, such as visiting hospitals, nursing homes and hospices to give hand and foot massages. Maybe the spa could offer full-time carers two passes a year to use their facilities for free during traditionally quieter periods of the week/month, when perhaps they could also book one treatments either for free or at a greatly reduced rate.
This type of pro-active wellness also helps to provide an alternative to doctors, drugs and disease. Thanks to our newspapers, radio and television providing constant coverage on how our National Health Service is heading towards breaking point, we are all certainly familiar with the phrase 'Prevention is better than cure'.
With more people living longer but often requiring very expensive drugs and nursing care, it is now more important than ever that everyone takes responsibility for their own health. On the one hand, the good news is that we are living longer; the bad news, however, is that we are going to have to work longer and we cannot rely on the State to take care of us, as we have in the past, in terms of free healthcare, welfare and pensions.
Spas are consequently very well placed to address the whole person: mind, body and spirit. This can be achieved through providing individual consultations, lectures, workshops, classes, newsletters, state-of-the-art fitness and wellness equipment and facilities, plus effective therapies and services.
Specialists should be on hand to inform, inspire and guide guests and look for ways to work alongside local medical services, the industry and the community to make a real difference to the quality as well as the quantity of its spa client’s lives.
Tanya Wheway is Chairman of Wheway Lifestyle International and the Education Chairman – YPO Gold London