While I had planned this New Year’s Day post to be my answer to the often debated 2012 question “Should our industry get rid of the word spa?” that will have to wait until my next post. I feel compelled to share the December 28th NY Time’s Article called Destination: Wellness written by Jesse McKinley as well as my response to the piece. First…check out his lengthy article that was, I am afraid, not very flattering to our spa and wellness industry. (Check out the comments also.)
The response I wrote is below. Perhaps you too will be inspired to take some action in this new year as this article makes it clear we have some work to do. One way to begin, in my opinion, is to spread the word about www.spaevidence.com and whenever possible, link to it. We need to stay committed to the many evidenced based modalities that we offer.
Wishing you all the best for this New Year and much progress on our mutual goals.
MY RESPONSE TO DESTINATION:WELLNESS
Jesse McKinley is a good writer and gets my vote for being entertaining. Fortunately however, I believe his readers are not going to be checking spa and wellness visits “off” their list for 2013 but rather adding them “on.”
There is a reason that there are more spas in the U.S. then there are Starbucks in the world. (Yes, that is an accurate statement.) It isn’t because spas are clever at marketing and people are being duped. It is because people are more stressed out than ever and professionals at spas are dedicated to caring and nurturing guests who are seeking what spas offer. The fact that the spa and wellness industry is thriving – even during a recession – is no small matter. It is also, by the way, a huge job creator.
Here is the future. Medical = drugs/surgery = expensive. Wellness = prevention = less expensive. While a visit to spa and wellness destinations may not magically turn someone from unhealthy to healthy, they can help people change directions. For many, that is a real bit of help.
I do agree with Jesse on a few things – including the unfortunate use of those ionic detox foot baths that are clearly a waste of money. Alas, they bug me too. Here is a resource that people might find helpful: www.spaevidence.com. It is a website that shows whIch spa and wellness modalities are evidenced based.
Also for the most accurate history of the term wellness – including how the World Health Organization defines it today – here is a link to the SRI International research study that traces the word from its beginning. Check out Appendix A.
My prediction for 2013? Corporate Wellness and Wellness Tourism will become huge.