The Pioneer Spas: Clinique La Prairie
Founded in 1931 by Dr. Paul Niehans, a cellular therapy trailblazer whose methods were rooted in the extraction of various organs from sheep and sheep fetuses, Clinique La Prairie, in Montreaux, Switzerland, has steadily built on its original vision to create a private luxury clinic offering regenerating and revitalizing treatments based on organ extracts.
The clinic’s goal through the years has been to “group all the needed services in the same place, with just the right mix between medical and wellness,” says Dr. Adrian Heini, the spa’s medical director. Since its early days, it has become a state-of-the-art, five-building medical center, where its scientifically documented and developed therapies are administered.
From Clinic to Multi-Service Luxury Destination
Over the years, Clinique La Prairie has created a holistic approach to their medical care by offering spa, fitness and healthy cuisine. “Today we are still convinced that this is the right way, and we are developing this with new services such as yoga, weight management programs and many others,” Dr. Heini says. “We opened the way to ‘medical wellness.’”
As Clinique La Prairie has transformed itself into a destination that includes a variety of services, their guests have shifted their approaches to their visits. “The client is still a patient, but he does not feel as such since he is moving within a luxury environment,” Dr. Heini explains. “Twenty five years ago, you were a clinic or a hotel, and Clinique La Prairie was definitely a clinic. Today, it is becoming possible to have a mixed structure with high-quality medical care and high-level services. Our actual client comes for medical issues but feels like he is on holiday in a luxury hotel.”
“Men are also more interested in spa and wellness than they were in the past, as opposed to 25 years ago, when it was considered more of a female matter of course to take care of the body,” Dr. Heini observes.
Another major change of the last 25 years? “The industry has become more affordable, which brings democratization; spa is no longer restricted for a small group of elites,” Dr. Heini tells us.
The Med Spa Future
Clinique La Prairie strives to remain a leader in the industry and to continue its emphasis on being a point of reference and resource in the “better aging” arena. “We all know that the population is living longer and longer and that the quality of those additional years is the most important thing,” Dr. Heini offers. “By combining our revitalization with high-tech treatments, exercises and healthy food, we would like to provide a global solution to achieve quality aging.”
Indeed, Dr. Heini believes the idea of regular and traditional spa is going to disappear as demands become more and more focused on the medical side. “From our point of view, the future of the industry is the medical spa,” Dr. Heini says. “People want to take care of themselves and get some relaxing care, but the [line] between wellness care and medical care becomes thinner every day.”
Our 25th Anniversary Celebration continues with more Spa Nostalgia Slideshows >