Spa - City of Belgium
The term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy, spa towns or spa resorts offering such treatment, or the medication or equipment for such treatment.
BELGIUM National Animal : Lion
There are various stories about the origin of the name. A Belgian spring of iron bearing water was called Espa from the Walloon language term for "fountain", and was used in 1326 as a cure by an iron master with such success that he founded a health resort which developed into the town. It is also suggested that the term Espa may be derived from the name of the resort, and that its source could be the Latin word "spagere" meaning to scatter, sprinkle or moisten.
It has been suggested, with no evidence, that the word is an acronym of various Latin phrases such as "Salus Per Aquam” or "Sanitas Per Aquam" meaning "health through water". These are "backronyms" back-formed acronyms. Acronyms arose in the twentieth century, and were not used in classical times.
Some of the earliest descriptions of western bathing practices came from Greece. The Greeks began bathing regimens that formed the foundation for modern spa procedures. These Aegean people utilized small bathtubs, washbasins, and foot baths for personal cleanliness. They established public baths and showers within their gymnasium complexes for relaxation and personal hygiene. Greek mythology specified that certain natural springs or tidal pools were blessed by the gods to cure disease.Thus, the early Greeks used the natural features, but expanded them and added their own amenities, such as decorations and shelves. During later Greek civilization, bathhouses were often built in conjunction with athletic fields.
The elaborate Roman bathing ritual and its resultant architecture served as precedents for later European and American bathing facilities. Formal garden spaces and opulent architectural arrangement equal to those of the Romans reappeared in Europe by the end of the eighteenth century. Major American spas followed suit a century later.
Each European spa began offering similar cures while maintaining a certain amount of individuality. The 19th century bathing regimen at Karlsbad can serve as a general portrayal of European bathing practices during this century. In the afternoon visitors went sight-seeing or attended concerts. Nightly theatrical performances followed the evening meal. This ended around 9:00 PM with the patients returning to their boardinghouses to sleep until six the next morning. This regimen continued for as long as a month and then the patients returned home until the next year. Other 19th century European spa regimens followed similar schedules.
After the American Revolution, the spa industry continued to gain popularity. By the mid 1850s hot and cold spring resorts existed in 20 states. Many of these resorts contained similar architectural features. Most health resorts had a large, two-story central building near or at the springs, with smaller structures surrounding it. The main building provided the guests with facilities for dining, and possibly, dancing on the first floor, and the second story consisted of sleeping rooms.
By the late 1930s more than 2,000 hot or cold-springs health resorts were operating in the United States. This number had diminished greatly by the 1950s and continued to decline in the following two decades. Today's spas emphasize dietary, exercise, or recreational programs more than traditional bathing activities. The public bathing industry remains stagnant, but companies selling the individual home spas attract a large and growing market.
A spa offering a variety of professionally administered spa services to clients on a day-use basis.A facility that operates under the full-time, on-site supervision of a licensed health care professional whose primary purpose is to provide comprehensive medical and wellness care in an environment that integrates spa services, as well as traditional, complimentary and/or alternative therapies and treatments. The facility operates within the scope of practice of its staff, which can include both aesthetic/cosmetic and prevention/wellness procedures and services.
BELGIUM National Bird : Kestrel
BELGIUM National Flower : Red Poppy