It quite common for people today to frequent spas and benefit from the health and beauty treatments provided there. As regular as their trips to the spa facilities are, however, there are very few people who know the actual origin of spas and how they came to become so popular among people. The history of health and beauty spas dates back to time immemorial, since historians believe that the concept of spas was established the day mankind discovered the utility and advantages of taking a bath. In fact, there is also a popular notion that spas reflect the innate human need to wash and cleanse themselves, to maintain both sanitation as well as beauty.
Where Does The Word ‘Spa’ Originate From?
There are different theories explaining the background of the word spa. Some experts of history link it to the Latin expression ‘salus per aquae’, of which the word spa is considered to be the acronym for. The expression literally translates to ‘health through water’, which goes on to show that even in the historic times, the idea of spas was closely associated with health and wellness.
On the other hand, another school of thought suggests that the word spa originated from a Belgian town by the same name. The town is historically believed to have been visited frequently by the Roman Army to bathe in the hot springs in order to relieve muscle pain and war injuries. This theory is supported by the fact that other places in Europe, known for their baths and springs, are named so as well. Consider the name of the English City Bath, which is quite similar to the German Wiesbaden and the Austrian Baden.
The History Of Health And Beauty Spas – A Brief Overview:
The Prehistoric Times: The relaxation and therapy we receive in a modern day spa are pretty much inspired by the treatment options developed during the Egyptian, Persian, Greek and Roman empires, all dating back to more than 2,500 years. Not only did these cultures promote the concept of taking a dip in hot springs and natural waters containing minerals, they also introduced the practice of using different types of concoctions and naturally occurring substances as beneficial for maintaining beauty. The use of different types of plants, mud masks and baths, face scrubs and steam have been documented in the historical data found about these civilizations, while the use of spring water originating from mountainous regions was also common.
Cleopatra is said to bathe in rosewater regularly in order to maintain her beauty and skin, while the Roman army is accredited with building and popularizing the concept of baths.
More Recent Developments: The Roman concept of spas and baths was revived around the mid nineteenth century when rich tourists from Europe and other parts of the world would travel to natural spas in order to enjoy some recreational and relaxed time. Gradually, spas gained popularity across the transatlantic with American settlers introducing the concept in 20th century United States as well.