There is no denying the immense popularity that spas enjoy in Britain. This is reflected by the fact that the last few years have seen a sporadic rise in the number of spas across the major metropolitan areas of England, and each one of them is frequented by a throng of customers on a daily basis. There was a time when going to spas for different kinds of therapies was thought to be an activity that only women could enjoy. The recent times, however, present a different picture with a greater number of men now showing an inclination towards frequenting spas in order to maintain their looks and wellness at the same time.
How Health And Beauty Spas Came To Be In Britain:
The origin: The history of health and beauty spas in Britain dates back thousands of years ago, and can very well be accredited to the Roman army that discovered health benefits associated with the water flowing in hot springs and fresh mountain water. Inspired by the hot baths built by Arabs, the Roman utilized the naturally occurring therapeutic water from hot springs in the English cities of Bath and Buxton, and built hot water baths. The purpose of these baths was not only to promote healing of different ailments but also to encourage relaxation and social interaction.
The medieval history of health and beauty spas in Britain: In the year 1626, a lady named Mrs. Elizabeth Farrow came across water with acidic properties in Scarborough, a coastal town in England. After being put through observation, it was declared that the water contained minerals and nutrients that were essential to maintain good health, thus becoming the origin of Scarborough Spa.
The revival of bathing in Britain and rest of Europe: The 1600s saw the European elite become less inclined toward washing their full bodies, regarding it as a habit to look down upon. They would only get by with washing their laundry and cleaning their faces with cloth. The attitudes began to change in latter half of the 17th century. At the beginning of 18th century, British Queen Anne broke this tradition by following in the footsteps of Roman civilization and bathing in the hot springs of Bath.
This was shortly followed by a visit to Bath by Richard (Beau) Nash, who capitalized on the opportunity and converted Bath into a social and community spa with a number of activities introduced that encouraged greater social interaction. This was inspired by the Roman concept of baths. Bath became an oft-visited place for the wealthy, who would come to show-off their wealth and take a vacation at the same time. The pattern was soon followed by other European cities.
Recognition of health benefits: In the mid-19th century, a cholera outbreak in Liverpool made doctors realize the importance of sanitation, thus resulting in the promulgation of the Bath And Washhouses Act (1846-1896). Amenities for washing clothes and bathing were made more accessible.