when is a spa not a spa?

The difference between a natural Spa and a Health Farm

In recent years ‘health tourism' has become big business and many new and quite a few existing hotels have incorporated a Spa or ‘fitness centre' to their range of facilities.

They are doing this because the word SPA has become the buzzword of the past two decades. But do they really understand the concept and the true Spa philosophy? In a word - NO.

By simply offering a few massage rooms and a whirlpool they should not be allowed to call themselves a Spa, but they get away with it; and heavy expenditure on advertising and marketing makes sure that their particular hotel and its supposedly beneficial extras stay uppermost in people's minds when considering a well-earned break. What is it that you get out of visiting a ‘health farm' that you can't get right at home by adding a cup of relaxing minerals or aromatic oils to your own bathwater?

NATURAL SPAS incorporating thermal and mineral waters, thalassotherapy and ayurveda have not been celebrated in the UK since Roman times, but can still provide solutions for many of today's medical problems such as rheumatism, arthritis, circulatory, dermatological and respiratory ailments. No pills, no injections, just natural healing the way nature intended without any negative side-effects.

Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland for example, provide natural remedies for people suffering from asthma and related respiratory problems, whilst Rogaska Health Spa in Slovenia helps millions of Europeans overcome and control their diabetic condition due to its mineral waters. Abano Terme in Italy and other long-established Spas in Slovakia and Hungary provide very effective cures when comes to arthritic and rheumatic problems. The Dead Sea's curative powers have been well-known since Biblical times and are widely documented for success in treating dermatological conditions.

We have also identified a number of Spas around Europe which offer one-stop medical diagnosis and any necessary treatment on the spot. You no longer have to wait for six months or more to see the consultant; you can see one in a couple of days from today. We can arrange for you to have a complete check-up, followed by the required treatment, for one inclusive price of less than £90.00 per day including accommodation, food, and treatment according to need. The fact that you can have a holiday at the same time is an added bonus!

Since 1991 we have occasionally asked professional copywriters to help us compile our brochure. However we have learnt that telling it as it is, with no flowery phrases or embellishments, is by far the best policy as no copywriter can replicate the real experiences and feelings of sheer relief when the symptoms of a problem disappear and one feels great again. It's that simple...

When your stress goes away and you feel like a butterfly full of new energy and enthusiasm for life regardless of your age, when you feel relaxed and full of bonhomie, when you understand your own body and its signals, you then begin to appreciate your own health, and what it means to feel great. Someone once said that good health is not everything, but without good health you have nothing - so, so true...

We all look upon our childhood as something really special and memorable - I can only guess that's because we were free of any worry and stress; no medical, financial or any other problems, and we were taken care of by our parents and family.

By the time we are in our twenties the harder part of our life has begun: further education, future career, holding down a job, getting married, thinking about a mortgage, having children of our own, buying a bigger car, moving to a larger house, extra financial pressure, children's education, following our own dreams - no wonder there is no time left to take care of ourselves. Again I am only guessing that our genes are programmed to accept all that as a priority to ensure our survival as humans, and it suppresses our own needs medically and emotionally till some future time.

How many times have you heard people say, "I'll take care of that when I retire..."? By the time one retires, one is expected to have accumulated lots of material goods - car, house, books, boats, golf clubs and so on. One is also supposed to have accumulated a reasonable pension and have some money put by to make sure one can continue to live in some comfort.

During the past decade or so our pensions have not delivered what they promised, and we all work harder now than at any time over the past fifty years. Many people have found that they could not afford to put any money by for a rainy day, as it was raining for much of their working life.

So what did we do to improve our quality of life? Material goods do not guarantee good health taking care of your body during your early and mid-life will ensure you can actually reap the benefits of your hard work in your later years, but how many of us take any notice of our own physiological needs until it's too late?

Where do Spas come into all this? The Romans and the ancient Greeks believed in the great power of thermal water, so why is our modem medical profession so often opposed to it? Could it be that the powerful pharmaceutical giants who control the medical market with their drugs and pills fund the vast majority of medical research solely in their own interests, or did mankind simply forget the old ways and remedies?

If you are under forty you will probably not have heard much about natural cures, but your grandmother probably knew some of them. ‘Folk remedies' they were called, like treating high blood pressure by drinking Mistletoe tea, or combating high cholesterol by drinking Speedwell tea - all natural substances found in the woods or your garden. One of the most common problem of today's stressful life is a migraine headache; try taking Yarrow tea regularly - chances are your migraine will go bother someone else. Want to stop smoking? - try chewing Calamus roots. You can learn more about natural remedies in this Thermalia brochure.

Water is by far the greatest healer - our bodies are composed of it and we can't live without it - but who said that it's only for drinking? when we immerse ourselves in water we feel lighter and better and we emerge from it in greater spirits and happier mood. Is that a coincidence or is there more to it? when we take a hot bath is it only for removing the dirt from the body or is there another benefit?

We all subconsciously know when something is good for us, but few can identify it as an actual NEED. I suspect we have lost that instinctive feeling mother nature built into us due to the pace of modem life and scientific advances over the past hundred years or so.

For all the so-called advancements in today's medical field, the profession can only successfully mend broken bones or remove diseased organs - the rest is mostly guesswork and experimentation on YOU.

They prescribe pills for everything, and if the first one doesn't work they give you another, and then another - is that science? There is no medication which does not have some negative side-effects, and we are the guinea-pigs - is that acceptable?

FRESH FEARS OVER ARTHRITIS DRUGS
(Taken from WDDTY e-News - What Doctors Don't Tell You)

Cox-2 inhibitors - the frontline medicine for arthritis sufferers - have hit the news again, as new research has shown that people taking them have an increased risk of high blood pressure - a major risk factor in stroke and heart attack. The new study quoted in The Times (9 March 2005) looked at 19 trials involving 45,000 people (Archives of Internal Medicine).

This latest research comes hot on the heels of the withdrawal from sale last September of Vioxx after it was discovered that the drug almost doubled the risk of heart attacks and stroke in people who had been taking it for 18 months. Safety concerns were also raised about another Cox-2 inhibitor called Celecoxib in December, and patients were urged to make ‘non-urgent' appointments with their GP to have their treatments reviewed - advice which also applied to patients taking three other Cox-2 drugs - Celebrex, Bextra and Arcoxia.

Well, far be it from us to say ‘we told you so', but as far back as February 2000 readers of What Doctors Don't Tell You learned that Vioxx's common adverse reactions included "...abdominal pain, dizziness, fluid retention, hypertension, headache and itching.

Uncommon reactions, reported by more than one in 1,000, included chest pains, acid reflux, constipation, oral ulcers, vomiting, tinnitus, weight gain, cramps, insomnia, vertigo, depression, and dermatitis."

More recently in our special report Cox-2 drugs: a Pandora's box of adverse effects in April 2003, we flagged that "patients taking Vioxx are twice as likely to suffer a cardiovascular problem, such as bean attack, than those given an N&AID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug)."

...which begs the question: "Why did it take nearly three years for the drugs companies and regulatory authorities to act?" 

IS THIS WHAT YOU PAID FOR ALL YOUR WORKING LIFE?

We are all individuals with different body make-up, different nature, different needs, so why are we expected to take the same pill for similar problems regardless of age, gender, condition and ethnicity?

Why do Italian and French doctors routinely prescribe thermal mud and seawater therapy; why do German medical insurance companies prefer Spa treatments to conventional medicine for their clients? Is it because these natural remedies are more effective and far cheaper, and their members recover more quickly and have longer-lasting benefits, or are they just daft?

I could go on and on, but one has to stop somewhere; I hope we have given you a taste as to what natural Spas can do for you whether on a curative or preventative note. There's no doubt about it Spa holidays are good for you! We at Thermalia Travel have many years' experience in arranging suitable accommodation and treatments for our clients, and we are at your service.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Miro Sajfert
Managing Director
Thermalia Spa Advisory

Your body is your home, look after it well, for if you wear it out where are you going to live?

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