What makes a Spa a Medi-Spa?



What makes a spa a "Medi-Spa"? Simply that the spa is supervised by a Medical Doctor and some or all the technicians are medically trained.

There are a number of different medi-spas, each one having its specialty:


By Raoul Andrews Sudre




A full physical check up for the guests

The Check-up Spa:
often found in resorts, proposes a complete physical check-up to their guests in the midst of other activities such as golf, tennis, hiking or beach fun. As a follow-up to the "check-up consultations" on change of life styles, diet and programmed exercises. Treatments such as hydrotherapy, massages and typical spa treatments will also be included along with mild forms of exercise: walking, yoga, etc.

Esthetic Medi-Spas: are usually "day spas" but their activities can be found in full service resort or destination spas: Botox or Collagen injections, laser abrasion, mesotherapy, permanent make-up will be found on the menu.

Plastic surgery Medi-Spas: are off-shoot of "plastic" surgery groups. They involve pre-and post surgery treatments:
Pre-surgery: Depending on the surgery that is planned, there are a number of treatments that will prepare for the "invasive" intervention adding more chances of success to the procedure. For instance, facial lymphatic drainages will be recommended prior to a face-lift.

Breast treatments and massages are improving the vascularisation of the area and will produce better result and quicker recovery after the operation for breast enhancement or reduction.

Lymphatic drainage and massage of the belly and upper legs will prepare the terrain for " tummy tucks" and " liposuction" and will do wonders to speed up recovery after surgery. Chromatherapy has been used for 10 years now in Europe to accelerate the healing and internal scarring process, accelerating that process by as much as 50%. It is the only treatment that can be done immediately after the surgery. Some French plastic surgeons have been using the chromapunctors in the operating room while suturing.

They report less edema and faster healing of the cuts, when doing light "energetic lymphatic drainage", combining color stimulation to the pumping action of the lymphatic drainage.

In the midst of golf - tennis - hiking - ski - beach

Dermatology Spas: are good complementary services that can be given to patients going for dermatology treatments. Facial and body treatments found at the better spas do wonders for the skin and many dermatologists have increased the number of patients coming to them by offering spa treatments in addition to "Allopatic medication" in the fight against acne, couperose, oily skins, blemishes, etc. Most of these types of medi-spas can be found or will appear on the U.S. marketplace, the following will not be seen for a while and in order to patronize them one will have to travel to other countries to find them.

Rejuvenation Spas: Found in Romania, Bulgaria, Switzerland and other European countries. They practice injections of live cells from ovine placentas along with other types of serums that reduce oxidation, regenerate cell life and generally take out visible years of ageing. It is not the absolute fountain of youth but those who do it swear by it.

Detox and Anti-Ageing Medi-Spas: are found in Europe. In Italy one of the most famous, is located in Merano, in the Alto-Adige region of Northern Italy close to the Austrian borders in the mountains. It is run by a French-Catalan herbologist acupunturer, Mr. Henri Chenot.

Stays of a week to 10 days will revitalize your organism, detox and help you shed a few pounds by an astute mixture of dietetic and body treatments based on Chinese medicine and European herbology. Long waiting list to get in!

Sex-Therapy Clinics and Spas: are dedicated to alleviating or curing sexual disfunction in men and women, who at young ages: (early forties, fifties) are affected by ailments that only appeared in much later years in the past. Often using "energy stimulating" Asian healing techniques, combined with psychotherapy and proper diets and exercise, they give new life and self-esteem to many plagued with those problems.

Viagra is not needed! Of course any "Thermal or Thalassotheraphy" center in Europe is usually run by medical staff. If you think that you need to have a doctor to prescribe a massage, an algae wrap or a bath, then these are the spas for you! Thalassotherapy which had an incredible success in Western Europe and the Mediterranean basin is now loosing popularity as clients want more personalization in treatments and more personal attention.

Also as the government sponsored "cure programs" are no longer fully paid for by the various European states, clients are now questioning the haughty attitude that many technicians adopt in these centers and others like the Thermal destinations, the vestiges of an area where doctors and medical personnel were considered god-like by the masses.

They treated them with condescendence and often disdain! The new generation is less impressed and demands service and courtesy. When they do not get it, they simply stop coming……an important consideration for those thinking about opening Medi-Spas, and who will depend on results for their economic success. Results are technical and also based on human relation experience. Medi-Spas in the U.S. & Canada should do well and will undoubtedly be successful if they do not make the mistakes made by their European counterparts. Certainly the integrity they will bring to the industry will be welcomed and appreciated.


SPA MANAGEMENT MARCH 2005