People ask this question all of the time. Is it a hot tub or is it a place where you go to get treatments and massages? Well it’s a little bit of both. To understand the term better we must dive into the history. The term “spa” originates from the name of a small city in Belgium and dates back to Roman times when the name of the city was Aquae Spadanae. A spa is a place where you can find spring water (hot springs or cold springs) that is rich in minerals such as iron and used for medicinal bathing and believed to have curative powers for many ailments and illnesses. Throughout history, bathing for health and wellness is a practice that’s been done all over the world especially in places like Europe and Asia.
There has also been the practice of bathing for religious or spiritual cleansing. This type of bathing is linked to more ceremonial or ritualistic practices.
The term spa has also has been linked to latin words and phrases such as salus per aquam (spa) which means “health through water”. This has less merit since acronyms weren’t used back in ancient times however it conveniently works for today’s jargon.
The term “spa” by today’s standards has taken on two meanings. The first and more organically related is the practice of going to a resort or facility where you can find health and wellness treatments including things like bathing in hot and cold pools, balneotherapy, saunas and steam rooms, facials, body wraps, and massages. The term has certainly taken on a broader context to include things that aren’t limited to just bathing in water.
The second and more recent definition of spa is the same as a hot tub. In short, it’s a place (portable or built in vessel) where you can bathe in hot water and jets and is used for relaxation, healing, recovery, and therapy.