25 Jan 2009

Spas, Water and Life

A blogger sent me her post on spas:
I'm interested in developing community around spa and putting the water back into spa. The difference is that I'm talking about doing this on the basis of a set of values and view of sustainability that much of the spa world may have abandoned.

...In the face of the big business that the spa industry has become... I persist because I believe that we need to review and revise the ways we see... spa, not as an industry but as a cultural indicator.
I like the way that she is approaching spas [from s.p.a. or salus per aqua or "health through water"] as a place for connecting to self as well as Nature. It's all too common these days to have "spa in a can" experiences that are more about $45 facials than stepping back for a realignment of self and spirit, community and nature.

It's like parents who have others take care of their kids. Sorry, but I think that parenting (by mother AND father) has more dimensions than making sure there's poptarts and something "good" in the DVD player.

Bottom Line: Ahh -- life can be simple and good, but we tend to find complicated ways to ruin it.


  1. I'll let Wiki debunk:

    "It is commonly claimed, in a commercial context, that the word is an acronym of various Latin phrases such as "Salus Per Aquam” or "Sanitas Per Aquam" meaning "health through water". This is very unlikely: the derivation doesn't appear before the early 21st century and is probably a "backronym" as there is no evidence of acronyms passing into the language before the twentieth century."

    You sure bought hard into someone's marketing!

    Spa is from the Belgium town of Spa, which has historical mineral springs.


  2. Yes, there is debate about the origins of the word. Another speculation is that it was derived from the Latin verb spargere, to pour forth.

    The word spa has changed even further to it's current use which. I'll concede that I'm biased in my chosen emphasis because I came to value water through my interest in spas.

    Semantics, marketing, perhaps. But in the end aren't words about trying to convey not only information but also a sense of value and meaning? And that shifts and changes over time.

    Blogger referenced by David here.

  3. @JRM -- I agree with you. I like the marketing angle, however, so I'll keep those aspects clear in the future.

  4. And for a further fascinating discussion of the trials and tribulations of the word spa, please follow the link at the start of my original post. In terms of marketing and trademarking it's quite a story.

  5. Wat's the link Sara? I'm afraid I don't see it.

  6. It's highlighted in my post as 'the word spa'. Here's the link:


    Bruce Osborne, whom I met recently in England, has produced a site with lots of other spa-related background too. Thanks for asking, Sara


Read this first!

Make sure you copy your comment before submitting because sometimes the system will malfunction and you will lose your comment.

Spam will be deleted.

Comments on older posts must be approved (do not submit twice).

If you're having problems posting, email your comment to me