Spas. Among dreams and re­lax­ation

Avion Luxury International Airport Magazine - - SPAS -

Let your­self go. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes, then open them. Be­fore you lies an ex­panse of sea that merges with a dense band of Mediter­ranean maquis shrub­land. Or, un­veil­ing flashes of emo­tion, a land­scape of gen­tle groomed hills be­neath snow like whipped cream that adorns unattain­able peaks. From here, the panorama opens up. Huge glass win­dows in rooms and suites over­look ev­ery cor­ner of our Bel Paese. We are in the much-cov­eted spa. A place filled with hot steamy vapours, with gush­ing wa­ter that soaks bod­ies hun­gry for pam­per­ing and hands ready for re­lax­ing tired limbs. Wa­ter, an ir­re­place­able re­source. Wa­ter, a pre­cious gift. Spring wa­ter. Sus­te­nance for all liv­ing species and the reg­u­la­tor of ecosys­tems. Thou­sands of years of Ital­ian spa tourism gush from the belly of the earth, en­hanc­ing a coun­try al­ready in­com­pa­ra­ble for its coun­try­side, art, food and wine. To­day, the spa of­fer is in­creas­ingly di­ver­si­fied, rich and per­son­alised, and now, the pro­pos­als of eight re­gions have been com­bined in a sin­gle in­ter­re­gional project (www.ter­med­i­ There’s no ex­cuse then, for not es­cap­ing the bus­tle of the city to recre­ate a bond with na­ture and find our­selves, dis­cov­er­ing the ap­par­ent se­crets of these ex­clu­sive (but open) places, in spas where peo­ple have al­ways come to re­lax, shak­ing off rules and con­ven­tions and break­ing down class dif­fer­ences. Se­cluded oases, where body and mind are one, and the search for psy­cho­log­i­cal and spir­i­tual well­ness ro­tates around the cen­tral­ity of the hu­man be­ing in its en­tirety. The sym­bolic and cul­tural value of wa­ter, which, across the ages, from the Ro­mans to the Greeks, had a sacred, grat­i­fy­ing and so­cial qual­ity with lit­er­ary nu­ances, is also part of to­day’s con­cept of spa tourism, which in­cor­po­rates stud­ies on the ther­a­peu­tic prop­er­ties of min­eral waters and on the ex­change of syn­er­gies cre­ated dur­ing time spent at the spa. Pro­grammes are de­ter­mined from a sci­en­tific per­spec­tive, cre­at­ing a well­ness plan most suited to the guest, which may in­clude clas­si­cal en­er­gis­ing hy­drother­apy treat­ments, spe­cific spa treat­ments, bal­neother­apy with show­ers, baths, com­presses, wa­ter mas­sages to re­lax the body, gen­tle ex­er­cise for re­gain­ing vi­tal­ity (yoga, chi ball, Qigong …), mas­sages for mus­cle de­com­pres­sion (shi­atsu, re­flex­ol­ogy), and lastly beauty and fit­ness treat­ments. But also, crenother­apy (crené, in Greek, spring), hy­dropinother­apy, ir­ri­ga­tion, in­hala­tion, in­suf­fla­tion, whirlpool baths, vas­cu­lar hy­drother­apy, Fin­nish saunas, bio-saunas, saunas with herbs, in­frared treat­ment, la­co­nium treat­ments (dry sweat room) and an­ti­stress treat­ments. This net­work of itin­er­ar­ies is now avail­able through Ital­ian spa tourism, and as a re­sult, spas, with­out for­sak­ing their heal­ing char­ac­ter based on med­i­cal sci­ence, have ex­panded the con­cept of salus per aquam or sanare per aquam (health and heal­ing through wa­ter), iden­ti­fy­ing the needs of a new and more so­phis­ti­cated group of con­sumers. In­cen­tives and mo­ti­va­tion in syn­ergy with ther­a­pies. Com­fort and func­tion­al­ity. This has led to the cre­ation of well­ness cen­tres, the mod­ern, so­phis­ti­cated evo­lu­tion of a phe­nom­e­non that is now con­sid­ered the norm in to­day’s tourism con­text, which fea­ture all the al­chemies that en­liven these ex­clu­sive re­sorts. Lo­cated among the nat­u­ral beauty of a great many re­gions, at the sea or among hills or moun­tains, these cen­tres of­fer charm­ing build­ings and in­no­va­tive, qual­i­fied offers. A sub­tle “liq­uid” thread that links hy­drother­apy es­tab­lish­ments (which pro­vide health treat­ments of proven ef­fi­ciency) and spas - both well­ness cen­tres and beauty cen­tres - which of­fer pam­per­ing and re­lax­ation to­gether with bien vivre, at­tract­ing tourists de­sirous of pro­mot­ing their health. Italy re­mains a trea­sure in this re­spect, as it houses gems of art and cul­ture, strik­ing scenery and a land that is a source of well­ness. Be­cause wa­ter to nour­ish body and mind arises from the “La Terra con le Terme den­tro” (the Land of Spas). Life­styles and nat­u­ral ther­a­pies: an es­sen­tial com­bi­na­tion.

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