The adage “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” is well-known. But it seems our modern society, primarily focused on the present and possessions, may have made us forget about these wise words.
Why wait to be old to start worrying about better aging ? Why wait to be burnt out to look into well-being at work? Why wait to be overweight to start worrying about nutrition? Why talk about health prevention and wellness education if the children are not the first in line to benefit from these teachings? Why wait to be an adult to worry about the importance of staying fit and of a balanced diet? Why focus on the consequences (back pains, stress, exhaustion, etc) when not treating the roots of these issues (which are not necessarily physical) increases the risk of their recurrences? Why only treat one side of the problem when issues which need to be addressed rarely have only one cause? Why treat beauty without a connected focus on inner balance? ... The culture of immediacy, the cult of the outside looks, the economic pressure, the lack of information or mentoring, and the relative novelty of the well-being market may explain a lot of these paradoxes.
Let’s be clear: all treatments targeting the consequences of our city-life or carelessness are valuable and useful. Nonetheless, couldn’t they be paired up with the keys for the perpetuation of a state of well-being? Happiness and enjoyment certainly are the best remedies, and their pursuit remains a priority. Jankélévitch said “one can live without philosophy, without music, without joy and without love. But not so well.” To live without enjoying oneself, without a little bit of madness and carelessness would, in the end, have very little appeal. However, as we are globally bound to live longer, it seems to be in our interest to broaden the field of possibilities as long as possible and, in order to do that, to dispose or offer our bodies and environment pleasant sustainable levers.
At spas and other well-being centres, the offers should be able to embrace this concern for the underlying causes of an expressed need. It is already the case for numerous facilities where people are genuinely being listened to and receive personalised cares. Other deals include empathy, psychology, manifold solutions (treatments, sport, nutrition, sleep, mediation, silence, etc), treatments which come with lifestyle suggestions, followup after visits, recurrence, etc. It may seem paradoxical to give a client the key to not needing treatment anymore. Yet, in reality, the loyalty originating from the quality of the response would reach another level, and could lead to being the “wellness coach” instead of the assigned masseur.
This is one of the ‘full health’ challenges the thermal sector currently faces in France: it skillfully mixes a result-oriented approach based on the competence of a destination, with a multi-level health prevention. Nothing goes against spas also including this comprehensive approach for a sustainable well-being.
On a larger scale, there appears to be 3 substantial challenges, practically cultural, which need to be managed: the evolution of the professional framework which generates the majority of the troubles treated by spas, for a serious inclusion of the wellness at work; educating or even teaching the younger generations what well-being is all about; and a quality environment.
These 3 dimensions are linked and our wellness industry seems to be ideally positioned to play a major role in regard to these great challenges.