Wellness Spa Splurges

Wellness centers prove that finding peace can be a healthy thing.


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Everyone knows that time spent at a soothing spa can make you happy, but can it make you healthy, too? That’s the promise (whether stated or implied) being made by an increasing number of spas today, so we decided to look into it . . . in a relaxed sort of way. Here’s what we found:

Day spas in Connecticut are all over the map—both literally and figuratively. Depending on how you define them, there are hundreds—from the pinky-sized nail salon with a waxing closet to the spacious pampering emporium that offers Botox® and its own line of pricey beauty products. In between there are “wellness centers,” medical spas (complete with nip/tuck M.D.s on staff) and a wide array of plain and fancy shops that promise to cleanse, destress and beautify—if not offer up a cure for what ails you.

The common thread among them all is the idea of a mind-body connection, what one spa owner calls “the circle of wellness.” In essence it is this: How we think influences the way we feel. So if we think we look good, we feel better. Thus, beauty and wellness are integrated. Some spas interpret this philosophy very simply: Get your full set of acrylic nails and you’ll feel like a million bucks. Others take a more spiritual, holistic path to health and wellness that includes meditation, detoxification, organic skin-care regimens, even the ancient practice of Ayurvedic medicine.

On the business side, spas are embracing the notion of health and wellness in unprecedented ways. They’ve gone “from a narrow focus on pampering to a vastly expanded category where dozens of wellness solutions are explored,” according to Susie Ellis, president of SpaFinder Inc., a media company that supports the spa industry. There’s no question that consumers are more open than ever to the notion of holistic and alternative treatments (not to mention the convenience of destressing and getting your hair styled at the same time). Adds Ellis: “The spa-medicine relationship has never been so rich or strong.”

Wellness Spa Splurges

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