The word spa derives from Salus Per Aquam, which is a Latin term meaning health from water. The town of Spa in Belgium came to be named because of its healing hot mineral springs that soothes aches and pains.
It just so happens that Romans named this village after the above term because of the healing waters they enjoyed relaxing in when they passed through.
The ancient concept of the spa centered around gaining spiritual and medicinal benefits from traveling to a hot spring with mysterious powers. This developed further when the Greeks built hot baths into the gymnasiums they constructed and the entire healing and rejuvenating process became a centralized experience where people received mineral baths and massages.
The Romans used advanced technology such as aqueducts and concrete to perfect the art of public bathing and then they built these centralized gymnasium complexes with baths across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Once the Roman Empire collapsed, the local populations around Europe, Africa and the Middle East took over the bathing complexes and integrated the use of these spas into their own societies.
Unfortunately, during the dark ages people first used such bathing facilities for behavior that spread diseases, which began the social impression that bathing spread disease. The church amplified this message and even went so far as to ban bathing in an attempt to thwart the spread of syphilis throughout Europe. This period represented a low point for the concept of public bathing facilities.
This concept came back in the 19th century, however, and developed further in the United States when people often went to destination resorts that catered to peoples every need while providing a unique and growing list of services such as a message, a facial, skin exfoliation, hair removal and mud wraps. One such resort was run by a Colonel Kellogg who provided a number of services including an amazing new curative breakfast regimen he called Kelloggs cereal.
These destination resorts evolved into the day spa where people now run to escape city life and enjoy a few hours or a whole day of pampering, cleansing, message and skin treatment. Instead of being forced to travel away from home for days to be rejuvenated, people can simply take a day off work or even a long lunch to have the same result.
Today, such facilities can offer full day services or they can offer services for beautification. They may have a hair salon; nail salon , and skin treatment center effectively providing head to toe beauty services for those that can afford them.