The Best of Both Worlds
By Hayley Bowerman
Now, with the increasing popularity of medi-spas, spa-goers no longer need to schedule a separate appointment for any cosmetic procedure requiring the attention of a physician.
Just a few years ago, many people had not yet heard of the term “medi-spa.” Today, however, the medical center–day spa hybrid has exploded with popularity due to the convenience, comfort, and professional care it offers to patients who are seeking both traditional wellness treatments and minimally invasive medical treatments. A recent report released by the International Medical Spa Association states that there are more than 4,500 medi-spas currently operating in the United States, up from around 800 in 2007.
At first glance, medi-spas may seem no different at all from traditional day spas. Just like a traditional spa, medi-spas typically offer a wide menu of beauty services and maintain a relaxing, therapeutic atmosphere. What makes a medi-spa unique is the fact that it operates under the full-time direction of a specialized medical doctor, and the service menu also includes a full range of noninvasive treatments such as Botox, glycolic peels, wrinkle correction, body sculpting, hair removal, microdermabrasion, natural dermal fillers, permanent makeup, eyelash growth enhancement, and others. Just like at a day spa, anyone is able to make an appointment, and prices are typically similar to what you’d pay at a regular salon.
While medi-spas have only recently experienced a surge in popularity, there has always been an interrelationship between spas and medicine. The word “spa” is derived from the Latin phrase salus per aqua, which means “health (healing) through water.” In ancient Rome and Greece, spas were a place where all of the latest and greatest medical advancements and healing therapies were practiced, and there was an understanding among patients and doctors that creating an environment for healing allowed the body to effectively mend itself. Ancient Egypt, also known for its elaborate spas, used the healing powers of the Nile River, while Middle Eastern countries relied on the waters of the Dead Sea for therapeutic and medical treatments.
Spas did not make their way to the United States until the mid-1800s, when private facilities began opening in New York’s Saratoga Springs area. Prominent figures such as Edgar Allan Poe and Franklin D. Roosevelt were known to frequent local spas as an alternative to the traditional medical treatments they had been receiving. In 1940, Rancho La Puerto in San Diego opened as the country’s first modern spa resort, and by the 1990s, spas had become a staple amenity in many five-star resorts and hotels.
Today, spas are evolving to include more comprehensive medical treatments. While the range of services varies at each medi-spa, many cutting-edge facilities feature more advanced procedures such as i-Lipo and CoolSculpting, which result in slimmer, tighter, smoother looking skin due to targeted fat reduction, and laser skin rejuvenation, which reduces wrinkling, age spots, visible veins, and skin sagging.
Other popular medi-spa treatments that have become staple services include photo rejuvenation (wrinkle reduction injections such as Botox), eyelash extensions, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, spider and varicose vein removal, and chemical peels, all of which are completed by a licensed physician.
Why undergo such procedures at a medi-spa rather than a cosmetic surgery center? For many, the reason simply comes down to the fact that a medi-spa can offer the best of both worlds. Patrons can receive the same professional procedures that surgery centers offer but in a holistic spa atmosphere. Typically a wider variety of cosmetic and wellness treatments are available at medi-spas, with the advantage of combining services and procedures. Additionally, most medi-spas offer a more customized approach, providing consultations for personalized packages that help clients achieve their needs, both medically and holistically.
When considering a medi-spa for your next treatment or procedure, conduct your research before scheduling an appointment.
Questions to ask to ensure you are selecting a safe, caring, and comfortable facility include:
- Is the facility licensed by a board certified physician?
- Does a board certified physician operate the facility?
- Is the physician on the premise at all times?
- How long has the medi-spa been in operation?
- Are all other staff therapists, estheticians, and specialists properly licensed?
- What makes the treatment I’m seeking suitable for my needs?
- Are there any reasons I should not have this treatment?
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