Language has great power. It educates, defines, exacerbates, warns, angers, empowers... But in the world of spas, language plays a different, but no less powerful role. It invites relaxation, calms the mind, reassures us that "all is well," and connects us with our body's inner power to heal itself. This is quiet work, and it has a quiet language.
This year, the Washington Spa Alliance (WSPA)held their 6th annual symposium at the National Press Club in the nation's capitol. Their theme was "The New Language of Spa," and out of came an unexpected gift: one of the attendees got up in front of the audience and read a special poem written just for the event.
And it brought down the house.
So...what is a "new language of spa?" Although I am a relative newcomer to the spa scene and this was my first time attending WPSA's gathering, I quickly gathered that spa is shifting away from the clichés of luxury and pampering and more toward wellness for all, of every background and economic status. Spa's new language is a more democratic one: both in the practices expected of spas (massage and other body work, facials, alternative therapies, beauty treatments and more) and the language. Spa isn't just about looks and feelings anymore. It's now understood that spa makes people well. It prevents, heals and protects.
The audience included local, regional, national and international leaders in spa and allied disciplines. Former magazine editor Mary Bemis, who now runs Insider's Guide to Spas, chaired the event, and as a wordsmith she, too, was delighted by attendee India K. Robinson's ode. I spoke with Ms. Robinson and asked her what spa meant to her:
My motto is it’s important to “take the time to take a time-out,” and through my travels and spa experiences, spa has become more than something to do or somewhere to go for relaxation. Spa has afforded me a place, a community, a family, and an opportunity to connect more deeply with my mind, body, and soul. With ‘The New Language of Spa’ being this year’s theme for the Washington Spa Alliance Symposium, I felt inspired, and wanted to share with you, through these words, what the ‘Language of Spa’ means to me.”
We're also inspired by India’s poem here at Wellness Warrior. In honor of National Poetry Month, we're now asking YOU: what is your Language of Spa? Let us know and you stand a great chance of winning one of our goodie bags of spa prizes.
Tweet your response (or poem) of 140 characters or less using the hashtag #Spahh and mention @Wellness_Org in your tweet. India will help us select a winner when an inSPAring response catches her eye...so don’t hold back!
The Language of Spa
by India K. Robinson
The language of Spa has no barrier
It’s as pure as essential oil without a carrier
It whispers through water in a thermal spring
And raises my vibration when the Tibetan bowl sings
As if the clouds heard my cry and came rushing to ease my pain
Vichy and aromatherapy drip down my back like summer rain
It’s calm in the chaos, an umbrella in a storm
It flows through your senses and becomes your lifestyle norm
Gender, race, and social status, the language of Spa rises above
Because the only thing that matters, is how it wraps you up in a blanket of love
It carries no age, and wears no face
The language of Spa transcends time and travels at its own energetic pace
The language of Spa reminds you to recognize and value your self-worth
As it reconnects you to the healing benefits naturally provided by the earth
It fills my breath like salt from a Himalayan cave
And caresses my fears like the tides from an ocean wave
But yet, the language of Spa, some fail to hear
Though the mind, body, spirit dialect sounds oh so clear
You may have misconceptions, and associate its history with luxury, indulgence, and wealth
But when properly translated, you’ll find roots in self-care, mindfulness, and better health
You can only understand it if you’re willing and able
It may come to you in the sauna, during meditation, or on the massage table
The language of Spa is spoken around the globe
With a universal outfit . . . you know . . . the spa robe
The language of Spa makes no promises, it’s no magical fountain of youth
Instead it opens up your mind and encourages you to seek your own truth
Delivering unique messages in the silence that only you can see
Your “Soul’s Purpose Aligned” is what the language of Spa says to me
The language of Spahh, yes, you can speak it too
Just close your eyes, now listen . . . what does Spa say to you?
Copyright© 2016 THE H.I.S AGENCY, LLC “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” TM
Known to family and friends as the ultimate party planner, travel expert, social media host, and spa guru, India has a natural talent for organizing and hosting the best and most memorable themed events, luxury destination travel, and spa getaways. For India, event planning is not just a hobby, it's a passion. On a regular day, India is a Public Administration professional in Washington, DC. She has a Masters in Public Administration from American University. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her pets. Ms. Robinson is President & CEO of The H.I.S Agency, LLC and founder of “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” in Washington, DC.