Ancient waters, modern spa

Apr 21 2014, 20:55 IST
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The tradition of bathing in the thermal waters of UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath goes back to thousands of years. The tradition of bathing in the thermal waters of UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath goes back to thousands of years.
SummaryThermae Bath Spa attracts a staggering number of 250,000 visitors every year from across the world

it is passed through the filtration system and then cooled naturally to 33 degrees. This is to prevent people with underlying medical conditions (like high BP) be affected by it,” mentions Hanna. Explaining the process of the water coming from the ground, Hanna says, “The rain water goes underground, gets heated as the earth is hot and comes up. The whole process they say takes 4000 to 8000 years - it is a long cycle and that is why there are so many minerals in the water as the waters had a long time to absorb them. The minerals in the water is the same as those found in local rocks.”

A spa for all

An interesting factor is that the spa is positioned for all segments, not just high-end clientele. In the 16th century the water was given to the city by Queen Elizabeth I and since then the water has been owned by the people. When the new spa was built the city was given money by the government to help build it. “They were given funds from the Millennium Commission to celebrate the millennium and build a modern spa for the 21st century, so the buildings are owned by the public, but a private enterprise runs it on behalf of the council. To ensure that everybody is able to bathe it is not high-end. We think it is a special place where you can bath in naturally warm water,” points out Hanna.

In the treatment rooms people take hot oil massages, vichy shower, body wrap with sea weeds, also watsu (shiatsu massage in water). “When we first opened we had a large number of treatments, we have cut that down so that they are much more holistic and natural. The spa's general ethos is one of being a natural holistic experience so we would not do anything that we would consider to be only beauty, no tanning or waxing or botox. It is all about making you feel better and if you feel good you look good. So bathing in the water is relaxing, its cleansing, and the treatments have a similar ethos. The most popular treatments are traditional massage, Roman Therapy massage. Then there is the bamboo massage, which is popular with men who like deep tissue massage. There are also a range of facials tailor-made to skin type,” informs Hanna, pointing out that watsu

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