Thermal/Mineral Springs Collaboration Takeaways

The Global Wellness Collaborations bring industry leaders together in meaningful dialogue to share ideas and best practices for navigating the COVID-19 crisis around a specific industry segment.

Topic: Thermal/Mineral Springs
Date of Discussion:  March 26, 2020
Countries/Regions Represented: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, UK, US

  • In Austria, they have introduced the idea of emptying hospitals of non-acute patients and moving them into spa/thermal resorts.
  • The spa industry in Australia is offering their beds for patients. Sort of like becoming a secondary hospital in a sense.
  • We are seeing this sense of nostalgia also taking over in Australia. People are really dialing back the speed at which they’re living life, which I think is fairly consistent globally.
  • In China, they have a phone app that everyone is using. If you have a red code, it means you have to stay at home. The yellow code means you can go out close to your home, and the green code means you can actually go out to the border communities.
  • Some of the facilities around the world are going to start promoting our live feeds. The live feed from China is going to be from facilities that are starting to reopen. The idea is to show nature, people getting out into the environment, and it’s safe for them to be together.
  • In Shanghai, they downgraded the public housing emergency grade from level one, which is the top-level, to level two, but people still are concerned. I think the good thing is, the hotel industry is really coming back; step by step, businesses are recovering very slowly.
  • I heard some promotion about holidays in China. It may happen in May or June.
  • Japan is actually still open, and many of the small businesses are open, but the big companies are closing. The hotels and the hot areas are closed.
  • Medical clinics are open in Koh Samui, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Ludwigsburg and Vienna. We’ve had to sort of rearrange a lot of what we’re doing. At the moment, we’re still providing treatment through our Bangkok clinic, but our Hong Kong clinic, there’s nobody coming in.
  • We are offering in-house treatments, so if anyone needs them, we can send our doctors to their home to treat them there. That’s still a work in process at the moment.
  • In Portugal, we’ve contacted all the spa managers and therapists, and we’re now holding webinars at a maximum of 20 people on the benefits of saunas.
  • Napa, San Francisco and Sonoma County are under a shelter in place. General traffic is probably only 20 percent of what it would normally be. Aetna Springs is scheduled to open in late 2023.
  • The standard operating procedures will need to be updated for every treatment/service offered in the wellness industry.
  • Work on assuring guest safety will need to include new products and possibly new equipment.
  • As we look to the future, we must determine how mineral springs and the wider wellness arena can help boost immunity.
  • One challenge we are facing is our elderly population. The concern is will they be afraid of going into communal baths in the future?
  • In the future, the issue of both wellness and medical may intersect more visibly in the thermal/mineral springs arena. In that case, working with the authorities is one of the issues a thermal bathing component will encounter.
  • In a global pandemic of awareness, wellness is not only just a weekend or a day in a calendar; it’s 365 days a year.
  • The places we have spas and spa businesses, wellness has to be brought into the home, and we have to communicate that to the governments to wake them up to that fact. It’s a 360 approach to wellness, from homes, governments, spas and
  • Certification needs to be re-examined, as in the past, it was about either results or about the destination itself.
  • We have to communicate practicing new hygienic standards and promote the safety of these health destinations. All needs to be evidence-based medical information.
  • Our industry is interested in learning more about infrared saunas and how we can become a part of prevention or a cure.
  • I think switching up your business model and looking at this as an opportunity to help hospitals bond with customers in different ways is a good way forward.
  • The book titled The Benefits of Climate by Dr. Canape, which was translated into English, is a book I highly recommend. The hot and cold therapies are absolutely paramount to your immune
  • Education on how to take a sauna and the benefits are hugely important. Most professionals believe you should be taking them two times a week.
  • We need to be educated on how to best take care of ourselves during this period of sitting inside the house.
  • Our industry has to place pressure on the institutions to provide evidence-based information and research to support what we’re doing. We’ve got to be better at getting the evidence-based wellness information communicated.
  • Global Wellness Institute has a webpage for Wellness Evidence. There’s already a lot of evidence that has been aggregated around the modalities that we’re all talking about. These have been curated, and these are actual studies. Saunas are tied to a wide array of health benefits. So, this is all designed for you to use right away.
  • Right now, we are providing our customers with a list of immune-boosting activities that they can do at home, and we send a short video of the springs. It could be a video segment of water flowing into a pool or coming off of one of the structures here.
  • There are so many practices for boosting immunity, that we can actually communicate them online among the community that we have already. For example, there was a video called Laughter Yoga, which is something that is highly needed right now during these times.
  • There are many platforms available that offer wellness initiatives at home and teach the world of wellness through staycation.
  • The problem is not what’s going on now, but what is the world going to look like when we all come out?
  • In case you get sick, know where you should go and make sure that you have emergency contact numbers.
  • It’s about creating a new normal. We have got to be ready to help people get through the Post Traumatic Stress.
  • One way to relieve stress and build your immunity is to take cold showers, 10 minutes of cold if you can stand it.
  • We are finding ways to live well with technology by offering an online wellness lecture series and free personal wellness consultations with their wellness coaches.
  • This year, GWI is focusing on mental wellness research.
  • Many people on lockdown are more worried about their day to day, what they should be doing to survive, more than the virus.

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