Think of a spa and you picture dimly lit rooms, soothing fragrances, scented candles, fresh flowers and a massage bed on which you will be treated to an invigorating and relaxing treatments. But what if your visit to a spa could not only make you feel better, but get better too? That’s exactly why you go to a medical spa or med-spa. A med-spa is a hybrid of a spa and a clinic, in which all the treatments are done under the supervision of a medically trained doctor.
Explaining the concept, Dr. Reema Arora, Head Facial Aesthetics, Cocoona Centre for Aesthetic Transformation says, “All the treatments at a med-spa are done under the supervision of a doctor. While treatments may be performed by trained therapists, the protocol on what kind of treatment should be prescribed to a person and the products to be used are decided only by the doctor who run it. Also, we use medical equipment for procedures, and to use these, formal training is required.”
Explaining further, Dr. Poonam Bali, Holistic Wellness Expert and Yoga Trainer, Bliss Medi-Spa and Wellness, says, “People who generally operate as therapists know certain massage and scrub techniques, but they don’t have the formal training to be able to understand all the nuances of the therapy. They don’t know how a massage will work for a person physiologically and how it will affect the deeper aspects of their health. For instance, if I am performing any kind of pain therapy, I need to know how it works on the tissues, the technique, the temperature of the oil used and much more. Every aspect is decided and selected with a medical approach towards the problem.”
Med-spas are broadly classified into two categories – one is the cosmetic medical spa, run by dermatologists or plastic surgeons, and the other is a wellness centre. Even when the treatments performed at a med-spa are cosmetic, the whole look and feel of the place is not clinic-like at all. Dr. Sumit Gupta, MD Dermatology, Consultant Dermatologist, Skinnovation Clinics, The World of Aesthetics, says, “While you get authentic medical advice and tailor-made treatments for different skin problems, you get all this done in the feel-good and relaxed environment of a spa. And, most importantly, your sessions are long enough to put you at ease.”
In fact, the most valuable offering from med-spas is the simple commodity called time. In an era in which the average doctor’s consultation time is less than 15–20 minutes per patient, the minimum time a session at a medspa takes is 40 minutes. “A holistic approach to wellness is extremely important. If I am doing Ayurveda and treating a certain condition, I have to understand it medically and then apply the treatments. I can’t just do shirodhara and send the person back. I need to look at the holistic aspects; only then will the results be better. I might even have to suggest certain lifestyle changes apart from the treatments.
Only when you look at the macro picture, do you get the right results,” says Dr. Bali. With changing lifestyles, people sometimes end up with occupational hazards such as back pain, arthritis, migraine and insomnia that require medical attention. Dr. Prabhat Pal, Sanjeeva Ayurveda Medical Spa at Vedic Village, “If any problem is recurrent, a spa massage won’t help. You will have to undergo proper treatment for it. Whenever someone comes to us with an ailment, we understand the physiology and anatomy of the person and then suggest a treatment accordingly. Of course, relaxation is a component, but the focus is on cure, and we do often prescribe multiple sittings for that.”
The concept of med-spas has been popular overseas for several years now, but it’s only recently that it has started gaining momentum in India. Dr. Arora explains, “Med-spas have picked up in the last two–three years and the numbers will just increase in the years to come. It has been gaining acceptability in metropolitan cities, but is yet to foray into Tier-2 cities.” Experts, however, insist that the concept is still in its nascent stage and there’s a long way to go before med-spas make a strong foothold in the spa Indian spa industry.
Dr. Arora points out, “Compared to other countries such as Singapore and Dubai, we still have a lot of scope to improve. While we are not too far behind in the variety and kind of services that are being offered, the acceptability of the concept will take some time.” Adding to this, Dr. Gupta says, “When you say med-spas, there are two viewpoints that come into focus. One is of the physician community that does not consider med-spas as medicine. And, the other is the patients who think that these clinics are very expensive. These are the barriers in the growth. But as time passes and awareness grows about the concept, I am sure it will get accepted. As the wellness space grows, med-spas will find their place too.”
how is a Med-Spa different
• All the treatments at a med-spa are done under the supervision of medically trained doctors.
• When you opt for dermatological treatments such as laser, pigment reduction and hair removal, the set-up is not clinic-like at all. The environment is akin to that of a spa.
• Several hi-tech devices such as MDA or microdermabrasion machines and intense pulse lights are used for treatments, and these require formal training to operate.
• At a med-spa, several lifestyle ailments such as insomnia, migraine, back ache and depression, and other diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and asthma are treated with the help of multiple sessions. But, during the whole journey, relaxation is an important aspect.
• While dealing with ailments, a holistic approach is adopted so that the problem is permanently cured.
med-spas in india
Cocoona Centre of Aesthetic Transformation
S-206, Ground Floor, Near M Block Market, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi - 110048; +11 41611160; www.cocoona.in; email@example.com
Bliss Medi-Spa and Wellness
X-23, Hauz Khas, New Delhi - 110016; +91 98 10 46 99 56; www.blissmedispa.in/index.html; firstname.lastname@example.org
Skinnovation Clinics, The World of Aesthetics
B-11, Gujra wala town, Ring road, Delhi - 110009; +91 90 69 11 30 33; www.skinnovationclinics.com; email@example.com
Sanjeeva Ayurveda - Medical Spa at Vedic Village
Shikharpur, Rajarhat, Kolkata, West Bengal - 700135; +91 98 30 82 04 48; www.sanjeeva.net; firstname.lastname@example.org