Susie Ellis, board member of the Global Spa Summit, announced the launch of www.spaevidence.com, a portal that consolidates clinical evidence about 22 key spa therapies, including yoga, reflexology and aromatherapy, from four existing databases: Natural Standards, the Cochrane Library, Pub Med and the Trip Database.
The portal has been developed with support from Dr. Ken Pelletier, Dr. Daniel Friedland, Dr. Marc Cohen and Nader Vasseghi.
In announcing the launch, Ellis paid tribute to industry contributors, sponsors and supporters for bringing the portal to fruition over the last year, since the idea was proposed at the Global Spa Summit in Istanbul in 2010.
The portal is available in white label format, so it can be linked to spas' websites to enable operators to present the evidence as part of client engagement program. In addition, it's been designed to be user-friendly for consumers.
Ellis says, "The aim is to present the evidence—good or bad—so decisions can be made in an informed way."
Cohen says: "Absence of evidence doesn't mean something doesn't work; it just means the research hasn't been done yet and this gives us a clear idea of where more work is needed."
The industry can now promote existing research that shows how much evidence is already in existence, as well as adding to this body of knowledge and identifying areas where further research is needed.
Friedland says, "All doctors are trained in evidence-based medicine, so if the spa industry can learn that language, it can become a universal bridge between the two worlds."
Pelletier says, "People have predispositions to disease, but it can be lifestyle that turns them on and off. The evidence underpinning spa therapies is far stronger than you think. Medicine doesn't have the tools to deliver wellness, but spas have that potential. Our time as an industry has come."