Chongqing - The Second International Symposium of Hydrotherapy and Climate Therapy Tourism of China was held at the Haiyu Hotel in Beibei. Located at the base of the misty Jinyun Mountain, the conference brought hot spring and climate therapy experts from all over China and abroad to discuss matters at the center of the hot spring and climate therapy industry, November 28.
Yasuki Goto, a Japan health & research institute senior research scientist, raised awareness for the efficacy of hot spring therapy. Gokuraku, Gokuraku, meaning heaven in Japanese is a common saying in Japanese culture, emphasizing the level of reverence held for the natural hot water. Goto spoke of the hot springs cultural, and medical significance in japan, which is 378,000 square km has more than 20,000 hot springs distributed across 3,000 hot spring regions. Japan has many active volcanoes, 108 to be exact, he said, which means many there are many natural hot springs. “My favorite hot springs in China are in Chongqing. In the future, Chongqing will be a hot spring capital.”
Goto was sharing a photo of his family’s bathroom and bathing habits, and attributed to regular bathing and hot springs to the Japanese people’s remarkable longevity. “Our health can be attributed to three areas,” he said, “healthy food, a diet of fish, a goof government healthcare system, and bathing habits.”
There are many health benefits. Hot springs can assist in treating joint pain, diabetes increases blood flow, muscle relaxation treats cardiovascular diseases, prevents aging, and can be useful for hypertension, and skin conditions. He left the audience with one piece of advice, please prioritize your blood vessels to ensure a healthy life, he said.
Another speaker Andrew Jacka, chairmen of Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Coalition (APSWC), spoke on the nuances of branding and marketing for wellness. “you've got to walk the talk” integrity in messaging is vital, he said. The APSWC’s goal is to nurture and encourage the development of the industry by sharing information and resources during events such as this, he said. The organization seeks to improve the professionalism of the industry by identifying and developing best practices across the entire Southeast Asian region, including organizations in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and more than 300 other businesses across the region.
During his presentation, he discussed the eight dimensions of wellness that should be focused on in every comprehensive wellness marketing campaign. Those included emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual. “Is it easy to do all of these?” he asked, “No. As a wellness resort, are you addressing all of these? Probably not most resorts will not focus on all of them, but the ones that are focused on should be focused on with intention. “Spas that are focused on a few areas and aren’t trying to be everything to everybody tend to be the most successful.”
He reviewed many popular wellness resorts and spas around the world, analyzing best practices, including resorts from Switzerland, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, Belize, Indonesia, Turkey, Qatar, and more. “The more that the element of culture is included in a spa, the better. I urge all of you to be respectful to your forbearers.
In addition, “Imagery is important. Time and time again, brochures do not represent the reality of what clients will find in that property.” Businesses should think about who is being targeted if targeting males and females use male and female models. If contemporary imagery should represent a contemporary spa if traditional imagery should reflect traditional spa, he said.
Another speaker, Kuang Yu, director of international aquatic therapy at the association of China, talked about the integration between spas and sports. He says that IATA-China aims to be the country’s future one-stop integration provider and coordinator, introducing advanced global technology to increase skills and professional knowledge in the field of aquatic therapy.
He said that in recent years aquatic therapy research and books are becoming quite common in China, and should expand in the future, to show the relationship between ailments and treatments with aquatic sports therapy. One area of research is merging existing traditional Chinese medicine with aquatic therapy, such as taichi, to adapt taichi as aquatic therapy. “We will continue to develop standard practices and professional standards ethics based on Netherlands, USA, and European standards,” he said.
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