Today at the Global Spa Summit (GSS) in Bali, Susie Ellis, board member of the GSS, announced the launch of spaevidence.com a portal which consolidates clinical evidence about 22 key spa therapies from four pre-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 guest engagement programmes. In addition, it's been designed to be user-friendly for consumers.
Ellis said "the aim is to present the evidence - good or bad - so decisions can be made in an informed way."
Cohen said: "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 which shows how much evidence is already in existence, as well as adding to this body of knowledge and indentifying areas where further research is needed.
Friedland said "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 said "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."