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European Med Spas: a Series #4

September 26th, 2011

Trendy French Spa Treatments

The traditional French Thermal spa, Les Thermes de Saint-Gervais-Les-Bains  is an institution in the Chamonix Valley that is more than 200 years old.     The hot and healthy thermal water straight from the glacial waters of the Mont Blanc Massif is often described as a real natural serum. The traditional treatments exist in perfect harmony with new products and techniques.

According to Mintel,  the revenue from the skincare market in the five key European markets (France, Italy, Germany, UK and Spain) reached 6.1 billion Euros in 2009 or about $8.7 billion dollars.   France represents more than 36% of this market.

Thermes de Saint-Gervais is typical in its offerings of beauty, wellness and relaxation treatments.  Warm mineral water treatments and beauty therapies include hydro-massage, volcanic clay applications and facial masks, jet showers, sauna and hammam; all combining essential oils, aromatic and medicinal plants.   We toured the new anti-stress and relaxation circuit that is combined with a multi-station outdoor natural spring water pool.

According to our guide, Julie it has been a very successful addition to the property.   The unique spa atmosphere is carefully crafted to achieve maximum relaxation with special attention to lighting, sound and visual cues.   The senses are meant to be calmed before exploring the thermal stations in the outdoor pool.   We were invited to experience the new treatments ourselves, but a busy travel schedule made it impossible this trip.   However, the view from the outdoor mineral pool was stunning, with snow-capped Mont Blanc in almost every direction.

Next: Skincare: a Growing Global Business




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European Tradition of Med Spas: a Series #2

September 20th, 2011

On our list of stations thermales or hydrotherapeutic spas was a visit to  Les Thermes de St. Gervais  Les Bains, one of the oldest in the Chamonix-Mont Blanc region.   Since the discovery of the hot springs in 1806, the special mineral waters have been considered to be miraculous by many.

In 1815, Dr. Mattey reported on the effectiveness of these waters in the treatment of skin ailments, eczema and ulcers.   It is believed that the high concentration of mineral salts and trace elements help to heal and offer comfort to the most sensitive, irritated and intolerant skin.   Patients have been coming here ever since the doors opened near the banks of the Rhone.

On the day of our appointment, we met in the lobby of the clinic that was crowded with waiting patients.   We were greeted by Julie Jacquet for our facility tour.

Thermes de St. Gervais Les Bains is comprised of the historic medical clinic buildings, but now also includes a new wellness spa.   Julie showed us both contrasting sections and after we slipped on shoe-covers, we headed off to see some of the hydrotherapeutic treatments that shared a history of being performed there for over 200 years.

Next: More on Thermes de St. Gervais



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