As the editor of American Spa, the most common requests I receive from readers are those for spa stats. Spa owners looking to educate clients on the benefits of various treatments are always seeking factual support and tend to be frustrated when I send them to countless industry sites all over the web. Finally, I have an easy answer to provide—www.spaevidence.com. The site is an online resource dedicated to the medical evidence that exists for spa and wellness therapies. With thousands of clinical studies evaluating the effectiveness of approaches like hydrotherapy, massage, or meditation, SpaEvidence makes it easy (and free) for people—and medical, wellness and spa professionals—to research what’s proven to work, what isn’t, and for what conditions.
The site, which was an initiative of the recent Global Spa Summit, features:
- Research Channel: Users can search four of the most authoritative evidence-based medicine databases for studies on 21 spa and wellness approaches: Natural Standard, The Cochrane Library, PubMed, and TRIP.
- Spotlight Channel: Highlights select medical studies for each therapy as a springboard to further research.
- Studies-in-Progress: Visitors can investigate the clinical trials underway globally.
- “Conversations” & “Contributions”: Users can contribute studies about — and their own experiences/outcomes with — spa/wellness approaches.
“People assume that the clinical evidence always sides with conventional Western medicine, but the ‘gold standard’ for medical research, the Cochrane Reviews, indicates that only 30 to 35 percent of conventional medicine is adequately evidence-based. Increasingly more clinicians agree that one of the largest bodies of medical evidence is the one demonstrating that lifestyle changes, mind-body approaches, and stress-reduction have the largest impact, on the largest number of health conditions, for the largest number of people,” noted Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, clinical professor of medicine, University of Arizona and University of California, San Francisco. “SpaEvidence.com is a breakthrough because the evidence already exists, but until now it hasn’t been easily accessible.”