Launches: World’s First Portal to the Medical Evidence for Spa and Wellness Therapies

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Global Spa Summit Initiative Empowers People to Investigate the “Hard Science” Behind 21 Approaches: From Acupuncture to Massage to Yoga

Spa Evidence Logo is a breakthrough because the evidence already exists, but until now it hasn’t been easily accessible launched today, the world’s first 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.

“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%-35% 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. “ is a breakthrough because the evidence already exists, but until now it hasn’t been easily accessible.”

“The crippling costs of many traditional healthcare systems, which narrowly focus on sickness, pills and procedures - rather than prevention and lifestyle changes — have become unsustainable for many people, governments and corporations,” said Dr. Daniel Friedland, author of one of the first textbooks on Evidence-Based Medicine and president and CEO of SuperSmartHealth. “Hundreds of millions of people are now embracing smarter, prevention-focused, more integrative and personalized health approaches. But they demand the facts — Evidence-Based Medicine — and that’s why SpaEvidence’s time has come.”

For stats on the spiraling costs of healthcare systems, and the rise of the wellness-focused consumer:

SpaEvidence’s Key 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.

The Site’s Realization:
SpaEvidence is an initiative of the Global Spa Summit (GSS), the leading annual event and advocacy organization for the worldwide spa and wellness industries. Integrative medicine leaders Dr. Marc Cohen (professor, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, AU), Dr. Daniel Friedland and Dr. Kenneth Pelletier served as the site’s medical consultants and were critical in shaping the resource.

Each year industry sponsors step forward to support the GSS’s research initiatives, and SpaEvidence was funded by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International; Murad; Red Door Spas; ResortSuite; SpaFinder, Inc.; SpaSoft; Westin Hotels and Resorts Worldwide; and Yelo Spa. SelfOptima, a leader in online platforms for optimizing health and wellbeing, created the website and its technology. SpaEvidence was first unveiled at the 2011 Global Spa Summit in Bali, Indonesia, this May.

The Future:
The portal’s functionality will continue to expand, and additional spa and wellness approaches will be added regularly. SelfOptima, the site’s architect, is offering a “white label” opportunity so businesses can fully customize and brand the portal’s rich content. Award-winning destination spa, Rancho La Puerta, and the most-visited global spa information site, SpaFinder, represent companies already embracing this opportunity.

“ is a game-changer. Our industries have long been accused of soft, anecdotal claims, when what was really missing was a resource to access the clinical research that supports so much of what we do,” noted Susie Ellis, the GSS board member who spearheaded the initiative. “Some of the medical evidence for spa and wellness approaches is powerful, some is inconclusive, some is negative — and certainly far more studies need to be undertaken. But embracing transparency is the path to true legitimacy and industry growth, and I hope every spa and wellness center worldwide will use this portal, link to it and spread the word.”

For more info, or to speak to one of the site’s medical consultants, contact: Beth McGroarty: beth (at) rbicom (dot) com or (+1) 213-300-0107.

To link your site to SpaEvidence, banners can be downloaded here: Or contact Dulcy Gregory: dulcy (at) globalspasummit (dot) org, (+1) 212-716-1199.

For information about white-labeling (customizing) SpaEvidence for your site, contact: Kathrin Nikolussi: kathrin (at) selfoptima (dot) com or (+1) 408-912-1908 x16.

About Global Spa Summit:
The Global Spa Summit (GSS) is the leading annual event that attracts executives and leaders from around the world with an interest in the spa and wellness industries. Delegates from diverse sectors, including hospitality, tourism, finance, medicine, real estate, manufacturing, technology, product, consulting and other related industries attend this invitation-only gathering focused on advancing the spa and wellness sectors. The Summit has been responsible for some of the most important spa industry research, including the landmark “Global Spa Economy Report” and “Spas and the Global Wellness Market: Synergies and Opportunities” (both conducted by SRI International).


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Beth McGroarty
RBI Creative
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