Embodying the Principles of Wellness in Spas

Embodying the Principles of Wellness in Spas

People are expecting more from their spa experience and in order for spas to deliver, therapists and business owners need to embody the fundamentals of the industry that they are working in.

Having a beautiful space and design elements, the latest technology, enticing marketing programs passionate and knowledgeable staff on hand and stocking sought after products are certainly essential for business success. However, all of those efforts are futile in the long run if your business does not authentically embody the core principles of the industry that you are in – the principles of wellness.

For over 25 years I have lead wellness programs and initiatives within award-winning companies across the globe. I have observed leaders, managers and employees who were usually engaged and creative become disengaged, demotivated and on the brink of burnout. I have seen thousands of people, in over 40 countries, and across various cultures who were either underwhelmed, or overwhelmed with their lifestyle. Unfortunately, this is something that many of us can relate to.

If yourself and your staff are in ‘survive’ rather than ‘thrive’ mode then how do you expect your customers, who come to spas for wellness, to be authentically supported to thrive at their best?

Wellness 101

Wellness is all encompassing. Through my career starting as a Naturopath and my journey of exploration of various natural medicines, from Ayurveda to Traditional Chinese Medicine and more, there is a golden thread that runs through all modalities. These are referred to as the eight principles of wellness:

It’s all Connected

Although each principle of wellness appears separate, each is interrelated with the other, they are all connected, one cannot be at it’s optimum without the other. You can’t be making the best food choices, for example, if you are lacking sleep, which is affecting your mental clarity, which also negatively affects your stress resilience and how you are breathing throughout the day and your level of mindfulness that is necessary to provide exceptional treatments to your valued spa guests. When you experience a lack in one area of wellness it immediately impacts negatively on another area, and these are the days when things can spiral downwards, impacting the individual, the team and the business.

For a day of wellness, starting your day with a clear intention, followed by a nutritious breakfast increases your odds of being active the next few hours. This helps you to eat well throughout the rest of the day. Eating foods that have the highest amounts of nutrients combined with having the least amounts of toxins in and on the body, allows the cells of your body to focus on functioning at their best and work collaboratively with each other, as they were intended, rather than focusing all their attention on cleaning AND functioning. Adding some activity, some effective breathing and a sprinkling of mindfulness, builds stress resilience, better communication in personal and workplace relationships and a much better night’s sleep. This sound night of sleep provides a great foundation to eat, move, breathe, and be mindful tomorrow as you flow through your day.

New research shows that working on multiple elements at the same time increases your odds of success, compared to initiating a new diet, exercise, resilience or mindfulness program in isolation. It is more effective if you work on all the areas simultaneously. Gentle integration of wellness into life and work is the key to success.

Harness the hearts of your people

People are the biggest asset of any organisation and unleashing the potential within them will boost the performance of your business. People want to feel valued at work. They want to feel as though their health, happiness and vitality matter. Businesses that authentically value the wellness of their team members have a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining the top talent in the industry.

The intention of harnessing the eight wellness principles and strategies is to support the wellness of your team members and create a thriving business that is sustainable. When individuals are thriving collectively in a workplace, then businesses are more likely to thrive. If you’re a business owner I urge you to take a moment to reflect on how you are supporting your team members to embody the principles of wellness so that they can authentically impart these skills and practical knowledge with your customers. Where is the biggest gap between where you are now and where you want to be? Start small, and start to integrate wellness into your daily life and work practices.

Once you are implementing these principles of wellness into your life and business, you will be acting as a role model of wellness to your staff, colleagues and customers.

Lead Well

The spa industry has been an integral sector of the wellness industry, introducing innovative concepts from other cultures and imparting valuable knowledge onto clients.

Now is the time for the spa industry to authentically nurture and embody the essence of the wellness industry and to lead the way by educating staff to attain and sustain wellness.

At the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy we believe that wellness should be within everyone’s reach. I found it challenging as a spa manager to effectively provide my team members with the wellness skills that our guests were demanding and that’s one of the key reasons why I created the Academy, to strengthen businesses through flexible and scaleable training and development programs in wellness skills to enrich lives and businesses.

Contact us to find out more about our online and blended wellness training programs for Managers and Employees


Angela Derks, ND is the Founder and CEO of the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy (ASWA) - the award winning accredited leader of wellness training and consulting services for organisations. Her life’s work is helping people achieve optimal health, wellbeing and business success through skills-based learning and healthy leadership strategies. She is the lead developer of the nationally recognised 10299NAT Diploma of Wellness Leadership qualification, delivering relevant skills to effectively integrate evidence-based wellness and management practices into organisations. The ASWA Wellness Solutions Team delivers an integrative approach for individuals, organisations and communities.