Well, my final semester approaches and I have already started gathering materials for my capstone class. By the way, I am looking for good peer-reviewed journal articles and also books that I can use to bolster and drive my thesis. I am aware of SpaEvidence but none of their materials deal with behavioral modification in an existing spa setting, but please do drop me a line in the comments if you have sources you recommend!
Back in 2000, the French government threatened to stop funding spa services and wellness centers if efforts were not made to scientifically validate the efficacy of spa services utilizing hydrology. This created a push that has spread across the pond to the States, driving the creation of websites like SpaEvidence. In searching for materials I can use within existing databases currently at my disposal, I have turned up a number of articles that deal with the history of thermal spas but not the current wellness models of modern spas and they are being written by tourism journals primarily. Now that I have finished my history work and put the finishing official touch on my history minor, I hope one day to start writing my own articles on spa and submitting them to journals or to spa evidence as resources for the larger spa community. I will definitely make time for this in the coming years as that was part of the reason I re-took the historiography class before beginning the capstone project.
For my project, I have to identify a few problems that in theory would be encountered in trying to implement a behavioral modification program in a spa setting. One of the things I am exploring for more information is the vector difference between hedonic and eudamonic conceptions of wellness as paradigms for health. As the spa industry is heavily fragmented both in the US and worldwide, with varying approaches and levels of integration into modern society, I will also be dealing with several in depth questions about the motivation of spa goers and the public perceptions of spa. I hope to put together a questionnaire that I can post here on my blog about the spa experience and what kinds of motivations and perceptions of spa people have.
If you have any comments, questions or reading suggestions please feel free to contact me! I am excited about my project and will be posting updates and as I said, hopefully a questionnaire in the coming months.