By: Amy Lindsay
Created on 09th November 2009
Imagine a spa where you can have microdermabrasion with your manicure and Botox with your blow dry. Welcome to the world of the medi-spa
While a spa day used to simply involve a massage and a facial, these days a new breed of spa is transforming our downtime. Medical spas, commonly known as medi-spas, are among the fastest growing segment in the cosmetic rejuvenation industry in the UK. Offering medical services as well as traditional spa therapies, medi-spas are run by licensed medical professionals, who carry out cosmetic treatments in a serene spa-like environment, rather than a cold clinic.
Medi-spas are devoted to non-surgical, anti-ageing face and body therapies, geared towards helping both men and women regain and maintain a youthful appearance. But while comfort is key, medi-spas differ distinctly from day spas and beauty salons. All medical spas are categorised as Independent Healthcare Providers, operated by and under the supervision of medical professionals and licensed by the Care Quality Commission to carry out therapies.
The fast-growing phenomenon of the medi-spa looks set to transform the perception of cosmetic surgery as an indulgent pampering treat, rather than an expensive and painful medical procedure. Even better, you can often stay for as long as you like post-treatment with some medi-spas offering boutique accommodation in discreet deluxe rooms, delicious nutritious meals and soothing spa treatments.
The Med-Spa Clinic in Tunbridge Wells is one of the first UK clinics to focus on the medical spa trend. Owned and run by Dr Nina Sheffield, the Med-Spa Clinic has become one of the leading cosmetic clinics in the country with staff comprising of registered doctors, nurses, experienced skin specialists and highly trained therapists.
"A medi-spa is a hybrid of a traditional clinic and a spa," says John Sheffield of the Med-Spa Clinic. "A medi-spa will offer not only beauty treatments but the full range of injectable treatments, laser treatments, Botox and many other non-surgical medical treatments. We will always have medically trained people on duty but - unlike traditional clinics - we also offer pure beauty treatments."
"We are a hospital and we are regulated by the Care Quality Commission who regulate all NHS and private healthcare in UK," stresses Sheffield. "However, patients do tend to stay longer and often come for multiple treatments with us. This is largely due to the fact that we try to create a relaxing, non-threatening environment. While we have medically-trained staff with a wide knowledge of the treatments we offer, clients come to us for pleasure as well as results."
By providing such a wide range of services, the medi-spa becomes a one-stop-shop. EF Medispa, recognized as London's premier medi-spa, is one of the first in the UK to offer laser cosmetic dentistry for teeth whitening, high quality veneers and bite adjustment. They are also the first medi-spa in London to encorporate a minor surgical suite for Vaser Lipo and instant breast enlargement. Apart from the medical and aesthetic treatments, EF MediSpa offers a comprehensive range of holistic and complementary therapies regularly featured on TV and the national press.
James McDiarmid, a leading Consultant Plastic Surgeon, is advancing the medi-spa trend with the Wood Estate medi-spa in Devon, set to open in 2010. Whereas existing medi-spas combine traditional beauty treatments with non-surgical treatments, the new Wood Estate medi-spa will be the first in the UK to offer surgical treatments.
"Our medi-spa will be a location where the full range of non-surgical and surgical options are available to clients from photofacial treatments, IPL and Botox all the way through to major aesthetic surgical procedures such as breast augmentation, facelift or rhinoplasty," explains McDiarmid.
"We will not only be providing excellent standards of treatment but will also offer a unique on-site facility where patients can stay for a longer period and recuperate in a safe environment prior to going home."
So you will receive impeccable aftercare, with specialised nursing and medical staff tending to your every need and specialists on-hand to deal with any queries or concerns until you feel well enough to go home. In addition to top-notch staff and facilities, the Wood Estate is even planning a garden to cultivate homeopathic supplements and organic products to complete the recovery experience.
Men are also contributing to this growth explosion in medi-spas. Esther Fieldgrass, founder of EF MediSpa explains why more and more male clients are discovering this new destination for aesthetic treatments: "Men come to us because they are looking to improve their appearance without having to resort to major surgery, they want a six pack without the major downtime and they come to us because of our impeccable reputation and excellent aftercare which makes all the difference between a good and a fantastic result."
Of all the areas of private healthcare, cosmetic surgery has remained robust throughout the recession and the long-term forecast looks bright. With surgical treatments seeing a 114 per cent increase in the last decade, and a whopping increase in non-surgical procedures of 754 per cent over the same period, it looks like the medi-spa may indeed become the weekend retreat of choice for our age-conscious society. And, frankly, who wouldn't like to be nurtured and pampered while being nipped and tucked?