Washington, D.C. Addressing societal challenges of epidemic proportions, the third annual Washington Spa Alliance symposium will draw thought leaders and invite members of Congress to the discussion when it convenes at the National Press Club on March 19.

Tackling the critical issue of our nation’s state of wellness, Washington Spa Alliance is creating “Beyond Wellness: Defining Wellbeing,” drawing top speakers to its annual symposium for newsmakers in the national capital region. Among topics to be addressed are: Post-Luxury Spa Perceptions: The Evolution of Pampering to Practical; Timeless Truths of Spa: The Seven Touch Points That Drive Revenue and Change Lives; and Seed to Spa: How a Deeply Rooted Spa Culture Ignites the Imagination, Strengthens Business and Creates Positive Changes in National Policy.

Citing the crisis, Symposium Education Director Mary Bemis noted, “As one example, this is the first time a generation will have a shorter life span than their parents. Americans recognize that we are facing health, happiness and stress-related problems of epidemic proportions. This requires rethinking the catchphrase of wellness and truly defining the meaning of wellbeing.”

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr. Pamela Peeke, internationally recognized expert, physician, scientist and author in the fields of nutrition, stress, fitness and public health
  • Susie Ellis, president, SpaFinder Wellness and Chairman and CEO at Global Spa And Wellness Summit
  • Ella Stimpson, president, ISPA
  • Ann Bramham, founder, Advanced Spa Therapy Education Certificate Council
  • Michael Tompkins, CEO, Miraval
  • Bernard Burt, spa industry expert, historian, senior editor Spa Management Journal
  • Kitty Bean Yancey, travel editor, USA Today
  • Cynthia Josayama, president, Balneology Association of North America
  • Stephen Kiesling, author and former editor-in-chief of Spirituality & Health magazine

“Spa has always been at the root of healthcare and healing—and today it has the potential to take a leading role in transforming not just our stressed-out bodies, but our ailing healthcare system,” says Bemis. “This year, WSPA’s third annual Symposium, ‘Beyond Wellness,’ brings together the industry’s leading advocates, as well as physicians and politicians to shape the future of spa.”

The symposium’s morning sessions will serve as an open call to create a definitive understanding of well-being. Presenters will be guided by the “timeless truths” as identified by Washington Spa Alliance’s seven-spoke Wellness Wheel. These encompass: food, water, quiet, community, sleep, fitness and nature.

Each speaker will present tangible tips that individuals can incorporate into their lives. At the symposium’s conclusion, Washington Spa Alliance will draft a white paper summarizing its content to be released to a wider audience. The paper, “The Fundamentals, The Timeless Truths, The New Ways to Live,” will be made available on the organization’s website at www.washingtonspaalliance.com.

Afternoon sessions at the symposium will take the form of a town hall meeting, geared to Washington Spa Alliance members and others attendees from the Greater Capital Region. It will be an engaged conversation that addresses reactions from the morning session, discussion of current and upcoming policy issues that might impact well-being and other topics of particular interest to members.

Symposium sponsors include Gold Sponsor Matrix Fitness and Silver Sponsors Precor and SpaFinder Wellness. Media sponsor is Spa Management Journal.

Attendance is limited. Reservations are being accepted on a first-come basis at www.washingtonspaalliance.com/symposium/. Cost is $100 for Washington Spa Alliance members and $175 for nonmembers. (Note: $75 of the nonmember rate may be applied to an individual membership in the organization.) Members or nonmembers paying full price may bring guests for $75 apiece (reduced rate excludes the annual membership).

Washington Spa Alliance is a knowledge center, connecting spa professionals in the nation’s greater capital region. The group works to promote the exchange of innovation in the field and to ensure the highest spa ideals are met through policy and action. The group recognizes this is a crucial time, when Washington is looking closely at how our country can be healthier in a struggling economy. Americans increasingly have turned to spas to learn the importance of diet and exercise, the benefits of organic plant-based diets, to redefine ideas of beauty and well-being, and to learn techniques of stress-reduction and preventive medicine.