No one know exactly where the word spa comes from, but there are two main theories. One is that spa is an acronym for the Latin phrase, “salus per aquae,” or “health through water.”
Others believe the origin of the word “spa” comes from the Belgian town of Spa, known since Roman times for its baths. They speculate that the town was so prominent that the very word spa became synonymous in the English language with a place to be restored and pampered.
Modern spas have their roots in ancient towns famed for the healing powers of their mineral waters and hot springs. Travelers would come to “take the waters” and restore their health.
The practice of bathing in hot springs and mineral waters dates at least to the Babylonians and Greeks, and knowing people, probably much sooner!
In the 19th century, Europe’s great spas were destinations for the wealthy, who went there to “take the waters.” Water treatments are still considered the heart of the spa experience in Europe. Today massages and facials are by far the most popular spa treatments in America.
Credits to Article Author Antira Brown at About.com