The Spa at Ramside in County Durham has become part of the international Wellness for Cancer organisation, with every member of staff now trained to provide services to anyone whose life has been touched by the disease.
And the luxury spa, part of Ramside Hall Hotel, is to launch the new service on October 1 – to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
American-based Wellness for Cancer is the first worldwide organisation to establish accredited training for the spa industry on working with anyone affected by cancer, which covers everything from suitable treatments to how reception staff should respond.
Julie Bach, Executive Director of Wellness for Cancer – who spent 15 years helping care for her parents who suffered for the disease – said she was delighted that the Spa at Ramside had become part of the organisation.
“We are excited that the Spa at Ramside is committed to providing clients with services and future retreats that will help them manage medical treatments and lead healthier lifestyles,” she said.
The Wellness for Cancer training involved all staff learning about the disease and the importance of bringing “mindfulness” elements – a technique which helps people deal with anxiety by living in the moment – into play.
The therapists at Ramside have also undergone Wellness For Cancer’s training in massage and manicures and pedicures which have been created to ensure those suffering from the disease will feel relaxed and comfortable.
Reception and reservation staff have also undergone specialised training, to ensure that when they speak to clients both on the phone and in person they are knowledgeable and assist them appropriately.
“Medical specialists treat cancer as chronic disease,” said Julie.
“They recognise the need for patients and survivors to lead healthy lifestyles due to the increased risk of additional diseases and conditions as a result of cancer treatment.
“Spas play a key role in helping individuals heal by evoking their own relaxation response to calm their bodies –chemically, neurologically and physically.”
Jill Russell, Spa Director at the Spa at Ramside said it was a huge honour to be the first in the UK to offer this service and that it was “fantastic that it is the North East which is leading the way.”
“We are looking forward to working with Wellness for Cancer to provide what we really believe will be an invaluable service for so many people,” she said.
“Visiting a spa is such a relaxing experience, it’s the ideal environment for someone dealing with a life threatening condition, but unfortunately there has been far too many misconceptions surrounding cancer and massage within the industry with people often being turned away from spas.
“At the Spa at Ramside we want to change that and our philosophy will echo Wellness for Cancer, with no one going through this awful disease being turned away from a spa treatment no matter what stage their illness is at.”
The £8m Spa at Ramside opened in August and offers five pools including one of the UK’s biggest hydrotherapy pools, 14 treatment rooms, a thermal suite, a Sleep Sanctuary and a Rasul mud chamber.
A number of special packages have been put together for guests who suffer from cancer available during October the Spa at Ramside will be donating £1 from every spa day booked to Macmillan Cancer Support.