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History of the Vichy Shower

Stone Carving of Roman SoldiersIt all starts in a small French town named Vichy. There are natural thermal springs with mineral rich waters which became famous for their healing and wellness properties. The first known settlement at Vichy was established by Roman legionaries in 52 BC. During the first two centuries AD, Vichy became fairly prosperous because of the supposed medicinal value of the thermal springs and the mineral rich waters.

In 1527, the House of Bourbon was incorporated into the French Kingdom. By the end of the 16th century, the mineral baths had obtained a reputation for having quasi-miraculous curing powers and attracted patients from the noble and wealthy classes. Government officials, such as Fouet and Chomel, began to classify the curing properties of the mineral baths.

Napoleon IIIBy the 19th century, Vichy was a station à la mode, attended by many celebrities. However, it was the stays of Napoleon III between 1861 and 1866 that were to cause the most profound transformation of the city: dikes were built along the Allier, 13 hectares (32 acres) of landscaped gardens replaced the old marshes and, along the newly laid-out boulevards and streets, chalets and pavilions were built for the emperor and his court. Recreational pursuits were not spared: in view of the park, a large casino was built by the architect Badger in 1865. The Emperor would be the catalyst of the development of a small rail station, which increased the number of inhabitants and visitors tenfold in fifty years.

In the beginning of the 20th century, spa practitioners in Vichy began to explore innovative ways to provide hydrotherapy benefits to their clients. That is when the concept of a special table equipped with several showerheads positioned above was introduced. This allowed for a combination flow of warm and cold water all over the body, providing clients with a very unique and healing experience.

History of the Vichy Shower

After that, the Vichy shower treatment gained even more recognition and started to attract people from all over the world who wanted to experience the healing benefits of the warm and cold water contrast. Visitors would indulge themselves in this unique experience while receiving a massage from a highly trained technician. It gained so much popularity among spa enthusiasts around the world that inevitably, Vichy shower treatments found their way into the most renowned spas and wellness centers around the world. Today, the Vichy treatment has become a hallmark of high-end luxury spa experiences. While the warm and cold contrast is not practiced in many spas with Vichy showers, there are still traditionalists around the world still incorporating that method in their Vichy treatments.

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