Any student of Roman History will be well acquainted with the Roman Baths. Places where the citizenry of Roman cities could gather, bathe in hot and cold water and get a massage or work out. These places fell out of use after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, but the idea did not go away entirely and by the 1800's a network of "Spas" had sprung up around Hot Springs all over the world. The best spas were to be found in Europe, especially Germany and Austria-Hungary although the USA could boast some impressive Spas as well such as the one in the ad shown here.
Spas were the original "Detox Clinics", a place where people could detoxify their body (usually through the copious use of mineral salts, enemas and taking sulphor waters), exercise and relax in the clean air of the countryside. The spas reached the height of the popularity prior to the First World War and then enjoyed a resurgence in the decade before World War II. After the war their popularity declined as people chose to take their vacations at the beach or sightseeing rather than going to a spa to drink water that smelled like farts and gave you the runs.
The concept of the spa lives on though as we combat the plague of addiction. Addiction to drugs, addiction to alcohol, or addiction to painkillers are all treated in hospice now in a residential rehab treatment facility. These facilities are holistic in their approach treating not just the problem but the underlying causes of the problem and helping the patient realize their personal vale to their families. We have come a long way in treatments from the belief that a good dose of laxatives will cure anything to the holistic path to a natural life.