Some European colonists brought with them knowledge of the hot water therapy for medicinal purposes, and others learned the benefits of hot springs from the Native Americans. Europeans gradually obtained many of the hot and cold springs from the various Indian tribes. They then developed the spring to suit European tastes. By the 1760s, British colonists were traveling to hot and cold springs in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia in search of water cures. Among the more frequently visited of these springs were Bath, Yellow, and Bristol Springs in Pennsylvania; and Warm Springs, Hot Springs, and White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (now in West Virginia) in Virginia. In the last decade of the 1700s, New York spas were beginning to be frequented by intrepid travelers, most notably Ballston Spa. Nearby Saratoga Springs and Kinderhook were yet to be discovered.
Colonial doctors gradually began to recommend hot springs for ailments. Dr. Benjamin Rush, American patriot and physician, praised the springs of Bristol, Pennsylvania, in 1773. Dr. Samuel Tenney in 1783 and Dr. Valentine Seaman in 1792 examined the water of Ballston Spa in New York and wrote of possible medicinal uses of the springs. Hotels were constructed to accommodate visitors to the various springs. Entrepreneurs operated establishments where the travelers could lodge, eat, and drink. Thus began the health resort industry in the United States.
A body treatment, spa treatment, or cosmetic treatment is non-medical procedure to help the health of the body. It is often performed at a resort, destination spa, day spa, beauty salon or school.