Spa Trends 2011 – Part 2

And these are the second 5 trends  of Susie Ellis´ Spa Finder trend projection for 2011- identifying global spa trends that will influence experiences for both consumers and the industry in the coming year and for decades to come.

6. THE SCIENCE OF SPA. Is there scientific proof that massage reduces stress? Are mudpacks and mineral-baths medically proven to alleviate pain? The answer, in many cases, is increasingly “yes”. Get ready for a new era where more questions about the effectiveness of spa therapies will be asked, as the emphasis on the ‘science behind spa’ heats up.

Just a few recent examples: The New York Times reported on a Cedars-Sinai  study revealing that a 45-minute massage resulted in a significant decrease in stress hormones, while boosting immunity. And an American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation article documented the positive effect of mudpacks and mineral-water baths.

With more medical professionals embracing integrative/alternative medicine, expect clinical studies to accelerate next year. These promising evidence-based initiatives may ultimately prove the bedrock for future, perhaps unimagined, industry growth.

7. HYPER-LOCAL SPAS. A current trend that complements – rather than contradicts – the move toward branded spas is the desire for authenticity and immersion in the traditions and elements of a spa’s local environment.

Now, not just about sourcing your restaurant menu from local suppliers, we are seeing an increase in spas who have fully embraced the local trend with the “farm-to-table” movement and have extended it to “farm-to-massage-table”. Locally sourced fruits, herbs and honey are grown on site, and then dished up in both meals and in spa treatments. Even the well-known branded spas are sure to reserve a portion of their services for locally infused treatments, as consumers look to take advantage of the diversity of their surroundings.

Forward thinking examples in Spain, which we SIS – Spa in Spain recommend: The Oliveda Spa in the Son Brull Hotel in Mallorca. Here all products used are made from olives from Mallorca!

8. EXTREME BEAUTY: SPA EDITION. Beauty-seekers are taking treatments to the max. We are far beyond Botox – stem-cell facials and plasma therapy (yes, that’s where blood is drawn and re-injected) are new buzzwords.

But let’s also look at extreme pain, people are tolerating more and more as long as it delivers results. Derma-rolling hurts, chemical peels can be uncomfortable and the zapping of lasers is no picnic. Then there are boot camps, Rolfing and Bikram yoga, where pain meets pleasure. Even organic and natural products are being taken to the extreme, with raw food cuisine gaining popularity during intense detox retreats.

Forward thinking examples in Spain, which we SIS – Spa in Spain recommend: Our OWN developed ¨Taste of Hippocrates¨ Detox Retreat in Mallorca, based on Raw Food cuisine. Intense it is, you won´t feel happy all the time, but you will certainly do at the end of the week. Though week, but sooooo effective! New dates in 2011 have been set!

9. SPA IN A NEW YORK MINUTE. “In a New York minute” is jargon for how things move faster in hectic New York City. It’s also the name of a suite of mini (15- to 30-minute) spa treatments (designed to be performed simultaneously by multiple therapists) at the new Auriga Spa at The Setai Fifth Avenue (NYC). In our stressed-out, 24/7 world, we seem to be morphing into New Yorkers. The spa industry is responding, helping people spa anytime and offering “sample” and simultaneous treatments.

And the trend toward ‘express’, ‘sampler’ or ‘mini-sized’ treatments will continue to rise in 2011, pleasing time- and budget-crunched consumers. The explosion of airport spas worldwide plays into the ‘express’ trend neatly, as does the decline of elaborate rituals at many spas, to get right to the heart of the matter: the therapeutic treatment.

 10. SURPRISING SPECIAL EVENTS. Increasingly, spas are developing distinctive speciality programs to draw patrons seeking a unique group experience. While destination spas have been offering yoga and healthy cooking weeks for years, retreats now span everything from a high-flying ‘Trapeze Experience’ to a creative jewellery-making class to the more sober and grounded gathering for survivors of loss.

We expect this trend to flourish in the coming year, as spas and resort destinations find creative new ways to prove that unique is indeed spa chic for the savvy consumer.

Forward thinking examples in Spain, which we SIS – Spa in Spain recommend: Special Chocolate Treatments at El Rodat Hotel & Spa during Easter Week and Life coaching retreats in Mallorca.

For a full overview of all SpaFinders 2011 Spa trends please click here

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