Spa Trends 2012

And this year again Spa Industry Expert Susie Ellis at Spa Finder has released the Spa Finder trend projection, this time for 2012! She forecasts global trends and ideas that will influence the spa and wellness industry in 2012. In this BLOG we tell you about those 10 Spa trends.

1. Healthy Feet Treatments – The delicate human foot contains 33 joints, 26 bones, and 126 muscles, ligaments, and nerves – which women regularly squeeze into high heels. Add the fact that the average person spends four hours a day on their feet, and it’s no wonder there is a national epidemic of foot problems like bunions, hammertoes, arthritis, and worse. Spa-goers can now take care of their troubled tootsies with a variety of treatments and classes.

2. Cold and Ice Are Hot – From saunas to steam rooms to hot stone massages, spas have traditionally turned up the heat. But while heat promotes relaxation and detoxification, the benefits of icy therapies – including better circulation and reduced inflammation of muscles and joints – are finally getting their due. Infrared saunas, which direct radiant heat into the body without heating the air, are becoming more widespread, and more extreme cold and hot/cold-contrast treatments are on the rise.

3. Wellness and Beauty Coaching – Health coach. Sleep coach. Eyebrow coach. Coaching is gathering steam at spas, and with good reason. While isolated treatments have their benefits, spas are in a unique position to help people make the kind of lifestyle changes that lead to long-term health and well-being. With the word “spa” increasingly evoking an entire lifestyle, it is only logical that coaching will become a fundamental part of the spa philosophy.

4. Online Wellness Gaming – Half a billion people worldwide play online games for at least an hour a day, and gaming’s addictive features – points, challenges, rewards, social interaction – are uniquely suited to making healthy lifestyle changes stick. Pioneers in the wellness gaming space include early entries like the meditation game Leela, from mind-body guru Deepak Chopra, and MindBloom’s Life Game, which rewards members for achieving well-being goals and has the backing of insurance giant Aetna.

5. Pairing Fine Dining and Spa-ing – While many hotels and resorts have long offered both very fine food and very fine spa, the two weren’t traditionally paired together as a package. That’s changing in a big way, as fine dining and spa-ing are being aggressively paired, packaged, curated, marketed, and savored together as never before. Creative culinary-plus-spa experiences have become a massive trend because they’re massively appealing: a logical, sensory, “lifestyle” combo for both pleasure seekers and true connoisseurs.

6. Vibration, Sound, Music, Light, and Color Therapies – Spas have long used sound and light as ambient accessories. Now, new scientific evidence revealing the physical and emotional benefits of frequencies and vibrations has inspired an explosion of approaches based on the idea that various systems in our bodies vibrate at different frequencies, and disruptions can affect our health.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the trend is an explosion of blended, multi-sensory “good vibrations” approaches, including new saunas, steam capsules, lounge chairs, massage tables, tubs, and experiential pods that weave light, color, sound, and music/rhythm together for sensory bliss.

7. The Glam Factor – The intensity, frequency, and sheer whimsicality with which people are now getting “glammed up” is exploding worldwide. The spa and beauty industry is working overtime to invent ways for beauty-seekers on a budget to more quickly, more cheaply, and more often change up their looks and hair with high-impact little beauty “fixes” and frills. “Blingy beauty” is hot – from funky and flashy manicures like those with Swarovski crystals or holograms, to creative hair flair: intricate braids, ornate feathers, ribbons, crystals, and colorful extensions.

8. Spa Evidence: Showing the Science Behind Spa – Will a massage boost immunity? Can time in a sauna cure cold symptoms? Does acupressure relieve lower back pain?  The answers to those questions can be found at Launched in 2011, the site is the web’s most comprehensive resource on the hard science behind popular spa and wellness therapies like massage, foot reflexology, aromatherapy, yoga, and meditation. It’s part of a growing trend toward holding alternative therapies up to scientific scrutiny – and the wealth of positive results has encouraged the medical community to adopt spa approaches, while providing an opportunity for the spa industry to link their menu of treatments to medical evidence.

9.  Spas Become a Family Affair – As more families travel with children to spas, the industry is evolving to accommodate the under-18 set – from opening kids-only spas to offering services focused on everything from childhood obesity to the development of lifelong wellness practices.

10. Spas Go for the “Wow” – Gone are the days of interchangeable spas with the same beige, Zen look. As seasoned spa-goers seek new experiences, spas are piling on the “wow” factor to differentiate themselves from the crowd.

There are wows for almost any budget. Big wows include celebrity partnerships or futuristic designs. Small wows include unexpected amenities a rocking massage table, which makes clients feel like they’re floating. Other spas have broken from the hushed, deadly-serious pack by lightening up, and a whole new species of “amusement park” spas are on the rise.

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One thought on “Spa Trends 2012

  1. I wish someone would talk about how often spa trends are recycled from one decade to the next like fashion. I remember color therapy from 1999 and Pevonias product line having color baths. Nice to see someone thinks it’s worth bringing back.

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