THAT HEALING FEELING
The sharpest trends shaping the spa industry
Globally, and now even in India, there is a significant shift towards wellness and preventive health as opposed to mere indulgence or visiting a hospital once ill health has set in. The more health conscious are aware of the profound benefits of living a balanced lifestyle through alternative medicines, therapeutic treatments, and wellness-based lifestyle fitness.
This higher level of consumer knowledge and understanding has helped drive a closer collaboration between spas and healthcare. As spas continue to increase their role in wellness, integrating more health related services and facilities, medical centres and hospitals in the future will be more prone to in- corporate spas in their treatment processes.
Earlier these services and programmes were found only in rare and exclusive destination spas. Today, as the spa industry grows, we now have these available in mixed use communities that combine hotel, residential and commercial services as well.
DISCOVER YOUR CHI New and innovative ways to relax and delivering services are on the rise. Many spas now provide self-discovery services and learning activities to help consumers recharge mind body and spirit. These can include self-improvement courses, dance and movement classes, art and painting courses, healthy cooking, et al.
BACK TO BASICS Consumers are moving away from trendy to tangible result-oriented treatments. This means combining the focus on wellness and lifestyle, including preventative medical screening, along with body therapies, fitness, yoga, tai chi, meditation, relaxation massages, nutrition and spirituality and building sleep time into treatments.
SOCIAL NETWORKING “Social spa-ing”, or spending precious time bonding with friends and family while building healthier bodies is an ongoing trend. So consumers go to spas in groups; even the consumer savvy corporates are wising up to the integration of providing spa services for their employees to improve performance and minimise work related illness and stress.
In 2013 and beyond, a true ‘vacation’ will be redefined with customised food and beverage offerings and juice-themed vacations
ADAM’S APPLE Men continue to grow as a segment of spa consumers and not merely for massages but for facials and nail services too. Men have different needs than women when it comes to face/body enhancements, desiring subtle, not overdone results.
SLEEP THERAPY 'The nap' pre- and post- treatment’ creates spaces that encourage total relaxation. Sleep yoga programmes and essential oils that encourage sleep have been introduced to the retail programme of several spas globally.
HEALTHY HOTELS In 2013 and beyond, what constitutes a true ‘vacation’ will be redefined and ‘hospitality’ will be rewritten. In the past, gyms and spas have been positioned as mere amenities, but now these walls are being conceptually (and literally) broken down. Established hotel chains are rebranding around wellness and offer customised food and beverage (gluten-free and vegan menus) and even wellness coaches.
MINDFULNESS A creative blend of two effective approaches, mindfulness and bodywork, the “mind-
fulness massage" is a more profound experience that helps people relax more deeply and quickly. Rather than lying on the massage table with a mind full of chatter from the stresses of the day, the mindfulness massage uses breath work and techniques such as body scans, where attention is brought to every part of the body and the action of the therapists’ hands.
ANCIENT REVIVALS Expect more aggressively-authentic and comprehensively-executed global wellness experiences at spas with a distinctly ancient look, feel and language and a more expansive, exotic menu of wellness traditions. The best known 3,500-year-old, Indian-born ayurveda that prescribes a personalised, detoxifying regime of diet change, exercise, meditation, massage and herbal
Wellness will see more accent on traditional treatments such as Turkish and Roman baths, Russian banyas and even Ayurveda
medicine is one such. We’ll also see more accent on the traditional Turkish and Roman baths, more traditional Russian banyas (with their birch-twigthwacking venik experiences) and novel healing traditions; some in spaces with unique “ancient-hip” designs, others built on ancient spa sites or within reclaimed historic buildings.
BRANDED FITNESS “Name-brand” fitness has been around for decades. But now, as the fitness market expands with an explosion of ‘fitness labels’ distinguishes products and programs and serves as a shortcut for instant recognition in an over saturated market full of similar choices. From Yogalates and Piloxing to CrossFit and The Skinny Jeans Workout™, health and wellness have become the new luxury. Millions chase the "insider elite," giving the fitness world a distinct fashion world vibe where consumers shop for the latest fitness craze just as they search for the newest fashion trend.
REVIVAL OF ANCIENT TECHNIQUES LIKE AYURVEDA ARE ON THE CARDS AT MOST SPAS
SPA-ING” OR SPENDING PRECIOUS TIME BONDING WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHILE WORKING ON HEALTHIER BODIES IS AN ONGOING TREND
BEFORE THE ADVENT OF PRIVATE BATHROOMS, THE HAMMAM SERVED AS WASH HOUSE, MEETING PLACE AND A CEREMONIAL SITE