Not just fluff and buff: Spas em­pha­size well­ness over beauty

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Well­ness rather than beauty was the mes­sage this week at the an­nual In­ter­na­tional Spa As­so­ci­a­tion event in New York. While there were plenty of skin prod­ucts and treat­ments on dis­play, the big­ger trend in the spa world re­mains al­le­vi­at­ing stress. "We're not just fluff and buff," said Erin Strem­cha, spokes­woman for the Well & Be­ing Spa, with lo­ca­tions in Las Ve­gas, Dal­las, Ari­zona and Puerto Rico.

"Be healthy and have fun but also take some­thing away that you can ap­ply to your daily life." As part of that quest for seren­ity, Sun­dara Inn & Spa, in Wis­con­sin Dells, Wis­con­sin, asks guests to put away elec­tron­ics. "Si­lence is the new lux­ury," said Sun­dara spokes­woman Carla Min­sky. "The idea is to un­plug, dis­con­nect." Sun­dara has "con­ver­sa­tion-free ar­eas," med­i­ta­tion trails and an em­pha­sis on silent sports like hik­ing, kayak­ing, bik­ing and, in the win­ter, snow­shoe­ing. Also highly en­cour­aged: nap­ping in ham­mocks. Ma­chines vs. hu­man touch

Gad­gets, chairs and beds do ev­ery­thing from mas­sag­ing your back to gen­er­at­ing sound waves. The ame Spa & Well­ness Col­lec­tive at Turn­berry Isle Mi­ami in Aven­tura, Florida, showed off high-end Gharieni spa wave beds with fea­tures like ta­bles that feel like warm sand on the back and head­phones sup­ply­ing bin­au­ral beats, which are dif­fer­ent tones in each ear de­signed to calm the mind. Also on dis­play, the O2 chair, which ap­plies rollers up and down your back while you in­hale oxy­gen through a tube and lis­ten to guided breath­ing in­struc­tions through head­phones.

To get that bliss-spa feel­ing at home, a com­pany called Airome sells aro­mather­apy dif­fusers in a va­ri­ety of styles, col­ors and ma­te­ri­als to match your decor - porce­lain, glass, ce­ramic and metal, $30-$40, with es­sen­tial oils, $8-$12. But there's still a place for the hu­man touch. The Chuan Body + Soul spa at Lang­ham Place in New York City showed off Asian-in­spired foot mas­sage. Aspira the Spa, in Elkhart Lake, Wis­con­sin, touts acupunc­ture for fa­cial re­ju­ve­na­tion as an al­ter­na­tive to anti-wrin­kle treat­ments like Bo­tox. Customization

The Spa at the Peaks in Tel­luride, Colorado, says the re­gion at­tracts vis­i­tors look­ing for ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ences like hik­ing and ski­ing. To cater to their needs, the spa lets guests cre­ate cus­tom­ized teas, choos­ing herbs and tinc­tures with in­gre­di­ents such as turmeric to ease pain and in­flam­ma­tion. At the Well & Be­ing Spa, guests can blend their own hand scrubs and lo­tions. "Ev­ery­one wants to do their own thing," said Strem­cha. "This al­lows you to do that." Use the prod­ucts at the spa or take them home. Farm to ta­ble

Some des­ti­na­tion spas be­gan grow­ing herbs and pro­duce a few years back. Those pro­grams have grown. "We started do­ing this be­cause we couldn't get high-qual­ity prod­ucts for the spa, so we thought we'd just grow them," ex­plained Lola Roeh of Aspira. "Our very first gar­den was only 2,000 square feet but ev­ery year we've been able to in­crease." The Wis­con­sin prop­erty now grows not just chamomile and laven­der for spa treat­ments, but also 11,500 pounds of food a year, sup­ply­ing its chefs with 20 types of heir­loom toma­toes among other things.

The Lodge at Wood­loch in Haw­ley, Penn­syl­va­nia, has a res­i­dent "farm-acist," Der­rick Braun, who teaches vis­i­tors about ev­ery­thing from fer­mented foods to rec­og­niz­ing math­e­mat­i­cal se­quences in na­ture, like the pat­terns found in sun­flow­ers and pine cones. "We want to con­nect those dots for guests," Braun said. The Lodge also of­fers gar­den din­ners where pro­duce for each course whether kohlrabi or cau­li­flower - is lo­cally grown; mock­tails like a "spa-jito" made with in­gre­di­ents like or­ganic mint and lime juice; and for­est bathing, a Ja­pane­sein­spired ex­pe­ri­ence in which guests are led on a walk in the woods us­ing all their senses.

At the ame Spa & Well­ness Col­lec­tive, chef Matthew Ken­ney will lead a plant-based food and wine well­ness re­treat Oct. 13-15 that in­cludes "yoga, tast­ings, con­ver­sa­tion on how to pre­pare this type of food and the ben­e­fits of in­cor­po­rat­ing it into your life," Ken­ney said. What about guests who say ve­gan food is bland? "This food is ex­cit­ing and full-fla­vored if pre­pared prop­erly," Ken­ney said, "but the in­gre­di­ents and tech­niques are en­tirely dif­fer­ent from how most of us learned to cook."

The Spa Wave bed from the Ame Spa & Well­ness Col­lec­tive, at the Turn­berry Isle Mi­ami Re­sort, is ex­pe­ri­enced.

In this photo, Ann Brown, right, from Chuan Body + Soul at Lang­ham Place in New York City, per­forms a warm oil and her­bal salt ex­fo­li­a­tion treat­ment, dur­ing the an­nual In­ter­na­tional Spa As­so­ci­a­tion event in New York. — AP pho­tos

In this photo, a mus­cle and joint tinc­ture from Natur­o­path­ica in Tel­luride, Colo., is added to tea.

In this photo, es­sen­tial oil dif­fusers with the home decor as­pect, from Airome, in Draper, Utah, are shown.

An­n­marie Ri­tacca, from Aspira The Spa, in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., gives an acupunc­ture treat­ment.

In this photo, der­ma­l­in­fu­sion, by Envy Med­i­cal of Long Beach, Calif., an ad­vanced skin resur­fac­ing treat­ment, is demon­strated.

Les­lie Britt, of the The Lodge at Wood­loch, in Haw­ley, Pa., pours a Spa­jito.

In this photo, a booth from the Sun­dara Inn & Spa, in Wis­con­sin Dells, is shown.

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