As consumers continue to prioritize self-care and stress management, spas and salons are offering new services that help them get the most out of their visit. These programs often reflect consumers’ increasing openness to alternative and New Age treatments, as well as the distinct stressors of life in 2019. Some of the biggest salon and spa trends are ones that enhance patients experience with traditional services, from oils and crystals that are incorporated into massages to activities such as forest bathing and a digital detox to help clear their heads.
- According to a study cited by American Spa, 82% of respondents said stress affects their physical health
- In the same survey, 44% of respondents said that muscle tension was a symptom of their stress, and 48% said they got a massage after experiencing muscle pain
- North Americans visited spas 187 million times in 2017 and spent a record $17.5 billion on spa services, according to Dayspa Magazine
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As our smartphones increasingly rule our lives and monopolize our attention, some spas have started to offer programs that help guests unplug and relax, with off-the-grid locations, limited internet access, or an emphasis on in-person experience. According to West Jet, a few spas even offer digital detox rituals that are meant to help cleanse participants from radiation and reset their relationship with technology.
In locations where hemp products are legal, many spas have introduced CBD oils and lotions to enhance their clients’ experiences. By incorporating CBD into massages, for example, spas offer a product that can help reduce inflammation, which may help a client with pain and soreness, according to Shape magazine. Adding CBD to your spa experience can also promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
According to West Jet magazine, many spas are turning to alternative spiritual therapies such as crystal healing. Proponents of crystal therapy believe the semi-precious stones have healing benefits, including the promotion of relaxation, energy alignment, physical, emotional, or spiritual healing. According to an article by Time magazine, research on the benefits of crystal therapy are in their early stages, but one study suggests that their benefits varies widely based on whether the practitioner believes in their healing properties.
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Many spas are incorporating crystals into massages and meditation sessions, in order to take advantage of their possible energetic benefits.
Shinrin-Yoku, or the Japanese practice of forest bathing, is gaining attention at some spas for its mental health benefits. Forest bathing doesn’t involve any actual bathing; instead, it’s a practice of immersing oneself in a forest setting, often on guided walks that help clients reconnect with nature and meditate or practice mindfulness in a forest setting.
Forest bathing and increased time in nature has a variety of health benefits, including reduced stress levels, lowered depression levels in adults, improving patients’ moods, and boosting feelings of wellbeing, according to WebMd. Many destination spas are taking advantage of the trend as a way to promote clients’ sense of tranquility during their stay, according to an article by the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.
Considered by some scholars the oldest healing science still practiced, ayurveda is a system of treatment that developed in India roughly 5,000 years ago. The practice focuses on balancing the three healing energies of the body, with attention paid to the body’s movement and breath, its metabolic system, and its skeletal and muscular structure, according to Ayurveda.com. Many spas have begun to offer ayurveda services to their guests, and spas fully tailored to the practice are popping up worldwide.
According to Virtuoso.com, one major spa trend was the infrared saunas, and these saunas are only expected to become even more popular next year. While they’re set to a lower temperature than the traditional heated rock saunas, the infrared light, “penetrates skin more deeply,” and one session can help boost a clients’ metabolism and draw out toxins from their muscles.
Spas as Classrooms
In addition to the relaxation and health benefits of visiting a spa, many clients are looking to learn more about the procedures they’re undergoing and how to implement relaxation techniques in daily life. Some spas offer yoga, meditation and pilates classes, while destination spas might offer cooking or cultural activities relevant to their location.
Laser Hair Removal
A major trend at salons and spas is laser hair removal, a process of hair removal in which a beam of light is applied to a client’s hair follicle, damaging the follicle and reducing hair growth in the area. The number of laser hair removal procedures has grown in the US by 51% since 2000, according to an article by the marketing firm Brandon Gaille. Worldwide, laser was a $880.2 million dollar industry in 2017, and that number is expected to grow to $1.35 billion by 2022. The procedure is gaining popularity, and many spas and salons are eager to meet the newfound demand.