Although “mind, body, and soul” is the mantra many spas have used throughout the last decade, the “mind” aspect of the spa movement was rarely a priority until energetic services began to attract clients’ intrigue and dollars.
Spas have always offered standard menu items like Swedish massage and deep cleansing facials, however, increasingly energetic offerings are available and helping further spas’ European traditions of wellness. Typically top-shelf destination spas were the only ones dabbling in energetic services, but day spas are quickly embracing and enhancing treatments.
Here we take a look at an interesting set of therapies in a world where diverse healing practices have typically taken a back seat. In the last three years, mind, body, and wellness have been promoted to the “A” list in the spa lineup.
Spa Menus Grow
To some extent, this transition is being integrated through the introduction of new therapies to the traditional spa menu. More spas are offering energetic healing treatments that were once only found by going to small group, or individual, practices. Spas are offering many of these therapies under one roof, and the shift is creating a host of opinions.
Open Flotation Tanks — Remember the floatation tanks of old that isolated the individual into “altered states” of consciousness? Tanks of the sensory deprivation sort were the norm years ago, but today’s open flotation tanks allow self-meditative practice without the claustrophobic qualities of an enclosed tank. Some spas have gone so far as to place open float tanks in atriums and sun rooms for added effect.
Sound and Color Therapy — Sound and color have played therapeutic roles in wellness practices for years. Technology has increased the potential of these two powerful healing modalities. LCD lighting rooms can change colors or “seasons” as the minutes of a treatment pass, allowing for an array of mood-altering hues throughout. Sound therapy affects one’s mood and thought patterns as well. New headsets and specialty rooms allow for individuals to program their time at the spa with sounds of nature, the chiming of crystal bowls, or anything in between to alter their states.
Hypnotherapy — Guided imagery, meditative group or individual activity life coaching, and emotional balancing each affect how an individual perceives the environment and moves beyond coping to an enlightened state of self expression and life exploration. While hypnotherapy still suffers from old stereotypes of a swinging timepiece or mind control, the reality is that hypnotherapy or guided imagery is a powerful way of using the imagination to enhance one’s thought patterns. Some spas are even renting out meditation rooms so frazzled city dwellers and business people can unwind during lunch or take a break before a dinner meeting.
Acupuncture — One of the oldest known paths of medicine, acupuncture is now being used at spas for increasing energy, treating aches and pains, and even addressing specific conditions like smoking. Oftentimes practiced in tandem with Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture has proven to be very popular among spa-goers and can be found in a variety of settings from resorts to day spas.
Soft-movement Modalities — Ni, tai chi, pilates, Body Flow, yoga, and power ballet are among the variety of exercise options popping up at spas around the country. Offered as single classes or in packages, soft-movement modalities are popular among baby boomers who found themselves in high-impact aerobics classes only a decade ago. Some spas are now built around a signature type of fitness program and are proving to be exceedingly popular.
Water-themed Spas — In the early years of day spas, many defined a true spa as one offering hydrotherapy. Consequently, several spas added $50,000 wet rooms to their spa’s design only to realize they could not effectively promote their new investment. Water-themed treatments are making a comeback, and the approach is mainly therapeutic, with significant attention given to staff training and client education.