Resource Centers:(News, information, and tools to support your practice)Online Exclusives » Conventions and Events » Laws & Legislation » Massage Associations » Schools/Training » Self-Care » Reader Expressions » Research » Link Partners » Chiroeco.com » futureLMT.com » Donate to Research »
While SpaFinder has been forecasting annual spa trends for many years, 2010 represents the first time the company has spotlighted the top 10 spa trends for an entire decade.
…And what a decade it’s been! From ‘organic’ to ‘indigenous,’ from ‘social spa-ing’ to the ‘online spa scene,’ the spa category was radically transformed and expanded from 2000 to 2010, as the industry met global challenges with unprecedented innovations that will positively impact us all for years to come.
Our list of the decade’s ‘Top 10’ includes previously analyzed trends that have proven to be the most enduring and resonant. However, the company also challenged its team of experts to consider trends not previously selected for the company’s yearly top 10 lists – those that weren’t as evident at the time, yet in retrospect proved a real game-changer. A biggie: the rise of the spa gift market, and the explosion globally of gift certificates, cards and vouchers.
Top 10 Spa Trends of the Decade:
1. Indigenous Treatments
While one would see the use of local ingredients and local customs on occasion at spas decades ago, during the past decade this became an almost unspoken rule. Culturally-grounded ingredients, treatments and customs deliver that healthy native flavor, and they also represent the unearthing of special, often centuries-old experiences that could not be easily replicated. From a lomi lomi massage in Hawaii, to the Royal Javanese Lular wedding ritual from Indonesia, indigenous treatments gave spas a grounded ‘sense of place’ that has made each spa-going experience around the world truly unique.
2. Medicine and Spa
In the early 90’s there was very little overlap between medicine and spas. That has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. More doctors have ‘discovered’ that spa approaches contribute to health and wellness, specifically by targeting stress…(Perhaps even through their own experiences, say, by experiencing a massage after a round of golf at a medical conference). The forces driving this integration are diverse, but, basically, the spa and medical worlds began talking. Then, when Botox arrived in 2002, a new type of aesthetic/medical spa was born and the spa and medicine connection was solidified. Spas also got their act together, becoming more transparently health- oriented, and downplaying the ‘woo woo’ factor.
This was the headline story in spa products for the decade. The popularity of all things ‘green’ helped several obscure organic lines make it big, and nearly all spa product companies launched their own branded organic lines. The organic product trend also helped open the door for a more far-reaching eco-friendly, environmentally conscious zeitgeist throughout the spa arena – from spa building and design - to cuisine. And while it's not yet garnering universal praise, at least it’s gotten things going in the right direction.
While the decade saw a range of new demographics rush into the spa arena (from teens to pre-teens to babies and seniors), it was the steady stream of men making spa-going a regular part of their lives that’s had the most profound impact. While it took some doing to get men to try a spa for the first time, this ‘first time,’ typically, resulted in a second and third, etc. Men discovered there was more to this ‘spa thing’ than just idle pampering: it was, in fact, the quickest way for them to reduce stress (something there was plenty of this decade), and it helped improve their sports performance. As spas with a traditionally female ‘pampering’ and ‘beauty’ emphasis were joined by those emphasizing male grooming, and the industry began to focus more on health and wellness, millions of men began to comfortably, eagerly hit the spa.
The word ‘wellness’ was hardly used in the 90’s, not really appearing on the scene until after the millennium. A term that has its origins in Europe (combining the concepts of ‘fitness’ ‘and ‘well-being’), it gained momentum there as a positive alternative terminology…Because in Europe the word ‘spa’ had narrower connotations: either water treatments for sick older people, or, with the emergence of some newer spas like the swanky Brenner’s Park Hotel and Spa in Baden Baden - an association with expense and luxury. Because the word ‘wellness’ was such an apt word to describe places that offered fitness, massage, alternative medicine and healthy nutrition – increasingly the core mission of spas- the terms, understandably, have become tightly interwoven.
6. Spa Comes Home
The influence of spas on the home has its humble beginnings at the start of the decade, with spa-inspired consumers, say, purchasing a candle to use in the bath, or maybe a loofah sponge. In the years since, it’s blossomed into a booming industry of spa products, design,