A new report explains the health options of spas, and the reach that spas have into global society.

The report is from The Global Spa & Wellness Summit, held recently in Aspen, Colorado. “Conference attendees gathered to explore and debate the most innovative, imaginative ways forward for the worldwide spa and wellness industry,” according to a summit press release.

These were among the items included in the report on the summit, regarding the role and future of spas. Read a complete report here: www.massagemag.com/globalspareport.

• Spas as telomere health centers. Telomeres are the caps of our chromosomes, and medical studies increasingly reveal that their health (length) is a crucial window into a person’s actual cellular age, and a predictor of diseases like cancer and heart disease. Studies also show that stress reduction, a healthy diet, exercise and mindfulness practices can lengthen telomeres – exactly what spas provide.

• Mental wellness and happiness, brain performance and creativity. A recurrent topic was spas’ major (mostly unleveraged) opportunity in mental wellness, given that 50 percent of people suffer from stress and one in eight from depression. And with the science of happiness an increasingly hot topic, spas, as the healing industry uniquely focused on feeling good and pleasure, have fresh opportunities within their traditional focus.

• Wellness coaching. Given the global diabesity pandemic, traditional health education is clearly not working, while medical studies show coaching is the superior model to elicit long-term behavioral change. Integrating wellness coaching represents a major industry opportunity, but spas need to move beyond their traditionally short-term thinking, to focus on long-term client results and programs.

• Employee wellness. With employer-provided health care costs spiraling out of control (in the U.S. they will double in 10 years), and hundreds of studies showing employee wellness programs reduce costs and boost productivity, two in three larger businesses worldwide have now embraced a formal employee wellness strategy. And with stress-reduction the number-one employer goal worldwide, spas are a very natural fit for the $30 billion-plus workplace wellness industry.

• Technology, gadgets and gaming. Opportunities in the new worlds of wellness gaming and gadgets, from biometric monitoring devices to mobile apps, and in other emerging online spa-client engagement platforms that forge more ongoing, supportive connections are hot topics.

• Empowering willpower. Spas have a new opportunity to square their programs with self-control science to become the place where truly sustainable health changes and weight loss can get accomplished.

• Reaching younger people. The spa industry needs to focus far more on children, and reach people far younger, given that lifestyle behaviors such as diet and exercise begin cementing by age two.

• Community. Medical experts explained how people are suffering from loneliness at unprecedented rates, and that isolation is a disease that leads to serious health problems. Spas have a natural opportunity, as trusted places of touch, to address this problem creatively, but haven’t yet capitalized on their potential as places of true community.

Read the press release here.