Massage therapy has always been one of the most popular services offered at spas, both in the U.S. and worldwide.

SpaFinder, Inc., a global spa-and-wellness resource, today announced its annual spa trend forecast. The report identifies global spa trends that SpaFinder’s staff and experts believe will influence spa experiences for both consumers and the industry in the coming year and for decades to come.

The report is based on analyses from a team of experts who visit hundreds of day- and stay-spas each year; interviews with top industry analysts; ongoing research across the spa, travel and beauty sectors; and data derived from SpaFinder’s relationships with more than 9,000 spas and salons across the globe.

1. Aging … Raging: Spas are showing ever-more awareness of the needs of older spa-goers, and beginning to incorporate exercise physiologists, chiropractors, orthopedics and naturopaths who focus on rejuvenation of joints, pain relief and mobility.

2. All eyes on Asia: Yoga, Thai massage, Ayurvedic medicine and acupuncture are staples on many spa menus, and the “Zen” nature of Asian design can be seen in spas worldwide.

3. Salt Rooms and Salt Caves: Healing traditions that involve basking in salt caves or water may be centuries old, but they are truly coming of age in some of the most modern spas.

4. Spa Brandwagon: Traditionally the province of standalone spas, the industry is moving rapidly in the direction of branded experiences.

5. Deals Gone Wild: Online group-buying deals have burst onto the global scene, and the old-fashioned “deal” has morphed into a hip online industry. With spa and wellness deals a mainstay of generic sites like GroupOn or LivingSocial, it’s a sure sign that spa-going has achieved mainstream traction.

6. The Science of Spa: Get ready for a new era where more questions about the effectiveness of spa therapies will be asked, as the emphasis on evidence-based medicine and the “science behind spa” heats up.

7. Hyper-Local Spas: The desire for authenticity and immersion in the traditions and elements of a spa’s local environs and culture is here to stay. A maple scrub in Canada, organic food from the spa garden, or facilities built of local stone, while not new, were, until relatively recently, novelties.

8. Extreme Beauty, Spa Edition: We are far beyond Botox. Stem-cell facials and plasma therapy (yes, that’s where blood is drawn and re-injected) are new buzzwords.

9. Spa in a New York Minute: “In a New York minute” is jargon for how things move faster in hectic New York City. It’s also the name of a suite of mini (15- to 30-minute) spa treatments designed to be performed simultaneously by multiple therapists.

10. Surprising Special Events Increasingly, spas are developing distinctive specialty programs to draw patrons seeking a unique group experience. While destination spas have been offering yoga and healthy cooking weeks for years, retreats now span everything from a high-flying “Trapeze Experience” to a creative jewelry-making class to the more sober and grounded gathering for survivors of loss.

Read the report in full at

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