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A New Spa for the New Year

The Hottest New Spa Trends

The popularity of spa treatments and retreats continue to grow, as more women and men find themselves relaxing with the help of day spas, massage therapists and health clubs. As the need for these healthy healing alternatives increase, experts in the spa industry predict an even larger variety of extraordinary services available to customers in the coming year. According to the online spa resource locator SpaFinder, the industry will see an increase in health, fitness and spa combination therapies upcoming years.

“Spas are sparking important new ideas in everything from health, fitness and beauty, to architecture, design and cuisine,” said SpaFinder, Inc. President Susie Ellis. “As we look at these spa trends, we're seeing the future — from where we live, to how we plan a family, to how well we sleep.”

As the rise of spa residence communities continue to grow, SpaFinder continues to track the best and newest innovations in spa treatments and offering. Massage, spa and health club lovers worldwide can more eco-friendly services and centers in 2008, according to Ellis. Additionally, 2008 will bring on a more holistic approach to the day spa. Here's a look at the newest, upcoming trends:

Top 10 Spa Trends

The Feng Shui Gym
Goodbye mirrored walls and fluorescent lighting; hello waterfalls, fine art and soulful design. For the past few decades, health spas and gyms have retained a relatively similar look — until now. Led by ambitious gym design projects at spas like Gwinganna in Australia, Clay in New York and Italy’s forward thinking Techno Gym company, spa gyms and fitness studios are being reconceived as places to not only tone the body, but also elevate the mind and spirit. In addition, look for fitness spaces to take a more prominent role in the spa setting due to a growing emphasis on wellness.

Star Therapists
When all is said and done, a spa treatment is only as good as the therapist who provides it. However, for years consumers have continued to be dazzled by spas’ innovative designs and not their seemingly anonymous therapists. Look for this to change in the upcoming year as savvy spa-goers gain an appreciation and seek out therapists with great skill. The spa therapist will take a new role similar to star hairstylists, becoming a critical asset for any establishment. SpaFinder is ahead of the curve with its gallery of star therapists who were honored in the Therapist Hall of Fame.

Wellness, Wellness, Wellness
A focus on wellness is seeping into all aspects of everyday life, including the spa. Spa wellness is set to become the next trillion-dollar revolution as it teams up with scientific and medical advances and health and nutrition trends. As the consumers' desire to be healthier and more youthful increases, spas are joining in with treatments that promote overall well-being including fitness, nutrition, energy medicine, reiki and Chinese medicine.

Luxury Detox & Luxury Bootcamps
Detox programs and weight loss bootcamps have long been associated with deprivation, spartan accommodations and hard-line supervision. However, as the spa industry adapts the bootcamp and detox trend, these popular retreats become nurturing celebrations hosted in luxurious spa-like environments. The spa industry will be putting its soft touches on everything from alcohol rehab centers, fitness bootcamps and weight loss clinics.

Spa Real Estate
In the last few year, even residential communities have added the spa/healthy living component to their properties. This trend will continue with force in 2008, as more condominium, apartment and gated communities begin developing larger and more accommodating spas and health clubs. Additionally, spa-based residential communities will continue to pop up across the country, offering real estate buyers a home surrounded by the best in healthy activities, spa treatments and fitness equipment.

Spa Naps
As medical and health professional worldwide place an even largest emphasis on the importance of sound sleep, the spa industry will too encourage their customers to take part in this important health pillar. In 2008, spa-goers can expect their nearby day spas and wellness centers to begin offering sleeping rooms for their guests. Additionally, treatment rooms will be designed with images, lighting and sounds that encourage sleep during massages and other treatments. As more medical research points to the impact of sleep on weight loss, wellness centers too will include the sleeping trend in their offerings. The shape of things to come — the Yelo Sleep Cab in Manhattan, which offers high-tech sleep chambers, designed to induce rejuvenating power naps within minutes. In fact, Yelo is opening two new locations in 2008.

Fertility Tranquility
Unfortunately, many couples often times having difficulty getting pregnant. Often times stress can be a culprit in this. To help those parents-to-be relax; the spa health industry may soon being offering more treatments and diet regimes for its clients trying to get pregnant. Centers around the United States are already offering programs including yoga, reflexology and acupuncture that are believed to trigger fertility. Don't expect the spa-baby connection to end at conception either. More ad more parents and expecting mothers are using spa treatments and retreats as a great way to relax and preparing for their impending arrival.

Hydro & Thermal Super-Experiences
How many spas would you have to visit to experience a Balinese multi-steam bath, an authentic Finnish Sauna, a Greek Herbal Bath, an Indian Blossom Steam Room, a Japanese Salt Steam Bath, a Laconium, a Tepidarium, a Turkish Hammam, a Tyrolean Sauna, multi-sensory showers, reflexology footbaths, spa pool, water beds and a Zen garden? The answer — just one! You’ll find them all at Aqua Sana, which is part of the “World of Spa” concept at the Centre Parc family holiday village in the United Kingdom. These spa 'theme parks' will becoming increasingly popular in the new year, offering spa-goers a one-stop spa center with all the treatments they could ever need.

Urban Spa Explorer
Young urbanities are quickly becoming one of spa industry's largest consumer bases. As these city dwellers continue to discover new spas and up-and-coming treatments, the idea of self-pampering is growing. In addition, these urban spa goers are helping uncover some the best in vibrant, affordable treatment centers. These urban spas, sometimes tucked into unassuming street buildings, are the newest treats in spa-going. From Russian bathhouses to Thai massage establishments; the small urban spa will continue to grow in popularity in 2008.

Plug-in or Unplug
Is it more relaxing to go to a spa and stay plugged in or unplug from our increasingly hyper-connected world and get away from it all? Many spa centers offer their clients a haven where they can turn off that Blackberry for a few hours and relax in ultimate peace and quiet. However, a growing number of spa and health centers understand that their customers want to stay connected with the outside world while enjoying some rest and relaxation. According to a recent SpaFinder survey, one of every five spas is now offering their clients the option to keep their cell phones, laptops and PDAs with them during treatment hours.

(Source: SpaFinder)

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