When it comes to innovation, look to spas to continually seek ways to enhance treatments to provide clients with even more benefits. One trend that I’m most excited about is the use of vibration, sound, music, light, and color in treatments. SpaFinder, in its Top Ten Global Spa Trends for 2012, points out that spas have long used sound and light typically as ambient accessories. Now they are employing them in treatments based on new scientific evidence about the value of frequencies and vibrations to affect our physical and emotional health.
This new approach to ‘good vibrations’ is one way to distinguish your service and add even more value to the client. SpaFinder says that spas offer "blended, multi-sensory" experiences, which include new saunas, steam capsules, lounge chairs, massage tables, tubs, and experiential pods that weave light, color, sound, and music and rhythmic pulses together.
Here’s more information on these therapies:
Sound therapy uses the vibrations of specific tones to help clients relax or reduce pain. The therapy is based on the scientific understanding that every one of our organs – even down to our individual cells – has a specific vibration frequency. When you have emotional turmoil or are sick, your vibrations are out of tune. Using the appropriate frequency or sound wave can restore cells to their normal vibratory state.
Some therapists use tuning forks – alone or two together – held near the ear or waved over the body to realign natural rhythms. SpaFinder says that spas are increasingly using tuning forks with facials and with acupuncture. Other spas use Tibetan and crystal singing bowls, which they play on or around someone to restore mind/body balance through vibration.
Research indicates that color has measurable psychological and physiological effects on our body and mind. Like red, warm colors act as stimulants; cool colors, like blue, have a calming effect. SpaFinder reports that color therapy is gaining momentum as more spas incorporate Ayurvedic medicine, an approach that conceives of the body in terms of seven chakras, each associated with a specific organ, and each, in turn, associated with a color.
There are simple ways to incorporate color into your bodywork. Place different-colored swathes of material near the body’s energy points and on specific chakras. Use colored liquids and gels. You can also direct light wands and theater lighting to bathe the body in light and energize oils and solutions.
High-intensity light helps to improve the skin and treat mood and sleep disorders. It also can affect seasonal affective disorder. SpaFinder says that LED light therapy for aging and damaged skin is scorching right now.
SpaFinder’s report gives you more insight into some of these treatments and the other trends that are impacting spas. Take a look through the report, and hopefully, it will spur you to incorporate new treatment ideas or come up with new ones.