I am busy doing research for our annual SpaFinder Top 10 Spa Trends for 2011 that I will announce this year in November. As always, I get very excited about what is on the horizon and I think you will agree that there are some interesting developments!
However, before we turn to 2011, I thought it might be fun to review each 2010 spa trend we predicted and see how we did. Did the trend become a reality? Did we miss anything important? Were we dead wrong on some? For the next 10 days, I’ll feature one spa trend, share my thoughts, and even assign myself a grade (hint, hint… I won’t get all A’s.) And please feel free to weigh in and give your grades as well!
Top 10 Spa Trends for 2010
#1: The New “P” Word
Goodbye, pampering. Hello, prevention. Well, not so fast. It’s more like, move over, pampering; hello, prevention. Against the backdrop of a global healthcare crisis, prevention is poised to be the new “it” word of the spa industry in 2010 and beyond. But rather than replacing established industry concepts like pampering and wellness, it’s a sharp (and smart) refocusing of the conversation. Pampering, after all, speaks to the goal of most spa-goers of stress reduction and relaxation, and that in itself is preventive.
Prevention has moved front and center on the world health stage, and the spa industry’s role in prevention-focused health regimes will be greatly emphasized and more forcefully promoted in 2010. For years, of course, spas have been “doing” prevention; i.e., focusing on exercise, nutrition, stress reduction and Eastern stay-well medical paradigms like Traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurveda, years before new, cutting-edge hospitals unleashed “integrative health centers,” interweaving traditional medicine with many of these established spa approaches.
A global spotlight exposing how expensive, inefficient, and unsustainable the “wait-to-get-sick” healthcare model really is—new evidence that stress contributes directly to 80 percent of all disease—along with mounting evidence that the cornerstones of the modern spa industry are medically proven to forestall illness and promote longevity, are driving this trend. (And within the spa industry, the old, oft-maligned “P” word, pampering, will actually play a key role in the prevention focus, as basic relaxation and de-stressing are now known to have such a powerful impact on people’s health.)
Watch for the words prevent and prevention to be used more frequently. Examples already include Germany’s Brenner’s Park-Hotel Medical Spa’s PREVENT program, combining comprehensive examinations with personalized therapies, nutrition, and fitness, and the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa (recently relocated to Miami, Florida), which for the first time will be covered by Medicare in 2010.
The analogous trend on the beauty front is the ever more intense focus on anti-aging: a continued explosion of treatments, diets, and products (of course, sunscreen) that get aggressive early to prevent problems and avoid costly, invasive actions after the fact.
Here we are a year later and I have to say that I think this one was a bull’s-eye! Prevention is definitely becoming more of a focus, not only in the spa arena but within corporations, insurance companies, governments, in medical circles, and where it counts the most… in peoples’ homes. Clearly the dollars and cents are fueling much of this; health care is so expensive that preventing illness is the most prudent course. While there is still a long way to go, I do feel that the heartbeat for prevention has begun. If I had any doubt at all whether this was a U.S. trend or a global trend… I need only look at the beautiful new AsiaSpa magazine that arrived on my desk today. Headline? The Preventative Health Issue! I am going to give myself an A on this one.