Wellness at the Forefront
We've talked about the history of spa; now it's time to touch on the future. And the future of spa is wellness. The term "wellness" is defined by Paul Pilzer, author of The New Wellness Revolution, as "the quality or state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal."
Exploding onto the Scene
SpaFinder was at the forefront of the wellness wave as it moved through the spa industry, naming wellness one of the "Top 10 Spa Trends to Watch in 2008."
The Wellness Evolution
If wellness is the goal, spa is surely one of the most direct and viable ways to reach it. Spa experiences are no longer just about treatments: Fitness, nutrition, and education, as well as alternative practices such as energy medicine, Reiki, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, are all becoming important aspects of "spa."
In addition to practices like nutrition and education, select spas even offer programs for sleep health, stress management, detoxification, smoking cessation, and fertility.
A big part of wellness is eco-consciousness, and spas are leading the trend of "being green" or even going "hyper-local" by incorporating authentic, indigenous treatments into their menus and putting their own spins on the farm-to-table movement by developing farm-to spa cuisine and farm-to-massage-table treatments. They're also welcoming education about local cultures, mandating local staff hiring policies, ramping up community and philanthropic projects, and encouraging spa personnel to contribute to sustainability.
Food for Thought
Cuisine plays an integral role in wellness, helping to nourish both body and mind, and spas are serving up healthful fare in delicious doses. Spas like Rancho La Puerta, Golden Door and Gwinganna use picked-daily produce from onsite organic farms at mealtimes, while others offer strict menus, such as the low-calorie gourmet dishes at Cal-a-Vie and the macrobiotic options at Sha Wellness Clinic.
In the Name of Science
The recently introduced SpaEvidence.com is the world's first website to consolidate the medical validation for many spa and wellness approaches, from acupuncture to massage to yoga.
Making Wellness Accessible
Wellness Week™, sponsored by SpaFinder, is a nationwide movement dedicated to making it easier and more affordable for people to make healthy choices. The next Wellness Week™ will take place March 19-25, 2012, and will feature Academy Award nominee Mariel Hemingway as its national spokesperson.