Spafinder 25th Anniversary

Spafinder: Through the Years

Spa Nostalgia Slideshows

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."

Photo credit: Courtesy of Mariel Hemingway

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."

Photo credit: Sha Wellness Clinic

Wellness Expansion

In addition to practices like nutrition and education, select spas even offer programmes for sleep health, stress management, detoxification, smoking cessation, and fertility.

Photo credit: Kamalaya Koh Samui Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa; Green Valley Spa

Going Green

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.

Photo credit: Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

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 produce picked-daily 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.

Photo credit: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat; Golden Door; Rancho La Puerta

In the Name of Science

The recently introduced 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 global 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 wellness articles, offers, recipes and news.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Mariel Hemingway

View more slideshows