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SpaFinder Releases 2011 Global Spa Trends to Watch Report With Exclusive Commentary From SpaFinder President Susie Ellis

Posted: December 3, 2010

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With more medical professionals embracing integrative/alternative medicine (and with greater awareness that the expensive traditional health care systems are less focused on “staying healthy” and more attuned to “disease management”), look for clinical studies to accelerate next year. These nascent evidence-based initiatives may ultimately prove the bedrock for future, perhaps unimagined, industry growth. The Science of Spa ... If your spa offers a scientifically proven treatment (such the ones mentioned in the trend report), what is the best way for a spa to capitalize on it? How can spas market these treatments using scientific research to improve business?

Susie Ellis: This is such a crucial move for spas to jumpstart, as consumers are increasingly extremely open to their alternative/wellness approaches, but also increasingly want the facts that they have proven benefits. A spa can begin in very small, but still impactful, ways. They can make visible and distribute major articles such as the recent New York Times article “A Good Massage Brings Biological Changes Too” revealing a 45-minute massage results in a significant decrease in stress hormones, while boosting immunity. Have relevant articles such as this laminated and placed in various areas of the spa, or give copies to clients, or add them to bags when someone makes a purchase. Many more articles and studies are appearing each month about the benefits of so many wellness approaches that spas offer.

Educate your staff about some of the major evidence that exists for various services you offer, and have them communicate the hard facts to clients. Obvious modalities include exercise, good nutrition, relaxation therapies such as massage, acupuncture, meditation, yoga and more. Research backup is readily available online ... a spa can even have someone on their staff, or perhaps an intern from a university, pull together some of the key evidence for each (or most) of the spa treatments you offer and have that available. You could add it to your spa menu and include it on your website.

The key is to get a culture going in your spa where this is part of the conversation ... on the phone, with the client, and before, during and after treatments.