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SpaFinder Releases Top 10 Global Spa Trends for 2012

Posted: December 6, 2011

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Spa-goers can now take care of their troubled tootsies with a variety of treatments and classes. Canyon Ranch SpaClub in Las Vegas offers a comprehensive “Healthy Feet” program, with computerized gait analysis and treatments in zero-gravity chairs, while Yamuna’s boot camps in New York City teach attendees to improve their posture and strengthen the muscles in their feet. There are even 100% foot-focused medical spas, such as California’s Stride Wellbeing, which combines podiatric medical care with a menu of foot-pampering treatments. And podiatrist-overseen “medi-pedis” are booming, like those served up at celebrity foot doc Margaret Dabbs’ London centers, or famed French foot doctor Bastien Gonzalez’ signature pedicures at One&Only spa resorts worldwide.

2. Cold and Ice Treatments

From saunas to steam rooms to hot stone massages, spas have traditionally turned up the heat. But while heat promotes relaxation and detoxification, the benefits of icy therapies--including better circulation and reduced inflammation of muscles and joints--are finally getting their due.

Infrared saunas, which direct radiant heat into the body without heating the air, are becoming more widespread, and more extreme cold and hot/cold-contrast treatments are on the rise. Every ESPA spa in the world now offers ice rubdowns after saunas, while spa-goers at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas can experience falling snow in its Arctic Ice Room. A new Snow Shower from Thermarium will hit the market soon, and for hardcore ice devotees, there’s cryotherapy, where a person spends two to three minutes in a chamber cooled to a mind-numbing -120°C (-184°F). It’s a highlight at Canada’s Sparkling Hill Resort and California’s US Cryotherapy Center—the first dedicated “cold therapy clinic”—which is poised to franchise its full-body, cold-therapy chamber to other locations.

3. Wellness and Beauty Coaching

Health coach. Sleep coach. Eyebrow coach. Coaching is gathering steam at spas, and with good reason. While isolated treatments have their benefits, spas are in a unique position to help people make the kind of lifestyle changes that lead to long-term health and well-being. With the word "spa" increasingly evoking an entire lifestyle, it is only logical that coaching will become a fundamental part of the spa philosophy.

U.S. destination spas, such as Mii Amo and Canyon Ranch, are taking the lead with spa coaching packages followed by post-visit consultations via phone, e-mail and even Skype. The trend is also hitting the beauty arena, with Clarins officially offering “beauty coaches” at its new flagship spa in Paris. As wellness-related gadgets and apps become more advanced, watch for long-distance wellness and beauty coaching to become even more prevalent.

4. Online Wellness Gaming