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SpaFinder Releases Top 10 Global Spa Trends for 2012

Posted: December 6, 2011

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Half a billion people worldwide play online games for at least an hour a day, and gaming’s addictive features--points, challenges, rewards, social interaction--are uniquely suited to making healthy lifestyle changes stick. Pioneers in the wellness gaming space include early entries, such as the meditation game Leela, from mind-body guru Deepak Chopra, and MindBloom’s Life Game, which rewards members for achieving well-being goals and has the backing of insurance giant Aetna.

While French beauty powerhouse Clarins has dipped its toes into the market with its beauty-centric Facebook game "Spa Life,” the spa industry is well-poised to take the lead in wellness games, as spas already enjoy powerful real-world connections with their clients. The next step is to use gaming to maintain those connections once they return home, offering daily online workouts, using sensors to track progress, and facilitating online encouragement from therapists, friends and family.

5. Spa, Wine and Dine Packages

Although many hotels and resorts have long offered both very fine food and very fine spa, the two weren’t traditionally paired together as a package. That’s changing in a big way, as fine dining and spa-ing are being aggressively paired, packaged, curated, marketed and savored together as never before. Creative culinary-plus-spa experiences have become a massive trend because they’re massively appealing: a logical, sensory, “lifestyle” combo for both pleasure seekers and true connoisseurs.

This healthy hedonism lends itself to an infinite variety of packages, from the "culi-spa" weekends offered by San Francisco’s Cavallo Point—which features expeditions to local farmers’ markets—to full-immersion packages like the “Plates and Pilates” retreat at Cascina Papaveri (Italy), where guests help harvest and cook food around their daily sessions. Other spas are curating spa/wine/food combinations; at Auberge du Soleil (Napa Valley), each vinotherapy spa treatment is paired with a local wine selected by their sommelier.

6. Vibration, Sound, Music, Light and Color Therapies

Spas have long used sound and light as ambient accessories. Now, new scientific evidence revealing the physical and emotional benefits of frequencies and vibrations has inspired an explosion of approaches based on the idea that various systems in the body vibrate at different frequencies, and disruptions can affect health.