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SpaFinder Releases Top 10 Global Spa Trends for 2012

Posted: December 6, 2011

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The Spa at Woodloch (Pennsylvania) offers Tibetan sound massage, which balances the body with vibrations from singing bowls, while more spas are incorporating ayurvedic medicine, which corrects chakra imbalances with color therapy.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the trend is an explosion of blended, multisensory “good vibrations” approaches, including new saunas, steam capsules, lounge chairs, massage tables, tubs, and experiential pods that weave light, color, sound, and music/rhythm together for sensory bliss. The trend is epitomized by Miraval Resort’s new Taiz Sensorium, which integrates vibrational medicine, music therapy, gentle human touch, and aromatic oils to fully engage all senses. And look for the new Wolke 7 Cloud 9, a futuristic multisensory, multidimensional recliner experience designed by award-winning Vienna artist sha, to show up in top spas soon.

7. The Glam Factor

The intensity, frequency and sheer whimsicality with which people are now getting “glammed up” is exploding worldwide. The spa and beauty industry is working overtime to invent ways for beauty-seekers on a budget to more quickly, more cheaply and more often change up their looks and hair with high-impact little beauty “fixes” and frills. "Blingy beauty” is hot—from funky and flashy manicures like those with Swarovski crystals or holograms at Manhattan’s Spa Martier, to creative hair flair: intricate braids, ornate feathers, ribbons, crystals, and colorful extensions. Speed and convenience also figure big in popular chains like Drybar’s blow-dry bars; Blushington Makeup Beauty Lounge, offering walk-in professional makeup applications; and 10 Minute Manicures in airport salons. At Blink, a brow bar in London, it’s all about the eyes, with lash tints, brow shaping, false eyelashes and anything to glam up the peepers.

For the flush and not-so-rushed, spas are offering ultra high-end experiences. The Guerlain Spa at NYC’s Waldorf Astoria, which is re-launching with a distinct '50s glamour sensibility, ends each spa treatment with a complimentary makeup application or pressing service that sends guests away looking like a page out of a vintage French fashion magazine. Toronto’s Quartz Crystal Spa at Trump International takes it one step further with an interior design that transports guests to an oasis of vintage Hollywood glamour

8. Spa Evidence

Will a massage boost immunity? Can time in a sauna cure cold symptoms? Does acupressure relieve lower back pain? The answers to those questions can be found at SpaEvidence.com. Launched in 2011, the site is the Web’s most comprehensive resource on the hard science behind popular spa and wellness therapies like massage, foot reflexology, aromatherapy, yoga, and meditation. It’s part of a growing trend toward holding alternative therapies up to scientific scrutiny— and the wealth of positive results has encouraged the medical community to adopt spa approaches, while providing an opportunity for the spa industry to link their menu of treatments to medical evidence.