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SpaFinder Wellness Reveals Top 10 Spa & Wellness Trends for 2013

Posted: January 15, 2013

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A creative blend of two effective approaches, mindfulness and bodywork, the "Mindfulness Massage" is a more profound experience that can help people relax more deeply and quickly. Used at spas such as Miraval Resort Arizona, this technique uses breath work and techniques such as "body scans," where attention is brought to every part of the body and the action of the therapists' hands. This two-way symphony directed by a therapist who understands mindfulness offers guidance on how to take the massage to a new "mindful" level. 

3. Earthing

As modern-day humans become more cut off from nature, "earthing" specifically refers to the movement promoting direct contact with the earth's electron-rich surface (walking barefoot, etc.). The premise, which is exemplified at the spa Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Baja California, is that "grounding" the body to the earth's surface stabilizes natural electrical rhythms and reduces disease-causing inflammation. While forecasters predict more of this formal "earthing" at spas, far more "nature grounding" in a wider sense is also on the rise. Think less background music with nature sounds and more real nature to help combat "nature deficit disorder." In addition, there has been a Japanese trend of "forest bathing," in which city dwellers return to natural settings for respite.

4. Spa-Genomics, Telomeres and Beyond

Humans have 30,000 genes and a three billion-letter DNA code. The future of medicine is mining this information to identify breakthrough approaches to support a new age of predictive, personalized medicine grounded in each person's unique genetic profile. The power of direct-to-consumer genomic testing lies in the potential to pinpoint which diseases/issues could be forestalled by specific lifestyle changes and the spa industry is a natural benefactor of this development. In fact, some studies are showing that telomeres, the only malleable part of DNA, can be repaired by stress-reduction, exercise, sleep, healthier food and meditation.

5. Authentic Ayurveda and Other Ancient Revivals

Expect more aggressively-authentic and comprehensively-executed global wellness experiences at spas with a distinctly ancient look, feel and language—and a far more expansive, exotic menu of wellness traditions. Best known is the 3,500-year-old, Indian-born Ayurveda, a complex medical system identifying imbalances in a person's "doshas," and prescribing a personalized, detoxifying regime of diet change, exercise, meditation, massage and herbal medicine. Expect to see more emphasis on spas creating authentic atmospheres with even ayurvedic doctors at spas. Also to be expected is more traditional Turkish and Roman baths, more traditional Russian banyas (with their birch-twig-thwacking venik experiences) and novel healing traditions, some in spaces with unique "ancient-hip" designs, others built on ancient spa sites or within reclaimed historic buildings like the Nun Assisi Relais & Spa Museum: Assisi (Italy), a former convent which offers a Roman bath within a former first-century Roman amphitheater. 

6. Color Self-Expression

In 2013 "self-expression" will be most intensely played out around color. Expect more in-your-face shades on hair and face from reverse ombre to neon lashes; more body art hitting bodies of every gender and age, performed at new, haute "tattoo spas"; and nail art will continue to ascend with less bling and more nuanced textures and designs from 3D art to freehand mini-paintings.

7. Inclusive Wellness