From therapeutic to authentic to life-changing, body treatment trends in today's spas are reflecting the maturing of an industry that is becoming more comfortable in its role as a promoter of well-being. Although fun, fluffy services are always in style, newer treatments in day and resort spas are taking a look at providing results--not necessarily the black and white results of medical spas--but more subtle approaches to improving the lives of clients.
The big chillOften billed as a retreat from the normal spa service, menu items departing from the comfort of warmth lead spa-goers into a temperature that typically isn’t associated with comfort at all. In fact, upon first consideration, the idea of being doused in cold water or reclined in a frigid room doesn’t sound terribly appealing. However, despite this first impression, the use of cold can stimulate circulation, heal overworked muscles and result in feelings of invigoration.
At Just Calm Down Spa in New York, the Polar Express Massage was introduced this past summer to provide therapy to athletes and those experiencing strained muscles or swelling post-surgery, as well as a cool escape from the heat of the season. The massage therapist places bags of cool water on the bed for a waterbed effect, and the client can choose a cucumber/lime or peppermint essential oil to be used during the service, both of which have cooling effects on the skin.
According to Maiya Thompson, a massage therapist at the spa, cold offerings are more than just a fun trend—they reflect the growth of the professional and the client alike. “Massage therapists are starting to have an extensive background in physical health rather than just offering massage for relaxation. And clients are more in tune with their bodies, so they are looking for alternative ways to get treatment,” she says.