Spas Leading the Charge with Modern Approaches to Wellness Therapy in 2023

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As we welcome a new year and consumer interest spans beyond a traditional massage or facial, more spas are implementing new practices into their menus, from mental health treatments to cold facial therapy and treatments for seasonal depression.

Here, experts from some of America’s top wellness facilities weigh in on spa trends they welcome in 2023.

Spa Trend: A Focus on Mindfulness / Mental Health 

Spas are now focusing on creating experiential, mindful experiences that put the guests’ mental needs at the forefront of the experience rather than focusing on a standard back massage or facial treatment.

According to Mental Health America, 19.86% of adults are experiencing a mental illness. With that in mind, American Spa’s research shows that spas are now taking a holistic, mindful approach when it comes to offering treatments that help improve overall mental well-being and mindfulness. 

Marizza Contreras, co-founder of K’Alma Spas in Miami, places a heavy emphasis on the importance of connecting one’s body with one’s mind through the power of nature by offering a variety of treatments that cater to one’s mental health. Studies show that being surrounded by nature or natural elements is associated with lower levels of poor mental health. 

  • Treatments such as The Mindful Meditative Massage, available at Leaf Spa at AKA Brickell,  embrace how powerful the mind is. This treatment begins with guided meditation and sound bowl healing. Sound Bowl healing sends sound wave vibrations throughout the body, helping harmonize and restore the mind and body’s balance.
  • The Anallaw Energy Ritual, found at K’Alma Spa at the Hotel Victor in Miami Beach, references Andean practices to enhance energy flow through crystal colour therapy. An aromatherapy massage with crystals helps to focus on the seven chakras. The colours of the chakra align to connect you with the universe, empowering you to be your most powerful and authentic self as you take on what’s to come.

Spa Trend: Spa Therapy for Seasonal Depression

As Northern locales experience seasonal changes, people, too, tend to experience changes in their mood and overall health. According to Heart, an average of 5% of Americans experience seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 

With cold winters and shortened, darker days, many start to experience “winter blues,” which begins affecting behaviour and mood among many. According to Craig Carter, cofounder of Leaf Spa at Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, around 50% of clients come in emotionally unstable and disconnected before undergoing their treatments. 

  • The new Leaf Spa at Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park embraces the seasonality of life, reminding each guest of the importance of reconnecting with oneself through the power of nature. Leaf Spa’s The Dosha Detox Body Treatment is a routine detoxification that allows the body to maintain good health during seasonal changes. Guests detox with this lymphatic, herb-infused body treatment to help balance and align the body, mind, and soul. 
  • Leaf Spa Chicago offers daily sound bowl healing, known for its healing powers that send sound wave vibrations throughout the body, helping harmonize and restore the body’s balance and daily meditation. According to Contreras, meditation stimulates the function of the pineal gland, which helps to create more melatonin and serotonin. 

Spa Trend: Cold Skincare Therapy 

The New York Times reported in February 2022 that Mental Health Swims, a nonprofit that organizes cold-water swimming throughout the UK, had grown from one meet-up group to more than 80 over three years. Long used as a recovery treatment in sports medicine, cold therapy is an effective way to ease muscles and tighten the skin. Now, spas are jumping onto this trend by incorporating cool temperatures into facial trends, creating brighter and smoother complexions.  

According to April Smith, spa director at Spa Lilliana at Hotel Effie at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, cryotherapy is used to massage the skin using cooling techniques and lymphatic drainage to firm the skin, eliminate dark circles and reduce puffiness. 

  • French brand Biologique created an 11-step facial service using cold therapy to increase blood flow and plump skin. Now offered at Spa Lilliana at Hotel Effie at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, guests are educated on the benefits of the personalized approach to skincare with unadulterated formulas applied with rigorous treatment protocols using cryotherapy treatments. 

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