#Hashtag Treatments

BloggerWelcome to part 4 of our 2017 Wellness Trends. Here we discuss the rise of #Hashtag Treatments.

#What

Branding has taken over every industry and wellness is not an exception. If before, it was fashionable to simply get the latest beauty treatments, today it is fashionable to get them from a celebrity therapist, fitness guru, person trainer, artist, you name it. With the world of social media obsession, online word of mouth and picture of the day enables really good therapists to become Insta-famous and sometimes more famous than their celebrity clients.

For those who can afford it, it is no longer interesting just to go to a great specialist, guests want to go to the same master who trained Victoria Secret models and threaded Kim Kardashian’s eyebrows. What fuels this trend is that celebrities are on board and gladly share their beauty tips and secret contacts. One does not even need to have celebrity clients to become a famous specialist (although being Madonna’s PT doesn’t hurt). Smart vloggers -who have gained huge audiences with their daily posts now create their own training programs, nutritional guides, offer personalized coaching and are in high demand.

#Who #Where

An example of this could be seen at this year’s Oscars when celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Emma Stone, Jessica Alba and others posted themselves getting ready by putting on the LED (light emitting diode) mask by Hollywood esthetician, Shani Darden elevating her to equal celebrity status.

Others gaining a huge following and engagement include Kayla Itsines – creator of Sweat with Kylie online training, Sonia Tlev – Personal Trainer, Joyce Bonelli – Kardashian’s make-up artist, Dr. Simon Ourian – celebrity Cosmetic Dermatologist, Dr.Kevin Sands – LA based celebrity dentist and Richard Ward – celebrity hairdresser.

#RDEtake

We are now in an era, where besides going to celebrity therapists for those promised amazing results and guest’s awareness and expectations, many engage in experiences not only to live through it, but also to photograph, post it and capture likes and views. We predict that the FOMO (fear of missing out) generation will continue to drive #Hashtag treatments at least for the next few years. We do not see it as a new everlasting movement, just like all hypes, it must pass sooner or later, but the demand for shareable experiences and high quality results is definitely here to stay.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Accessible and Affordable Wellness

In the third part of Raison d’Etre’s Wellness Trends we take a look at the growing demand for accessible and affordable wellness.

girl

We are living in very curious times, where the pace of life is often so fast that our situation changes not so much on a yearly or monthly basis but from week to week and sometimes even day to day. It is a natural human characteristic to adapt to change and reflect and rearrange priorities and work out what really matters. So it comes as no surprise that more and more people, regardless of status and income level, are beginning to reflect on their quality of life and seek an improvement by focussing on their health and wellbeing.

Our industry is responding to this shift in thinking by moving away from the stereotype that ‘wellness is a luxury affordable to few’ and towards the belief that wellness can be accessible and affordable to all.

wellness centre

From hotel chains and fitness centres, to day spas, healthy food outlets and wellbeing retreats, affordable wellness is on the rise through a variety of different sectors within our industry. The reasonably priced IHG hotel chain is leading the way with its comprehensive wellness offering. Healthy fast food chains such as Reload Superfood Bars (Sweden), Leon (the UK) and Sweetgreen (the US) are responding to the demand for affordable, seasonable healthy food across the world.  Highly successful low-priced spas, such as Massage Envy, across the US which is also moving into Australia and Nail Sunny in Russia all offer luxury spa design but with affordable beauty services including facials, nail design, ombre hair colouring and many other pampering treatments .  The affordable wellness trend has not been ignored by Asia either, with a boom in Korean cosmetics resulting in a wealth of reasonably- priced, effective masks, creams, serums and nourishing oils sold online across the globe.  Now even wellness vacations need not break the bank, with travel specialists such as Book Retreats offering affordable yoga breaks to a variety of different exotic destinations.

stones
Ultimately, every human strives to be happy and live in joy, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. The increasing realisation that feeling well, both in mind and body, enhances a joyous spirit will continue to drive this wellbeing trend, with more and more people turning to the wellness industry to help them improve their quality of living. Going forward, affordable and innovative concepts in wellness, and the use of wellness consulting services, will play an ever increasing role in many sections of our industry.

 

 

Spa Design for Mental Wellness

A short while ago following two decades of experience in the wellness industry, we repositioned the Raison d’Etre brand as a ‘Think Tank’ for wellness. It’s actually what we’ve doing for a long time, using our knowledge and experience as spa consultants to create award winning spas, spa brands and spa concepts. Increasingly though, we’ve received requests to assist organisations in other industries where the solutions to wellness aren’t so obvious.  Part of this has involved identifying the latest global wellness trends which have an impact on us all whether at work, at home or in our leisure time.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing with you seven of the most important wellness trends to emerge in 2017 starting with:

 ‘Brain Power’

Brain power

  • Mental Wellness

Mental wellness is no longer a taboo subject as we recognize that many of us suffer, to some degree, with mental illness. We are living in a golden age of brain research, new breakthroughs emerging every month, revealing the astonishing power of the brain to heal, create and evolve. Where scientists once believed that the brain’s hardwiring couldn’t be changed, we now know that the brain is constantly evolving and our ability to rewire our brains remains intact from birth to the end of life. Researchers have also dispelled the myth that ageing in the brain and memory loss are inevitable and irreversible. No matter how old we are, our brain is incredibly resilient and has the capacity to create new neural pathways if we choose to keep learning and opening ourselves to new experiences.

Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her – that meditating can literally change your brain. As spa design consultants, we are increasingly designing space which encourages mindfulness and reflection.

  • Brain Workouts

A new study from the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland), performed on rats, had some provocative findings about what type of exercise drives the newest neurons (neurogenesis) in the brain. For the first time, scientists compared the effect on the brain of running, weight training (rats climbed walls with little weights attached to their tails) and high-intensity interval training (sprinting on little treadmills, slowing and repeating). A substance was injected in the rats’ brains to track the creation of new brain cells and the runners showed by far the most brain cell creation: their hippocampus teemed with new neurons, while the high-intensity interval training showed far fewer neurons created and the weight training showed no neurogenesis. Rats aren’t people, but the research is eye opening.

  • Brain Beauty

Emotions play a big role in skin diseases. Approximately 50% of people with acne report an emotional trigger to their breakouts. At least 80% of those with atopic dermatitis (eczema) state psychological stress aggravates or brings about their itch. More than 90% of those with rosacea say stress triggers a flare-up, making their skin hypersensitive. And about 100% of those with excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis, say emotions trigger their reaction. Recurrent flares of psoriasis have been attributed to stress in up to 80% of individuals. What’s more, in psoriasis patients with associated depression, 9.7% acknowledged a “wish to be dead,” and 5.5% reported active suicidal ideation. Emotions, in particular stress and anxiety, are not to be dismissed when it comes to treating the skin. Not only can they trigger or exacerbate skin conditions, but they can actually affect a person so deeply that they are scarred for life, or worse yet, make them want to take their own life. Estheticians use their tools to help people with their skin concerns, but in reality, they have the power to help improve the quality of life for every client they touch if they understand the intimate relationship between the mind and skin.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361002/

http://www.wellnessevidence.com/wellnessevidence/exercise/spotlight

http://www.doctorclaudia.com/the-brain-skin-connection

Part 2 of our wellness trends will follow shortly

How to live NORDICLY

In the latest issue of Stylist Arabia we found lot’s of Nordic inspiration, when it comes to food, travel and fashion. Stylist Arabia is a free weekly women’s magazine for cosmopolitan, urban, professionals who have an appreciation for the latest in fashion, beauty, travel and entertainment.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To discover our Nordic World – visit LivNordic or visit a LivNordic Spa in Dubai

What’s currently going on in the skin care industry?

Ok, we admit, we love skin care. We love skin care products, ingredients, new innovations, new technologies, but most of all we love skin care that is giving results, but in a sustainable way. Skin care that is not harming you or the environment, skin care that is organic and so pure that you could nearly eat it. In fact, that is what happens when you apply skin care… the ingredients do penetrate your skin and eventually enters your body, so you better be sure that what goes in there is pure and gentle for you.

TOP

Organic skin care

The trend with organic skin care is still increasing which makes our hearts sing. It’s not a sacrifice anymore; it has become a lifestyle for many.

Last year the brand Urtekram did a market research together with Yougov, which revealed that in Sweden every third person had bought organic skin care and hair care during the last 6 months. It also showed that 3 out of 4 were concerned about the possible negative health effects with ordinary skin care and hair care products More about the research: http://news.cision.com/se/urtekram/r/var-tredje-svensk-koper-ekologisk-hudvard,c9566770 (in Swedish)

Increasing customization

We also see, both in skin care product development and spa treatments an increasing demand for customization. Not only do the spa customer want tailor made treatments, also the skin care programmes and even products should be completely customized to your needs. The products also become more niche, rather than mainstream. Small, niche product areas and specialized treatments are growing. One area that is still growing among most product brands are face oils. In line with the need for customized treatments, we see that the way of diagnosing the skin is becoming more advanced. It ranges from everything from DNA testing, to picture analysis, to diagnostic apps.

According to Euromonitor.com (top four trends in skincare in 2015) the rise of devices in skin care, from cleansing to anti-ageing and electronic face masks is increasing. Beauty companies have been introducing cleansers and lotions that work with the devices and can further enhance their efficacy. These devices has quickly becoming a must-have for many. For example Foreo is a device that has become popular in Sweden, as well as globally.

Quick-fixes vs slow-beauty

We also notice a strong trend of quick fixes, but we still want to highlight that the therapist is, for us, always the key to successful treatments. The therapist is the one to be in the centre. Even though we have efficient techniques and products that can deliver amazing results, we still think; to have a complete treatment there needs to be a dedicated and knowledgeable person creating the treatments and the actual results.

We also have to consider the trend with “quick fixes”. What will it do for our skin in the long run? No one really knows what will happen with our skin in 10 years time with all the new quick fix technologies. We need to step back and look at how ageing occurs in the skin. It does not happen over night, so how could we then remove the signs of ageing in just a few minutes.

Our approach

Natural beauty comes from within”. It might sound like a cliché, but we believe this to be true. A healthy attitude to yourself and your lifestyle will always out-win any amount of product you apply to your body and skin. Just as you would not deliberately eat chemicals, we don’t believe you should nourish your skin with them either. Natural Beauty starts by seeing the beauty that is already present and then supporting it to shine by using products that understand and enhance the body’s natural healing and regeneration abilities.

A natural beauty regime shows that you understand what is good for you and your skin and that you accept and care for your self and your body as it is, rather then trying to turn it into something it is not.

/Maria

The picture is borrowed from The Organic Pharmacy, a brand with a philosophy that goes very much hand in hand with ours, a brand that we use in many of ours spas.

News from the Spa World

News, ideas and interesting things related to spa operations approaches Raison d’Etre all the time – but some of the things stands out. I recently participated on SpaMeeting Dubrovnik and wanted to share some highlights from there mixed with some other interesting things that recently have popped up!

Aqua cycling is getting popular!

As a follower of Soul Cycle spinning trend, the very successful concept of Aqua Cycling from New York is now spreading over the world. We see a good example of the ‘pedal in water trend’ in France; through AquaLikes (from Corpoderm) individual Aqua biking cabin, with lots of benefits and can be great to use before a massage treatment, as part of a detox program, after skiing, for elderly people or as social activity for the younger generation in spas.

SpaStream Emotional Experience

A beautifully designed Vichyshower (By Italian Aquademy) with a horizontal shower massage system that provides a “rain-bar massage” with, and also without – a therapist. The 1200 nozzles, temperature, chromotherapy and pressure is set in 16 different programs, but can also be tailored to personal treatments and protocols. Please watch this video to experience:

Launch of SWISS CELLWIBE

I had the privilege to meet with Marion and Chemin at SpaMeeting Dubrovnik where they launched a new beauty machine. Electro Medical Systems has been around for more than 30 years developing medical health care equipment, and are now for the first time launching an aestic device, specifically addressed to beauticians, the SWISS CELLVIBE. Non-invasive, safe and with no side effects and clinically proven to reduce cellulites by one grade in 8 treatments. Great design, easy protocols and proven result documentation. Keep an eye on them, I guess they will launch more aesstic solutions in the future!

Beauty beyond Cosmetics

Swedish FOREO with its LUNA Beauty device for deep face cleansing and anti-ageing is a true spa retail booster. We have tried it, and we love it. They have just launched the beauty device in hotel rooms, to become just as essential as the hair dryer. When the guest falls in love with the LUNA in their room – they will buy it from the spa. Let’s see if this emerges, very interesting!

Spa Scent Solutions

The French company Laboratories Camylle provides spas with natural scent solutions in all kinds: for sauna, steam bath, showers, ice-fountain, whirlpools etc. They have now also developed a ‘scent filter’ to be used instead of diffusers or aroma lamps, that is just easily put in the ventilation systems and flows naturally in the air!

 

/Josefin

Emotional Hospitality

An emotionally intelligent approach to service that begins with empathy. The concept of emotional hospitality is today widely spread and applied in the tourism, spa and wellness industry. Many companies agree upon that the emotional approach is what is required to perform and succeed. But was does this really mean?

Emotions are energy and all energy have touch points. We have an opportunity to find touch points with our guests, spark positive emotions and spread emphatic energy. This requires other skills and personal traits when working with people, very different from what was needed 30 years ago. Great service is not what the service provider give, but what the guest perceives. The ability to ask the right questions, actively listen and pro-act upon opportunities takes engagement from us as service providers. It also requires us to stay out of judgement, disregard our own personal likes and dislikes and us being able to connect with our own feelings.

At this moment we are stepping into a new age of hospitality and the demand and expectation from our guests are increasing. Sometimes they are not aware of it themselves but they wish not only to be served upon what they ask for, they are longing to be seen, surprised and cared for. As service providers today, we are not just supposed to make our guest feel something, we are also being measured on exactly how we made them feel. The quality management systems has started to measure our service performance by their ‘primary emotions’ felt during their experience. How it made them feel. In order to spark someone else’s feelings in a powerful way, we need to be know who we are serving and being able to step into the guest shoes. The only way for us to understand someone else is to reflect through ourselves and our own experiences.

An example from LQA on measuring the feeling of a spa treatment.

The spa and wellness center is a very special place. We have many more touch points with our guests than other departments and we are already invited by the guest for close connection. And the opportunities we have to connect are many. If we sensibly sustain this invitation and treat our opportunity with care, we are on the right track already. Emotional service is about people touching people, and this describes very well what already happen in our spas. The high touch mentality is our key to emotional connection.

Delivering emotional service is simple, but not necessarily easy. Many service providers are today so focused on doing things the “right” way so they actually forget to do it “well.” And as guests, we want to be treated “well” but also “with care.” Unfortunately there will never be a specific SOP  that shows step by step exactly what to do within emotional service. How to care for someone else in a specific situation may not and cannot be scripted. Emotions are energy, and energy is subtle and individual.

The good news is that even though there is no precise map in how to give Emotional Service, we have several tools to guide you in how to connect closer. It takes engagement and you need to make an effort, but as long as you do, the conveyance will be very easy. Remember that a higher level of service does not have to be complicated, it can sometimes be easier than the standard service you are used to deliver, since you may always reflect back to yourself (instead of a manual) and listen to your inner voice. While listen through your heart.

If you are interested in reading more about emotional hospitality applied to the spa and wellness industry, we are glad to announce that we later this year we will launch another online course on our website with this topic. The course will guide you through Emotional Service and we will give you tools in how to engage yourself, and your team.

Remember, a simple act of kindness and care takes you longer than you can ever imagine.
/Josefin

Spa trends, challenges and news at SpaTec Europe 2014

About a week ago I had the pleasure to attend the Spa Tec Europe event in Rhodes, Greece. This events brings buyers and supplier together for short one-to one meetings to discuss new opportunities, share ideas and spot trends in the spa, wellness and beauty market. Below a picture from Sheraton Rhodes that hosted the event (from my balcony.)

IMG_3699

An interesting discussions on future challenges in the industry was brought up; does a spa really need to cater the guest for everything nowadays? In UK we see an increasing habit in doing nails, waxing and other quick result oriented treatments only in a local salon or at the high street, and many customers actually schedule to do it before their spa visit. Increasing beauty competition in department stores, ‘real value for money’ treatments around the corner and specialized technicians are making it harder for spas to keep up their quality in comparison to price. And unfortunately, the less treatments your therapists do of a specific kind (ex. waxing) the less they perform and they might end up lacking professional skills. To offer lower quality to a higher price is not a winner. As the trend of niched concepts is continuing to grow, which encourage us not to be everything to everyone, maybe we need to listen more carefully and pay attention to this. It is hard to keep the quality if you need all your staff to be able to perform everything on your menu. Especially if it is long.

But, in the meantime there is a huge growing demand for hair treatments, both for scalp, hair, lashes and brows. Not to mention everything that has to do with nails, quick fixes like spray tan and shorter express facial treatments. We are also starting to talk about something called “Pre-tox” were we make ourselves beautiful before we go on vacation, and only enjoy the relaxing treatments at the destination.  Product brands are launching beauty machines as never before, or they make specialized protocols in how to use their products with other suppliers machines so they are ready to be implemented (like Hydro Peptide for Hydra Facial, a brilliant idea.) Here we have a great opportunity to fill the slots in the appointment schedule, with express treatments which may not be our favorite thing to sell in spas. As Annika (our MD) use to say; “I do not undress for less than 90 min on the table” which I believe many of us would agree on. But here you have the chance to sell a result oriented facial that works specifically on a target area, your puffy eyes for instance. You actually get a result in 20 min, and you can charge for it, with pride. That is interesting.

I met a lot of inspiring people in Rhodes and want to share some of the innovative suppliers and that I met:

e092456422

Icelab – Whole Body Cryotherapy at minus -110 degrees
You enter a chamber on 3 different rooms were the temperature drops from Celsius -10, -60 to -110 degrees. It is described to be the perfect start of the spa journey, to clear your mind and “chock” your body into relaxation and healing. Cannot be compared to the effects of scold plunges/ that often are at least around +8-12 degrees. Developed for sportsmen from the beginning, to increase circulation, enhance speed, strength and power performance as well as treating injuries.

 Coola Organic Suncare founded by eco-entrepreneur Chris Birchby is well known in the US and now entering the European market. Together with Living Earth Crafts they have designed a smart retail trolley called “Coola Cart” which helps you sell the right product to the right client, at the right time. They describe it as an opportunity to connect retail across properties, bringing together spa, pool, gift, sport facilities and even make them available in the in-room mini bar. Cool(a) concept!

Coola

Local heritage is still a winning concept represented by Scottish skincare brand Ishga, which offers pure organic seaweed products as well as LI’TYA, that origins from Australia using old aboriginal recipes. Overall, we feel the combination of an organic product range with an active scientifically range is probably what spas are heading towards. Good combination? Probably, yes.

ishga

Of course also have to mention Sammy Gharieni with his anti-gravity quartz massage table (now with a specific massage protocol) and his custom made trolleys that easily can be fitted into the room decor, inbuilt hot cabby and diffuser. Always new innovations and always something interesting to offer! Also very excited about Resort Suites (software) new launch of health assessment Ipad app, where the customer can update previous assessments and ‘copy their own answers’ from last visit to save time. This is a company that offers all essentials but also follows the
technologies and uses them in the best way, check out their membership app as well as all other online features.

 

iphoneNotably, suppliers nowadays need to be able to meet the specific requirements of the client and buyers and everyone is ready to customize, what differs is the quality when leaving the standard, the support and of course, the price tag.

Thank you SpaTec team for this time!

/Josefin

 

Top 10 Fitness Trends For 2014

We would of course also want to share the top ten fitness trends in the world, reported for this year by the authoritative American College of Sports Medicine! Some below is included in the ‘Ferocious Fitness’ trend reported by Spa Finder mentioned in our last post, but here more detailed:

GH Spa Juni10_0060High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT, which involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery, jumps to the top of this year’s list. These exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.

Body Weight Training: This is the first appearance of this trend in the survey. Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.

Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals. Given the large number of organizations offering health and fitness certifications, it’s important that consumers choose professionals certified through programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), such as those offered by ACSM.

Strength Training. Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity program for all physical activity levels and genders. (The other essential components are aerobic exercise and flexibility.)

Exercise and Weight Loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients.

Personal Training. More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that they are preparing themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.

Fitness Programs for Older Adults. As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, some of these people have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts. Therefore, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.

Functional Fitness. This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs for older adults are closely related.

Group Personal Training. In challenging economic times, many personal trainers are offering more group training options. Training two or three people at a time makes economic sense for the trainer and the clients.

Yoga. Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation. Includes Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anurara, Kundalini, Sivananda and others.The survey was conducted by interviewing more than three thousand certified fitness professionals all over the world to discover the top ten industry trends expected for 2014.

So, lets keep up and make 2014 the fittest year ever!
/Josefin

Top 10 Spa & Wellness Trends for 2014

Today’s world is constantly in motion. There are new concepts that emerge from all sort of creative ideas all the time; every year comes with its own surprises. Nowadays clients have access to various means of communication and therefore are more educated about what is going on than ever. In any industry, to keep a customer satisfied, it is important to know what it is that they want and expect, and staying informed becomes crucial. In the spa industry, every year brings new technologies, methods, improvements and experiences. Since the customer is up to date, it is important to be on the same level with them, not just to meet their expectations, but more importantly to exceed them and make them want to come back for more.

top-10-global-spa-and-wellness-trends-for-2014

So where, how and why will consumers spa, exercise and get ‘their wellness on’ in 2014? Spa Finder Wellness 365 has the answer in their trend forecast report for top 11 trends in 2014:

Mindful Living: “A healthy mind is the key to true happiness”- Dalai Lama
Today’s world is supercharged, and that naturally affects one’s physical, but more important spiritual health. The key to remain in balance and at peace is ”mindful living”-staying attentive to the present moment.  This philosophy is one of the driving forces today in the wellness world, From now on clients are seeking to reboot their brains, and the spas will have to offer treatments & tools to their guests, which will help them reach a whole new place of serenity and calm.

Healthy Hotels 2.0
As predicted by Raison d’Etre in 2013, the Healthy Hotels are here to stay. Just in one year this movement has become a mega trend, with many hospitality industry leaders implementing wellness in their accommodation offer or even dedicating entire concepts to it. A great example are EVEN Hotels and upcoming Element hotels. These healthy hotels will not only be good for their guests, but also for the environment. An additional development within this mega trend is hotels moving away from stuffy, eat too much restaurants towards garb-and-go healthy food markets. Hot branded inside & outside fitness classes, in-room virtual training, free workout-in-a-bag…hotels are doing everything to become the local wellness hangout.

Wired Wellness
Our society is entirely absorbed by the digital world, and wellness is not an exception. Latest applications provide us with daily opportunities to stay fit & well. Clients can not only measure their work out results, but also participate in online yoga classes, easily book spots in the hottest fitness sessions and so on. The Wired Wellness has already spread into the corporate world, by engaging employees with various apps. For spas this trend is crucial to follow. It is very likely that in the future many clients will seek for smart clothing that will measure their performance during the work out and will want to receive professional advice on what wellness & fitness apps they should use in their daily life.

Hot Springs Heat Up
Bathing in hot springs may be the oldest “spa” experience in the world–dating further back than Roman times–but they are also incredibly on trend in 2014. In fact, there’s never been a hotter moment for thermal springs with more and more people seeking out this affordable, social and beneficial spa experience. And, with hot springs existing in virtually every corner of the world, governments and developers alike have taken notice and are funding hundreds of new, exciting developments.

Suspending Gravity
Gravity is associated with something heavy and restricting, and it is no surprise that people want to escape that feeling towards a sensation of freedom. This deep psychological and physical desire is fuelling the new “suspending gravity” trend, as a result of which creative solutions are coming up. You will be seeing more weightless, stress- and mind-melting flotation tanks, chambers and pools at spas. A unique novelty is the world’s first “zero-gravity” spa in Space Resort, Barcelona. Meanwhile on the fitness front: a global craze for aerial and anti-gravity classes and yoga, and new equipment like anti-gravity treadmills. And more spas are incorporating new technologies like anti-gravity massage beds and futuristic pods that simulate the experience of floating on a cloud.

Ferocious Fitness  
A new “ferocious fitness” trend is on the rise, led by people who take fitness seriously and who compete to establish their own “personal bests,” frequently at semi-professional levels. A key aspect of this trend is making fitness fun and much more exciting than lonely 45 minutes on a treadmill. Working out with joy is more motivating and helps people keep at it longer and actually achieve better results. For instance High Intensity Interval Training Programs became incredibly popular, and you can expect to see even more “ferocious fitness” programs in the year ahead. It is more than just a work out, it is a new fitness culture.

“Natural” Beauty Meets Social Media
Back-to-basics has come to force the faux beauty out. In recent years there’s been resurgence in less-invasive treatments that revive skin, hair, and nails and make humans look human again. This new era of beauty focuses on the nude, the natural, and a high-tech, low-risk beauty, where organic products, science and technology intersect to deliver minimal-downtime results that are seemingly produced by nature. It is now fashionable to post the “no filter selfies” on Instagram, to show that one can look their best 24/7 just as they are. The spas will play their role by offering even more customized treatments and using latest technology for a quick route to lasting, natural loveliness.

Aromatherapy: Scent with Intent
Aromatherapy is moving in bold directions and playing a greater role in the treatment of pain, as a mood enhancer, in sleep therapy, and to improve cognitive function. It has also moved to a new level of customization, spas are reimagining their aromatherapy approach from the more generically pleasant to the personalized and transformative, in order to further enhance experience with the scent power on our memory, emotions and body. In 2014, there will be a growing effort to craft an aromatherapy of intention, working in tandem with botanists and even high-tech digital technology. In addition, inspiring, local, and natural scent will play a bigger role in the business world and in public spaces (restaurants, retail, hotels, hospitals). Call it beyond sachets and cinnamon candles.

Wellness Retreats Rise & Urbanize
In 2014 (and beyond), we will see more all-new destination spa properties, like the just-opened VANA in India’s Himalayan foothills. We’ll see revered brands go on an expansion march, whether Miraval from the U.S. or Lanserhof from Austria. We’ll see more headline-grabbing, hit-all-angles, big wellness “campus-palaces,” but we’ll see even more smaller wellness retreats at more (affordable) price- points, and usually with more targeted angles: whether no-nonsense weight loss boot camps or rustic yoga retreats. Additionally, we’ll see so many more resorts add so much “destination spa” programming, that we may have to expand our idea of the “destination spa” beyond just a noun…to a “verb.”

Death & Spas: Thriving During Life’s Transitions
In 2014, spas are starting to have the “death” conversation and help people cope with terminal illnesses, whether they are patients or caregivers, in the most comfortable and supportive environment imaginable. Nowadays hospitals and long-term care facilities recognized the power of touch and started to break down the boundaries between hospitality and health care by creating a soothing environment for their patients. Cooperation between medical facilities and spas to help patients cope with severely stressful situation is becoming more of a reality. Caring is truly the DNA of the industry, and in 2014 and beyond we will see spas and wellness centers bring comfort and healing to more people…even those who are transitioning to the end of their lives.

Top 10 Surprising Spa & Wellness Destinations
Savvy spa-goers are pushing back against the “been there, done that” travel mentality and demanding more exotic destinations and indigenous experiences to stamp on their spa passports, thereby spawning a significant new industry trend: a map of new spa and wellness settings to explore that extends beyond the normal hot-spots. The magnitude of this trend lies in its ability to prompt a changed perception of each country, instigating a “wellness halo” that can provide a brilliant tourism growth tactic project safety and generate great press.

The full 75-page report, which includes an analysis of factors influencing each trend and examples of early trend adopters, can be downloaded here: http://www.spafinder.com/trends2014.htm

Spa Finders team of editors, along with research analysts and industry experts, have hit the mark with extensive analysis of the latest market findings, interviews with industry leaders, visits to spas and wellness locations worldwide, and continuous surveys with thousands of travel agents, hundreds of thousands of consumers, and the 20,000-plus spa, wellness, and beauty providers in the Spafinder Wellness 365 Network.

Kindness – trendy again?

Talking about trends, we have seen many healthy and sustainable trends during the past years that have gone from “trends” to “lifestyle choices”, and we often refer to the generation called “G”.

Generation G consists of people who are environmentally conscious, love Mother Earth, want to stay “clean” inside and outside, and chose to live more consciously due to the many problems that the materialistic lifestyle has been bringing. Gen G is all about generosity, giving, compassion and sharing. A person who has made a decision in life – to make a difference! A person who makes active choices.

This has influenced many of us to search for ways to contribute and help and we really need to “do something” to compensate for the life we are living, through volunteering work or donating blood etc.  A few years ago, the buzzword “Random Act of Kindness” (R.A.K) got a lot of attention and was a huge trend for global marketers and brand consultants. Focusing a lot in digital marketing and social media this act of kindness have been integrated in many organizations and strategies, even if it has not the same attention today as back in 2011. Even though this way of taking action has a kind and great intention, it is also as a business strategy (which means earn more money.)

Kindess picBut as we live in an unsteady world, it often brings forward the true and instinctively good in people. A great example of this is Hannah Brencher (24) from New York that one day just decided to write a letter to a stranger on the train that looked miserable.  She continued to leave letters like that on the bus, the library, the café and so on all over New York City. One year and 400 letters later she started the organization “Write more love letters” that today have 20,000 individuals across 49 different countries leaving letters and writing emails to strangers in need.
The interesting part of this trend that starts to bloom again in 2013 is that it is spread in younger ages and at a personal stage in social media, which is in great need in the digital world that often is quite rough, honest and mean. It is again trendy to be kind, both to your friends, but also strangers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

All these ideas, actions and efforts (like R.A.K) are truly lovely but sometimes they make me a bit confused. I believe kindness is a natural possession for all of us, a part of us as human beings.  To be exact, when someone does something kind towards another, the brain produces dopamine and endorphins, which make you happy.  Face-to-face kindness also produces oxytocin, which may lower the blood pressure ad stimulates the nervous system. This is natural. We live for love and happiness. Our vision at Raison d’Etre is to “Light lights” in everyone we meet or touch, and that is a great daily reminder for me to continue to spread love and kindness.

But, are we really so busy in our lives that we only have enough kindness to share with our chosen people? Either what we answer that question with; if kindness really needs systems and this kind of trendy actions and attention, so be it. If this is what it takes, so be it.

Ps. Have you ever written a love letter? It is absolutely magical.

/Josefin

The”Non-Selection” Trend

Today the market has a wide selection of services and products since and many companies sales strategy is: pick yourself.  Your daily routines includes a never ending amount of choices, everything from choosing what kind of coffee to buy; to what kind of milk to what kind of cup.

Even if almost all people find the wide selection as something positive this is becoming a stress factor in the modern society. Instead of freedom of choice it becomes a loss of time. Even if you save 20 Euros when selecting mobile operator you feel the loss of the several hours you spent on making your decision. And when your choice is made, you still compare with your neighbor to find out if you made the right one and often you get disappointed anyway.

Many people find it time-consuming and tiresome to collect all info needed to make a wise decision. What happens is that we just pick something and not really base our choice on anything particular other than our guts. Daniel Kahneman describes this in “Thinking, fast and slow” as your automatic thinking (System 1) that makes you act fast but sometimes foolish. He describes our intelligence as not suited for the modern life full of selection and this unfortunately leads to many mistakes and unwise decisions based on intuition.

FrågaBut something is happening! The “non-selection” is starting to becom e a trend and since a couple of years ago services have shown up that helps you with your decision. Personal shoppers (not only for fashion, now also for food), all-inclusive hotels, sites such as Price runner is a respond to this phenomena. People want someone else to make their choices. But if the services offering “non-selection” just increases then the questions remains: who do we pick to choose for us? When do we still value the freedom of choice?

/Josefin