Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

6 mins


The spa and wellness industry is constantly coming up with innovative treatments and unique experiences to cater to clients’ wellbeing. From diving into the digital world to making the most of the tools nature gives us, there is plenty on offer for spas looking to enhance their wellness offering.

Technology therapy

The world has become ever more reliant on technology, and although traditional, hands-on treatments will always have a place in spas, more establishments are starting to adopt a tech-led approach. 

This technological treatment boom can partly be traced back to the abundance of home-use tech, which is now easily accessible to many clients, and which experienced a boom of its own during the pandemic when people couldn’t receive professional treatments.

“As homecare abilities advance and grow in both products and devices, our expectation of what we can receive professionally only grows too,” explains Melissa Mitchelmore, a former spa manager and the founder of social media marketing agency Savoir Socials. 

“There’s no doubt that hands-on treatments are effective and relaxing, but the need for non-invasive results has and will only continue to grow. The Global Wellness Institute’s reports have suggested that the future of wellness could be much more hands-off.” 

Spa guests are also looking for more cost-effective, 360-degree and long-term solutions to wellness, which technology can help to provide. “With an enhanced focus and increased awareness on healthy ageing, wellness and longevity, it is no wonder that spas are looking to make inroads into bridging the traditional spa menu with technology-led solutions,” says Sarah-Jayne Tipper, clinical training director at Pure Swiss Aesthetics. 

“With spas becoming more accessible and multifunctional, and consumer attitudes shifting, guests are looking for multilayered and cutting edge nonsurgical treatments within a relaxed setting, which offer remodelling and enhanced results all under one roof.” 

Technology can be included in spas in a number of ways, including infrared saunas, floatation pods and digital skincare devices that incorporate LED or radiofrequency.

“Another big advancement in recent times has been the increased awareness around immunity and gut support; we have seen many destinations revamping their lymphatic drainage approach and incorporating this into their lounges and therapy rooms,” says Tipper. 

Both Tipper and Mitchelmore believe the tech trend is here to stay, although exactly what this could look like might be hard to tell. “It’s only a matter of time before artificial intelligence advances what we can offer within spas,” says Mitchelmore. “I hope to see it provide a more tailored treatment to clients, providing amazing results for both our wellness and appearance.” 

If in doubt, opt for a device or machine that has multiple uses or benefits. “Multifunctional treatments are key,” says Tipper. “Spas should look to future-proof their treatment rooms with equipment designed to enhance services and provide effective and immediate results. Combining technologies in one treatment for the face and body is also a must for savvy clients wanting a 360-degree, cost-effective approach.” 

‘Spas should look to future-proof their treatment rooms with equipment designed to enhance services and provide effective and immediate results’

Multisensory wellness

Beauty and wellness services are becoming more sensorial, engaging all five senses to deliver an immersive experience that leaves clients feeling rejuvenated long after their treatment – and these experiences are becoming more commonplace. 

“There are a couple of reasons for this,” says Antonia David, head of education at spa skincare brand Elemental Herbology. “Firstly, spa visits are gradually becoming more of an essential part of mental and physical health maintenance, instead of the luxurious treat that they were once considered to be. And this, along with the rise in wellness tourism, means there is now a greater number of regular spa goers looking for amore sophisticated spa experience rather than ‘just’ a massage or a facial.

“Secondly, the pandemic forced many of us to re-evaluate not just our physical and mental wellbeing, but also how our immediate environment affects how we feel. With this has come a greater awareness of how we can use our senses to activate our parasympathetic nervous system – from something very simple such as using a weighted blanket, a relaxing scent or guided meditation to help us sleep, to having all five of our senses engaged during a spa experience to transport us to a state of deep relaxation and inner peace.” 

Touch and tactility are some of the most powerful senses connected with beauty, with a growing interest in temperature-driven experiences such as cryotherapy. Another important sense that is easy to engage in a spa environment is smell. 

“One of the easiest ways to incorporate a multisensory wellness experience to your spa is by creating ascent journey throughout,” explains Christina Salcedas, global head of education at Aromatherapy Associates. “Scent the areas with different aromas, such as asense of relaxation where needed, or one to promote energy in agym.”

As clients increasingly prioritise holistic health, access to other forms of treatment, including sensorial therapy, is expanding, with energy healing, chromatherapy, reiki and sound baths becoming popular for enhancing mental and emotional wellbeing. 

Emma Heard is a reiki master (Eastern and Western lineages), meditation guide and crystal healing therapist. “Engaging the five senses provides a strong foundation for any energy treatment, or for bringing positive, healing, rejuvenating energy to any therapy,” she says. 

“The ways in which a therapist treats the five senses in a therapy room are all contributing to the energy they are creating, and how receptive their client is to that energy. Different smells, sounds, lighting, food and drinks all carry different vibrations. Vibration creates energy. 

“The biggest contributor to the energy state in the room is the therapist themselves. So many therapists are focused on treating the client that they don’t pay attention to the way they feel themselves, but the energy the therapist emanates has a profound effect on the benefit the client gets from the treatment.” 

If therapists don’t have training in energy practices such as reiki, Heard says the best way to bring good energy into the room is to clear the existing energy before taking a short time before the session to centre themselves. “There are lots of practical things we do all the time that help to clear a room of any heavy or negative energies,” she adds. “We open windows or doors, wipe the side down, change linen or towels, light new candles. Movement helps any heavy energy to shift too, so shake things out, waft some incense or use an organic herbal spray.” 

Looking to the future of multisensory wellness, David believes the possibilities are endless. “I think techniques to engage individual senses – such as chromotherapy, cryotherapy and sound therapy – will become more commonplace as integral components of a spa experience. And we will see an increase in the use of highly curated combinations of light, sound and fragrance designed to connect with the essence of the spa and its surroundings.”

Salcedas agrees with this incorporation of the local environment. “Personally, I would like to see the use of local rituals and ingredients make areturn to spas to create unique multisensorial experiences,” she says. “For example, if you visit aspa in Madeira where wild jasmine, aloe vera and cucumber grow natively, or an English country estate growing lavender, you would expect to see those ingredients incorporated into treatment menus.”

This article appears in the THE 2024 SHOW ISSUE Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

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This article appears in the THE 2024 SHOW ISSUE Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland