- The role of technology in the future of spas and wellness
- How AI is revolutionising skincare
- VR treatment helps you immerse yourself into a state of mindfulness
- Touchless wellness treatments take the spa experience to the next level
In the tranquil world of spas and wellness, where the gentle touch of human hands and the soothing sounds of nature have long been the hallmarks of relaxation, a quiet revolution is taking place. As we move further into the 21st century, the industry finds itself at a crossroads, caught between tradition and innovation. There will undoubtedly be spas that will simply continue with business as usual, preserving the essence of what has made them a sanctuary for those seeking respite. Others, however, are venturing into uncharted territory, melding the traditional experience with emerging technologies to provide visitors with something completely different. This fusion of the old and the new is more than a mere trend; it’s a reflection of a broader societal shift towards greater personalisation, efficiency, and the integration of technology into every aspect of our lives. From AI-powered skincare treatments to virtual reality meditation sessions, the future of spas and wellness is being reimagined by those willing to embrace the possibilities of the digital age.
But what does this mean for an industry that has always prized the human connection? How will the incorporation of technology affect the very soul of the spa experience? And what are the potential risks and rewards of this brave new world of wellness? In this article, we will explore the fascinating intersection of tradition and technology in the spa and wellness industry, examining how some are holding fast to time-honoured practices while others are boldly forging a new path. We’ll delve into the innovative techniques that are transforming the way we think about self-care and relaxation and consider the implications for both consumers and practitioners. Join us as we journey into the future of spas and wellness, a future that promises to be as diverse and dynamic as the human desire for healing and renewal.
“VR classes will be offered in the future…imagine a guided class with relaxing visuals quite literally putting you in whatever individualised setting you would find the most relaxing and soulful. That’s where we’re going”.Sal Capizzi, director of marketing at Book4Time
The role of technology in the future of spas and wellness
When asked to share their views on the future of spas and wellness, most industry experts agree that technology will play a key role. “Technology will play a huge role in creating contactless experiences, with booking, intake forms, checkin, checkout, and payments. Tech will also play a role in treatments and services, as standalones or adjunct offerings. This is an easy way to diversify revenue streams and increase profits”, says Sal Capizzi, director of marketing and host of The Spa Leader Masterclass Series at Book4Time, a global provider of cloud-based management solutions for the spa and wellness industry. “Guests will also have a greater say in how they want to use technology and what sort of experience they want to have. They will be able to customise their experiences to incorporate both human contact and contactless elements”.
Artificial intelligence and virtual reality technologies, in particular, will take on an increasingly prominent role, according to Capizzi. “I’m not going to say robots will be doing massages. However, I do see AI playing a part in collecting information upon guests’ arrival and post-stay/service”, he adds. “And most certainly, VR classes will be offered in the future. Yoga classes are peaceful, but they are in the same classroom you have likely seen 10 times. Now imagine a guided class with relaxing visuals quite literally putting you in whatever individualised setting you would find the most relaxing and soulful. That’s where we’re going”.
“AI-powered solutions will reshape the future of cosmetic procedures by allowing professionals to boost client confidence and establish more trusted relationships”.Alice Chang, CEO and founder of Perfect Corp.
How AI is revolutionising skincare
In today’s increasingly competitive market, personalisation is an absolute must if you want to convince consumers to buy your products. This applies to just about any industry, and the world of beauty is no exception to this rule. In the past, skin assessments at medical spas were usually performed using large skin imaging devices. To capture images of their skin, a customer would have to put their face inside the machine and wait until it was done with the scan, which made for a rather awkward experience. However, in an increasingly digital world, such old-fashioned devices simply won’t cut it anymore and are slowly becoming relics of the past. Bulky, expensive, and far from user-friendly, they are starting to give way to innovative AI-powered solutions that allow spas to provide their customers with accurate skin assessments within seconds. What’s more, each customer can receive highly personalised recommendations for skincare products and treatments tailored specifically to their individual needs.
The software company Perfect Corp. has developed an AI-powered skin diagnostic tool that allows customers to receive an accurate skin analysis in less than 2 seconds by simply holding a tablet in front of their face and pressing a button. Using a sophisticated algorithm trained on more than 7,000 medical-grade images, the tool scans their face and generates a downloadable skin result scoreboard in real time. This provides the customer with a personalised score for 14 major skin concerns, including redness, wrinkles, spots, moisture, and acne. Not only does this offer a more engaging experience but it also makes it easier for customers to identify their top skin concerns. The software even includes an advanced AI skin simulation feature, which enables spas to generate before and after images that visualise which impact recommended skin care products, treatments, and services will have on the customer’s skin. “These solutions help providers start conversations with patients about potential treatments and procedures”, says Alice Chang, the CEO and founder of Perfect Corp. “These innovations will reshape the future of cosmetic procedures by allowing professionals to boost client confidence and establish more trusted relationships”.
VR treatment helps you immerse yourself into a state of mindfulness
Another technology that is becoming an increasingly common feature in the spa and wellness industry is virtual reality. Spa Montage in Laguna Beach, which offers a wide range of wellness-enhancing services, including massage therapies, facials, and body treatments, recently introduced a new treatment called The Five Senses, which uses virtual reality technology to provide customers with a full sensory experience that helps them transition into a state of mindfulness. The treatment starts with an 8-minute session, which requires customers to put on a VR headset and engage in breathing and mindfulness exercises as they are exposed to immersive sights and sounds designed to keep their minds from going off track. The virtual experience is accompanied by several real-world elements as well — the sounds of a singing bowl in the background, the sweet taste of honey on the customer’s tongue, and a relaxing foot massage.
The central part of the treatment consists of a full-body massage administered by a skilled massage therapist and tailored specifically to each customer’s unique needs. Next up, customers are treated to an anti-ageing facial that revitalises their skin and gives it that youthful glow that everyone craves. The singing bowl then sounds off once again to indicate that the treatment is coming to its end and customers are invited to indulge in handcrafted dark chocolate prepared by Spa Montage’s culinary experts. “Thanks to the combination of mindfulness techniques and virtual reality, the clients become more aware than ever before of their senses, especially of the incredible power of touch, the first sense that the human being develops”, says Patricia Fisas, senior vice president & research and innovation officer at Natura Bissé Group. “Every touch awakens some of the millions of receptors on our skin and triggers the release of oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, known as ‘happy neurochemicals’, related to positive mood and feelings. In addition, the levels of cortisol are reduced, one of the hormones released in response to stress”. As expected, such a luxury experience comes at a rather steep price, which currently stands at a whopping $2.000 for a 150-minute treatment.
“While touchless technologies will never fully replace the hands-on therapies we know and love, they are an efficient and effective method of treatment for clients seeking maximum results in limited time”.Tammy Pahel, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort
Taking the spa experience to the next level with touchless wellness treatments
Located in Miami Beach, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is a luxury boutique hotel that offers a wide range of state-of-the-art wellness facilities, including an award-winning spa that spreads over 6.500 square metres, the largest of its kind on the Eastern Seaboard. Looking to subvert customer expectations and go beyond the traditional spa experience, the hotel recently introduced six new touchless wellness treatments designed to address muscle recovery, PTSD, stress management, and many other health and wellness concerns. Available both in a single session and as a series, the treatments use cutting-edge technologies to unlock various health benefits, including weight loss, rapid recovery, rejuvenation, and relaxation. “Achieving holistic wellbeing is a priority for many people, and our new touchless treatments offer therapeutic healing for the body, mind, and soul beyond what can be accomplished through traditional modalities alone”, explains Tammy Pahel, vice president of spa and wellness operations at the resort. “While touchless technologies will never fully replace the hands-on therapies we know and love, they are an efficient and effective method of treatment for clients seeking maximum results in limited time”. The new treatments include Recharge Wave Mat, which uses electrostimulation and heat to relieve neck, back, and shoulder pain; BallancerPro, a lymphatic drainage suit designed to relax the body, flush the toxins, accelerate recovery, and boost the immune system; Soli-Lite, an LED photobiomodulation system designed to treat skin concerns like acne, wrinkles, dark rings, and ageing skin; Dermashape, a non-invasive lymphatic treatment that improves skin texture and reduces water retention; HIEMT Body Shape, which uses electromagnetic field technology to increase muscle density, reduce fat, and improve muscle tone and clarity; and NuCalm, which uses soothing binaural signal to relax the mind, reduce stress, and improve sleep.
The spa and wellness industry is undergoing a major transformation as the integration of emerging technologies continues to reshape traditional practices. Once defined by the purity of human touch and natural ambience, the industry is now increasingly characterised by a harmonious blend of age-old techniques and cutting-edge innovations. This transformation is not just a fleeting phase but mirrors a larger societal transition towards greater personalisation, efficiency, and the seamless fusion of technology in our daily lives. While some purists may argue that technology could dilute the essence of the spa experience, others see it as an opportunity to enhance and diversify the industry’s offerings. From AI-driven skincare diagnostics to immersive VR sessions, the horizon of possibilities is expanding at a rapid pace. However, as the industry treads this new path, it must strike a balance, ensuring that the soul of the spa experience — human connection — remains intact.