The Evolution of the Spa Experience…

Andrea Hausold - May 25, 2009
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For the last twenty years the main mantra for the spa consumer has been "make me beautiful”. Spas were places to be spoiled, pampered and indulged. Beauty treatments dominated the spa experience and women became “Queen for the day”. Spa services ranged from body massages and facial treatments to pedicures and manicures. More advanced in their applications, these same treatments still exist today. What has changed dramatically is the consumer mindset and expectation of the spa experience. Savvy, wiser, and armed with internet knowledge, the spa goer has become the wellness consumer. Their new mantra is “Give me something more!

Relax Me

Inspire Me

Heal Me

Revitalize Me

Restore Me

Soothe Me

And oh yeah…please educate me too, because I want to take this experience home with me.”

The New Dawning of Wellness Culture…

Restore, refuel and refresh. Functioning at optimum levels for longevity is the new dawning of wellness culture. The key drivers of wellness culture are everlasting beauty & longevity, energy & stress management and preventative health, & wellness. Just go to your local book store and observe the plethora of book titles on:





Where will the savvy wellness consumer go to learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle? The smart wellness enterprise will answer the call and offer an integrated approach to the wellness experience by catering to the “individual” in an innovative and customized fashion. The “individual” takes center stage as the health sciences reveal no one treatment modality fits all. The new wellness consumer will seek to enhance and improve their personal wellness lifestyle through blending a variety of wellness applications and healing modalities such as:

  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Detoxifying Body Scrubs
  • Cooking lessons and Nutritional Counseling
  • Stress Management and Reduction Therapies
  • Aromatherapy
  • Reflexology
  • Life Coaching

“Don’t forget I want to be pampered too with the most unique, authentic, exotic, natural, organic and eco conscious personal care products available. That’s right…Give me something more!”

The Cultural Cocktail – Integrating & Blending

How do you create wellness culture? Wellness culture in today’s experience economy is reflected through our “global community” which is becoming more blended every day. The traditional Swedish massage is just one of the many types of massages one can enjoy in the 21st century spa. Today you can enjoy a cornucopia of “indigenous treatments” highlighting unique local ingredients and therapeutic traditions. Take a trip to the Southwest of the U.S. and check into the Arizona Biltmore Hotel to experience a “Cactus Flower Wrap” using prickly pear cactus extract to soften your skin or a Sedona Mud Wrap using local mud to detoxify your body and nourish your skin. What is your fancy? Shall it be a Finnish Sauna, a Greek Herbal Bath or a Japanese Salt Steam Bath? How about Thalassotherapy (a Greek word for the sea and refers to variety of treatments that use seawater and seaweed, each designed to tone and revitalize the body and in many cases improving circulation)? You can travel to experience these creative therapies or just head over to your local Day Spa. Wellness Culture crosses all socio-economic borders. Hot Stone Therapy, Ayurveda, and Thai Massage are now commonly offered on the Day Spa menu and all have been inspired by ancient cultures across the globe.


With advances in health science, consumers now reject the “sickness model” dominating the last century and are embracing healthy lifestyle and preventive personal care through integrated wellness modalities. Creating your own individualized health map is the next wave of wellness culture. The holistic approach to beauty, health and wellness respects the whole person and acknowledges the trinity of mind, body and spirit. The spa and wellness purveyors of today are now facilitators of healthy lifestyle and well being.

As more research fuels the integrative approach to health and wellness and we learn more about bio-individuality and personal gene therapy, we will enter the age of World Wise Wellness. A world where spas outnumber hospitals and wellness trumps disease. This may be too much to expect just yet, but not too much to ask. Give us something more!

The Day Spa Association (DSA) is a professional membership-based trade organization founded in 1991. The focus is to serve as the primary business resource for day spa professionals through educational seminars and workshops, research studies, publications and Internet informational exchanges.

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