As usual, the $4.7 trillion dollar wellness market continues to boom, and this is more than ever reflected in the growing number of holistic, eastern and metaphysical therapies being introduced into spas, including those aimed at mental wellbeing and clarity such as meditation. It’s one thing to offer yoga or mindfulness classes at your spa or practice, but how about incorporating them into your existing treatments?
Some spas are beginning to introduce meditation and affirmation sessions as a small component of their spa and body treatments, such as massage, scrubs and body wraps. These exercises, according to experts, lend themselves perfectly to the treatment and the environment, and further enhance the sense of wellness and relaxation the client is no doubt there to achieve.
One spa specialising in the incorporation of meditation during treatments is Brisbane’s new Kailo medispa.
“It certainly helps with relaxation and we use it in a couple of different ways at Kailo,” says Kailo’s paramedical therapist and trainer Deidre Coleman.
“In our Sacred Ritual treatment, we start with a ritual that invites the person to relax and allow themselves to connect with their inner selves. We use native and seasonal essences to assist with this and ask them to awaken their senses and to let their minds go. Later, during the foot therapy part of the treatment, we do a 20-minute guided meditation that aids with deep relaxation and enables them to focus simply on my voice. Because they are focused on listening, they tend to sink further into the bed and find a new level of relaxation. It may make some people feel like they have a complete service and they walk out feeling more nimble and relaxed than before.”
Kailo also allows the sessions to be ‘customisable’ according to each client’s mood and preferences.
“In every treatment, guests can choose three different types of music – something relaxing, something more upbeat or a guided meditation. This allows us to personalise every guest’s experience to ensure it’s tailored to how they are feeling on that day. Many of us feel different every day,” says Deidre. “Our remedial massage therapists can include personalised therapeutic stretching exercises, depending on the guest’s condition. We are right next door to personal training studio Forme Fitness and we work in close collaboration with them.”
Amy Giuliano is the curator of the meditation and yoga studios at Selph Health; a new health and wellness studio that believes the body must be treated together with the emotional, and stress-proned mind, using yoga and meditation in conjunction with physical therapies like chriropractic.
Amy passionately agrees that meditation is an ideal fit for spa treatments. “Meditation is a natural state for the body, says Amy. “Our bodies need to rejuvenate, rest and repair to allow for more vitality and wellness. When we go to a spa or yoga studio we are already saying yes to this state of rejuvenation. Have you ever found yourself ‘half asleep’ in a facial?”
So what kind of meditation exercises can therapists introduce to their treatments?
“A few deep breaths before a treatment starts will help to shift gears from the daily routine, into the treatment space,” says Amy. “Breath work, sensory awareness and visualisation are great ways for meditation for body treatments:
- Therapists could start a treatment with some gentle breath work, four counts on the inhale and four counts to the exhale. This is great to reduce oxygen consumption for brief moments of quiet and inner peace.
- Visualisation works on the basis that the neurones in our brains interpret imagery as equivalent to real-life action. When we visualise we are envisioning ourselves achieving a goal. So, whatever results you want, you can use detailed mental images of the desired outcome to help feel, see and live the outcome as the treatment is taking place.
- Sensory awareness is when we play with each sense (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, movement) in the body so we have a deeper immersion with the world around us. In practice there can be lovely stimulation for our senses- the smells, the sense of touch, steady rhythm of the breath, teachers voice, textures of the lighting. This simple and repetitive action can lull them into a meditative state.
Therapists and practitioners could use one or a combination of these exercises before, during and after the treatment takes place.”
A medi spa in the US has taken the concept of east meets west one step further, introducing aspects of crystal healing and aromatherapy into their aesthetics treatments, including injectables, bridging the wide gap between medical and holistic.
Orna Fisher, MD and Medical Director of LA’s Illuminate Face & Body Bar, says ““Medical treatments can be intimidating for clients who may be nervous, have skin sensitivity, are stressed, or prone to pain. Anything we can do holistically to lessen these effects and induce calm and contentment is important—and certainly worthwhile.”
Kailo also mirrors this philosophy to a degree, with meditation available to stressed out medi patients. “We offer a guided meditation if a guest would like to have a deep relaxation through their procedure. Listening to a voice in a guided meditation can be extremely calming and relaxing which may help people who are a bit more anxious,” says Deidre.
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