With COVID still knocking at our doors, touchless treatments gain momentum

In August 2020, the New York Times ran a story about how massage therapists were reimagining ways to “touch” their clients remotely. Some were teaching clients how to do acupressure treatments on themselves via Zoom, and others were offering online stretch classes and meditation sessions.
One thing was certain; clients were missing their regular massage sessions—which, for some, may have been the only consistent wellness practice they had—as we entered month five of the on-again, off-again lockdowns.
The spa world reacted by pivoting to more outdoor treatments and activities and building upon programs they already had in their arsenal but were ready-made for a pandemic, including offerings that focus on wellness through nutrition, fitness, nature, meditation and relaxation. Things like sound baths and energy healing, which don’t require direct contact between a therapist and the guest, stayed on the menu, while private sauna, steam rooms and cold plunges were rented out to solo users or groups in a COVID bubble.
New spa openings in 2021, like the Houstonian’s Trellis Spa (Texas, USA), tout larger and more comprehensive hydrothermal areas inspired by ancient bathing cultures from around the world (the granddaddy of all self-administered wellness) and high-tech touchless therapies, including the detox treatment bed from Gharieni, which uses far-infrared rays to stimulate the body and plasma therapy to revitalize the skin.
Florida’s Carillon Miami was already introducing touchless wellness treatments before the pandemic (Prism Light Pod featured above), but the wellness resort went into high gear, introducing new high-tech and touchless wellness experiences focused on relaxation, sleep, immunity-building, detox, anti-aging and more.
The wellness industry’s leaning in to “touchless” doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon. According to Mindbody’s 2021 Wellness Trend Predictions, “touchless services like cryotherapy, compression therapy, salt caves, infrared saunas, IV drips, hyperbaric chambers and float tanks” will be on the menu and gain in popularity this year as more consumers begin to understand their unique wellness benefits.
Speaking of what’s next in wellness for 2021! The not-to-be-missed 2021 Global Wellness Press Event: Research + Trends is taking place virtually for the first time ever. This means wellness trend enthusiasts from the world over are invited to hear Global Wellness Summit trends forecasters discuss what wellness in 2021 will look like and to gain new insights on the growing mental wellness economy from Global Wellness Institute researchers. Join us on January 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. To attend, please RSVP ASAP.

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