Sound vibrations, warm seashells and a "digital detox" that involves surrendering your cellphone were among the healing and de-stressing techniques on display at this year’s International Spa Association expo last week in New York.
Products large and small for home use were also a theme, from a disposable heated face mask to a lounge chair.
Lounge chair. The comfy, curvy Soltec Lounge wouldn’t look out of place in your living room but it’s not just for casually putting your feet up. It delivers soothing magnetic vibrations while you listen to a soundtrack of chants, drums and more. Lie back with headphones and an eye pillow and the world with all its troubles fades away. The item can be purchased for home use for $3,200 but you can check it out at Spa Gregorie’s in Newport Beach, California, with additional installations at other spas expected in the near future.
Singing bowls. A different approach to using sound vibration – less high-tech and more about ancient rituals – is offered by Eastern Vibration. The Florida-based company imports singing bowls from Nepal that emit a humming tone when struck with a gong. The bowls have traditionally been used in Eastern meditation practices. The company sells its 7-inch bowls for $105 for home use, but it’s also developed a one-hour treatment for spas that involves using the vibrating bowls over and on the body.
Digital detox. Posting, swiping, texting, tweeting – that’s no way to relax! So the folks at Mandarin Oriental hotels are going to politely request that you hand over your cellphone for its "Digital Detox," rolling out to all Mandarin spas beginning Sept. 5. When you’re phone-less, you’ll decompress with quiet, mindful activities such as journaling, coloring and yoga. You can also sign up for an 80-minute treatment that includes an aromatic bath and massage.
The grandfathers. Native Americans called them the "grandfathers": smooth dark stones gathered from Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin. They’re used in hot stone massages at Aspira The Spa, including a reflexology foot massage where the stones are placed between the toes.
Tribal inspiration. The Spa Ssakwa’q’n is run by the Coeur d’Alene tribe in Worley, Idaho, as part of the tribe’s casino-resort, just south of the city of Coeur d’Alene. The spa’s signature treatment is the "Coeur d’Alene experience," with treatments inspired by tribal culture. Instead of a sweat lodge, there’s a sauna; instead of red clay body paint, there are skin exfoliation treatments. A heady blend of aromatic indigenous plants like cedar, sweetgrass and huckleberry infuses various products.
Self-heating mask. A new product from Chaleur Beauty will soon be available for retail purchase for home use, but it’s also being marketed to the spa world. It’s a disposable self-heating facial mask, $8, designed for use with skin creams activated by the heat. You can use the mask for 10 to 40 minutes.
Warm seashells. Heated seashells are placed on your body as part of a skin moisture treatment from Kohler Waters Spa, which has locations in Kohler, Wisconsin; Burr Ridge, Illinois; and at the Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland. Kohler specializes in water therapy, and the "All Things Scotland" experience, inspired by the North Sea, also includes a seaweed wrap, sea salt exfoliation and warm rinse under a custom shower.
Fitness in style. Here’s the thing about home fitness equipment: It’s ugly. But not Technogym equipment. The company’s elliptical-style Cross Personal trainer is sleek and stylish with a built-in screen console offering various digital and entertainment options. It’s designed by Antonio Citterio, an Italian designer whose resume includes work for Hermes. The company is sending 1,200 pieces of equipment to the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil. Technogym products are found in spas and gyms at places like the Four Seasons. Or if you have $11,000 to spare, you can buy a Cross Personal for home.