Spa Show is a Feast for the Senses

by Beth J. Harpaz

Associated Press

Monday August 18, 2014

Smells good, tastes good, feels good: The International Spa Association's annual industry show was a feast for the senses.

Spas showed products and treatments that seemed good enough to eat - and a few demonstrations actually did involve edibles. Others at the show held last week in Manhattan offered services inspired by indigenous healing rituals and traditions.

The Spa of the Rockies in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, featured skin products from Eminence Organics in creamy pastel colors with ingredients like strawberry rhubarb and pink grapefruit. The Lodge at Woodloch, in Hawley, Pennsylvania, offered a beer-based hand-and-foot scrub, in addition to an actual edible: Tuscan melon gazpacho with Thai basil and blush-tiger tomatoes.

Chocolate's always on the menu at The Spa at The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in the form of chocolate body wraps, facials and scrubs. But at the show, Hershey demonstrated a treatment using chilled Limoges porcelain spoons to soothe puffy eyes.

The Travaasa spa demonstrated handmade sugar scrubs using ingredients like rose petals and lavender, grown on the spa's urban farm in Austin, Texas. Massage Envy Spas, a chain of day spas that just opened its 1,000th franchise in Philadelphia, also showed off a sugar scrub used in foot therapy.

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, demonstrated vegetarian stir-fry cooking to promote its Healthy Living Program. The program offers a class trip to a restaurant to teach participants how to order healthy menu items.

Hilton Head Health, on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is also focusing on wellness, adding that to the center's original focus on weight loss. At the spa show, representatives demonstrated muscle therapy using small balls rolled on feet, shoulders and other trigger points.

Omni Hotels & Resorts also demonstrated massage for hands and feet, using warm, smooth black stones.

Several spas featured services inspired by indigenous or spiritual traditions. Aspira The Spa in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, uses lake water, fresh cedar and other ingredients grown on-site in massages and other treatments. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group's Will Schneider demonstrated a meditation program designed to teach mindfulness and how to slow the body down. And the Sedona, Arizona spa Mii amo offered the Native American-inspired Hozhooji ritual, in which blessings are sought as tobacco is placed in a small pouch.

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