The professional spa industry has seen much change over the years, some good and some bad. One good change has been consistent growth in the wellness sector — particularly in clubs. While the term “wellness” can be broad, specific spa treatments are growing in popularity and profitability for fitness facilities, depending on the facility's demographic location, market type and size. That's why some facilities have been reconsidering their spa menus, a process that can increase the overall success of that area of your facility. In fact, some clubs report that the changes made to their spa increased the size of their membership base. That being said, what are some of the more popular offerings?

  1. Contouring

    Let's face it, most of your members are fighting off that last 10 pounds in some area whether it be their inner thighs, gluts, tummies or sagging upper arms. When combined with personal training and nutritional counseling, a variety of spa treatments can provide for further toning, decreased overall size of a targeted area, increased detoxification and metabolic functioning. Some of the most popular contouring therapies include ultrasound, Endermologie, Lypossage and various forms of manipulation of the areas to be toned with intense massage techniques. Often, hydrotherapy, thalassotherapy (using sea water and sea products), walking pools, pressotherapy and body wrapping are also used to create a complete package for the client. A series of services is essentially required to see measurable results as is the prescription of home care to be maintained between professional visits at the spa.

  2. Anti-aging and esthetics

    While facials have always ranked as the second most popular therapy offered at spas, consumers are becoming more specific about the type of esthetic service they prefer. Among the most popular are enzymatic and chemical resurfacing, microdermabrasion, and non-ablative skin rejuvenation to refine pores, reduce age spots and stimulate the underlying layer of elastin and collagen for a more fresh, taut appearance. Multi-layer masquing for deep hydration, nourishing and cleansing are still favorites, but more and more consumers are searching for results-oriented therapies that work.

  3. Energetic healing

    Only a few years ago services such as guided imagery, acupuncture, gem stone therapy and pranic practice were not accepted by the general population, but all of that has changed. In fact, some spas now include chakra balancing in the form of aura reading, gemstone bars and intuitive counseling to help individuals reconnect with their chi or better understand their Jungian archetype. While Canyon Ranch found tarot reading to be unpopular just a few years ago, more and more spas are offering intuitive readings and more neutral counseling like angel card readings and personal coaching to encourage clients to work on their lifestyle goals and chi.

  4. Massage

    Massage is overwhelmingly the number one treatment offered at fitness facilities. Sports massage is clearly one of the favorites on the massage list alongside deep-tissue massage and hot stone massage. A new trend, however, is fusion massage. This allows the practitioner time to evaluate clients before their first massage to assess the specific bodywork that would most compliment their needs. Without a doubt, more in-depth intake encourages regular appointments, purchase of massage visits as a series and most importantly, the client sees results that probably wouldn't occur during a typical one-hour massage.

  5. Alternative care

    One common denominator among spas today is that they are being forced into specialization. For club spas the most popular specialties are holistic combinations such as acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, advanced aromatherapy and nutritional programming. Involving the body, mind and spirit is no longer a simple catch phrase; it is an expectation among spa goers and health addicts alike.

No matter how you approach the call to spa in your club, one thing is for certain — this is no longer a venue to ignore or misplace within your facility. Create the opportunity for growth and expansion with your members by establishing a healthy terrain for esthetics, wellness and body therapies. Allow your members to achieve their personal best beyond fitness, and watch that energy pour over into your financial and business game plan.


Melinda Minton is a spa consultant and a certified massage therapist, esthetician and cosmetologist with a MBA in marketing. A past spa owner, she founded The Spa Association, which is dedicated to enriching the industry through self-regulation, education and sound business practices and The Spa Foundation, a non-profit organization. In 2004, she launched Spa Secure, an international licensing program for salons, spas, medical spas and wellness centers.