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Hydrothermal Trends 2019

Hydrothermal Trends 2019 by Global Wellness Institute

Salt Therapy for Real Results

In 2019, we predict the use of salt in thermal cabins to soar as spas start putting the health benefits of salt before the aesthetic beauty of pink Himalayan salt blocks. The popularity of designer salt rooms in spas has soared in recent years. Although the backlit bricks may look pretty, functional salt systems, such as halogenerators, for distributing fine particles of dry salt or a nebulizer for a steam-style inhalation of salt, is where the real health benefits lie. Both enable bathers to reap the benefits cleansing salt offers: better respiratory health and benefits to the skin (including acne, rashes and eczema).

Kneipp Therapy Gets a Reboot

Kneipp therapy (named after a 19th-century Bavarian parish priest who discovered this “water cure” for healing his tuberculosis) has long been popular in Europe. Kneipp walks or wading pools are a popular introduction to the health benefits of hot and cold contrast therapy. Bathers alternate walking through hot and cold actions to stimulate blood circulation throughout the body.

Getting Cold Gets Hot

The importance of cooling down after using saunas, steam rooms or hot pools has become better understood in recent years. The evidence around the benefits of hot and cold contrast therapy is mounting and has resulted in a greater interest in treatments, such as snow rooms, snow showers and cold plunge pools.

Coed Thermal Bathing Gains Traction in the United States

After many years of resistance we are seeing the development of exciting and creative unisex wet thermal areas in spas across the US – something most Europeans have long enjoyed. Privacy issues are handled by installing small private areas in coed locker rooms, allowing the main spa areas to be designed and built as social, communal spaces. Younger generations seek out social and group wellness activities and recognize that the unique wellness benefits of social spa-ing far outweigh what they get through single-sex, thermal bathing.

Floatation Therapy in Resurgence

Floatation therapy looked to be big back in the 90s, but it never quite took off. Now, many hydrothermal projects incorporate flotation – from fully enclosed pods to the more popular open tubs that mitigate claustrophobia, to large scale, multisensory pools that offer floatation, light, and underwater sound therapy. An extension of this trend is a resurgence of Watsu pools for therapist-led floatation therapy, which is being sought after by a new generation of spa-goers.

Adding Hydrothermal Wellness Elements at Home

Once the domain of the wealthy, wellness real estate is becoming more democratized with installations of hydrothermal features in more and more private residences. More compact designs mean it’s possible for even the smallest of homes to incorporate the benefits of wellness with a private sauna. In the past, a fitness center and maybe a pool, were considered differentiators, now, they are communal wellness zones.


Hydrothermal Initiative, Global Wellness Institute

Author: Fabiola