Professional Insight on Popular Treatment Add-Ons & Enhancements

Beautiful young woman getting hot stone massage in spa salon, top view
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What are your favorite wellness enhancements?

Laura Conroy, director of education at THE WELL: My favorite body enhancements this time of year are dry brushing and LightStim LED. Many people suffer from dry skin in the colder months, and dry brushing daily helps slough off dead skin and aid in lymphatic circulation, which in turn helps support immunity. It also stimulates oil glands to combat dry skin. In treatments, it feels amazing, softens skin and promotes circulation. LED for the body contains infrared light, which is great for pain relief and inflammation reduction—plus it’s calming and soothing. Adding LED to bodywork is like icing on the cake because it works on a cellular level and can further enhance the work the therapist did in one area while they continue to work elsewhere.

Renee Sison, esthetician and Vagaro product marketing manager: My favorite wellness add-ons for clients are hot stones and Himalayan stones. These not only introduce an extra layer of relaxation and relief, but they also bring numerous benefits to the overall massage experience. Particularly for spas equipped with an infrared sauna, offering a 15- to 30-minute session before the massage is an excellent method for reparing and loosening up guests’ muscles, contributing to a more profoundly relaxing service.

Jeff St. Peters, senior product development manager of Universal Companies: A popular choice is silicone cupping, which involves gliding cups along muscles to relax the nervous system and improve circulation without the risk of bruising. Ayurvedic tools like kansa wands, copper exfoliation mitts and gua sha tools offer natural healing benefits during massages or body services. Additionally, heated stones, including self-heating stones and versatile soapstones, provide warmth and ease muscle tension. Kinesiology taping, when used in conjunction with analgesic products, can reduce pain, improve circulation and promote better posture and mobility.

Tara Grodjesk, president of TARA Spa Therapy and VP of Earthlite Spa and Wellness Products: Many resort spas offer core enhancement options like hydrating facial sheet masks, revitalizing hair and scalp massages, hand and foot treatments, skin smoothing body butter and light therapy.

Sherrie Tennessee, MBA, CHE, doctoral candidate and director of education for SpaSOS: I prefer technology experiences, including red light therapy and a zero-gravity table experience pre- or post-treatment, that enrich the guest experience.

Lindsay Owen, Woodhouse Spa ambassador and esthetician: One of my favorite enhancements is our hydrating neck treatment. It includes a hydrating mask and gua sha to reduce signs of aging while toning the neck—the perfect complement to any of our facials.

Lindsay Vitale, senior director of partnerships for HealthyLine: Far infrared (FIR) heat therapy and pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy have emerged as sought-after options for their potential healing benefits, seamlessly blending ancient wisdom with cutting-edge technology. Spas can combine these advanced modalities with traditional services, creating a comprehensive and personalized wellness experience. The marriage of FIR and PEMF within the spa environment provides a unique and effective path to holistic well-being.

Related: How Add-On Treatments Add to Your Bottom Line

How do you get buy-in from guests?

Conroy: The best way to get buy-in is to listen to guests’ main concerns and goals for the treatment, and then educate them about why my recommendation would be beneficial. If you come from a genuine place of care and compassion for the guest and offer them something personalized that they both want and need, they will trust that what you're suggesting will benefit them.

Sison: It’s all about genuinely and authentically educating the customer. It also needs to be consistent and doesn’t necessarily have to happen all at once. Consistently sharing informative social posts and other proactive communications about the advantages of wellness add-ons can be instrumental in educating clients about their value. Moreover, a pre-service questionnaire where they can articulate concerns related to their body, pain points, injuries, etc., helps guide consultations. This approach makes recommending add-ons a more natural, authentic and gentle sales process. Leveraging software within your online booking system to prompt customers to include add-ons independently can expedite the process, while the automatic distribution of pre-visit forms before appointments further streamlines the experience.

St. Peters: You want to go beyond a simple purchase and truly understand your guests' needs. In a spa, you have multiple opportunities to connect with clients, from reservations and front desk interactions to support staff and service providers. Front-line staff can subtly introduce additional options to pique their interest; for practitioners, conducting a thorough consultation helps uncover client needs and goals, often revealing opportunities to enhance their experience. The key is to make these suggestions feel natural and focused on enhancing the overall experience, rather than a pushy sales pitch.

Tennessee: Explain the benefits of the add-ons and allow guests to experience wellness technology firsthand, similar to a test drive. Clients can appreciate the advantages and develop a genuine interest in your offerings. Let the experience sell itself over time.

Owen: When suggesting a facial enhancement, it is most important to perform a thorough consultation and really listen to the guests’ specific skin care goals. They are more likely to buy in when you are giving them an individualized solution to their concerns.

Which enhancements go well together?

Tammy Pahel, vice president of spa & wellness operations at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort: Rather than limiting guests to pairing two specific options, we typically recommend adding treatments that don’t necessarily pinpoint one specific problem area, such as red light therapy or cryotherapy. Red light therapy is beneficial to overall skin health and mental well-being, while cryotherapy can be instrumental for pain management, reducing fatigue and more; both enhance the health of our guests.

Conroy: I love to combine dry brushing and LED with lymphatic drainage. Dry brushing and lymphatic drainage work hand in hand to support healthy lymphatic circulation. LED also stimulates circulation on the cellular level and is very complementary to the other two modalities. The three together leave guests feeling relaxed, revived and repaired.

Sison: Hot stones, aromatherapy, cupping and scalp treatments pair well with massage. Any facial involving dermaplaning is a great opportunity for exfoliation and deeper penetration of complementary products.

Owen: The colder months are the perfect time to pair a gentle peel alongside a microdermabrasion treatment. .Eye and lip treatments also go well together, as most people need more hydration in there. Our guests love HydraFacials, and their eye and lip perk enhancement is a great option that targets the delicate skin around those areas.

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