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Professional Beauty South Africa

Top Trends in Hydrothermal Experiences Revealed

Salt therapy, flotation and Kneipp therapy are among the top hydrothermal spa and wellness experiences announced in the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) Hydrothermal Initiative.

In 2019, GWI predicts 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.

As per the GWI report, the popularity of designer salt rooms in spas has soared in recent years – and sexy, pink-hued salt brick walls have become ubiquitous in thermal areas of spas across the world. It continues: “However, one may now expect thermal rooms with or without salt walls to add functional salt systems, such as halogenerators for distributing fine particles of dry salt, or a nebuliser for a steam-style inhalation of salt.

Both enable bathers to reap the actual benefits cleansing salt offers, including better respiratory health and benefits to the skin (including conditions such as acne, rashes and eczema). Devices, such as KLAFS SaltPro X, a portable, battery-operated halogenerator, are helping to bring the benefits of salt to any thermal room.”

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. And, because they can be self-administered (no therapist required), they are growing in popularity.

According to the GWI, 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.

Certain manufacturers have introduced specialist ‘deluge’ showers and waterfalls that are specifically aimed at the spa and wellness market.”

The GWI maintains that while floatation therapy promised to be a big trend in the 1990s, it never quite took off. “However, now seemingly every new hydrothermal project is incorporating a floatation element – from fully enclosed pods, to the more popular open tubs that mitigate any claustrophobic element of floatation, to large scale, multisensory pools that offer flotation, light and underwater sound therapy. An extension of this trend is a resurgence of Watsu pools for therapist-led floatation therapy.”

GWI serves as an umbrella organisation for numerous Initiatives, that are independently chaired and run. For more information about its Hydrothermal Initiative, log on to


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