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BUILDING BACK As we finally emerge from the pandemic and in the wake of the war, the world has never needed the spa industry as much as it does now. Are you ready to step up to release the trauma?


he build back is well underway and the lockdowns should be behind us now. Being in the process of COVID recovery myself, it doesn’t feel like the pandemic is in the rear view mirror yet, but hopefully it soon will be. However, the joy of seeing the light at the end of the interminable tunnel has been dealt a deadly blow by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Many spa and hospitality giants will now have tough choices to make about businesses in operation in Russia and their development pipelines. Will they follow the lead of many retailers – such as McDonald’s and Starbucks – by closing their Russian sites, in keeping with the economic sanctions? Russian oligarchs have been flexing their spending power for a couple of decades, will spas keep accepting their money? The spa industry prides itself on being ethical and now is the time to lead the way. In quick succession, the world has suffered two traumas and as Anna Bjurstam says in our feature on longevity, there is nothing more ageing than trauma. Human beings are resilient, but traumatic experiences leave their mark in so many ways beyond anxiety and depression, including the capacity to experience joy and

intimacy, our immunity, weight, motivation and ability to concentrate and sleep. As much as half of the the global population is now suffering from sleep issues. Most of the developed world has an obesity crisis, mental health is at epidemic levels, people are resigning from their jobs in the Great Resignation. Inflation and energy costs are rising, even people who didn’t use to have financial or mental health problems have experienced them since COVID and war came along. The spa industry is uniquely positioned to help. So it’s important for therapists to be trained up in all the latest protocols which can release trauma and rewire the brain: trauma specific yoga and Tai Chi, Qi Gong, as well as the highly effective Eye Movement Desensitisation and Processing (EMDR) and neurofeedback. The world really needs spa now and as an industry it’s important to broaden the reach as wide as possible, make the entry barriers as low as they can be and utilise online resources so more people than ever before can benefit. Kath Hudson, editor, Spa Business Handbook ■ @kath_hudson

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