Smiling African American woman enjoying in sauna.

When people think of spa experiences images of peaceful settings, luxurious surroundings and pampered service come to mind. If you think that restorative trips to the spa are only reserved for ladies who lunch, then think again. Spa services are surprisingly within financial reach of most people, and with a little research, can be more affordable than one might think. According, to research commissioned by the Global Wellness Institute, the global spa market grew from $94 billion in 2013 to $98.6 billion in 2015 and the global wellness economy, which includes alternative medicine, workplace health, preventative medicine and other aspects of personal health and wellness, grew 10.6% in 2013-2015 3.36 trillion to a 3.72 trillion market. With little evidence that the spa market is slowing down, the key to uncovering great deals is to forego the typical trappings that you think your spa experience should entail, and find a professional spa with helpful services that are kind to your wallet.

The great thing is that many spa facilities have changed their marketing and business models to accommodate a broader and more diverse consumer audience. Destination spa resorts and day spas still exist, but the market has expanded to include hour-long, no frills services that are oftentimes performed in modest surroundings with an emphasis on their wellness related services, as opposed to pampering and indulgence. This is not to say that the treatments, themselves, are any less relaxing or effective.

Facilities are popping up all over the country that specialize in these spas, in what’s now commonly marketed as “foot spas,” even though services extend well beyond massaging just the feet. They’re typically known for offering fully-clothed body massages on soft reclining chairs in non-private treatment rooms for as low as $20.00 per hour. Often, for just a slightly higher fee, these same spas offer traditional full body oil massages in private rooms for as low as $30-40 per hour. Why are these foot spas becoming increasingly popular? Price and convenience are two reasons. Another reason is that more and more people are hacking their healthcare by taking it into their own hands, researching alternative treatment options and comparing prices. Whatever the reason, the benefits are indisputable. It’s been clinically proven that massage can dramatically improve emotional and physical health. Massage has been linked to the reduction of stress, anxiety, headaches, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, soft tissue injuries and joint pain. So, if you still think that spa treatments are only special occasion splurges, then simply consider that for the cost of a weekly latte, you could be receiving a well-earned, hour long deep tissue massage. Now, that’s a relaxing thought.