Visiting a spa for the first time can be an intimidating experience, especially if you belong to the male gender. Sadly this has spawned out of the common misconception that spas suit a woman’s lifestyle more aptly than they do a man’s. Evidence, though, is beginning to suggest otherwise.
The International Spa Association has recorded a noticeable trend rise in the UK, when in the US, men represent 47% of the spa market. Compare that to a mere 10% twenty years ago, and one might think spas aren’t as daunting to men as they used to be.
Women have always acted on their desire to feel relaxed and pampered and while just about every spa will allow that, men are perhaps better suited to the benefits not often advertised. To name a few, these include a de-stress from the working week, a detox, or simply relief from lifting too much at the gym.
Once more, the fact spas no longer resemble female-centric palaces furnished with scented candles and tables that leave your legs dangling over the edge is encouraging. Rather, the interiors of spas have taken a more gender-neutral approach. Take the spa at Corinthia, pictured below, as an example of how things have changed.
Though they’re about 5,000 years old, the principles of Ayurvedic healing advocate bodily treatments as a necessity rather than a simple pleasure or a luxury. In fact, spa going is making its way further into the wellness sector, while fewer people visit a spa purely to feel pampered when they come out. Let’s also not neglect to mention that mental ailments such as stress and insomnia often receive better treatments at a spa than they do at a conventional hospital.
It’s also good to note the treatments specifically dedicated to men. Swedish massages, anti-ageing, skin-renewing masks, and facial massages are popular among the male contingent, all of which may come in the form of a gentleman’s pampering package. Furthermore, men-only spas are earning more and more attention. Alfred Dunhill is one of them, deemed ‘the consummate retreat for men.’
For many men, it’s the fear of the unknown. Mark Smith or ‘The Spa Man’, as he is known, has witnessed this first hand. Often seeing other men in spas look ‘completely lost,’ The Spa Man has set about informing, and in some ways placating, the nervous male. Particularly by providing an insight into spas from the male perspective.
For such a relaxing experience, it’s a strange sensation that one should feel so anxious before it. The important thing to remember is that, because of the misconceptions, males are well catered for when it comes to visiting a spa for the first time. Masseurs and therapists and treatment specialists at men’s spas are well versed in introducing newbies to the world of the spa, which is why so many end up going back.