August 22, 2007 As our lives become increasingly busy and stressful people are always on the look out for new ways to relax and find alternatives to drug therapy and conventional Western medicine. The result has been an increase in the number of people engaging in complementary and alternative medicine, which has in turn created a multi-million dollar industry for technologies aimed at delivering personal therapy and relaxation.
Once the realm of ‘new age hippies’, alternative therapies have become widely accepted in the mainstream and taken on a more technological approach. A new report titled Personal Therapy Sensory Devices: Americans Get Their Electronic Om On estimated that sales in the area of personal therapy sensory devices will reach US$1.2 billion by 2011. This is a far cry from simply selling incense and bath salts.
Personal therapy sensory devices come in all shapes, sizes and purposes and are constantly evolving into more advanced gadgets. The report found that massagers, air quality devices, and sound therapy products led the charge in 2006, accounting for US$934 million of 2006's estimated US$1 billion in sales, but it was the light and color therapy devices category that showed the most improvement, brightening the segment with estimated growth of 12% to US$26 million.
Light therapy is one of the newest tools engaged by frequent travelers to combat jetlag since the Litebook Company produced the world’s first handheld light therapy devices. By emitting an array of tiny white light emitting diodes (LEDs) the Litebook offers light therapy for jetlag, winter blues, fatigue, bulimia, and PMS.
According to Tatjana Meerman, the publisher of the report, "Consumers want personal appliances that are convenient to use, easy to clean, stylish, maintain a healthy personal equilibrium, offer an invigorating environment for the senses and, most importantly, feel good."
Meerman predicts the sector to continue to grow, pondering that "the stars are aligning for the personal therapy sensory devices category to explode with supernova magnitude."
It seems that light and color therapy will keep leading the market whilst sales of aromatherapy and sound devices will continue to slump. This marks a move away from traditional alternative therapies and into a more advanced, technological age of personal products aimed to soother and relax.