The global wellness trends report has been released and we’re sharing the top trends to watch in 2019.
Each year, the Global Wellness Summit (GWI) identifies new trends drawing from the insights of a group of experts ranging from executives, renowned economists, medical and wellness professionals, academics and leaders across all sectors of the wellness industry.
Explore, learn and get inspired with the top wellness trends to watch out for in 2019:
Well Fashion – Way Beyond Athleisure
Buy-and-trash culture is slowly being replaced by a recycle and re-wear approach as more people are choosing clothes that are sustainable, ethical, healing and meaningful—one of the most impactful wellness trends nowadays.
The future will therefore bring innovation in sustainable textiles, with raw materials such as recycled plastic bottles, algae, mushrooms and food waste and new AI and 3D design technologies for on-demand, custom-centered fashion.
Smart, connected and healing clothes with self-regulating fabrics are under way. Get ready for clothes that adapt to different environments and bodily changes – such as heat, cold, or UV rays – antibacterial clothes, collagen-infused clothes that moisturize your body all day or pajamas that help you sleep!
Wellness Takes on Overtourism
With the growth in wealth and international travel too many tourists are overwhelming some destinations – Overtourism is a real issue today because half of all travelers go to just 100 global destinations. Although the positive impact of tourism in local economies cannot be neglected, there is some degree of damage to those destinations – for instance in terms of infrastructure, environment, pollution, noise and garbage production.
How can governments and tourism boards help start spreading travelers to alternative regions and attractions? Since the majority of wellness resorts are located outside crowded cities, developing and promoting wellness destinations can combat Overtourism as well as reduce seasonality and governments are becoming more aware of that.
Meditation Goes Plural
Meditation is expected to evolve from a singular to a plural practice as we better understand the specific types of Meditation and their unique impacts in mental wellness.
While there are different types of meditation, there are three main mechanisms: a) focused attention (clearing the mind of thoughts), b) open monitoring (which includes mindfulness meditation) and c) self-transcending (involving silent mantras).
Each is a different practice, activating different brain waves and leading to different results. As more clinical trials study these core types, more people will understand that different meditation practices can help them reach different goals.
According to GWS, a growing number of doctors are “medicalizing nature” because of the medical evidence for its benefits: from the National Health Service in Scotland, recently rolling out a whole “nature prescription” program to the pioneering Washington, D.C. program started by Dr. Robert Zarr to Dr. Qing Li at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, whose work on the benefits of forest bathing have helped create forest bathing therapy canters in Japan used by 5 million people a year.
The medical evidence for positive impacts derived from nature is wide-ranging, from a study by the European Society of Cardiology finding that a brisk walk outdoors daily for 25 minutes could add at least three years to your life to others finding it helps repair DNA and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and certain cancers.”
Nature is a powerful medicine for our minds too, with studies indicating walks in nature engage the “default mode” brain network associated with stress-reduction and a boost in cognition, creativity and short-term memory.
MediScent: Fragrance Gets a Wellness Makeover
Nowadays, evidence-based studies around scent’s important impact on our physical, cognitive and emotional well-being are being released at a fast pace. Medical trials are under way to test functional scents in homes and offices as alternatives to some pharmaceuticals. As studies show that smell registers in our brains first—before sight, sound or touch—more marketers are employing scent in their marketing tactics.
For instance, scent is being used as zero calories flavoring in drinks, restaurants are creating scent-based menus and some luxury hotels are empowering guests to personalize their room’s aroma from a scent menu.
China – Uncovering the Wealth in Wellness
According to GWI no country will have a bigger impact on the future global wellness economy than China – an economic, political and tech powerhouse and the fastest-growing wellness tourism market.
With a population of 1.4 billion, China’s middle class is expected to grow from 430 million today to 780 million by 2025 while international trips are expected to reach 400 million by 2030 when China will represent 30 percent of the entire international travel market.
China’s health and wellness market is being driven by several factors, including: a) the growth in women’s spending power; b) the fact that so many more Chinese are now seeking their authentic roots and a spiritual purpose in life; c) the country’s health crisis—from an unsupported aging population to growing obesity rates and d) China’s indigenous wellness traditions such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Buddhist and Taoist cuisine.
Nutrition Gets Very Personalized
What foods are right just for us? Not just for weight management but more importantly, to improve our overall health and well-being?
Personalized nutrition is no longer a distant reality as science, medical testing and new technologies work synergistically. The rise of epigenetics—the study of how our genes are shaped by our behavior is expected to grow and personalized nutrition will hit mainstream.
Thankfully, we will be better equipped to understand how we’re burning energy, which foods we should eat and exactly which nutrients our body needs. AI-powered apps, will also let us know what nutrients and calories are available in a given dish, allowing for well informed decisions.
Death is inevitable and research shows that denying death can cause serious mental issues. More people are actively exploring death as a well-being practice and many online platforms, classes and events are meeting the need to just talk about it. More people are exploring alternative wisdom and practices around death from cultures worldwide, whether guided meditations at Zen Buddhist centers or studying the ancient Roman Stoics’ death acceptance techniques.
A “death positive” movement slowly is emerging with a more “well” perspective. From making the dying process more humane to the reinvention of the memorial and funeral. Also, people are exploring out-of-the-box, eco-friendly “burial” options such as biodegradable burial egg-pods where your body/ashes grow the tree you most want to become.
Image credits: Christian Harder
Text credits: Global Wellness Institute