The Future of Wellness

by editor

The Global Wellness Institute has been a research partner of the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) since it was founded. At the last summit in Austria, over 500 wellness experts, from 46 nations in the travel, spa, beauty, fitness, nutrition, technology, medical and architecture worlds gathered to debate the future of the $3.7 trillion wellness industry. And when that happens, you can bet you get a uniquely informed and global view of the trends on the rise. Here’s a taste.

Sauna Reinvented

Something hot and very cool: the reinvention of sauna underway. From theatrical Sauna Aufguss events (with song and dance) to jaw-dropping amphitheatre saunas …the future of sweating is spectacular and social.

Wellness Architecture
Architecture has long been preoccupied with surface aesthetics: “starchitects” designing to wow or shock, but with little attention paid to creating buildings that improve the health of the humans living within. Change is finally here, with everything “built” getting reengineered: from indoor air quality (a killer) to sleep and acoustics.

Silence
In a world of 24/7 connectedness, wellness destinations are embracing a dramatic approach to “turning off” the noise: true silence. “Silent spas” and new (silent, contemplative) “wellness monasteries” are on the rise. And “silent” restaurants, salons, gyms, stores and airports are all being unveiled.

Art & Creativity Take Centre Stage
More art, music, literature and dance (as experienced and “to do”) will be at the centre of more wellness experiences. Yes, adult colouring books – but well beyond: from classical concerts to painting classes at hotels, wellness retreats, spas and studios.

Wellness Remakes Beauty
The massive $1 trillion beauty industry is undergoing seismic shifts to meet the needs of a wellness-oriented population, focused on a “beauty comes from within” – rather than the old superficial, topical – model. The trend to watch in the new wellness-beauty conversation: the rising science of “neuroaesthetics,” exploring the complex, positive connections between the human brain and beauty.

Mental Wellness
Mental wellness will be the biggest future trend, period: from wellness destinations bringing in neuroscientists and psychotherapists – to meditation becoming seriously mainstream, while evolving into new breeds – to apps that track your mental state.

Embracing the C-Word
The wellness world is waking up to the needs of a surprisingly underserved population: cancer patients – with new training initiatives and programming that finally provides comfort and positive recovery paths.

Beyond the Elite “Ghettos” of Wellness
In a world where rising inequality and a sense of “unfairness” is leading to a global, populist backlash, a wellness industry that’s become narrowly associated with wealthy elites (…the $300 yoga pants and treatments) must, and will, change.

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