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Thursday 24 May 2018
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25 Jan 2018
Magic mushrooms, transformative travel, wellness kitchens: GWS releases ‘Eight Wellness Trends for 2018’

Experts from the Global Wellness Summit have identified eight future directions in wellness in a new report, ‘Eight Wellness Trends for 2018’.

The report is based on the insight of the more than 600 delegates from more than 40 countries who attended the Global Wellness Summit in October, as well as the perspectives of economists, medical and wellness professionals, academics, and leaders across all sectors of the wellness industry.

“No other trends report is based on the perspectives of so many wellness experts,” said Susie Ellis, GWS chair CEO. “And every one of this year’s trends pushes the health and wellness envelope in unexpected ways.”

The eight trends highlighted in the report are:

1. Mushrooms Emerge from Underground
The GWS suggests that in 2018, more people will explore the unique medicine that mushrooms provide to our brains and bodies.

“Thanks to a surge in rather mind-blowing medical evidence, demonstrating that they reset the brain and shake the ‘snow globe’ on rigid neural patterns, magic mushrooms will emerge from the underground, and could prove better than existing treatments for anxiety, depression and addiction,” the report said.

The GWS also pointed to studies such as tech investor Peter Thiel’s US$20m 2018 European psilocybin trial, as well as to legalisation movements for magic mushrooms in several US states and a trend of microdosing psilocybin as a brain booster.

“This magic mushroom moment bears resemblance to early days in the cannabis wellness trend,” the report said. “Think how lightning-fast attitudes and laws changed there.”

The GWS is also looking at evidence many “regular” mushrooms are magical for health, particularly as stress and inflammation fighters.

“Playing a starring role in Asia’s centuries-old food-as-medicine philosophy, now the functional mushroom trend is becoming a global reality,” the report said. “We’ll see mushrooms – especially “adaptogenic” varietals like reishi, cordyceps, chaga – get infused in everything imaginable: powders, lattes, cocoas, chocolate, broths, oils and teas. And with many mushrooms boasting unique skin-boosting powers, mushroom-infused products will keep invading the beauty aisles.”

2. A New Era of Transformative Wellness Travel
The GWS points to ‘transformational travel’ as the 2018 buzzword, described as “travel that challenges people on a deeply personal level, creating emotion through the powerful medium of storytelling."

“We predict more wellness destinations will use the power of wellness circuits and epic storylines to create a ‘necklace’ of linked wellness experiences rather than the disconnected ‘beads’ of programming, amenities, and itineraries,” the report said.

Destinations like Six Senses Bhutan, where guests journey across five lodges, or Iceland’s Red Mountain Resort, where spa-goers follow the saga of an ancient Icelandic hero are examples of this kind of travel.

“Spa experiences will be reimagined as active, long, nature-roaming journeys – a circuit of hiking, meditation, treatments, and more,” the report said. “More performance, music and art – ‘story’ immersion – will get served up with wellness. The future for wellness travel will be engaging people’s emotions as much as evidence-based healing.”

3. Reframing the First 1,000 Days
Preconception and paternity will enter the health equation, the GWS said.

“We have not recognized that the health and lifestyle choices of both parents during the preconception period – including emotional wellness – can impact their child’s health for a lifetime,” the report said. “This new trend challenges us to look before the traditional 1,000 days of pregnancy and early childhood, and puts sharp focus on the role of epigenetics, the study of how gene expression changes with environmental and lifestyle factors, and that can be inherited. It also examines the father’s role in creating a supportive and healthy environment during pregnancy and after birth.”

The GWS also suggests that wellness treatments and techniques – such as yoga, massage, and mindfulness – will be the first choice to treat babies and children suffering from injury, sleeplessness or pain.

4. The Wellness Kitchen
With more people today wanting to eat healthy, organic food, a new model of “Wellness Kitchen” will store and showcase fresh fruits and vegetables as opposed to processed foods, and new designs and technology will celebrate uncluttered, well-ventilated spaces that are as encouraging of socialising as they are of preparing healthy food, the GWS said.

In this new model, refrigerators will be reimagined to properly store and transparently display fresh fruits and vegetables, and kitchens will have space for gardens and sprouting. Noisy appliances will be a thing of the past. Composting delivery systems and particulate and oxygen sensors will be standard features. And there will be more emphasis on healthy building materials. Because just like the food it contains, the Wellness Kitchen doesn’t merely feed – it nourishes.

5. Getting our “Clean Air Act” Together
As the gravity of toxic air becomes clearer – and disagreements over standards get left on the table by governments – the GWS suggests that we will see people owning their own “clean air acts.”

This can mean filling homes and offices with plants, donning chic air pollution masks, actively monitoring indoor air quality using new sensors and apps, investing in devices that purify the air, adopting pollution-fighting beauty regimes, embracing salt therapy and breathwork training, or choosing “lung-cleansing” travel destinations.

“Significantly, this trend will put more pressure on businesses and governments to take action against the ultra-fine particulates that are dirtying our air,” the report said.

The Spa Handbook also identified personal pollution sensors as one of its 2017-2018 Spa Foresight Trends.

6. Extreme Wellness
Hacking our way to better brains, bodies and overall wellbeing is on the rise, with a surge in brain-optimising nootropics and even private brain optimisation clubs, the report said.

“An age of hyper-personalised, deep-view health and wellness, thanks to tests combining DNA, epigenetic and microbiome testing is on the horizon,” the report said. “In the name of physical and mental wellness, humans are re-wiring themselves to achieve the once impossible.”

The Spa Handbook also identified nootropics as one of its 2017-2018 Spa Foresight Trends.

7. Wellness Meets Happiness
The wellness world needs to put a greater focus on happiness generally – and on driving social connection and technology disconnection specifically, the GWS said.

It pointed to a rise in happiness science, with The World Happiness Report introduced at the UN and the Gallup-Sharecare Well-being Index, which take a global pulse on people’s happiness, as well as mounting evidence that smartphones and social media are creating a rise in depression, anxiety, suicide, addiction and extreme body issues.

“With loneliness as big a killer as smoking, governments will take action, like the UK recently appointing a Minister of Loneliness,” the report said. “In the wellness space, a massive trend is new co-working, co-living and social spaces laser-focused on building well communities in our age of digital isolation and remote work.”

The GWS also suggested that 2018 will be a watershed backlash year against big tech, with more Silicon Valley engineers speaking out – and more medical evidence coming to light – about the effects that 24/7 digital/social media connection has on our brains and happiness.

“In wellness travel, off-the-grid and no WiFi destinations focused on contemplative community and nature will be the most sought after, and explicitly happiness-focused (or joy-for-joy’s sake) wellness approaches will rise.”

The report also suggested that eating for happiness – with menus packed with serotonin-boosting foods like tuna, salmon, nuts, seeds, bananas, green tea, dark chocolate, spinach, blueberries and blackberries – and “happy fitness” that returns exercise to childlike play, laughter yoga and smile asana, will also be on the rise.

8. A New Feminist Wellness
From a surge in women-only, wellness-infused clubs and co-working spaces – to a storm of FemTech “solving” for women’s bodies, the GWS sees a new feminist wellness on the horizon.

The report said: “2017 was a year of attacks on, and fighting back, by women: The US presidential administration threatening women’s rights, the 5-million-strong global Women’s March, Harvey Weinstein, MeToo, the exposure of the Silicon Valley boys club. #Resist and #thefutureisfemale became global movements, and ‘feminism’ was rightly named the word of the year. Of course, the reality is that the woman-dominated wellness world has been steadily solving for women’s bodies and lives for years, creating, in effect, a supplemental, woman-focused healthcare system. With this confluence of forces, we predict new intersections between women’s empowerment, feminism and wellness in 2018.”

This will include more women-only clubs, co-working spaces, and collectives: where women work, network, empower each other, unwind and learn – with wellness on tap, as well as more wellness travel aimed at women’s empowerment, from all-women’s adventure travel to “painmoons” – wellness retreats providing women emotional healing after divorce, breakups, grief, anger and loss of sexual happiness.

“This fourth wave of feminism is galvanising this rush of for-women, by-women wellness,” the report said. “But no matter the future political climate, this trend comes down to one fact: the sheer growth in women’s spending power, because economists agree – the global economic future is female.”

The Spa Handbook also identified menopause as one of its 2017-2018 Spa Foresight Trends.

To read the GWS' full report, click here.


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16 May 2018
Wellness for Cancer hosts second roundtable at Mayo Clinic
Attendees at the second Wellness For Cancer roundtable last week identified steps to take to move the spa industry forward in treating guests who have – or have had – cancer.
15 May 2018
Global Wellness Day 2018 to focus on kids’ wellness
Global Wellness Day – an international celebration offering a range of free health and wellness activities to the public – will be celebrated this year in more than 4,000 locations in 100 countries on 9 June.
15 May 2018
National Fitness Day 2018 to celebrate local 'fitness heroes'
This year's National Fitness Day (NFD) will look to celebrate the most inspiring fitness individuals in communities across the UK.
09 May 2018
Wellness designer Clodagh to speak at GWS
Multi-disciplinary designer Clodagh, whose recent projects include the Six Senses Douro Valley and the reopened Six Senses Kaplankaya, will share her vision for truly integrated wellness design with conference delegates at the Global Wellness Summit in Italy this October.
08 May 2018
London Stadium to host Europe's first ever MLB game in 2019
Major League Baseball (MLB) will be making its European debut next year, when the London Stadium will host two regular season games between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
08 May 2018
Venue plans completed for Tokyo 2020 Olympics
The Tokyo Organising Committee for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOPG), has finalised its plans for the venues for the Games.
08 May 2018
Breaking: Jeremy Hunt to headline ukactive National Summit 2018
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt will be the headline speaker at the ukactive’s National Summit 2018.
03 May 2018
ukactive Awards finalists revealed
The finalists for this year's ukactive Awards have been revealed. The 2018 award categories have been divided into three groups – business excellence, specialist impact and individual achievement – and in total winners will be announced in 11 categories. Replacing the Flame Awards, this year's edition will feature an expanded Leisure Centre Operator of the Year award, which covers any club or centre – from independents, studios and boutiques to budget gyms, local authority centres and clubs that are part of a nationwide chain.
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Diary dates
24 Apr - 26 Nov 2018
MAPIC Russia
Expocentre
Moscow
Russia
23-24 May 2018
SIBEC UK
tbc
tbc
United Kingdom
23-24 May 2018
MAPIC Italy
MiCo Milano Congressi
Milan
Italy
23-24 May 2018
MAPIC Food and Beverage
MiCo Milano Congressi
Milan
Italy
23-25 May 2018
23rd Annual ESPA Congress
Various
Domburg
Netherlands
29 May - 02 Jun 2018
ACSM's 65th Annual Meeting
Various
Minneapolis
United States
30-31 May 2018
Vision for Cardiff Bay & Heritage
The Exchange Hotel
Cardiff
United Kingdom
04-05 Jun 2018
Hotel Summit
Radisson Blu Hotel
Stansted
United Kingdom
04-05 Jun 2018
Professional Beauty Delhi
Pragati Maidan
Delhi
India
05-08 Jun 2018
IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo 2018
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR
06-08 Jun 2018
HI Design Europe: Hotel Interior Design: The Decision Makers' Forum
Andel’s by Vienna House Hotel
Berlin
Germany
07 Jun 2018
Forum HOTel&SPA
Four Seasons Hotel George V
Paris
France
07-08 Jun 2018
ARCHITECT@WORK - France
La Halle Tony Garnier
Lyon
France
07-09 Jun 2018
Ecsite Annual Conference 2018
Natural History Museum of Geneva
Geneva
Switzerland
more diary dates
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