The recent Global Wellness Summit (Nov. 8-11, 2020) brought together top future-forecasters to discuss how the pandemic is changing the traditional wellness concept –and what they predict will be the new wellness trends for 2021.
Photo Credits: Anantara
1) A new convergence between healthcare and wellness
The panel discussed how COVID-19 has shined a hard spotlight on the importance of preventive lifestyle strategies, and how such things may depend on a new alignment between wellness and healthcare. The pandemic has provided irrefutable evidence that healthcare needs to shift dramatically from profiting to prevention. It is forecasted that new combinations of functional and conventional medicines will emerge that blend community and economic lines, with telemedicine and tele-wellness playing a much more substantive role.
2) Strengthening the immune system
It was predicted that strengthening the immune system, and building physical fortitude, will be a major 2021 wellness trend, from food to supplements, to educational classes. When people feel comfortable with bodywork again, there will be more immunity-enhancing treatments and energy healing–There will also be a much stronger focus on gut health as it pertains to immunity and brain function.
3) An “un-tabooing”: wellness will discuss complex subjects– sex, money, and death
It was discussed how wellness is evolving from a ‘feel good” industry to one whose subjects now include sex, money, and death. There will be a rise of new, healthier end-of-life practices such as death doulas to getting more focused about money with new financial therapy/wellness approaches.
As regards sexual wellness, the prediction is that femtech investment and alternative ways of solving for women’s health needs would surge in 2021: whether they be pelvic floor trainers, supplements, pre-menopause through post-menopause solutions, or women bidding farewell to the pill and seeking alternative forms of birth control.
4) The nurture of nature
The many experts at the Global Wellness Summit agreed that in an era of COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing, there is a profound new value being placed on the value of nature and wilderness as healing strategies. Slower, human-powered travel (cycling, hiking, walking, paddling trips) is growing quickly, not only because they’re natural wellness experiences, but because they can also be socially distanced activities. There is also sustainable travel, and regenerative travel, both not just reducing the carbon footprint, but actually leaving the place better than it was originally found.
5) Home wellness
COVID-19 is bringing wellness into homes: saying goodbye to sealed, air-conditioned residences and opening windows, eating outside, and feeling the air encircle and promote wellness. Wellness architecture will both surge and evolve, with important work being done on how the built environment and our communities impact our long-term health, citing the pioneering research of Centric Lab, a neuroscience lab that examines the biological response to a particular environment. It was suggested there will also be a burst of tech innovation around hygienic, pathogen-fighting homes, to create “pandemic-proof properties.” In a similar way, the Carlo Ratti wardrobe purifier which removes micro-organisms, bacteria, and viruses from clothes.
6) Beauty: from anti-microbial products to at-home beauty
Finally, products that can reduce fears around hygiene will grow, with innovative new antimicrobial as will antibacterial beauty formulations that provide safe, touch-free application processes and packaging. Spa professionals, nutritionists and personal trainers all have a unique opportunity to enhance the at-home experience for customers, with virtual classes and digital content to maintain engagement.
It could be argued that all these trends have been conceptualized due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this argument has some validity. A paradigm shift, historically, occurs when either a traumatic or at least an unexpected event
Photo Credits: Anantara Villa Padierna Palace