Global Wellness Institute Releases Wellness Trends to Watch in 2017

At the recent Global Wellness Summit (GWS) in Austria, more than 500 wellness experts from 46 nations gathered to debate the future of the $3.7 trillion wellness industry. Following the Summit, the Global Wellness Institute, a research partner of the GWS, released a report titled “8 Wellness Trends for 2017—And Beyond.”

These wellness trends have a “get real” quality (not the “charcoal is the new kale” variety), from architects finally designing buildings for human health to the many new directions ahead in mental wellness, to a wellness industry that will become more democratized, reaching beyond its narrowing association with wealthy elites.

  1. Sauna Reinvented: Something hot and very cool: the reinvention of sauna underway. From theatrical Sauna Aufguss events (with song and dance) to jaw-dropping amphitheater saunas … the future of sweating is spectacular and social.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 …
  4. Art & Creativity Take Center Stage: More art, music, literature, and dance (as experienced and “to do”) will be at the center of more wellness experiences. Yes, adult coloring books—but well beyond: from classical concerts to painting classes at hotels, wellness retreats, spas, and studios.
  5. 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.
  6. The Future is 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

To read the full, 55-page report, click here.

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