The dynamics and toxicity of the world we live in place the concern for people’s physical, spiritual and emotional health as one of their priorities today. This year the accent is on therapies and procedures that focus on the lost connection with nature and previously overlooked areas of the body, as well as practices that stimulate profound transformations in people's lives.
Here are some of the latest trends in the wellness industry for 2020:
For this type of outdoor therapy you do not need warm climate or swimwear. In fact, all you really have to do is take off your shoes and socks. The big new mindfulness movement for 2020, forest bathing derives from Japanese culture, where it is called shinrin-yoku. Directly translated, this simply means to ‘take in the forest atmosphere'. Turn off your phone, take yourself off to the woods, and take it all in. Forest bathing encourages us to focus on our senses (including the act of walking barefoot), and to enjoy simple pleasures. The craze has been found to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and is hailed as a brilliantly simple yet effective act of self-care. And if you need any further proof it’s going to be a hit, just remember that forest bathing has been given the royal seal of approval: the Duchess of Cambridge is already a fan, and co-designed her Chelsea Flower Show garden with shinrin-yoku in mind this year.
Part of the practice of auriculotherapy involving ear seeds is rooted in Chinese medicine. The traditional technique was taken by a French neurologist in the 1950s and has since gradually entered the Western culture. Ear seeds are used by acupuncturists to stimulate areas in the ear that are thought to have a therapeutic effect on the body. To do this, the specialist places the small seeds at different points on your ear. They look like little beads and can be very pretty, almost like mini earrings.
According to experts in the field, treatments that affect both the body and the mind will continue to gain popularity. The absolute embodiment of this synthesis is undoubtedly the hypnotherapy massage. It is both a physical and mental experience that soothes your muscles and releases physical tension, leaving you with a sense of ease, positive charge and good energy. It uses flowing techniques and deep pressures that are choreographed in time with the rhythm of a meditative voice recording.
Sound massage is also gaining popularity in wellness culture. This is a new phenomenon based on ancient knowledge related to the positive effects of sound. During the treatment, the special sound bowls are placed on parts of the body and touched so that they vibrate at different frequencies. This leads to a reduction in stress and tension and a redirection of energy in the body. The advent of sound massage shows that the wellness industry is becoming more spiritual, and that people are responsible for their own transformation and are seeking a lasting change in their lives.
Keeping your pelvic floor healthy and tight is the focus of an entirely new type of wellness trend for 2020. Kerone Throne is designed to empower women to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles with minimal effort and aims to remove the taboo around the subject. It uses HIFEM technology, in which one session of 28 minutes equals doing 11,000 of Kegel exercises.
Our obsession with nail art and all things shellac is about to undergo a clean makeover in 2020, as the popularity of non-toxic manicures continues to grow. When you enter a traditional manicure salon, you are usually struck by the strong smell of acetone and chemicals. This is not a healthy or relaxing environment, neither for the client nor for the person who takes care of your nails. More and more people are choosing to lead an environmentally friendly and sustainable lifestyle and this non-toxic manicure option is sure to be well received by women. The non-toxic manicure, which eliminates up to 15 of the most harmful ingredients in traditional nail polishes, is especially attractive to pregnant women and those undergoing certain medical treatments.
AI skin technology
The fourth quarter of 2019 saw many brands dabbling in AI skin technology, from Vichy to La Roche Posay, which has developed its own wearable tech piece named My Skin Track UV. The device measures the wearer’s personal exposure to UV, pollution, heat, humidity and pollen, and is connected to an app to help you take care of your skin. Other at-home technology includes online systems such as Olay’s Skin Advisor, and apps such as TroveSkin, both of which allow users to capture images of their skin in order to get to the bottom of any issues, before suggesting which course of action to take next.
Stepping away from the traditional spa/gym sauna set-up we know and love, the infrared sauna is relatively affordable and convenient for those with busy schedules. Designed to help decrease stress levels, detoxing infrared saunas will only become more popular this year, wellness experts say. The main difference between a traditional sauna and an infrared sauna is that you are literally being heated from within. This in turn stimulates collagen production, releases endorphins and helps to reset your sleep patterns.
In 2019, the focus was on breathing. Whether it is through yoga practice or meditation, we have learned the importance of doing it right. This year we are focusing on the lungs and air quality. Basically, like clean eating, clean breathing means filtering out what we take in our bodies. It is related to air quality. We need air that is free of pollution. Benefits include a reduced risk of stroke, heart attacks and asthma attacks, as well as increased concentration, good relaxation and radiant skin.
A blue mind
In keeping with this year’s wellness odes to nature, breathing and the senses, the blue mind trend will see us taking comfort in water. The charge to protect our oceans in recent years has allowed us to appreciate their importance, both on a global scale and in terms of our own health and sense of calm. Being by the water, be that swimming, surfing, sailing or just sitting by a lake or the ocean, can help to reduce stress in our busy lives. And the colour of water? All you have to do is look at Pantone’s colour of the year (Classic Blue) to understand its reliably soothing nature in full.