As humanity is increasingly exposed to daily stressors from our highly urbanized lives, there has never been more of a need for a focus on wellness. We explore some of the newest wellness trends in 2020 to help you slow down and keep you happy and healthy.
PLANT MEDICINE – CBD EVERYTHING
We live in a world where chemical human-made prescription medicines and treatments run modern medicine. Have you stopped to consider the alternative? Plant medicine is rapidly gaining attention in 2020, in a bid to heal holistically and naturally.
Cannabidiol (CBD) treatments are being used to treat many ailments such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, pain, inflammation, and even reduce acne. Evidence suggests that CBD can ease symptoms of schizophrenia, seizures, prevent diabetes, and manage side effects of cancer treatments, for example.
So what is the magic ingredient? CBD contains tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Although CBD is not psychoactive, it still delivers the same medicinal goodness as marijuana. Research suggests that THC affects the endocannabinoid system, a regulatory system in humans that consists of naturally occurring molecules acting as neurotransmitters sending messages to the body. Cannabinoids are said to limit the number of neurotransmitters that are released, positively affecting how messages are sent, received, and processed by our cells.
You can find CBD in a range of applications from oils, creams, pills, vapes, and edibles such as drinks, gummies, and even chocolates. Read our CBD Guide for Beginners to learn more!
CITY WELLNESS CENTERS
According to estimations by the UN, by 2050, 68% of people will be living in urban areas. If you are living in a highly urbanized city, wellness centers may be just the solution if you can’t hop on the next flight out for a retreat or detox center.
City wellness centers integrate a range of healing and detox facilities, customized health plans, and modalities to aid people in sustaining a healthy life in the modern-day world. Many of these centers aim to help people slow down, manage stress and anxiety, relax, and ultimately live happier lives. Whether it be spas or relaxation areas, yoga and meditation studios, holistic, alternative, functional, or Western and Eastern medicinal practices, these centers can be a one-stop-shop or specialize in one area.
City wellness centers also offer unique services such as bodywork, energetic and intuitive healing, vibrational healing, immersive and sensory experiences, sound therapy, breathwork, skincare treatments, aromatherapy, and unique treatments such as light, electromagnetic wave, and oxygen therapy, for example. Nutrition and culinary approaches to wellness, Ayurvedic medicine, health coaching, and the presence of integrative medical doctors and skilled practitioners are all aspects of the future of city wellness in urbanized areas.
DNA TESTING – PERSONALIZED MEDICINE
DNA testing has gained popular interest due to the benefits in detecting predisposed illnesses such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. But more interestingly, modern DNA testing can also identify how people are affected by and can better optimize their diets and nutrition, stress, sleep, family planning options, and fitness to better suit their individual DNA characteristics for better health for themselves and their families.
As the cost of these tests becomes more affordable, the science advances, and the technique is simplified; genetic analysis is increasingly becoming a valuable tool to health care and preventative care, allowing a proactive approach to health and wellness.
See also: Biohacking for Beginners
Intermittent Fasting is all the rage when it comes to the multiple benefits it can have on ageing and disease and is increasingly being backed by research as the key to a longer, healthier life.
Research has shown that IF can protect against diabetes and cardiovascular disease, reduce body fat, and reduce blood pressure and inflammation. Research also indicates it can delay the onset and slow the progression of degenerative diseases while allowing cells, tissues, and organs to resist stress and disease linked to ageing.
So how does it work? It’s all in the fat. Fasting causes glycogen reserves to drop, when there is little glycogen left, fat is released into your bloodstream and converted into energy for your body and brain. The key is to fast for 12 – 24 hours to see these effects, most significant changes occur at the 18-hour mark, putting your body in a state of ketosis and allowing you to reap all the health benefits.
The trend around sleep is not only to make it a priority but how to achieve it and optimize it through progressive and modern means to catch all the z’s you can get. Sleep is an essential aspect of health and wellness and hugely valuable to human cognitive and physical function.
Some of the standard modules for sleep efficiency include gear and bedding, the manipulation of light, environment, body temperature, habit, routine or ritual, and good health and lifestyle choices.
Other modern methods include manipulation of air quality and sound frequency, supplementation, and determining your chronotype and circadian rhythm. More technological-based modules include lowering your exposure to electromagnetic frequencies, sleep applications, and pulsed electromagnetic field devices (PEMF), for example.
MINDFUL DIGITAL WELLNESS & DIGITAL DETOXING
Overexposure to digital technology is linked to issues with sleep, stress, burnout, depression, and anxiety. The need to altogether ditch your phone and devices is highly unlikely in this day and age. Instead of deeming our digital lives unhealthy, the trend here is to turn to a more mindful use of our devices. Developing a healthy relationship with your devices and shifting your awareness to your screen time.
Not only can you attend workshops and training programs, track screen time with apps, but you can also make it a point to create rules and conscious choices of when you use and don’t use your phone, even disconnecting from time to time. Many experts suggest the key is to create balance in your digital life.
See also: Top 8 Wellness Apps
The positive impacts of spending time in nature (as highlighted by the Global Wellness Summit in our Wellness Trends for 2019) continue to be a major trend in 2020, as our connection to it is diminished due to our urbanized lifestyles. Research indicates nature to not only have a healing effect on our physical and mental wellbeing, but it is now vital and essential to our health. Indoor lifestyles and behavioral patterns related to urbanization are linked to chronic disease, social isolation, declined emotional wellbeing, anxiety, and unhappiness.
Ecotherapy, also called “green therapy” or” nature therapy,” focuses on the human and nature relationship. Ecotherapy aims to provide balancing and calming effects on our physiology, like lowering blood pressure and slowing breath, as well as improving our mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.
Some applications of ecotherapy include meditation in nature, forest bathing (shinrin-yoku), horticultural therapy, animal-assisted therapy, physical exercise in nature, and ecological restoration and conservation.
As the need to find purpose in the current state of the world becomes important to many people, spiritual wellness is increasing in popularity. Experiences and practices that allow people to connect with themselves on a deeper level are becoming sought out like never before.
Spirituality encompasses the belief that there is a higher power at play, whether you choose religion or other pathways to enlightenment, spirituality is a consciousness enabling people to live more fulfilled lives.
Holistic practices such as shamanism, rebirthing, chakra balance, shadow work, energy healing, and numerology are becoming more and more popular as people are searching for answers and trying to reconnect with parts of themselves.
Ice baths are becoming increasing popular as a wellness tool, as Wim Hof, the Ice Man continues to gain more and more followers around the world with his Wim Hof Method to reboot the immune system. Even celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Madonna have recently taken advantage of the ice bath and its healing properties. However, this trend already began gaining traction with the introduction of cryotherapy, which uses extremely cold temperatures between -110 to -150 degrees Celsius to destroy abnormal tissues, relive muscle pain and headaches and also boost the immune system. In Europe, bathing in cold water as a cure for diseases has long been a “trend” with Kneipp baths (walking or bathing in hot water, followed by a dip in ice cold water) dating all the way back to 1850. Interestingly enough, this trend is making a comeback, and if you’re not already benefitting from taking cold showers, well, then you’re missing out!