2015 Global Wellness Summit Recap
Industry News: Recap of Significant Wellness Industry Shifts Identified at The Global Wellness Summit
Mexico City, November 2015
The annual Global Wellness Summit (GWS) took place in Mexico City this past November with over 470 delegates from more than 40 countries. Attendees gathered together to discuss areas of growth in the industry, health and wellness trends, and ultimately to exchange knowledge and ideas in the field of preventative wellness to better address chronic disease and rising health care costs.
With more energy and attention in the field of wellness than ever before, the Summit identified 10 major shifts taking place in the industry:
1. From Cracking the Genome to Cracking the Epigenome
Findings have often been inconclusive when looking at the human genome in connection to ones health (genome is defined by Wikipedia as “the genetic material of an organism” or “an organisms complete set of DNA”). Researchers have hoped that if possible to tap into ones genetic make-up there may be potential to eradicate various strains of disease before they manifest in the body. In recent efforts, experts such as Dr. Deepak Chopra have instead been exploring the epigenome. One’s epigenome “is involved in regulating gene expression, development, tissue differentiations, etc.….” and “unlike the genome which is largely static within an individual, ones epigenome can be dynamically altered by environmental conditions”. Chopra believes that the research already underway to zone in on 20 or so genetic markers (out of 2,400) that have been identified as modifiable will drastically change the course of preventative medicine as we know it. Spa and wellness centers may very soon be built around programs and services that address these modifiable genetic markers….so exciting!
2. From Optional to Mandatory Wellness
Governments have begun recognizing that healthy living cannot simply be expected yet instead must be encouraged and rewarded. Nations around the world are beginning to rally and offer incentives such as wellness tax breaks and reduced insurance rates to further encourage commitments to healthy lifestyle behaviours. We anticipate this more proactive approach will significantly boost commitment levels amongst individuals and workforces.
3. From “In Your Face” to Imperceptible Wellness
Being more in tune with your body and embracing the natural elements within the environment around you is important on many levels. Eliminating toxicity and harmful chemicals and pollutants from your life can greatly benefit your overall wellbeing. Forecasters are predicting more “super-futuristic” living such as buildings designed with sensors that monitor a variety of health indicators such as oxygen, stress and hunger levels.
Being more in tune with your body and embracing the natural elements within the environment around you is important on many levels. Eliminating toxicity and harmful chemicals and pollutants from your life can greatly benefit your overall wellbeing.
4. From Workplace Wellness “Programs” to Total “Cultures” of Wellness at Work
The Global Wellness Institute feels strongly that the concept of workplace wellness as we know it, approached in a “program” type of mentality, will very soon be replaced by a larger movement towards a total “culture” of wellness at work. Findings suggest that too often externally imposed wellness programs are ineffective, lacking in both engagement and retention. The implications of an unhealthy workforce are just too debilitating for corporations and thus companies are now moving towards introducing a variety of internally structured health initiatives. Mandates on increased vacation time, the introduction of healthy workspaces including kitchens, vending machines, child day cares, and fitness centers all on-site are just a few of the offerings rolling out across organizations in the hopes of not only reducing employee healthcare costs yet also attracting and supporting a more health conscious, efficient and effective team.
5. From Medicine vs. Wellness to Truly Integrative Healthcare
The integration of both eastern and western medical practices and traditional and holistic modalities under one umbrella and with a united approach is finally on the rise. We are at long last beginning to see a true shift towards a more comprehensive and complimentary approach to wellness with teams of experts across a variety of fields of studies working together in medical centers and wellness facilities, combining their skill sets to deliver a more well-rounded and proactive approach to both preventative medicine and addressing disease.
6. Medical Technology Breakthroughs
Breakthroughs in medical technology are being presented at rates higher than ever before. One of the notables on the list are something described as “healthcare tracking nanochips” which monitor at least 50 biological functions 24 hours per day/7 days per week. This will make clunky wearables seem prehistoric and help usher in a new era of precision to preventative and personalized medicine.
7. Wellness Homes: Big Growth and Big Premiums for Owners/ Inventors
Development of communities and cities are now being master-planned from the ground up for human health. How exciting?! Not only is this an incredible advancement in the field of health and wellness (and also real estate!), numbers indicate very healthy investment returns: quoted as anywhere between a 5-35% premium on wellness-branded, single -family homes; a 7-10% premium for wellness rentals; and a 15-30% average daily rate premium for hotels.
8. From Superfood and Diet Trend Hysteria of Sane Eating
Experts are suggesting that we may be experiencing a collective global eating disorder. Nutritionists noted that what we eat has changed more in the last 40 years than in the previous 40,000 years. That is an astonishing finding that experts suggest needs to be examined further with a major emphasis on eating for a more stable and sustainable future.
9. Wellness Travel Booming: from Emerging Markets to New Pairings for Wellness
Omer Isvan, a panellist at the summit and also President of Servotel Corp, a boutique consulting firm based in London, summarize the movement in saying: “Wellness will only become a bigger player in the destination resort space, while resorts without wellness and purpose will decline.” Experts and analysts agree, and are predicting it is about to become much more about how the experience of travel alters a person’s perception in their mind, body and soul as opposed to the choice of the destination traveled to in and of itself.
10. From Wellness for the Wealthy Few to the Democratization of Wellness
Concluding the Global Wellness Summit, speaker and author Agapi Stassinopoulos addressed the attendees saying, “It is time to take wellness to the masses. Companies and individuals success will increasingly be measured not by net worth but by net good”.
The Global Wellness Summit, its delegates and attendees serve a very important role in spearheading research and in sharing knowledge that contributes to and positively shapes the future of what is now the 3.4 trillion dollar global wellness industry.
For more information visit www.globalwellnesssummit.com