Why the New Focus on Wellness?
The briefest internet search or cursory glance through most magazines will reveal that wellness is a huge and hot topic. From new forms of yoga to the latest probiotics, people in industrialized nations are immensely interested in physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. They’re steadfastly dedicating themselves to healthy lifestyles and self-improvement.
As put forth by a Trendwatching presentation, wellness is increasing in popularity for two big reasons. The first is self-actualization. People who have the means are taking their wellness, including their health and spiritual growth, into their own hands. They are not content to wait for the medical and scientific establishment or large corporations to present new offerings and opportunities. Rather, they are using their disposable income to seek out wellness methods for themselves.
The second factor in the growth of wellness is technology. Now that instantaneous real time global communication is commonplace and smartphones are ubiquitous, a whole host of wellness experts, gurus, specialists, and providers can reach a wide audience – and marketplace.
Home healthcare devices ranging from specialized pillows to ovulation thermometers are readily available from Amazon or other websites. There are dozens of meditation apps for every type of smartphone. Supplements can be ordered on the internet with next-day delivery. Technology has greatly facilitated both the range of wellness offerings and the ease of access.
Women in the Lead
Women largely stand at the forefront of this wellness revolution. Now that society has begun the process of accepting women as equals to men, women are uniquely positioned to hold the reins of the wellness movement due to two main factors.
The first is that, despite some gains, many women still feel dissatisfied with their place in society. This leads to stress and discontentment. In fact, a 2014 article noted that women in Israel reported more stress and fatigue at work compared to men. The women surveyed responded that they experienced less job security along with lower wages than men.
However, women are making rapid gains in the technology industry. More and more women are graduating with degrees in computer science and related fields. As noted in a The Next Web article, these women then often go on to create new websites, apps, and products related to wellness.
The other reason women are leading in wellness trends is that they are often the gatekeepers of health in the home. In the majority of families, women are the ones making decisions regarding meals, doctor’s visits, and preventative health measures. This means women represent the majority of health and wellness product consumers.
Big Wellness Trends
Among the many recent wellness trends, a few stand out. One of these is awareness of carbohydrate intake and sugar detoxing. Most people in industrialized nations consume large amounts of simple sugars in the form of grains, sweets, and pastas. This has helped contribute to an epidemic of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. More and more resources are appearing daily to offer help with monitoring and alternatives to massive carb intakes.
Another huge trend is oocyte cryopreservation or egg freezing. First provided by Facebook, more than a dozen tech firms now offer benefits that pay for female staff to put their eggs on ice. Recently, fertility startup Carrot raised $3.6 million to make IVF and egg freezing more affordable. While it’s still a controversial trend, more and more women choose to freeze their eggs and even see it as a way to revolutionize their womanhood.
A third trend is gut health, a topic discussed by everyone from celebrities to functional medicine physicians. The human gut is a microbiome containing several species of helpful bacteria. Regulation of the biome is important, as a disrupted gut can lead to problem more severe than just diarrhea. This is one reason why probiotics and cultured yogurt have become big business.
Women are in the lead of these trends. One can find countless blogs, advice columns, and products, all authored and designed by women, geared towards the different wellness trends. Despite the abundance of new resources, further opportunities still exist and the wellness market is far from saturated. For those with the knowledge, education, and dedication, opportunities in wellness abound.