fbpx

The Magazine for spa and wellness in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America​

Wellness Trends 2024

1. Climate-Adaptive Wellness
By Jane Kitchen

With an increasingly heat-crushed planet, bringing massive physical and mental health risks, we will see a new wave of innovations to cool our bodies, homes, and cities. Architecture and design look at cooling approaches, with green spaces, tree cover, and rooftop gardens in addition to high-tech building materials, heat-reflective paint, and heat-fighting design. Smart-tech cooling clothing and wearables that monitor the body’s heat indicators, from core temp to hydration to electrolytes.

Travelers are moving away from traditional hotspots, trading beaches and deserts for mountains, and summer vacations for fall or spring travel; with ‘cool-cations’ and ‘night-time wellness’ programming such as star-gazing and full-moon yoga.

 

2. The Power of the Pilgrimage
By Eric Wilson

People worldwide are rediscovering the joys and health benefits of walking, and a purposeful connection with nature. Walking enthusiasts are exploring ancient pilgrimage trails, as record numbers of travelers take up multi-day hikes with spiritual exploration and cultural heritage. Nearly half a million pilgrims completed the famous Camino de Santiago in Spain in 2023 (a new record), and scores of modern pilgrims were drawn to sites in Japan such as the Shikoku 88 and the Michinoku. Coastal trails in Sri Lanka, Bhutan, India, and Italy have undergone extensive restorations by governments promoting holistic tourism.

This trend of slow, meditative travel, facilitates deeper engagement with our surroundings to foster a sense of awe, and unexpected connection with strangers. Wellness programs incorporate journeys between sacred sites and participation in religious ceremonies such as meditating with monks.

 

3. From Manning Up to Opening Up
By Skyler Hubler and Cecelia Girr

Men have often been left out of the wellness equation or served a clichéd view of masculinity, from warrior-like fitness challenges to tough-guy biohacks. Shifting gender roles leaves men without a rulebook for what it means to ‘be a man’ today; as the consequences of rising male loneliness are exposed, the wellness industry responds with solutions to help men reconnect with themselves and with one another.

Men’s retreats, where unlearning stoicism and authentically sharing feelings are on the rise, and new mental health apps that are designed specifically for men. Social and emotional wellness offerings for men will become more nuanced, more evenly distributed across all stages of life, and more global.

 

4. The Rise of Postpartum Wellness
By Claire McCormack

Following childbirth, new parents typically find themselves in a care ‘desert’: where the medical system largely abandons them. New parenthood entails serious mental health challenges, and comprehensive postpartum wellness is now taking many directions.

With postpartum depression rates rising globally, governments and corporations are taking action. While new apps address the mental health of new parents (offering therapy and counseling), femtech startups address postpartum care, C-section recovery, and pelvic floor care. True postpartum wellness would mean access to an integrated medical and wellness team to deliver a holistic, empathetic approach to support physical and emotional well-being, including education, nutrition, physical therapy, and pain-focused therapies.

 

5. Longevity Has Longevity
By Kenneth R. Pelletier and Zoë Weiner

The speed at which longevity has seized the biotech, health, and wellness spaces is staggering. This entire interconnected ‘economy’ is forecast to be worth $610 billion USD by 2025. Longevity science includes genetic, epigenetic, and biomarker testing, with research on senolytics (drugs that remove senescent cells), telomere regeneration, nutrigenomics, and a new AI/GPT-driven healthcare.

Highly medical, high-tech (and high-priced) longevity clinics are a fast-growing business genre, with over 1,000 clinics worldwide. They offer advanced diagnostic testing (biomarker, genetic, hormonal, full-body MRIs, etc.), to identify issues before they become a problem using AI-powered diagnostics or genomics testing. Others offer experimental, less-proven approaches such as stem cell treatments and plasma exchange alongside the usual biohacking/recovery treatments (IV drips, cryotherapy, ozone therapy, etc.).

A growing number of wellness resorts are becoming highly medical longevity destinations, and more high-end gyms offer preventative diagnostic testing and scans. Medical longevity icons Spain’s SHA Wellness and Switzerland’s Clinique La Prairie are expanding. Six Senses is opening medical-longevity clubs with epigenetic testing and stem cell therapy. More wellness resorts will embrace lo-fi longevity, offering Blue Zones retreats that get their guests connecting, cooking, and moving.

 

6. A Wellness Check for Weight Loss Drugs
By Emily Laurence

Big Pharma’s new, extremely effective weight-loss drugs have upended traditional behavior-change approaches to weight loss. It’s now seen as a matter of biology rather than psychology and ‘willpower’. The number of people taking them has skyrocketed, resulting in ongoing global shortages, and 70+ new drugs in development, with cheaper options hitting the market this year. Wellness and health companies are pivoting to prescribe them. Proponents argue they could end the global obesity epidemic and save millions of lives, while critics question their long-term health impacts: they’re highly effective but cannot deliver holistic health the way exercise, healthy food, and mental wellness do.

 

7. Sports Finds Its Footing in Hospitality
By Patricia Ladis

Globally, people are embracing social, empowering sports (pickleball is one example), and more people want to train like near-elite athletes. At the same time, pro, collegiate, and competitive junior athletes, traveling to compete, lacked hospitality destinations that deliver wellness, recovery treatments, and state-of-the-art gym equipment.

Hospitality destinations are incorporating pro trainers and pro-level facilities, with brain-stimulating tech to boost performance, and a full recovery menu, from cryo chambers to on-demand IV drips. High-end wellness destinations cater to dedicated recreational athletes, letting guests train and learn from their sports idols. Body Holiday in St. Lucia now features sports-themed months, led by pro athletes and Olympians. Aman Resorts is unveiling fitness, performance, and recovery retreats led by Maria Sharapova. Hospitality groups are thinking beyond ‘training like an athlete’ and organizing competitive play: swimmers, runners, and tennis and pickleball players want to compete with others. Sports tourism (people traveling to watch events) is a massive market, but more destinations are moving people from spectators to participants.

 

8. The Home as Highest-Tech-Health-Hub
By Olivia Houghton and Jessica Smith

Wellness architecture has previously focused on amenities like meditation rooms and cold plunge pools. Now homes, and even cities, are becoming high-tech, multifaceted health hubs, involving everything from medical-grade home health-monitoring systems to smart furnishings that adjust in real-time to individual needs. With homes becoming advanced ‘outpatient’ care centers powered by digital health services like monitoring and diagnostic technology, it is expected that in the next five years, 45% of healthcare services will be delivered at home.

A new generation of textiles means that the fabrics surrounding will become interactive interfaces, with personalized bio-soundscapes grounded in our real-time biometric and environmental data. Our homes will evolve into multifaceted ecosystems creating living spaces that capture our biometrics and create environments dynamically extending from our own psyches.

 

9. A New Multisensory, Immersive Art for Wellness
By Ari Peralta

New tech-enabled art, powered by innovations such as generative AI, projection mapping, and spatial sound technologies, brings us into an era of multisensory, immersive art that engages our senses as we participate and is expressly designed to transform our mental well-being. Museums, hotels, and spas are incorporating multisensory art experiences, prioritizing wellness. The Mandala Lab in New York City combines video, scent, sculpture, and sound, based on Buddhist principles, into a holistic, spiritual exhibit. At the Termemilano spa in Milan, Italy, a video skyscape of stormy skies surrounds a hydrotherapy pool, creating an unmatched vibe. Six Senses Resorts are creating multisensory somatic experiences, like bio-alchemy sculptures infused with scents, flotation experiences suffused with ocean sounds, or geodesic domes with vibroacoustic floors.

Multisensory, immersive art is becoming widespread in public places, from installations across cityscapes to AI-driven art that utilizes facial screening to deliver audio-visuals based on emotions. In the future, as wearables become more widespread, generative artworks will become even more hyper-personalized, participatory and therapeutically effective.

 

www.globalwellnesssummit.com

Fabiola
Author: Fabiola