High-tech treatments and multisensory experiences are among the latest developments in wellness.
Some wellness fads come and go, while others have staying power and proven benefits. As new movements emerge each year, scientific research and advanced technologies reveal better ways to improve physical and mental health.
This year’s most popular wellness trends include tried-and-true favorites, along with several high-tech treatments. Here’s a brief look at the latest ways to achieve optimal health for your body, mind and soul in 2018:
Ashtanga, Hatha and other traditional forms of yoga have been around for thousands of years. The ancient mind-body practice not only can increase flexibility and tone muscles, but also can boost your mood and promote inner calm. Although conventional techniques remain popular, modern yogis are putting an innovative twist on this fitness discipline with instruction in hot yoga, aerial yoga, and even paddle yoga.
Smartwatches and fitness trackers have been around a few years, but new features and improved accuracy are keeping wearable technology in vogue. The latest gadgets from makers like Fitbit and Apple can monitor your heart rate, track your sleep and even sense your blood oxygen levels. Meanwhile, advancements in virtual reality have given rise to more affordable headsets that can enhance your workout experience.
Some like it hot, and infrared saunas are all the rage. They only get up to 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while traditional saunas can reach 200 degrees, but you’ll still feel the benefits. The treatment helps eliminate toxins from your system and increase lymphatic flow and circulation.
Can’t stand the heat? Go for the big chill with cryotherapy. The treatment involves sitting in a nitrogen-cooled cryogenic chamber for one to three minutes, exposing the body to temperatures as low as -250 degrees Fahrenheit. This icy blast is said to relieve muscle pain, reduce inflammation, and promote cellular regeneration, among other benefits.
Activating all the senses at once can help people become more attuned to the present moment, and focus on “being” rather than on “doing,” say proponents of multisensory spaces. Locations like the Manhattan-based WOOM Center and Boston’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel offer a range of experiences that use a combination of vibrational sound, visualization and movement to promote healing.
Quietness can lower stress hormones and enhance overall happiness, research suggests.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the new silent spas and monasteries. As daily life is filled with the din of traffic, humming appliances and text message pings, these peaceful sanctuaries aim to alleviate stress by eliminating all noise. Enjoy a massage in silence, swim in silence, even eat in silence. The quietness can lower stress hormones and enhance overall happiness, research suggests.
Don’t have time for a silent retreat? Try a sensory deprivation session instead. An hour effortlessly suspended in salt water inside a high-tech floatation tank is the perfect way to unplug and achieve a calm, meditative state. In addition to treating chronic pain, the time inside a pod, free of all distractions, is said to combat high blood pressure and fatigue.
Medical Spa Holidays
An increased focus on the benefits of preventative medicine has given rise to a new kind of travel that combines a comprehensive health checkup with soothing spa therapies. Medical spas frequently offer diagnostics for things like blood sugar levels and cardiovascular health, along with personalized treatment plans, diverse fitness activities and rejuvenating spa treatments to prevent chronic disease.