Mindfulness, healing, green — these are more than just buzzwords, they are a lifestyle choice. Wellness and health are fast becoming the top priority among consumers, with a variety of wellness therapies gaining popularity in recent years. Here are some of the best wellness trends of 2018, from beauty to diet, these destressing therapies are sure to improve your life.
Go with your Gut
You may have heard how the gut is the second brain. Studies linking gut health to our mental and physical well-being are revolutionizing the understanding of the enteric nervous system. Enter probiotics — the collective name for beneficial bacteria that improve our gut health. Probiotics boost immunity, improve digestion (which improves mood), prevent urinary tract infections, stabilize blood sugars, manage some skin disorders and can help heal inflammatory disorders of the GI tract.
With probiotics in everything, from supplements to probiotic foods like yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, and miso. Now probiotic beauty products are being introduced with live bacteria working as an armor on our skin against pathogens.
Cow Cuddling and Goat Yoga
The conversation around mental health is shifting and there are new therapies being introduced to alleviate stress and anxiety. Farm animals seem to be front and center in some of these. From cow cuddling to goat yoga, wellness therapies and getaways are focusing on farm animals to bring about a feeling of relaxation and playfulness in participants. Fresh farm air, being in nature, petting these curious animals and combining the practice of yoga and meditation with animal therapy is an ingenious antidote to daily stresses.
Float to Infinity
Floating has long been considered a form of calming and destressing technique. Floatation therapy involves getting into a sensory deprivation tank, where the body experiences zero gravity in epsom salt water. The tank is soundproof and pitch black, with air and water temperature the same as the body, bringing about a feeling of oneness with the surrounding – like floating in space. The brain drifts into a dream-like state and the body’s reaction to this isolation of sensation is a complete and deep relaxation.
The ketogenic or keto diet is changing the way we think about fatty foods. The keto diet reduces your carb intake drastically and replaces it with fat, lowering your blood sugar and insulin. With high amounts of fat and very low carbs, the body enters ketosis, where it is forced to burn body fat for fuel.
Foods to eat while on the keto diet include oils like avacado, coconut, ghee, high protein sources like eggs, nuts and seeds, low carb veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli and cauliflower, fruits like avacados and berries.
Green or Clean Beauty is gaining popularity as companies are finally realizing women want long term benefits and well-being from their beauty products. In addition to being sulfate, paraben and formaldahyde free, products that use natural ingredients and offer healthier alternatives are the go-to pick in beauty stores across the country. From calming facial masks to detox clay treatments, sleep elixirs to probiotic body oils – the combination of beauty and wellness is a much needed step towards nature based products and meaningful self-care.
Activated charcoal is not the same as charcoal for the grill or charred wood from fire. It requires a special process of activation- at the end of which the charcoal is powerful enough to bind with any substance. A long used remedy against toxins, activated charcoals power to purify is the reason for its use in air and water filters.
When used in tooth paste, it binds with bacteria and other substances that stain the teeth, making it a remarkably useful whitening agent. As a face mask, scrub or cleanser, it removes dirt, grime, chemicals and build-up on the skin, making the skin super soft and clean. Fair warning – charcoal is abrasive, so be gentle and do not use more than once or twice a week.
Adaptogens are a wide variety of herbs and natural medicines that work on your brain and hormone system. Ashwagandha, a cortisol balancer, ginseng to boost energy, Maca powder for immunity, Reishi to lower blood sugar levels. These herbs and roots have been used for centuries in Chinese and Indian medicine, and are now becoming part of western diet and supplements. Those looking for a straight dose can have blended herb teas or buy pre-mixed powders to add to their drinks. Adaptogens are also available in supplements.
Breathwork is a therapy that utilizes controlled and mindful breathing for slowing down, coping and healing. It is considered highly beneficial to those living with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief. A form of meditation and an altered state of consciousness, focused breathing techniques bring about a feeling of calm and control, leading to mental and physical health benefits. With roots in Eastern practices like yoga, Tai Chi, and Buddhism, most of the breathwork used today is based in the 1960s-70s which brought us Holotropic and Rebirthing breathwork.