Spa Design for Mental Wellness
A short while ago following two decades of experience in the wellness industry, we repositioned the Raison d’Etre brand as a ‘Think Tank’ for wellness. It’s actually what we’ve doing for a long time, using our knowledge and experience as spa consultants to create award winning spas, spa brands and spa concepts. Increasingly though, we’ve received requests to assist organisations in other industries where the solutions to wellness aren’t so obvious. Part of this has involved identifying the latest global wellness trends which have an impact on us all whether at work, at home or in our leisure time.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing with you seven of the most important wellness trends to emerge in 2017 starting with:
- Mental Wellness
Mental wellness is no longer a taboo subject as we recognize that many of us suffer, to some degree, with mental illness. We are living in a golden age of brain research, new breakthroughs emerging every month, revealing the astonishing power of the brain to heal, create and evolve. Where scientists once believed that the brain’s hardwiring couldn’t be changed, we now know that the brain is constantly evolving and our ability to rewire our brains remains intact from birth to the end of life. Researchers have also dispelled the myth that ageing in the brain and memory loss are inevitable and irreversible. No matter how old we are, our brain is incredibly resilient and has the capacity to create new neural pathways if we choose to keep learning and opening ourselves to new experiences.
Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her – that meditating can literally change your brain. As spa design consultants, we are increasingly designing space which encourages mindfulness and reflection.
- Brain Workouts
A new study from the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland), performed on rats, had some provocative findings about what type of exercise drives the newest neurons (neurogenesis) in the brain. For the first time, scientists compared the effect on the brain of running, weight training (rats climbed walls with little weights attached to their tails) and high-intensity interval training (sprinting on little treadmills, slowing and repeating). A substance was injected in the rats’ brains to track the creation of new brain cells and the runners showed by far the most brain cell creation: their hippocampus teemed with new neurons, while the high-intensity interval training showed far fewer neurons created and the weight training showed no neurogenesis. Rats aren’t people, but the research is eye opening.
- Brain Beauty
Emotions play a big role in skin diseases. Approximately 50% of people with acne report an emotional trigger to their breakouts. At least 80% of those with atopic dermatitis (eczema) state psychological stress aggravates or brings about their itch. More than 90% of those with rosacea say stress triggers a flare-up, making their skin hypersensitive. And about 100% of those with excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis, say emotions trigger their reaction. Recurrent flares of psoriasis have been attributed to stress in up to 80% of individuals. What’s more, in psoriasis patients with associated depression, 9.7% acknowledged a “wish to be dead,” and 5.5% reported active suicidal ideation. Emotions, in particular stress and anxiety, are not to be dismissed when it comes to treating the skin. Not only can they trigger or exacerbate skin conditions, but they can actually affect a person so deeply that they are scarred for life, or worse yet, make them want to take their own life. Estheticians use their tools to help people with their skin concerns, but in reality, they have the power to help improve the quality of life for every client they touch if they understand the intimate relationship between the mind and skin.
Part 2 of our wellness trends will follow shortly