What is the forecast for Global Wellness?
You cannot open a magazine or see marketing messages today without being struck by the frequent use of the word “wellness.” It may seem like this word came out of nowhere, but in fact, the concept of wellness has existed for many years. In 1947, the World Health Organization defined wellness as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Dr. Halbert Dunn further explored the concept of wellness in a series of lectures in the late 1950’s that became the basis for his book, “
Dr. Halbert Dunn further explored the concept of wellness in a series of lectures in the late 1950’s that became the basis for his book, “High Level Wellness” published in 1961. Dr. John Travis, inspired by Dunn’s book, opened the Wellness Resource Center in California in 1975, exploring the concept that individuals can actively participate in their health and well-being, rather than the traditional model of physicians treating patients only for illnesses. In 1979, Dr. Travis and his center were featured on the popular US TV show, Sixty Minutes, which brought the wellness concept into mainstream American consciousness. Dr. Travis was also a frequent collaborator with Dr. Don Ardell, who was also influenced by the Dunn book, and in 1977, published his own book, “High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs, and Disease”.
Today, the definition of wellness by the National Wellness Institute has evolved into this: “Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of, and making choices toward, a healthy and fulfilling life.” This definition makes clear that wellness is not just something that happens to us; humans play a significant role in their own personal wellness through the choices that they make regarding diet, exercise, and lifestyle. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, Chinese consumers are the world’s most health conscious. The BCG survey revealed that 73% of Chinese consumers are willing to pay more for products that are considered healthier, which is 12 points higher than the global average.
In 2007, SpaFinder CEO Susie Ellis created the inaugural Global Spa Summit, an invitation-only event in New York City, attracting 250 leaders in the worlds of spa, fitness, and hospitality, to establish a positive direction through friendly collaboration. By 2015, the event name was changed to become the Global Wellness Summit. At a recent Summit, in November 2015, almost 500 industry leaders gathered in Mexico City from all corners of the globe to participate in 3 days of keynote speeches, panel presentations, and breakout and networking sessions from well-known authorities including Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Ken Pelletiere, and author Agapi Stassinopoulos. The information presented is all available on the Global Wellness Summit website, and has become much more medical in nature, as advances are made in discovering ways we can positively impact our physical health through microbiomes and epigenetics.
One of the 2015 Summit speakers, French economist Thierry Malleret, predicted that the current trends in obesity and an aging global population will lead some nations to mandate wellness for their populations, as the costs of healthcare continue to rise. In an effort to lower healthcare costs, large multi-national companies are examining ways to make workplaces healthier, from better food choices to natural light and opportunities to move about during the day. This trend of Workplace Wellness is the subject of the forthcoming study sponsored by the Global Wellness Institute.
Few items illustrate the interest consumers have in their own health better than wearable technology. Ranging from Misfits and FitBits to devices from Garmin, Apple, and Samsung, the wearable device market has exploded from sales of US $6million in 2010 to US$7Billion in 2015, with growth projected to continue. Some spas are enabling social media contests so that clients can compare their steps, sleep, diet and other statistics.
Despite the medical overtones in many wellness discussions, spas still have a very important role to play in the personal wellness of our clients. Having a massage or facial at a spa, and enjoying the relaxing environment, is often the introduction to the concept of self-care that ignites the desire in our clients to do more for themselves. The rejuvenated psyche and increase in energy that consumers experience after an invigorating workout or pampering spa break is not something that just happened to them, it is due to their personal action in making time to visit the spa or the health club. Our clients are in search of guides for this journey and look to their spa for ideas and encouragement. Spas that go beyond the basic facial and massage treatments, and provide important components, such as a dedicated relaxation space, highly trained staff, and high-quality home care products, are well-positioned to take advantage of the current surge in interest in personal wellness.
Want to grow your spa’s wellness program? Schedule a complimentary 30-minute needs assessment consultationwith Wynne Business.
A version of this post appeared first on SpaChina.com.