What Wellness Will Look Like in the 2020s
Industry insiders share their predictions for the next decade.
The growth of the wellness industry over the past decade has been remarkable: innovating at a rapid pace and influencing the way we travel, sleep, eat, and move. Healthy hotels and homes are becoming the norm, new apps are launching daily, and the wellness industry is now valued at $4.5 trillion and counting.
So what’s next? The World Health Organization has deemed the 2020s the Decade of Healthy Aging, and there’s no time like the present to work towards the lofty ambitions we’ve set for the future. So as the new decade dawns—and to mark the recent debut of Asaya Hong Kong, Rosewood’s new integrative urban wellness concept—Rosewood Conversations asked six experts from multiple corners of the wellness sector to share their wellness trend predictions.
Connectivity—to each other and the world—will be key.
The future of wellness lies in community building, believes Toby McGuire, a jet-setting practitioner of meditation, hypnotherapy, and Chinese medicine. “Wellness centers will see guests transform from ‘customers’ into wellness communities and tribes that foster a me and we mentality by focusing on one’s individual health goals as well as bigger social and environmental issues,” he says. “One imperative will remain above all else: people connecting with people.” Adds McGuire, who is in residency at Asaya at Rosewood Phuket through February 20, 2020, “Businesses and governments will need to be more proactive and work in synergy to tackle our biggest threat: facing the long-term consequences of the damage we are inflicting on our planet and people.”
We will become more aware of our place in the world.
In the next decade, we will be more sensitive to the impact our surroundings have on our happiness, predicts feng shui designer and author Thierry Chow, who has collaborated with brands like Kenzo and been featured in Vogue and Tatler. “In order to achieve optimal levels of wellness, there must be a higher level of awareness between the environment and our physical and emotional wellbeing,” she says. “The practice of feng shui helps lower stress levels and increases productivity, joy, and happiness. I think it will become a lifestyle habit that people incorporate into their daily lives.” Chow also expects new feng shui technologies that increase our understanding of the environment to emerge in the next decade.
We’ll see more options to achieve wellness through spirituality.
Rosewood’s resident expressive arts therapist Shum Kit Nam believes we will see more New Age wellness programs in the next decade. Among the practices she predicts will become popular: “Energy healing, spiritual counseling, craniosacral balancing, tarot and astrology reading, human design reading, numerology, feng shui, I-Ching, theta healing sessions, Reiki, crystal healing, shamanism, NLP [neuro-linguistic programming], quantum touch, and other alternative healing methods.” Shum—whose own practice at Asaya Hong Kong helps clients plumb their emotional depth through making art—also looks forward to more spiritual retreats and inner growth camps focusing on areas that include “couple and parent-child relationship counseling, sex coaching, and meditation.” Community and environmental wellness programs held outdoors in nature are also in her crystal ball for the next decade.
We’ll seek out meaningfulness amidst all the machinery.
As the world becomes increasingly automated, will we see a move towards more thoughtful endeavors? That’s the prediction of Kate Jones, a retail strategist whose Hong Kong–based creative consultancy At Liberty works with clients like Net-à-Porter and Krug. “Retailers and the hospitality industry will strive to provide customers with the most interesting storytelling, complementary environment, and detailed-oriented experiences, as people search for wellness within every aspect of their lives,” says the eco-conscious “visual narrator.” Jones also hopes that more practices promoting patience and long-term wellness pursuits will emerge on a corporate level.
Technology will facilitate mental well-being.
“The necessity to have ‘real’ interactions, open dialogue, and acceptance of different truths will continue to intensify with Gen Z,” says Niamh O’Connell, Rosewood’s Group Vice President of Guest Experience and Wellness. She believes that a sense of belonging and community is a trend gaining momentum. “To be accepting will require mental stability and maturity, and the future of wellness lies in nurturing mental well-being. By default, technology will become truly integrated, as Gen Z are the ultimate digital natives and see technology as an extension of themselves.” In the world of hospitality, she predicts, “The integration of wellness touchpoints throughout the guests’ stay will become expected, if not simply mainstream.”
Botany will be booming.
“Bringing the outdoors in will be a major future trend in the form of indoor gardens, plant features, and botanical décor.” says interior designer Diane Nittke, founder of Ellermann Floral Atelier in Hong Kong. She foresees a move towards natural and sustainable designs and materials. “People recognize the importance of connecting to the natural environment and appreciate that is has a great impact on our overall health and well-being,” she says. Nittke is already seeing a drastic shift towards sustainable solutions in the floral and interiors space: “Plastic packaging will be phased out in favor of recyclable materials, chemicals will be reduced, and locally sourced products will be championed.”