“Wellness” is a widespread modern concept. Nearly every fitness center and spa promotes “special wellness offers”. There are “wellness vacations” organized by hotels and spa resorts and there is also a great number of products and services with the help of which one can improve his or her “wellbeing”. Where actually does this notion come from and what is this trend related to?
The term “wellness” has been culled as a cross between “well-being”, “fitness” and “happiness”. This concept describes a certain lifestyle in which people concentrate on the wholesomeness of their existence. This means that besides the consistent body improvement, mental strength, good nutrition and positive mindset are crucial elements of the whole concept of leading a balanced life.
Furthermore the concept of “wellness” also contains many methods and approaches that allow for reaching the desired goals and demands of the balanced lifestyle. This includes both the physical, mental and spiritual well-being as well as environmental awareness. The methods that make it possible to reach these goals include different “treatments” (i.e. massage, beauty cosmetic solutions, peelings) in spas, body and spirit training methods (i.e. fitness, yoga, Pilates, meditation) as well as full-time holistic experience programs (i.e. recovery weeks, yoga-weekends, nature expeditions).
There also appear more and more products that have more to them than meets an eye due to their supposedly “wellness” oriented nature – for example one can find “wellness” teas, food products and drinks. In the meantime the very term gets totally devoid of its original meaning in some cases. One should just read the product descriptions to understand that the word “wellness” is used without any real relation to the product or its function, only to help increase its marketing value. Here is an example – a sugary soft drink is sold as a “wellness” drink, which contradicts the very concept of “wellness” where herbal teas without sugar and non-carbonated water would be the only solution for nourishing and detoxification of the thirsty body. However, in different regions or countries the understanding of the “wellness” concept can vary considerably since it is closely tied to and influenced by the cultural framework and concepts of healthiness on the certain territory or cultural layer.
In relation to this it is peculiar that modern-day wellness movement is largely based upon the concepts conceived on the Asian territories where these rules and practices had been part of the life thousands of years ago (i.e. yoga, meditation, qigong). Since the 1970s the Asian traditions have been gaining popularity in Europe and America. This holds especially true for yoga practiced in groups and the therapy methods employed in health centers.
Even today I still meet people who have never meditated in their life. In Asia this practice belongs to the daily routine and is a natural part of their culture. There are many pictures showing similar settings – a group of people on a wide open space practicing marital arts or yoga. Why can’t the things that had been proven good for people become an integral part of our own society? The fact that alternative medicine methods gain popularity these days I see as a very positive development. This is quite self-evident that the traditional Chinese medicine treatments are also getting covered by the health insurance now.
Alternative medication plays a very important part in the many wellness treatments. The usage of essential oils, acupuncture and massage techniques gives the body an ability to fight back the poisons and pressure we encounter every day with more effectiveness. The wellness treatments should become a larger part of every wellness program.