All posts filed under: Wellness

2016 Global Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast

Spafinder Wellness 365 has announced its 2016 Global Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast. The 13th annual trends forecast of its kind, it provides a definitive guide to the top ten spa trends for 2016 poised to shape the wellness, hospitality, travel and spa industries and chart new territory in wellness for consumers in the new year. The 2016 Forecast is unique for taking a detailed look at not just what, but why, where, and how, new directions in wellness will evolve in the year ahead. The full report can be read here. This year’s trends show wellness stepping in to meet the challenges of major societal crises, including a rising generation of children who are stressed, anxious and overwhelmed at unprecedented and alarming levels (“Parenting Well: Serious Spa & Wellness for Kids”), and adults who are suffering the effects of a hyper-connected workplace, demanding hours, and sedentary habits (“Workplace Wellness Wakes Up”). Another emerging issue? Healthy sexuality, as providers eschew the extremes of sensationalism and shame to shape new models for exploring and developing individual …

Goodbye 2015

Wow, what an amazing year 2015 has been. More travel, lots more spas and some fabulous adventures across the globe. I’ve been lucky enough to travel home to Australia visiting two impressive properties in my homestate, Tasmania. Saffire Freycinet was outstanding and Cradle Mountain Lodge was homely and really takes you back to nature. Both have compact spas, with the latter offering views from the private outdoor hydro pool to the native forest. Heavenly. En-route to Australia I stopped off at Banyan Tree Bintan. The second of the Banyan Tree Resorts to open and picture perfect. It’s exactly how you would imagine a tropical getaway to be and only 45 minutes from Singapore. It’s my top tip for a stopover en-route to Australia. But it’s not all been overseas and this year I checked out the Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa in Bath, Spreadeagle Hotel and Spa in Sussex and also the Park House Hotel in Sussex. Each unique in its own right, they are great places for a weekend away and highly recommended. Now …

The world needs a little healing

In a world of uncertainty, instability, hate and terror, there can be no doubt about the need for healing. More than a band aid to plaster over the problem, the issue goes to the heart of our existence. I’m not going to proclaim that the world can be fixed, but each and everyone of us could benefit from some time to ourselves, to heal, to repair, to regenerate and rejuvenate. This goes deeper than a spa facial or massage, and it was made clear to me at a breakfast event recently where I was present with a group of inspirational women who have a clear vision of life, the universe and our place in it. With talks by the founders, the event featured a health breakfast and a wonderful meditation, guided by Shelley von Strunkel. It was organised by Healing Hotels of the World, a network of health and wellness hotels that meet strict criteria to be part of the group, where the main focus is on healing. From Ayurveda to meditation, spiritual healing and …

25 things I’ve learned as a spa writer

I’ve been writing about spas since 2007 and visit around 30 spas every year. I’ve been poked, prodded, pampered, bathed, scrubbed and dried more times than I can remember. And I’ve experienced the best and worst of spa around the world. I try to seek out the newest and most unusual men’s spa treatments and am always on the hunt for the best spa around. Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve learned so far. 1. A therapist can make or break your spa experience 2. A spa needs, by definition, to have water 3. There nothing better than relaxing post treatment looking out across the sea 4. There’s nothing worse than being cold on a treatment bed 5. Every skincare brand thinks that their way is best 6. Expensive facilities do not mean you’ll have a good spa experience 7. A limp massage is worse than having no massage 8. I’ve never heard whale music in a spa 9. and, I actually quite like spa music 10. You can’t beat a proper Turkish hammam 11. …

Think twice about the plastic water bottle

A story that has appeared in the papers today comes as a timely reminder about our reliance on plastic water bottles. As Selfridges takes a stand (it’s about to stop selling single use plastic water bottles) and the city of San Francisco banned their sale, it’s time to think twice about grabbing a single use water bottle from the shop/supermarket/convenience store. The amount of plastic we consume (and throw away) as well its effect on our oceans and marine life is staggering. A few statistics 3 million – plastic water bottles sold daily in the UK 13 m tonnes – of plastic enters the oceans each year 5 trillion – pieces of plastic are floating in the ocean, weighing 250,000 tonnes 1kg – amount of plastic in the oceans for every 3 kg of fish (by 2025) More than 13 billion plastic bottles are produced annually in the UK and it’s thought that only half are recycled. This is frightening stuff because plastic breaks down into small fragments in the sea which can be ingested …

Global Wellness Day

Global Wellness Day – 13th June 2015

Most of us would like to be a bit healthier, to look better, and to live well both physically and emotionally. It’s about living well. It’s so important that a special day has been dedicated to wellness – it’s Global Wellness Day. With the slogan “One day can change your whole life,” you too can celebrate Global Wellness Day which takes places on the second Saturday of June every year as an international day dedicated to living well. Founded in Turkey three years ago, Global Wellness Day is an international non-profit making movement created by volunteers dedicated to living well. In order to make Wellness a lifestyle, Global Wellness Day aims to adopt the following seven simple steps. What is important is not to implement all of the steps all at once, but to incorporate at least just a few of them into your daily life on a regular basis. Here in the UK, the UK Spa Association has become an official ambassador for Global Wellness Day. Global Wellness Day is supported by lifestyle oriented …

30 Days to a Better Brain: a step-by-step programme

So, a book that promises you will have a better brain in 30 days. That’s exactly what the iconic wellness resort, Canyon Ranch is proposing in its new (ish) book 30 Days to a Better Brain. Issues of forgetfulness and brain degeneration are high on my list of concerns and I supplement my diet to maintain brain function and am very keen on brain training, so this is perfectly pitched. It begins with an overview of how the brain actually functions – it’s in these first few chapters, which set the scene for the rest of the book that most people might get lost. It’s a touch heavy on the science, but it is necessary, and the chapters are well written and accessible, which makes it interesting and informative. You begin to realise what an amazing organ the brain actually is. This is followed by a practical step by step programme for improving memory, concentration, mood and overall wellbeing. I read the book in stages and found it fascinating. It addresses the gap between increased …

The Growth of Mindfulness

Mindfulness appears to be everywhere and, in some instances promises to solve pretty much every problem there is. It’s growth continues and everywhere you look a spa, health expert or mind guru is offering tips, techniques, sessions, course and online apps to help you on your way. I have written about it before and you can read “What is mindfulness medition” here The Huffington Post has it’s own dedicated channel to mindfulness and it’s well worth taking a look for the latest reseach, tips, advice and comment. I’m a big fan and it’s helped me resolve stress and anxiety issues. The whole month of May is devoted to the project – Mindful in May. Which combines regular practice, joining people across the globe to help raise money to bring clean water to commnities who need it most. They say “It takes just 10 minutes a day to bring more focus and effectiveness into your daily life. Join a global community of people bringing mindfulness meditation into their lives and making a positive impact on the lives …

Saunas cut the risk of heart problems for men

A new study has shown that men who use saunas regularly reduce their risk of heart attack by nearly two thirds. So guys, it’s time to head to the spa and sweat it out in the sauna. The study, by scientists from the University of Eastern Finland monitored 2,315 men aged between 42 and 60 for a period of 20 years. The remarkable findings, published in the latest edition of Jama Internal Medicine, a journal published by the American Medical Association, revealed that those who had visited saunas the most frequently – and most notably – for longer periods – were the least likely to have died from heart attacks. And the results are impressive. It discovered that middle-aged men who use a sauna four to seven times a week can cut their risk of a heart attack. And not just by a slim margin – by nearly two thirds, compared with those who never use a sauna. Using the sauna two to three times a week reduces the risk of death by heart attack …

Read all about it: spa culture from the Baltic to the Black Sea

Sophie Benge has teamed up with researcher Alla Sokolova to write a most impressive book that looks at the spa and wellness cultures of Eastern Europe. Beautifully presented with stunning photography,  Healing Sources: Spas and Wellbeing from the Baltic to the Black Sea is part travel guide and an historical reference book presented as a coffee table centrepiece. It takes the reader on a journey through the lesser known holistic cultures of Eastern Europe  from the Art Nouveau spas of Hungary to the traditional pirts sauna rituals of Latvia. Offering a glimpse of the spa culture in each country, it’s a fascinating way to see the role that spa has played in the country’s psyche and in its historical development. The architecture, the use of local ingredients and traditions reveals that spa is not a 20th Century fad that took hold in the 1990’s but is part of the way of life for so many people. And it really gets to grip with the holistic and natural approaches of each region such as respiratory healing …

Spa Trends 2015 – Spafinder Wellness 365 report

Spafinder Wellness 365™ has its finger on the pulse of everything to do with spa and wellness. Every year it compiled a comprehensive report on spa trends and makes very interesting reading. It’s 12th report is a definitive guide to the key spa trends 2015, so it covers what’s happending in the world of wellness—including spa experiences, fitness, beauty, travel, nutrition and corporate wellness. SPA TRENDS 2015 The top global spa and wellness trends for 2015 are: FOREST BATHING: Mindfulness Meets Nature CANNABIS: New Spa & Wellness Connections WELLNESS TRADITIONS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD: Beyond Hammams and Argan Oil INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: BLUE COLLAR WELLNESS WELLNESS HOMES, COMMUNITIES & CITIES MY FITNESS. MY TRIBE. MY LIFE: Super-Social Fitness SPA ON ARRIVAL (& EN ROUTE): The New Travel Ritual HYPER-PERSONALISED BEAUTY: Made-for-Me Will Matter More GUT REACTION BEYOND THE STARS: Luxury Redefined FOREST BATHING: Mindfulness Meets Nature The Japanese concept of forest bathing (“shinrin-yoku’) has nothing to do with water. It revolves around a deceptively simple practice: quietly walking, with a mind intent on the sounds, scents, …

BoBo’s Juicery

January is the month when you are presented with diets, detox and deprivation. Yes, its all very well, but to be honest the whole concept of detox is rather questionable, ture, you might need to diet – but deprivation – forget it. There are plenty of ways to live a healthier life by choosing a balanced approach to eating, food portions whilst ensuring you get all of the nutrients you need. Enter – BoBo’s Juicery. I had the opportunity to try a pack of BoBo’s juices and was impressed with the range of chocie and most importantly the flavour. Founded by Jo Symes in 2013, BoBo’s Juicery was created to fit in with our increasingly busy lives, offering a healthy alternative for those on the move. The process: All of BoBo’s cold-pressed juices and smoothies are made from organic produce sourced from BoBo’s gardens in Somerset as well as select farmers within the M25. Wherever possible, produce is sourced from Certified Soil Association farmers and growers. After picking, the produce is taken straight to the …

Review: Reflexology at Anamaya

Having visited Anamaya in Kensington in the past, I sort of knew what to expect. The clinic is modern, friendly and has a great vibe. A sense of calm surrounds you, when you walk through the doors. After a brief chat and catch up with Roz, I was introduced to Rupert French, who specialises in Relfexology and facial lifting. An odd mix you might think? I was to discover the power of reflexology and press point techniques for the face. I was treated to a taster session starting first with foot reflexology and then moving onto the face. During the session we talked about health and mind concerns and Rupert spotted some digestive problems by feeling particular points in my feet. And right he was. My tummy is one of my weak spots and its where I feel stress. Interestling, stress is what sparked Rupert’s interest in reflexology. About 10 years ago, and suffering from  insomnia while working in a stressful job in the City, he decided to give reflexology a try, and after only …

Anamaya Clinic to launch Meditation App

Meditation has come a long way since the 1980’s. It’s less “ohm” and much more modern. There are apps galore, and I was interested to read that London-based Anamaya Wellbeing Clinic has announced the launch of a Meditation App, said to be a comprehensive meditation course accessible on the move. The new app has over 360 guided meditations, with mindfulness exercises, visualisations, and learning resources covering the science and psychology of meditation. In addition there are plenty of tips for getting the most out of the meditation practice. The course is divided into 11 distinct Focuses including general meditation, worry, anxiety, stress, pain and pregnancy to name a few. Launch date: 1 September Price: £15 (annual subscription) Stockists: Apple iPhone app store Twitter: @AnamayaHealth