Alternative Medicine Energy

Leading Universities for Sustainable Studies

The field of sustainability has evolved from a small niche of environmentalists into a transdisciplinary field that spans from local agriculture to global business. Today, people around the globe are much more aware of the problems facing mankind and the planet as a whole. The population is estimated to grow to nine billion by 2050, an increase that will only further strain our planet's natural resources. In these universities, teachers and students are committing their careers to developing the principles and practices that will allow the human race to achieve a sustainable future.

1. The University of California at Davis

UC Davis has a long history of teaching organic farming, but it wasn't until last year that sustainable agriculture was added to the curriculum. Today, UC Davis offers a degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems that explores the social, economic and environmental aspects of food and agriculture. This course of study goes beyond the farm and the table to the wider global impact of a sustainable food supply.

2. The Center for Alternative Technology

Located in Wales, the CAT eco-center focuses on all aspects of sustainable living and also provides classes for the public and professionals. Its permanent exhibitions of alternative technologies serve as the leading tourist attractions in the area. In 2000, CAT began to teach post graduate studies, and in 2010 CAT built the Wales Institute for Sustainable Education (WISE). The WISE building currently serves as a lecture hall as well as a case study for sustainable architecture practices. Since 2008, the Center has offered a Professional Diploma in Architecture.

3. The College of the Atlantic

Students of the College of the Atlantic all share a single major: human ecology. Professors and students at College of the Atlantic approach sustainable issues through various areas of study – such as arts, sciences or business – offering a comprehensive approach to human ecology and its principles. The school also offers only a single graduate concentration, a Master's in Philosophy in human ecology.

4. Oregon Institute of Technology

In 2008, the Oregon Institute of Technology began the first four-year undergraduate degree program in renewable energy systems in the United States. This Bachelor of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering establishes the engineering principles that will promote and integrate alternative energy sources into mainstream society. The degree is taught in both Klamath Falls and Portland, Ore.

5. The Earth Institute at Columbia University

The Earth Institute is a branch of the Columbia University's NYC campus. The EI hosts a variety of majors and degree paths for environmental sciences. Students who are interested in conservation, engineering or evolutional biology can receive an education that will prepare them for careers that value the Earth.

6. The University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is located in Philadelphia and is often called "Penn". Like Columbia, it is an Ivy League school and is one of the oldest and renowned in the United States. The University offers a "Green MBA", which is actually a major in Environmental and Risk Management. The Green MBA teaches the "triple bottom line" principles that comprise a sustainable business model and is a good choice for those who plan to pursue careers with sustainable business initiatives.

7. Center for Sustainable Fashion at London College

This institution melds research, creativity and business to support a sustainable approach to the fashion industry. The Center for Sustainable Fashion at London College encourages social change through fashion trends. The institution challenges the status quo and encourages students to make a positive impact in an industry that can radically change the social and economic realities of our world.

8. The University of New Hampshire

The Spa Industry Looks Well and Good

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 by

ispaAfter attending the 2013 International Spa Association (ISPA) annual conference, it certainly was apparent to me that all is well and good in the wellness industry.  From my observations, the $14+ billion U.S. market looks to be growing at a steady and healthy pace. “Things certainly are looking up.” Said Roberto Arjona, General Manager of the legendary Rancho La Puerta Resort and Spa. “We have not seen reservation bookings for our resort like this since before 2008 and we are now over one hundred percent capacity going into next year.”  Rancho La Puerta is not the exception. According to ISPA’s 2013 research, people visiting day spas, hotel and resort spas, and destination spas are all on the rise from 156 million in 2012 to 160 million in 2013 and spending has increased to an average of $87 per visit ; almost a two percent increase over the previous year. ISPA organizers said conference attendance was also back to pre-2008 numbers with packed educations sessions, and a busy expo floor showcasing interesting new products and services. I have been coming to this show for several years and here are some of the major observations I see trending in the wellness space:

Going deeper

It appears that spa product companies are becoming more intelligent and in touch with ingredients that promote healthy-aging rather than anti-aging. In previous years it was sometimes difficult to find truly natural and organic brands that were not greenwashing.  Labeling is a tricky thing and not many brands carry certifications such as USDA organic, Ecocert, or Natrue to verify their claims of being organic. This is because many are small boutique brands and find certification expensive. I did see a lot of companies claiming to be eco-friendly or natural and when questioned further most had intelligent responses and provided a deeper back story on sourcing and manufacturing.  

Evidence and Earth Based

I saw a lot of brands promoting benefits of natural ingredients such as seaweed, oils, stem cells and anti-oxidants. Although these ingredients have been used in spas for years if not decades, it seemed that there are more or perhaps I am just now beginning to recognize them. The science and evidence based elements of research as it relates to natural and organic based skincare regimes is more apparent and bringing about a new products that are very interesting including brands like OSEA, Dr. Hauschka, and Pino. However, with the FTC green guidelines recently released it is important that brands be aware that any eco claims that cannot be backed are subject to fines.

Bathing popularity

Kniepp claimed their sales of salt bath products have doubled in the past year due to the growing awareness of the ability to re-mineralizing the body through salt mineral bathing.  Salt products harvested from salt mines of the Himalayas or from European seas such as Kerstin Florian seemed to be more prevalent. I love salt baths and think they are a great component of a healthy regiment. But hearing that salt demand is on the rise globally is concerning. I hope the purity is maintained while the mining of this is also environmentally conscious.

Oil overflowing

It seemed like every other vendor was promoting essential oils which I think is a good thing.  For years many aromatherapists have claimed the healing benefits of essential oils.  I ran into an old friend Michelle Roark, the founder of Phia Lab, who was a professional skier, engineer, and now perfumer. She is doing energetic measurements of essential oils in kilojoules. She claims she has scientific proof of the calming or energizing qualities of oil frequencies. Here reports should be public soon and will demonstrate scientific proof of health benefits in using essential oils which is quite exciting and I am sure will be welcomed by the aroma therapy community.

Wellness Tourism on the Rise

My favorite session was on the growth and expansion of Wellness tourism presented by Suzie Ellis of SpaFinder. She spoke on “Why You Should Care About Wellness Tourism: Latest Research on the Global Wellness Tourism Market - And How Spas Can Benefit.” She covered the distinctions of medical tourism vs. wellness tourism. Susie said medial tourism focuses on reactive, symptom based medicine that people travel to another state or country to fix and heal. This includes cosmetic surgery, cancer treatments and organ transplants. Wellness tourism promotes a more proactive and less invasive approach that promotes a healthy lifestyle focusing on physical activity, diet and personal development or mind body experiences.  This has become a $439 billion dollar global market with major potential. It encompasses not only spa but alternative medicine, active lifestyles, yoga and mind body fitness which are all overlap the LOHAS market.

I was very impressed at how far the industry has not only grown but also how LOHAS values on wellness have become more integrated.  It appears that spa goers have become more conscious of how they surround themselves in spa settings and what type of ingredients they are putting on their skin and the spa companies are responding.  The recession has made brands and properties smarter in their decisions as it relates to communicating their mission to consumers and property greening as it relates to dollars and cents.  Although work still needs to be done, I look forward to what the industry has in store in the coming years.

 

When it comes to LOHAS brands & marketing; the ocean is an expansive as creativity.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 by

 

I just returned from several sun and sea-soaked days in the LA area and realized once again how a change of scene can quite literally change you. As a creative director and brand strategist, I make my living with words. Ideas. Concepts. And perspective.

Since my agency is virtual, I can (and do) work from any and everywhere on the planet. And I've found that nothing recharges creativity and leads to more expansive thinking than travel. It's impossible not to be profoundly opened and altered by new experiences, people—and especially the dazzling sun as it reflects light on the Pacific Ocean.

My green and wellness-centric marketing agency specializes in social and environmental change. My clients are mostly sustainable businesses and organizations that are passionate about creating a better world  through organic food, yoga, alternative medicine, holistic practices, inner transformation and more.

As a leader in wellness marketing and sustainable advertising, I've found that the best way to continue offering high impact, memorable and jaw-dropping creative is to stay open to the jaw-dropping, perspective-changing experiences that happen all around us every day. Like the egg I found nestled among native plants as I walked to my office this morning— or a sparkling day amidst the boats, sea and sand of Corona Del Mar.

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketinga Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

Sustainable Business Profile: Burgerville

Friday, April 26, 2013 by

burgervilleInterested in reading a great case study on a triple bottom-line company? Read my company's blog on Burgerville, where we profile a company that is doing it right.  Their focus on people,  profit and planet has led to the creation of a full-time Chief Cultural Officer.  

Here's the article we posted recently on my website.

I've never been a fan of the fast food restaurant, but after abandoning being a vegetarian in my mid-20's, I just couldn't resist my childhood favorite: an old fashioned hamburger. Today, I find myself regularly buying those gourmet hamburgers from Whole Foods and throwing them on the BBQ for a fast dinner.  But instead of putting them on a bun, I tend to serve them on a bed of wild greens, mache or arugula lettuce. Yum.

On my company's website blog this week, we covered a profile about another restaurant that you've probably never hear of called Burgerville.  It certainly doesn’t have the name recognition or ubiquity of McDonald’s, Burger King, or any other well known fast food joint. But it has something that all the recognition and ubiquity in the world can’t give it: sustainability.

Burgerville got its start  in 1961 in Vancouver, Washington and has since spread to  39 restaurants in the Washington and Oregon area. Their objective isn’t just to expand –  they want to make the world a better place by selling burgers.

They use a number of green practices to do this:

1)      Source food locally. Nearly all of their ingredients are grown nearby and have that local flavor—like Walla Walla onions and Yukon Gold potatoes.

2)      Use seasonal offerings. Depending on the time of year,Burgerville mixes up their menu with seasonal offerings like strawberry milkshakes (from local strawberries) or hazelnut ice cream (from locally grown hazelnuts).

3)      Use alternative energy. In what can only be called a coup against conventional energy thinking, all Burgerville restaurants and their headquarters are completely powered by wind energy. They even let bicyclists use their drive-thru windows.

4)      Support sustainable farming. In 2004 Burgerville made the choice to only use range-fed beef raised without antibiotics.

5)      Support sustainable waste practices. In 2007 Burgerville made another green choice by implementing a composting program at all of their restaurants.

6)      Embrace green menu options. Burgerville makes great hamburgers, but they also have a lot of food offerings that focus on more earth-friendly options. Chicken burgers, fresh fish offerings,  veggie burgers, salads, and even sweet potato and asparagus are all menu items that offer alternative to the traditional beef-heavy fast food menus.

As a result of their conscientious practices, Burgerville continues to grow and expand, and is an asset to every community that has a restaurant.

Henry Ford said, “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” Burgerville isn’t just making money: they are making jobs, strengthening local economies, creating new business models, and keeping the future intact. With a simple company policy of “fresh, local, sustainable” they are making the world a better place, one burger at a time.

For more info on the business case for having a sustainable business read this page of their website: http://www.burgerville.com/sustainable-business/the-business-case/

 

 

 

Leading Universities for Sustainable Studies

Monday, November 26, 2012 by

The field of sustainability has evolved from a small niche of environmentalists into a transdisciplinary field that spans from local agriculture to global business. Today, people around the globe are much more aware of the problems facing mankind and the planet as a whole. The population is estimated to grow to nine billion by 2050, an increase that will only further strain our planet's natural resources. In these universities, teachers and students are committing their careers to developing the principles and practices that will allow the human race to achieve a sustainable future.

1. The University of California at Davis

UC Davis has a long history of teaching organic farming, but it wasn't until last year that sustainable agriculture was added to the curriculum. Today, UC Davis offers a degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems that explores the social, economic and environmental aspects of food and agriculture. This course of study goes beyond the farm and the table to the wider global impact of a sustainable food supply.

2. The Center for Alternative Technology

Located in Wales, the CAT eco-center focuses on all aspects of sustainable living and also provides classes for the public and professionals. Its permanent exhibitions of alternative technologies serve as the leading tourist attractions in the area.  In 2000, CAT began to teach post graduate studies, and in 2010 CAT built the Wales Institute for Sustainable Education (WISE). The WISE building currently serves as a lecture hall as well as a case study for sustainable architecture practices. Since 2008, the Center has offered a Professional Diploma in Architecture.

3. The College of the Atlantic

Students of the College of the Atlantic all share a single major: human ecology. Professors and students at College of the Atlantic approach sustainable issues through various areas of study – such as arts, sciences or business – offering a comprehensive approach to human ecology and its principles. The school also offers only a single graduate concentration, a Master's in Philosophy in human ecology.

4. Oregon Institute of Technology

In 2008, the Oregon Institute of Technology began the first four-year undergraduate degree program in renewable energy systems in the United States. This Bachelor of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering establishes the engineering principles that will promote and integrate alternative energy sources into mainstream society. The degree is taught in both Klamath Falls and Portland, Ore.

5. The Earth Institute at Columbia University

The Earth Institute is a branch of the Columbia University's NYC campus. The EI hosts a variety of majors and degree paths for environmental sciences. Students who are interested in conservation, engineering or evolutional biology can receive an education that will prepare them for careers that value the Earth.

6. The University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is located in Philadelphia and is often called "Penn". Like Columbia, it is an Ivy League school and is one of the oldest and renowned in the United States. The University offers a "Green MBA", which is actually a major in Environmental and Risk Management. The Green MBA teaches the "triple bottom line" principles that comprise a sustainable business model and is a good choice for those who plan to pursue careers with sustainable business initiatives.

7. Center for Sustainable Fashion at London College

This institution melds research, creativity and business to support a sustainable approach to the fashion industry. The Center for Sustainable Fashion at London College encourages social change through fashion trends. The institution challenges the status quo and encourages students to make a positive impact in an industry that can radically change the social and economic realities of our world.

8. The University of New Hampshire

 This school, located in Durham, New Hampshire, makes the list with its dual major EcoGastronomy. The major integrates sustainable agriculture with hospitality management and nutrition for a comprehensive and holistic approach to selecting and preparing food for health and taste.

9. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Students of the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design can select from a variety of different creative majors with an emphasis in sustainable practices.  Complementing sustainable architecture is the sustainable interior design initiative in which students learn the brass tacks of designing as well as the environmental impacts on human behavior and eco-friendly building materials and systems.

Nadia Jones is an education blogger for Onlinecollege.org where she writes about education news, online learning platforms, and accredited online colleges. She recently helped compile an Online College Catalogue for prospective students. Nadia welcomes your comments and questions at nadia.jones5@gmail.com.

 

Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine Offers Online Classes to the Public

Thursday, August 23, 2012 by

Every day, more medical professionals and patients are recognizing the benefits of an integrative approach to health care. Integrative medicine (IM) is a health philosophy that focuses on the whole person, not just the disease. In treating an illness or disorder, a doctor who practices IMworks to heal the whole patient; mind, body and spirit.

Because the evidence is stacking in favor of integrative medicine, there is a growing interest in learning more about how to use the philosophy for well-being. To answer this curiosity, some medical schools that teach the IM philosophy have chosen to offer individual online classes about the subject, many of them open to the public.

If you are interested in learning more about integrative medicine, the University of Arizona’s Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine offers some of the best online classes on the topic. These courses are fully accredited, and most are open to the public. Tuition fees for each class range from free to $240.

Course topics include prostate cancer and IM, breast cancer and IM, anti-inflammatory diet, introduction to integrative mental health: anxiety and depression, environmental medicine, nutrition and cardiovascular health, nutrition and cancer and Ayurveda.

These courses can be taken at any time. However, you must complete the course within the allotted time frame, before losing access to the online course material. These classes do not provide students with any type of college credit. Registration and payment may be completed online at www.IntegrativeMedicine.Arizona.edu.

If you are not a medical professional, it is best to use what you learn as a supplement to professional medical care. As always, share all information about physical activity, diet and other at-home health care treatments with your doctor. If you are interested in using integrative medicine to treat a current illness, discuss the possibility first with your current medical practitioner.

In addition to the above online courses, there are other sources on the internet for information about IM, but only content provided by an accredited institution should be used. Lastly, before agreeing to pay for any online course, make sure that the school offering the course is a fully accredited institution.

Barbara Jolie is a freelance writer and blogger who contributes most of her work to www.OnlineClasses.org. She writes about the advantages of online college and is particularly interested in writing and language education. If you have any questions, please email her at barbara.jolie876@gmail.com.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/alternative-medicine-integrative-medicine

http://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/education/online_courses.html

Sustainability Trends for 2012: energy, water and employee engagement

Friday, April 27, 2012 by

Energy EfficiencyA quick review of sustainability trends reported on the internet shows (not surprisingly) that energy will stay a high priority. The focus is on alternative energy, energy efficiency  and solar energy. Within the green building movement, retrofitting buildings for sustainability is gaining momentum.

This poses a huge market opportunity for businesses. However, it helps if (local) governments create the environment that is beneficial for investing in clean energy. For rapid introduction of new technologies a so called ‘innovation system’- the needs to be in place. Innovation systems are networks of organizations that work together on diffusing new technologies. They are facilitated through entrepreneurial activity, knowledge development through collaboration with educational institutions, and knowledge diffusion through networks such as accelerators and business platforms. Governments can play pivotal roles in facilitating innovation systems.

A more recent trend is concern over water issues. Many places in the world don’t have access to enough water to meet agricultural, urban and industrial water needs. Large areas deal with droughts, and disruptive weather patterns caused by climate change  aggravate these issues.

Though this is important for business, especially in the food industry, it is even more important to governments. Water supplies are directly related to energy and food needs. The repercussions of water shortages in combination with an exploding world population cannot be underestimated – and may lead to water wars. Meriting this issue to be dealt with from a diplomatic point of view. For example: it is for a good reason that China does not want to leave Tibet: the country is the source of all the rivers in the region.

Thirdly, employee engagement is finally on the corporate agenda. Which is great, because the social side of the triple bottom line often gets little attention.  I often wonder why we have so few very successful cases for sustainability. In my opinion, engagement is the missing link – you can’t just roll out policies, or change light bulbs. Sustainability becomes a part of the organization when employees are engaged in the subject. Luckily for us, there is a strong business case for engagement, and links to sustainability within a company

LOHAS Wellness Trends

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by

wellness trendsAfter scanning health and wellness trends for 2012 here are a few that caught my eye along with my own perspectices that are LOHAS related.

1. Yoga & Meditation as Mainstream Treatment: Interest in alternative treatments will experience a second surge. Even though interest in alternative treatments is already high, more people, practitioners and patients will be willing to experiment with new remedies, activities and lifestyle changes to avoid these kinds of medications. A study[10] finds that of the 41 million Americans that use mind-body therapies like yoga or tai chi, 6.4 million are now doing them because they were “prescribed” by their medical provider.  Yoga, tai chi, qigong, Feldenkrais, guided imagery, acupuncture and other practices will continue to gain attention due to their ability to calm, soothe and attend to medical situations such as chronic pain, hypertension, obesity and stress. With returning PTSD suffering Iraqi war veterans and stress brought upon with tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes there will be a greater interest in how trauma affects us both personally and in our institutions, including our workplaces and schools and how to respond in effective ways.

2. Awareness & Prevention Will Have a Renewed Focus: As chronic diseases account for many of our healthcare issues and costs there will be a revitalized focus on preventative medicine. Anticipate the integration of wellness programs into businesses by employers and provide resources programs to encourage better health and prevention. This was predicted in our 2011 wellness trends but anticipate stronger campaigns on all fronts as health becomes a larger issue for society.

3. The Empowered Consumer Continues to Rise: The DYI trend among consumers will continue in 2012. And technology plays a large role here. Research shows that 80% of U.S. Internet users claim to have used the web to search for health-related information and answers. And that is just search. Many platforms from interactive healthcare kiosks to social media to personalized health sites are allowing consumers to empower themselves. As consumers increasingly turn to self-service technologies and channels, the entire healthcare industry has a tremendous opportunity to reach, engage and interactive with today’s empowered consumer. And that will yield some powerful results from consumers to doctors to advertisers.

4. Family Wellness Travel: The boom in solo travellers continues to rise for wellness holidays but more families are now searching for these types of getaways. Parents want their children to be healthy on holiday and also keep busy with plenty of activities so they don’t get bored. More resorts are also introducing healthy children’s menus so they can learn good habits early. Parents also want to be able to enjoy holistic activities and spa treatments, whilst their children are staying active.

5. Retail Plays an Increased Role: In response to the DYI demand from consumers in-store clinics and healthcare kiosks will play vital roles to connect with consumers for better healthcare access, awareness and treatments. Consumers are still frequenting brick-n-mortar stores; connecting with them while they are there offers great opportunities for healthcare providers, advertisers and the retail locations.

6. Holidaying with Health Gurus: Top health and fitness experts now work at some of the leading resorts around the world. More people want to receive dedicated support and guidance from the best in the industry; wellness retreats are bringing in the top yoga teachers, nutritionists, doctors, personal trainers and more health gurus to raise their game. Clients want to be inspired and informed so that they can lead a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle when they return home. Expect more tailored programs to be developed such as ones provided at Tao Inspired Living or Rancho La Puerta.

7. Obesity Awareness: Losing weight will continue to be the primary reason consumers seek personal training support as the public responds to the expanded messaging concerning the dangers of physical inactivity and obesity. The recently released Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index report that showed a modest improvement in the nation’s obesity rates for the first time in more than three years is a very encouraging sign. However, the fact remains that three out of five Americans are still overweight or obese, requiring more work to be done. 

8. Whole-life training: Lifestyle/ Wellness coaching will become a bigger trend with more personal trainers, fitness centers and spas looking to holistically improve client lifestyle and expanding their education and training to include this skill set. There are efforts to clearly define the parameters of coaching and help distinguish coaching (which is future-focused) from other professional services like counseling (which delve into a person’s past). The medical industry and academic groups are examining the value of wellness coaching. Harvard Medical School (www.harvardcoaching.org) now underwrites an annual conference on coaching’s role in healthcare. One of the many research initiatives being analyzed by the International Coaching Research Forum (U.K.) is developing coaching as a global, academic profession. Companies like Wellpeople.com (U.S.) offer certified on-site or virtual wellness coaches for spas, hospitals and businesses. Anticipate fitness facilities to hire nutritionists and other allied healthcare professionals such as physical therapists and psychologists to serve the expanding needs of their health-conscious members including wellness, nutrition, and stress-management programs.

9. Community Collaboration: Access to fitness services and education will continue to expand in local communities including activities in gyms, parks, and recreation centers. Local leaders are taking a more active role to address health issues in their communities. This includes proactive measures through school-based education programs and engagement with low-income and at-risk families. The Canyon Ranch Institute provides Life Enhancement Programs in underserved communities of the South Bronx, Cleveland, and Tuscon to prevent, diagnose, and address chronic diseases.

10. Healthy Fast Food: There will be a greater push to keep students and employees healthy. This will mean a closer examination of cafeteria food in schools and on-site vending machines in work places, including information on how eating patterns create stress, obesity and health and behavior problems. As more people recognize the failings of fast food and food processing companies expect vendors to upgrade their product offerings to develop and market products that are not only healthy but actually promote health.

11. Clean Eating Focus: The food-health connection will be very important. As we learn more about "clean eating" -- consuming foods without preservatives, chemicals, sugars and other additives -- our habits will change as we read labels even more carefully and appreciate the rewards of more energy and fewer chronic illnesses. Along with clean eating, we will also become aware of the problems associated with GMO crops that have been over-hybridized by corporations for fast growth and easy harvest. The Non GMO projectThe Institute for Responsible Technology and others are working on raising awareness for consumers on the hazards of GMO foods on the environment and health.

12. Evidence based Spa Therapies: There has been a significant amount of efforts put forth by skincare companies and alternative therapy groups to provide research backing the results of treatments. SpaEvidence is a web resource that gives the world easy access to the “evidence-based medicine” databases that doctors use, so they can search thousands of studies evaluating which spa modalities are proven to work, and for which exact conditions.

Feel free to add any that I may have missed.

 

Ted Ning is renowned for leading the annual LOHAS Forum, LOHAS.com and LOHAS Journal the past 9 years Ted Ning is widely regarded as the epicenter of all things LOHAS leading many to affectionately refer to him as ‘Mr. LOHAS’. He is a change agent, trend spotter and principal of the LOHAS Group, which advises large and small corporations on accessing and profiting from the +$300 billion lifestyles of health and sustainability marketplace.  The LOHAS Group is a strategy firm focusing on helping companies discover, create, nurture and develop their unique brand assets.  For more information on Ted visit  www.tedning.com

CAM: It's not Magic, It's Medicine

Friday, September 23, 2011 by
Like the LOHAS movement itself, integrative medicine is also on the rise despite recent economic trends and challenges.  As Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) becomes more mainstream, skeptics of integrative medicine have also become increasingly vocal.  Thousands of years and countless studies support the efficacy of treatment options within fields like Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), though often critics of holistic medicine focus their attention on newer, less researched, and less regulated fields that remain on the fringe of holistic medicine.Botanical Medicine  

In response, many CAM users may speak with an unyielding defense, enthusiasm, and "belief" in alternative medicine.  However, bundling the "fringes" of holistic alternative medicine along with more credible CAM options may actually confuse new patients about what is appropriate for their conditions.  Moreover, adamant "belief" of users may misrepresent the science and rigorous training of licensed CAM providers.  

Whether seeking to manage a chronic condition or support to maintain healthy lifestyles, there are a number of CAM alternatives that effectively meet patients' needs.  For companies seeking access to credentialed CAM providers, CAM PPO of America, Inc. offers access to a national network of CAM practitioners.  Because of the emphasis on healthy living through lifestyle management, including non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical alternatives, investing in integrative medicine options offers an innovative addition to an overall CAM PPO of America, Inc.green business strategy.  

More is More: Licensure and Integrative Medicine

Thursday, August 18, 2011 by
Millions of health care dollars are spend annually on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) procedures and products.   A recent study reveals that in the US alone more than $33 billion was spent in one year, a substantial portion of out of pocket spending.    
Natural Medicine

That’s no small figure, and that number has generated significant investment in evidence based research on holistic medicine.  While some types of CAM therapies have become available more widely in mainstream health care, there are still differences in access, availability, and type, and the general public may need support in identifying which procedures are best suited for specific concerns.  With so many people turning to integrative alternative medicine options, it's vital to remember that "health care consumers" are patients first.  

There are numerous considerations patients may want to consider before scheduling a visit with a CAM practitioner.  Similar to standard medicine, fields of expertise vary among CAM providers.  Additionally, from state to state, licensure variations impact the scope and availability of a number of alternative medicine practitioner types, making provider selection a matter of exceptional significance.

confused In states without licensure for specific fields, for instance, patients are left with limited options and no guidance to confirm that a provider has met appropriate criteria, education, and qualifying exam passage to maintain a practice.  In unregulated fields, a patient may feel like they have little more than word of mouth and a provider's own marketing to find (self proclaimed) integrative medicine services.  Without licensure, a patient may simply look for the best deal rather than the best doctor, and that is probably not a healthy choice.  In fact, the "wrong medicine" may be worse than no medicine since it delays appropriate intervention and risks complications.


To take the guesswork out of integrative medicine provider selection for members, CAM PPO of America,cam ppo logo Inc.developed a proprietary credentialing model designed exclusively for holistic alternative medicine.  When considering a holistic therapy, talk to your primary provider, who may be able to refer a qualified CAM professional.  Then learn what you can about the appropriate applications of the CAM treatments that interest you before scheduling appointments.  Check with your CAM providers about their qualifications: look for current licenses to practice, participation in professional associations that offer CMEs (continuing medical education hours), and inquire about their specific experience levels.  Remember that more training and professional expertise helps you make sure that your investment in healthy living is spent wisely.


New Directions: CAM and Employer Sponsored Health Programs

Thursday, July 28, 2011 by
Traditional health care coverage has been a mainstay of employer-sponsored health benefits for decades, even as costs hit four times the rate of inflation.  The surging expenses suggest that the current approach appears less than sustainable.  The costs become even more staggering when the human toll of illnesses are also calculated into the equation.  

For the majority of insured people, illnesses are diagnosed, codified, and approved for treatment through standard medical interventions and insurance protocols.  Since specific illnesses are typically required to qualify most expenses for eligible traditional care benefits, conscious consumers hoping to improve health before illness strikes are often left with few options.

natural optionsAs interest in health living tips employee interest toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), the research also suggests that integrative medicine has the potential to improve employee health and meet employee interest. 

Currently, integrative medicine is often paid out of pocket, despite consistent increases in interest and available research to support its effectiveness in preventing and managing whole health.  Surprisingly, even though smoking habits and obesity are linked to the top chronic ailments in the US, only about 9% of employers offer smoking cessation plans and a meager 6% offer weight loss programs within coverage.  To enhance social accountability a trend toward investing in preventive medicine and CAM  is predicted, and already more than 37% of hospitals have some CAM  therapies available.  LOHAS companies, in particular, may start looking for holistic alternatives and seeking socially responsible Investing options that improve employee health and preventive care through CAM  benefit programs.
ginsing



Tales from the Medicine Trail with Chris Kilham.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 by
The below article is brought to you as part of elephant journal’s ongoing coverage of LOHAS Forum. For our complete coverage, be sure to follow elephant on Twitter and Facebook.

"Change your words, change your world." 

Chris Kilham opened his talk by asking how many of us live on earth and how many are human beings. The majority of us repsonded in the affirmative. He then pointed out that we face an interesting future--is it going to be the beaming passion world of Buddha or dark and destructive? It's up to us to choose--and act.

Chris has a unique job working in the field of plant medicine, or Integrative Alternative Medicine. He chose this field because he believes we need good health options and believes death is the effect of pharmaceutical medicine. His natural medicines are used worldwide. Besides discussing four important medicines, Chris told us how the medicines are locally grown and harvested providing the tribal cultures with a healthy livelihood and the ability to sustain the lifestyles of community and village they have lived for centuries.

In one village, the chief asked that Chris take their picture. When Chris asked why, the chief said that he wanted the world to know they exist. Imagine, these tribes living far from civilization in a world untouched by phones and televisions and Internet access! The tribe's 103-year-old shaman, an amazingly powerful but petit woman, gave Chris what he took to be his marching orders. Not knowing anything about Chris, she simply said, "you bridge worlds, this is important for you to do," as she pointed her little old finger at him. Chris has since become a driving force to communicate and foster greater understanding between cultures.

The first plant Chris spoke of was Kava, harvested from Vanuatu in the South Pacific Islands. Vanatu means "land eternal" and at least for now, much of it remains unspoiled. The entire region is lush and beautiful with fresh drinkable water directly from lakes and streams. In the 1990s Chris and others worked to make Kava easily available to the 9.9 million Americans suffering from clinical anxiety. In Vanatu, the locals take a Kava break at the end of the workday by boiling up the roots, then sitting around and sharing about their day. Kava roots are often given as show of friendship and used as wedding gifts. 

Duke Medical Center conducted two studies, one on the use of Kava on anxiety, and one that showed no liver toxicity from use of Kava. One week before the studies were reported, "out of a no where" came a study that 20 people in Europe suffered liver toxicity from Kava. That news halted the Kava industry and it's taken years to disprove that study and get Kava acceptable again. When Chris had the opportunity to drink fresh Kava root from a coconut in the village, he felt peaceful and chilled out. Locally, the tribe also uses Kava for dispute resolution. To send off Chris and his colleagues, the tribe danced them off the island for a mile to the sea, stamping their feet and shouting. Imagine if we lived with such enthusiasm and joy and showed such appreciation for our guests!

Chris then discussed Maca, from the Peruvian Andes. Maca is a restorative turnip-like plant root. For the people of the Andes, growing and harvesting Maca means they don't have to work in mines in miserable conditions. Maca is an energizing, super food, which radically enhances libido without toxicity. Keeping up with tradition, women shamans of the tribe put their blessing on the Maca as part of the harvest.

Chris moved onto the subject of antidepressants, claiming that the entire category of antidepressant drugs are every bit as effective as sugar-based placebos. He recommends eating an M&M or Altoid instead. :-) Far in the northwestern parts of China locals harvest Rhodeola rosea, a profound antidepressant that works better than placebos, and doesn't creative the side effects often present with drugs. The locals have just two months to harvest enough Rhodeola to earn their year's living and provide enough for worldwide consumption. Chris calls Rhodeola rosea a gateway herb. By taking Rhodeola, you get a sense of well-being, vitality, of being plugged in and have the energy to do a lot. And that, Chris says, is what we need for these times--to feel good and do a lot. Sadly, many people today simply feel crappy.

Finally, Chris talked about Cat's Claw, an anti-inflammatory herb that comes from the Amazon. All degenerative diseases involve inflammation so coming up with anti-inflammatory drugs is a big driver in pharmaceutical industry today. But Chris pointed out that drug development is driven not by a love of humanity but by patent law and many, if not most, drugs come with side effects, which Chris points out are really effects, not just an aside. Cat's claw, which is the inner bark of a vine, is the most potent and safest antii-inflammatory available today and has been used successfully to cure some forms of cancer. 

In closing, Chris pointed out that if we don't mitigate the destruction of the Amazon rainforest (which could be destroyed by 2030 if we continue the path we're on), we'll lose 20 percent of the world's oxygen.

"This is our time," he says. "It requires boldness, energy, and that we throw ourselves into this work with everything we can bring to the table."


Lori Batcheller is a freelance writer, yoga instructor and registered massage therapist who focuses on health, well-Lori Batchellerbeing, and sustainable living. www.lbcreative.com.






10 Things That Make the LOHAS Forum Unique

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 by

1. Cross section of attendees is like no other event. Where else will you find Fortune 500 companies shoulder to start up entrepreneurs next to mainstream media and celebrity. It is a great networking event for those who want to stretch their comfort zone and meet new people.

2. Permission to drop the armor of image is granted and expected. Everyone at the event wants to know who each other is at heart first and then get to professional interests second. This makes the attendees really open to each other and sincerely attentive to each other’s needs.

3. On the cutting edge of what is next. Many events have large corporations as the core of their speakers where at LOHAS you see more of the larger corporations in the audience learning how to enter the LOHAS market.

4. Boulder City is the epicenter of LOHAS activity. Despite being just over 100K in population it is the hub of organics, clean tech, outdoor industry, spirituality, alternative medicine, technology, entrepreneurship and is beautiful place to be in June when the LOHAS Forum occurs.

5. St. Julien Hotel & Spa is the best hotel in Boulder and has a very accommodating staff and has fully embraced sustainability. They provide the measurements for landfill alleviation for the LOHAS forum and organic and locally sourced meal options. Last year we were able to recycle 87% of our waste from the event. We strive to do more this year. The spa is top notch as well. 

6. The LOHAS gift room is legendary. Rather than provide a pre stuffed conference bag of brochures that are typically dumped in the hotel room we provide a gift room of various items from LOHAS companies that attendees can pick and choose from. Attendees love this and the gift bags are usually quite stuffed when people leave the room!

7. Market data worth thousands of dollars is presented by a variety of green market trend specialists. Those that are interested on what is happening in the LOHAS space can collect a tremendous amount of insight from these highly sought presentations.

8. Program content transcends green business to include elements to connect with the human spirit and community in a way that is energetic and inspiring.

9. A paperless program for this year and digital signage. The program will be on an app that is also a mobile website. The app will be downloadable on iTunes and will allow those who are not attending to see what is happening by reading the social media feeds, text alerts and uploaded images by attendees. Conference signage are flatscreen monitors that double as media centers for video.

10. Not just a conference but a community celebration! We have a variety of ways built into the event ranging from morning yoga and meditation to musical entertainment to after parties to engage the senses for attendees.

If you are an attendee and have other elements I have forgotten I would love to hear them. Please share!

 

Ted Ning is renowned for leading the annual LOHAS Forum, LOHAS.com and LOHAS Journal the past 9 years Ted Ning is widely regarded as the epicenter of all things LOHAS leading many to affectionately refer to him as ‘Mr. LOHAS’. He is a change agent, trend spotter and principal of the LOHAS Group, which advises large and small corporations on accessing and profiting from the +$300 billion lifestyles of health and sustainability marketplace.  The LOHAS Group is a strategy firm focusing on helping companies discover, create, nurture and develop their unique brand assets.  For more information on Ted visit  www.tedning.com

Thinking About Integrative Medicine

Monday, May 23, 2011 by

As forms of integrative and alternative medicine become more widely available within mainstream health care, many people may find themselves confused about what the options are and who should be providing them.  If you're looking into finding new options to explore healthy living, you may also be wondering about how to ensure your health care is in appropriate hands.

Training and background varies among health care professionals, including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners.  As with any health care, it's important for patients to remember that qualifications matter very much.  You  wouldn't want your neighbor pulling your tooth just because he has a comfortable chair and a set of pliers, and conscious consumers like you probably wouldn't want to entrust the recommendation of herbs or supplements to just anyone either.  

A common misconception about holistic alternative medicine is that because it’s naturally based, it’s without risk.  With any medicinal products there can be interactions with prescriptions, side effects, and contraindications.  Only providers well versed in current research who have in depth education in CAM possess the credible knowledge to offer safe and effective treatments to patients. 

Licensure remains the gold standard for health care professions, even as holistic alternative medicine practitioner licensing varies from state to state.  Licensure ensures  that providers attended accredited education programs and qualifications are in sync with industry standards.  In the U.S., currently, 17 states and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands license Naturopathic Doctors (NDs), and the vast majority of states have regulations in place for Acupuncturists and Dieticians.  

Whether you are seeking lifestyle counsel, homeopathy, dietary advice, acupuncture, or another service, it is advisable to select licensed providers to help you accomplish your healthy lifestyle goals.  If you hope to garner more than healthy living tips, although unlicensed providers may be appealing (and sometimes more affordable), it’s worth investing a little time into credential checking to ensure the best results.   


CSR today is derivative

Sunday, May 1, 2011 by

by Scott James

This month we took in a conversation with David Batstone, whose current job titles include Professor of Business & Entrepreneurship at University of San Francisco, President and Co-Founder of the Not For Sale Campaign, and Managing Partner of Just Business Fund. Let’s hear what David had to say:

telenorScott: What country should serve as a model for the U.S. community of CSR professionals and why?

David: Norway. I’ve been impressed with both their government and private sector initiatives. Their largest telecom company – TeleNor – was the 51% investor to bring launch Grameen Phone, the very successful mobile telephone company in Bangladesh. I wish our own country’s administration could begin encouraging business models and investments like this. We’re missing the boat in the U.S. to create local enterprises in other countries which offer both better return and a better chance of success because they are locally embedded. There are real business opportunities for – and with – the bottom billion. Let’s not lament the troubles involved; we must rethink who our market is and expand it to include this group.

Scott: Where are we (the US-based CSR community) succeeding?

David: Our private sector green protocols and investments are working. They represent cost savings, but also bring alternative energy and waste reduction to Corporate America in ways that you are not finding in other regions of the world. For example, last year Intel bought 1.4 billion kilowatts of renewable energy. Think of what that does for both new and existing renewable energy companies in terms of capital flow and attraction of investment dollars.

Intel is just one company; imagine if we were to see 10% of the Global 500 match Intel’s commitment! This is much more encouraging to me than any type of government compliance work around climate change. The private initiatives coming out of a strong CSR commitment are making much more headway than is our government.

Scott: How about our failures, where we are not succeeding as much as we could?

David: There is a real sense of ambivalence about CSR right now. It’s like a trip to the dentist; you know you have to do it but it’s not a pleasant experience. It does not provide inspiration and vision for most companies. But there is hope.

There are a selected few companies that are taking CSR to the very core of their business and corporate identity. It’s beyond starting a soup kitchen here or a HIV clinic there, although those are very important things. It’s about how our employees care and engage with this on a daily basis. They’re not just making widgets but tied to something bigger.

Stonyfield Farms (now owned by Dannon) used to do a lot of diverse philanthropy, but they’ve focused their CSR investments now to help farmers transform their dairy businesses from hormone-based to organic farming. And the small farmers are core to Stonyfield’s supply of high quality healthy products and brand identity.

Scott: Tell me about a company doing something in CSR that is a model for our future.

David: The G-III Apparel Group, which owns the U.S. license for Levi’s jackets and other name brands. As they are converting their supply chain, they’re thinking well beyond just CYA to create a story behind their product. They are reshaping what it means to be a retail brand by enhancing the lives of everyone who comes in contact with their product. G-III is sourcing organic cotton from an area in the Amazon heavily afflicted by human trafficking.

They are working with the Not For Sale Campaign to source from that region specifically to benefit the producers and communities, bringing the material to a Cambodian manufacturer also committed to a fully transparent supply chain. This enables retailers to communicate an authentic supply chain story, creating an emotional link for the end purchaser of the apparel. The new driver is consumer experience, not just price point and distribution.

Scott: What question are we not asking ourselves that we should?

David: Most of CSR today is derivative. We look for the easiest path, the plug-and-play CSR solution for our companies. Instead, we should be asking ourselves, “How do we become the Apple of social innovation?”

Food Fights: School Lunches, Nutrition, and Childhood Health

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 by

Childhood obesity is nearly 20% among all children, and it's reached 44% among children living below the poverty line, advancing the national attention on this health epidemic.   Nutrition debates are heating up around the nation as some school administrations try to take hold of the gap between knowledge and action by regulating packed lunches and snacks.  Bans on soft drinks, limits on sweet snacks, and other regulations are popping up in places like Arizona, Alabama,  New York, and Chicago, but some people claim such a regulated approach to healthy living tips the scale too far against parental choice.

Yet others see it as surprising that this is the first time the U.S. is raising standards in cafeteria food, since more than 30 million kids eat those prepared meals every day.  The programs, designed to be socially responsible investments in health promotion, are gathering wide attention.  Supporters and resisters typically agree that the increase of obesity among children requires rethinking some basic assumptions about nutrition. 

The adage we are what we eat, though simple, may prompt plenty of conscious consumers toward more mindful eating habits in response to the growing awareness of childhood obesity.  Integrative Medicine use is also quickly growing for children as parents look for alternatives to growing health concerns among younger populations.  In addition to childhood obesity rates, childhood pharmaceutical use for conditions like anxiety, depression, and other conditions is also on the rise, and these in part can be influenced by diet as well as other factors.  Many holistic alternative medicine practitioners recognize the deep need to move toward healthy and organic living to respond to these health concerns with more natural, preventive approaches.  

Similarly, employers may seek more integrative medicine based options by investing in programs that make integrative alternative medicine providers available to employees.  Moving beyond packaged wellness programs and into health plans that make credentialed integrative medicine providers available, like the options available with CAM PPO of America, Inc., can improve nutrition and general wellness, and help families make lasting healthy lifestyle changes. 

CAM and Prevention: When Dollars Make Sense

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 by

With preventable and chronic diseases among the leading, ever-increasing health care expenses, it’s no surprise that billions of dollars in the U.S. are spent annually treating conditions related to obesity, tobacco use, and diabetes, which can be treated or avoided with preventive approaches.  In fact, some studies estimate that more than 85% of health care claims costs are related to individual lifestyle. While those are daunting numbers, the exciting aspect of these costs should be recognized, too: that improved preventive services can effectively help people reach their goals for healthy and organic living. 


Preventive care includes promoting a healthy diet, activity level, and lifestyle choices (including interventions for risky behaviors, Blueberrieslike smoking).  To be effective, proactive approaches to health must go beyond trendy, generic programs that do little more than offer healthy living tips.  Instead, research suggests that appropriate interventions can help reverse some health damage and drastically reduce risks for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.   Integrative and alternative medicine, often termed CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine),  excels in effective treatment options to manage and prevent chronic disease.  

acupunctureWhile medical nutrition therapy has obvious benefits for conditions related to obesity, cardiovascular, and diabetes, other CAM services are equally invaluable in prevention and disease management.  Chronic pain alone is estimated to cost employers more than $60 billion annually.  Therapeutic massage, acupuncture, and other CAM interventions have exciting results for effective chronic pain management, including reduced reliance on pain medication.  For instance, patients using acupuncture to treat chronic pain associated with headaches report making 25% fewer physician visits, using 15% fewer sick days, and using 15% less medication.  Acupuncture patients seeking relief from back pain found long term pain relief, a faster return to work from sick leave, and a 28% reduction in pain medication usage.  

Overall, CAM therapies are less invasive and based in healing modalities that are often appealing to LOHAS and other conscious consumers.  Supporting access to holistic alternative medicine practitioners can be an important, socially responsible investment in employee health, and CAM PPO of America, Inc. offers a national credentialed network with an exclusive focus on integrative medicine.

Credentialing and Alternative Medicine

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 by

For companies seeking green business solutions, investing in health care that connects the dots between personal and environmental health embodies ecofriendly consciousness.  To overlook one of the major investments companies make in employees by relying on "default" health care options, a major opportunity to promote healthy living is missed. Like processed foods, health care options are usually pre-packaged and offered "as-is" with conventional medicine industries taking the lead in credentialing and other mainstream practices.balance
     

     Credentialing is an administrative process that involves reviewing qualifications, training, and practice requirements, with the significant goals of promoting patient safety and establishing consistent standards within a group of providers.  In conventional medicine, the complexity of the credentialing practice is generally offset by the consistent scope of practice and licensure standards in the dominant health care system. Credentialing relies on those industry practice standards to ensure that users of a specific network are seeking care from appropriately qualified providers.    


To some, credentialing in the CAM sector may seem cumbersome or unrealistic, since many CAM providers maintain medical practices outside of standard medical institutions.  CAM PPO of America, Inc., however, offers a unique solution with a proprietary credentialing process that exclusively focuses on integrative and alternative medicine.  Because state licensure varies so widely for CAM fields, the process sets CAM PPO apart from simple lists and online groups that may use the right catch phrases but lack medical expertise and qualifications. 

     Seeking a CAM provider can be confusing for conscious consumers, and few patients may have the time or resources to investigate practitioner qualifications and backgrounds.  Yet, it's an essential ingredient to seeking appropriate care interventions.  CAM PPO credentialing impacts the caliber of every network practitioner, and communicates our commitment to quality to members, prospective providers, and employers.  Integrative alternative medicine providers often offer comprehensive approaches that encourage healthy lifestyle management and naturally based therapies.

     Few would argue with the claim that choosing healthy and organic living is an important step toward empowered personal health that promotes an ecofriendly awareness.  Similarly, for companies seeking a socially responsible investment in health, choosing a credentialed network of integrative medicine providers offers an effective option for improving employee health. 

CAM PPO

The Glass is Shaky: Stress and Health

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 by

 

 

The glass may be half empty or half full, but odds are high it's being held tightly.  A recent study found that one third of the U.S. population reports living with extreme stress, and 74% of respondents identify work as the primary source of stress.  Employers looking for healing therapies that respond to these concerns, may be well served to trend toward integrative medicine. 

 

Stress is a widely documented health issue with multiple associated risks that cost billions in health expenses every year.  In addition to the intangibles of stress exacerbating other conditions, stress affiliated illnesses have indirect costs for employers, too.  In fact, a $300 billion price tag has been attached to workplace stress for issues such as absenteeism, presenteeism, employee turnover, diminished productivity, and a host of related costs.  

Stress may well be the most massively problematic health problem in the U.S. today, in part because it has so many complex and dangerous effects. 
Stress has been associated with elevated risks for a number of devastating and debilitating diseases like:heart

  • type 2 diabetes
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure  
In addition to weakening the immune system, which in turn may increase incidence of cold, flu, and other illness, stress can also impact chronic anxiety, insomnia, pain, clinical depression, and other conditions.   Each condition typically results in additional doctor visits, labwork, and ultimately more prescriptions for the life of the patient, and estimates concur that between 75% - 90% of all doctor visits are related to stress.

 

 

Treated allopathically through standard medicine, stress is often unlikely to be resolved since this approach may create a lifetime of illness treatment: yielding permanent patients with unresolved, aggravated conditions in a constant, unsustainable cycle of sickness.  Turning to integrative alternative medicine, conscious consumers may find successful options to prevent and manage this nebulous problem.

happy heartComplementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) solutions to stress may include a variety of treatments including nutrition, acupuncture, massage therapy, improved rest strategies, or other wellness based approaches to relaxation.  Lifestyle interventions like these are proven methods in helping patients make lasting changes.    

 

LOHAS Trends for 2011 - Health and Wellness Trends

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 by

wellnessHere are some LOHAS trends to consider that we feel will be impactful for the next year in the area of health and wellness. Ive done some research and here are my list of top wellness trends to consider significant in the LOHAS market.


From Wellbeing Escapes Top Wellness Trends of 2011

From Anti-Ageing to Healthy-Ageing there will be a resurgence by destination resorts and fitness outlets to develop comprehensive programs to help us age healthily.  The focus isn’t about reducing wrinkles but about disease prevention and health enhancement.   Personal medical evaluations, usually taken through blood tests, are followed by personalized health plans that include treatments, education and actions that will help achieve optimum health and boost energy.  Furthermore, there will be more of an emphasis on wellness facilties to provide services to relieve aches and pains that are inherent with physical activity rather than relax and de-stress. This again underlines a change in attitude towards a healthy and active aging process rather than anti-ageing.

connect natureWellness Through Nature - This can take the form of fitness, holistic actions, meditation, and treatments.  Rather than putting people indoors to carry out their wellness program, many hotels spas and wellness resorts will be further focusing on being paid guests to engage with the natural resources and exclusivity of their locations.  Currently there are groups that provide hiking in mountains, yoga in the gardens, fitness programs that encompass kayaking, sea-swimming, Jungle gyms, outdoor rock climbing walls, challenging mountain biking.  This is predicted to become more creative and expand with meditation walks along beautiful beaches and landscapes, tree-top spas, treatment locations where you can hear the sound of the ocean and birdsong – no more air-conditioned window-less treatment rooms playing CDs with nature music on repeat cycle.

spiritualBringing out the Monk in You - The global recession has not helped the work life balance debate.  It is now about survival of the fittest with people subdue worried about losing jobs in this cost cutting environment.  Physical fitness is now firmly established and accepted as stress busting and increasing energy, but mental fitness is increasingly being recognized as equally vital. Meditation is no longer viewed as a spiritual pastime for monks or lentil-eating, sandal- wearing hippies but being used as a daily tool to help with stress and efficiency.  Major hotels, spas and wellness resorts are counting meditation instruction as part of stress reduction programs and activity schedules to help people learn this valuable tool. Again, it is all about quality, quality, quality – it takes years of instruction to be able to teach this technique effectively, so make sure you learn from an authentic and experienced teacher.

Value and Return on Investment - Although the deals are still out there they are gradually decreasing as the economy slowly turns around and hotels and airlines start to focus on increasing yields again. The keywords are "Value" and "Return on Investment". As the spa going population becomes more sophisticated and experienced they will focus more on value rather than the cheapest price, demanding more from their experience. The cheapest spa will not necessarily bring them their return on investment in terms of measurable health benefits and long lasting results on their return.

 

From The American Council on Exercise (ACE) Top Fitness Trends of 2011

Stress Reduction Through Fitness - With the increased knowledge of how stress negatively affects the body, gyms and clubs will start offering wellness programs so their members develop effective strategies for managing their stress levels. Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, and basic stretching classes are expected to draw more people looking for ways to de-stress. But working up any type of sweat will work. The same fitness instructors who want you to feel the burn now want to help your body—and mind—heal. Look for therapeutic workouts, like New York based Equinox’s “IntenSati,” which uses personal affirmations, and “Thread,” where core work and body-awareness techniques “unlock muscular inhibition.” Also on the horizon: a fascination with supportive aerial yoga and fitness-meets-life-coaching workshops.

kinectTechnology Becomes a Support Resource - The release of interactive fitness video games will see more people get off their couches and try new ways to be active in the home. The Sony Wii and Microsoft Kinect are scratching the surface of ways to engage a person’s whole body into a video game with jumps and swings or running in place. The sophistication of these games makes the experience both entertaining and physically challenging.

Corporate Wellness -  Whether it is through the hiring of in-house personal trainers or discounts and incentives offered to employees that join a health club, corporate wellness programs will emerge country-wide to help encourage healthy lifestyles among workers, especially time-crunched consumers.

Youth-Based Fitness -  Expect to see more youth-focused classes and clients popping up in gyms thanks to the national attention and focus on childhood obesity.  Schools and fitness centers will also incorporate more exercise curriculum for the youth population and, as such, take advantage of ACE’s Operation FitKids curriculum, which has recently been revamped and expanded with a new program targeting students in grades 6-8.


From SpaFinder Top Spa trends of 2011

scienceThe Science of Wellness - Is there scientific proof that massage reduces stress? Are mud-packs and mineral-baths medically proven to alleviate pain? Is ear candling proven to remove ear wax? The answers: yes, yes and no.  Get ready for a new era where more questions about the effectiveness of wellness therapies and products will be asked, and where these questions will get answered more transparently, as the emphasis on evidence-based medicine and the “science behind spa” heats up. For example the recent New York Times article, “A Good Massage Brings Biological Changes Too,” reporting on a Cedars-Sinai study that revealed a 45-minute massage resulted in a significant decrease in stress hormones, while boosting immunity. As so many more hospitals not only co-opt the “look of spa,” but also directly incorporate spa/wellness therapies on site, consumers will have powerful visual evidence of “medicine” validating “spa.”

As these initiatives and forces accelerate, the benefits of wellness will be increasingly not only heard, but also believed by more LOHAS consumers (often desperately) seeking health alternatives — by doctors who prescribe, by public officials who legislate and by insurers who reimburse. These nascent evidence-based initiatives should ultimately prove the bedrock for future, perhaps unimagined, industry growth.