Energy Healing Therapy

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.


Integrative Medicine; What it is and is not, and what that means for business.

Sunday, August 29, 2010 by
By Brad Lemley Editorial Director, Weil Lifestyle LLC 

Integrative Medicine (IM) is a recent, popular movement that is attracting thousands of doctors and patients worldwide. But hand-in-hand with that burgeoning success is considerable confusion about what IM actually is and is not. Consequently, doctors, patients and LOHAS-oriented businesses need to understand the term if they want to make clear, unequivocal choices about their practices, their personal health and the health of their enterprises. 

So first, let’s explore some emerging nomenclature. Using synthetic drugs and surgery to treat health conditions was known just a few decades ago as, simply, “medicine.” Today, this system is increasingly being termed “conventional,” “orthodox,” or “allopathic” medicine. This is the sort of medicine most Americans still encounter in hospitals and clinics. Often both expensive and invasive, it is also spectacularly good at some things—for example, handling life-threatening conditions such as massive injury or heart attack.

Some conventional medicine is scientifically validated; some is not. Any therapy that is typically excluded by conventional medicine, and that patients use instead of conventional medicine, is known as “alternative” medicine. This catch-all term includes hundreds of old and new practices ranging from acupuncture to homeopathy to iridology. As a general rule, alternative therapies tend to be closer to nature, cheaper and less invasive than conventional therapies (though there are certainly exceptions). Some alternative therapies are scientifically validated; some are not.

An alternative medicine practice used in conjunction with a conventional one is known as a “complementary” medicine. Example: using aromatherapy to calm a patient after surgery. Together, complementary and alternative medicines are often referred to by the acronym CAM. 

Enter IM. As defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, IM “combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.” In other words, integrative medicine can be said to “cherry pick” the very best scientifically validated therapies from both conventional and CAM systems.

Andrew Weil, M.D., twice the cover subject of TIME magazine and author of ten books, is undoubtedly IM’s most famous proponent. He is unstinting, furthermore, in his appreciation for conventional medicine’s strengths. “If I were hit by a bus,” he says, “I’d want to be taken immediately to a high-tech emergency room.”

Referring to Dr. Weil’s latest book, Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being, A New York Times reviewer summed up this orientation, stating that Dr. Weil “doesn’t seem wedded to a particular dogma, Western or Eastern, only to the get-the-patient-better philosophy.”

Integrative medicine, as Dr. Weil defines it, places patient and practitioner as partners in the healing process. All the factors influencing health, wellness and disease are taken into consideration. These include mind, spirit and community, as well as the body.

For most of his more than three decades as a medical doctor and author, Dr. Weil was a lone voice, crying out for a system that put what works best ahead of profit, prejudice and inertia. In 1994, he co-founded the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and a movement began. As of December 2006, over 250 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners will have completed the program, and many are involved in spreading the word in their home states and countries. In the past 12 years, academic instruction in integrative medicine has grown rapidly nationwide. There are now 31 academic medical centers that offer integrative medicine programs, including the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and Georgetown, Duke and Columbia Universities.

Unfortunately, such programs are expensive to run. The University of Arizona’s program costs an estimated $3 million a year. Further, integrative medicine in general fights an uphill battle for research dollars. The gentle, nature-based therapies it often uses lack the profit potential of, say, a patentable drug.

To provide a steady stream of funding for integrative medicine research and education, Dr. Weil helped to establish Weil Lifestyle LLC in 2004. The company licenses the right to use Dr. Weil’s name and likeness to companies philosophically aligned with his principles and committed to advancing integrative medicine. To qualify for licensing, the products themselves must also conform to the principles of integrative medicine. Current licensees are: Origins Natural Resources (skin-care products), IdeaSphere (vitamins and supplements), Jamieson Laboratories (vitamins and supplements), Waterford Wedgwood (healthy cookware and housewares), Natural Pet Nutrition (premium pet food), and Ito En Ltd. (tea). 

Dr. Weil donates all of his after-tax profits from royalties received by Weil Lifestyle LLC from the sale of these products to the Weil Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to advancing integrative medicine by supporting education and research.

 “I feel very good about the progress that integrative medicine is making,” says Dr. Weil. “Conventional medicine and the whole profit-driven model of medical care is in crisis, and I frankly think it is on the verge of collapse. I am convinced that integrative medicine is the medicine of the future.”

How Weil Lifestyle, LLC Qualifies Companies

Three basic criteria are considered for product licensing with the Weil Lifestyle brand:

1. Dr. Weil must have genuine authority in the category.
2. The products must be cutting-edge, and distinguishable from the competition.
3. The products must have proven efficacy and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Beyond this, the companies behind the products must also fit certain criteria: 1. Must have world-class research and be dedicated to product development.
2. Senior management must be dedicated to healthy living.
3. Must have a strong marketing department.
4. Must have significant financial resources.
5. Must have established multi-channel distribution.

Finally, the most important criterion is Dr. Weil’s personal endorsement. He evaluates every potential licensed product, and even if it meets all of the above criteria, he may—and often does—reject a product simply because it does not meet his own standards.

Which Therapies Does Integrative Medicine Use?

Integrative medicine is a dynamic medical viewpoint that encompasses virtually any healing therapy for which there is scientific validation of effectiveness. Practitioners of IM hold traditional medical degrees such as M.D., D.O. and R.N. They employ conventional medicine’s synthetic-drug and/or surgery regimen in some cases— particularly for acute disease or trauma—but otherwise favor the following approaches:

1. Alternative medical systems including Ayurveda, homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine.
2. Herbal and plant-based therapies, either singly or in combination.
3. “Non-plant” organic/biological therapies such as vitamins and minerals and naturally derived substances such as fish oils or chondroitin.
4. Nutritional guidance according to the latest research from clinical and epidemiological studies.
5. Manipulative and body-based therapies such as massage therapy, cranial sacral work, and exercises of all kinds. 6. Energy therapies such as acupuncture. 7. Mind-body therapies including breathing exercises, meditation, guided imagery and hypnosis, as well as counseling and support groups.

Brad Lemley is Editorial Director of Weil Lifestyle, LLC, an organization founded with the purpose of providing a funding mechanism to the Weil Foundation. Its mission is to be the leading resource for education, information, products, services and philanthropic contributions based on the principles of integrative medicine. Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., Weil Lifestyle is the owner of the website and the exclusive worldwide licensor of distinctive products and services selected and designed by Dr. Weil. Brad is also a journalist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, Parade, Life, Reader’s Digest, Psychology Today and many other publications, and is a contributing editor of the science magazine Discover. 


LOHAS consumer study presentation at the LOHAS Forum 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 by

I get many inquiries on the latest LOHAS market trends from various businesses, students and other organizations targeting the 17-19% of the adult population that makes up those avid conscious consumers who trive on ecological thinking, socially responsible investments, yoga, energy healing and green business.

So here is my quick solution for those searching for LOHAS data. We have uploaded the keynote sessions from the 2009 LOHAS Forum to Youtube and Facebook.

Below is the Natural Marketing Institute's presentation part 1 of 5. I recommend viewing them all. Enjoy!


Remember there are 4 more vids that are part of this so please view them all. If you are looking for the ultimate green business conference then register for the 2010 LOHAS Forum set for June 23-25th in Boulder Colorado.

Spa Business Alive and Kicking...Sorta

Sunday, October 11, 2009 by

I just returned from the International Spa Association Annual Conference held in Austin Texas. This was my 4th ISPA event and it is always a treat. It certainly is the most well groomed, beautiful person event I go to. Spa is a big piece of LOHAS as it incorporates
health and wellness along with personal care and green building. The last few years has seen a surge in green health spas have seen a surge in green orientation with things like eco-friendly towels and robes along with natural and organic skincare, essential oils and body treatments. These elements are a no brainer for modern LOHAS consumers who want LOHAS products without sacrificing quality. LOHAS consumers are also a main target audience for spas as many are those who frequent spas for massage treatments or other forms of wellness for the body and soul. (that would be me!)

The spa market has exploded in the last 10 years but the term 'spa' has been butchered quite a bit. I can go to my local Wal Mart or strip mall and find nail and hair salons with spa incorporated into their name - (usually in bright neon lights). However when I go into them nose gets singed with smells of chemical toxins from manicures or hair products or get blasted into the street from techno music. I often see  articles and pictures of exotic locations with luxurious hotels with spas included in glossy magazine spreads. All of course with a hefty price tag that limit me to my imagination as to what the lifestyles of the rich and famous is like. Call me old fashioned and snobby but that is not what I consider the true meaning of spa. The whole point of the creation of the industry was to generate awareness of self and healthy lifestyles. These initially were wellness centers that provided space for integrative alternative medicine practices such as massage, acupuncture, energy healing and meditation. Somewhere along the way external beauty, pampering and opulence founds its way into the mix and led the growth of the industry. When I was growing up hotels that had golf courses were all the rage and was a status symbol of a quality hotel. Now if the hotel has a spa it is considered a luxury hotel.

The economic crisis has caused many hotels to reconsider this paradigm. Insiders of the industry have told me that many hotels that incorporated spas into their properties from a 'me too' type of keeping up with the Jones attitude often did not factor the costs of operation into their profit/loss margins. Rather it was blended enigmatically into overall hotel costs. A spa on hotel property was a thing to have and since business was good the scrutiny on spas was limited. Nothing like a crisis to mix things up. Now that hotels are struggling with occupancy so are hotel spas. Those that did not have a structure to measure costs and profits are really floundering. This is also true with destination spas. Some say the wealthy are still booking and traveling - that market will stay the same regardless. But the so called 'wealthy wannabe' are the ones who are not spending. Overall spas are seeing their customers still come to their spas but are spending less per visit. This was echoed by many who I spoke to over the course of the event. For us to have a sustainable economy on all fronts we need to hit the reset button.

The spa industry was visibly hit at the event as well. Last year the ISPA conference had over 3000 people. This year there were about 1700. The exhibit space was also about half as many vendors as last year. Obviously the foot traffic was much quieter than years past. Yet I was surprised when I spoke to most vendors that they felt positive about the event. They said that although the traffic was less those that were walking the floor were serious buyers who were purchasing orders from them and there was more time for a deeper discussions and relationship building.

I think this brings up a very significant point for all businesses - how deep does a relationship go once the transaction is taken out of the equation? This is something that many companies are facing as many people are not spending. The old ways of business are being re-evaluated to figure out how to maintain relevancy in an environment that is transaction less. If you have ideas on next steps please share your thoughts.

I think that this is also a time of opportunity for spa leaders to refocus attentions on wellness. Health care is on the forefront of many people's minds with the debates on health care reform getting a lot of media attention. I think spas are a great place for educating people on preventative care and relaxation. Plus if you think a massage or organic living is expensive you should look at the price of health care. The spa industry has seen a purge of businesses. Now if they can re-establish the focus on the reasons for wellness I think we would all find that refreshing. I would love to hear your thoughts.