Plan on starting the New Year with a turmeric latte and a sound bath? You’re bang on trend. Read on to discover the nine wellness movements predicted to take over the health scene in 2018, according to the Balance Festival experts...
New Recovery Rules
Any trainer worth their salt will tell you recovery is just as important when training as the workout itself. The buzzword to listen out for next year? Your fascia – a connective tissue made mostly from collagen which wraps around the muscles, ligaments and organs in your body to control mobility. Keeping vital muscles and tissue, such as the fascia, in good condition reduces injury risk and heightens muscle mobility, enabling you to perform better, for longer. Goop has long preached the power of fascia but with an increasing amount of British boutique gyms introducing specific foam rolling and recovery classes, now’s the time to shift your focus to more advanced recovery plans.
Whether it’s to reveal underlying health issues or discover allergies and intolerances, at-home testing kits are taking the health world by storm. While fitness DNA tests will enable you to fine-tune your body for faster results, it’s recent developments in gut microbiome testing that have got health nuts excited. Take, for example, Atlas Biomed, who offer at-home gut testing kit for £125 – results will provide personalised food recommendations as well as an insight into your gut microbiome.
Whether it’s the rise in mental health awareness or the discovery our tummies produce a whopping 90% of our serotonin, health experts say 2018 will be the year the Happy Meal is reinvented. Jeffrey Young, CEO at Allegra Strategies market research and Balance Festival expert, says, “While we all know the benefits of our five a day, the direct benefit and impact of serotonin-boosting foods is little known. This powerful, naturally-occurring chemical is an amazing source of goodness for our bodies – it’s essential for emotional stability, calmness, good sleep and a general state of wellbeing.” Look to bananas, walnuts, salmon and green tea, naturally rich in tryptophan, a pre-cursor to serotonin, or check out High Mood Food, London’s very first café that focuses on fermented foods for a natural gut-serotonin boost.
2018 is all about good vibrations, with the ancient practice of sound healing set to become as mainstream as Bikram by the end of next year. The practice – which involves listening to percussive instruments such as gongs that can place you into a meditative state – aims to move you from a normal waking state of consciousness (beta) to your relaxed consciousness (alpha) and even sleep (delta) where internal healing naturally occurs. Events to look out for include Sound Sebastien, a pop-up sound workshop co-founded by wellness authority Jasmine Hemsley, while those keen to rebalance their chakras one-on-one should book in for a session with Shaylini, a qualified Reiki Master based at Third Space Spa – her healing arsenal will promote higher vibrations in the body for a better you.
Super Local Food
Local sourcing has been a trend for the last few years, but using foods grown in walking distance of the dinner table is becoming increasingly popular – think Rabbit, The Shed and East London newbie Cub. As nutritionist Kim Pearson adds, “While it was once the case that superfoods had to originate from exotic shores in order for us to be enticed, then came along kale. Grown in the UK and one of the richest antioxidants in vegetable form, kale is just the start of nutrient-rich, UK-grown foods. With Brexit looming and environmental concerns ever growing, there’s never been a more important time to back British farmers.” In 2018, make an effort to embrace home-grown nourishment in the form of linseeds, pears, artichokes, plumbs, blackberries and broccoli – proof local is the new superfood.
We blame it on Jasmine Hemsley – the likes of turmeric and cinnamon, long used in Ayurvedic medicine, are popping up everywhere, from lattes to smoothies. While herbs and spices have historically been a great way to flavour food without adding calories and boosting antioxidant intake, recent research has suggested they’ll also help to reduce inflammation and support gut health.
While the rest of the world has long been savvy to the health benefits of saunas (Finland has three saunas for every five people), in the UK we’ve just waking up to their many benefits. While traditional saunas burn wood, new infrared iterations are popping up in some of the capital’s coolest wellness destinations, harnessing the power of light to mimic the sauna experience. Working faster and harder than their traditional counterparts, an infrared sauna will heat the body from the inside out by warming your skin tissue, whereas traditional saunas just heat the air. This means your body is able to flush out toxins, including dirt and pollution and it’s this detoxification process that’s making infrared saunas so attractive to wellness purists. Find them at Chelsea’s KXU, Casa Spa in Paddington and PUR Wellness in Notting Hill.
Awareness of Mercury in retrograde and zodiac seasons are about to be as mainstream as horoscopes, with astrology taking over everything from fashion to the wellness sphere. As Well+Good contributing astrologer Jennifer Racioppi explains, “The moon – with its monthly cycles and powerful pull that can make oceans move to its rhythm – has become something of a #girlpower totem. Women are looking to feel empowered.” Not convinced? Book in with Soho House’s resident astrologer, Carolyne Faulkner – she’ll plot your bespoke astrological chart to determine your future with uncanny accuracy. Even Vogue has called her an “astrology guru” and Grazia claim her powers are “set to replace life coaching”.
2018 may well be the year kombucha – the gut-friendly beverage beloved by wellness warriors – becomes more mass and more niche than ever. The once obscure fermented tea drink has even made its way onto Ocado’s virtual shelves and the likes of Planet Organic and Whole Foods stock kombucha starter sets, enabling you to DIY your own fermented drinks. At the same time, kombucha is more of a speciality drink than ever before, joining the ranks of craft beer and artisanal coffee – keep an eye out for unusual flavour combinations. Whether you gravitate towards the fermented, fizzy stuff or the taste for gut health, there’s no denying the category is more desirable than ever. Want to know more? Nutritional Therapist Eve Kalinik’s hot-off-the-press tome Be Good To Your Gut covers everything you need to know about your tummy.