10 Health and Wellness Trends in 2022
Every year, at the end of the year, I get asked this one question and I come from my perspective based on what I see happening in the health arena around me, and the experience I have gathered in the past 15 years with my clients coming to me for various health concerns.
Since we all know that our immunity must be a priority and relying on outside forces to do this is not possible. One modality that will be used in 2022 will be adaptogens, plant-based compounds to bring the body back to homeostasis. Both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are big on their use of them. These range from Ashwagandha, curcumin, ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, basil and many more.
2. MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION PRACTICES
The last 2 years have been all about dealing with different kinds of stress, mainly the upshot of the Covid virus outbreak, which has put us in situations we never thought of before. Working from homes has forced us into working longer hours and staying at-home 24×7 with family members (this proves difficult in smaller cities like Mumbai or New York where space is a huge problem). My practice has seen an upsurge of clients with obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression and anxiety since the start of the pandemic. What I keep instilling in all my clients is to turn to meditation to understand their emotions and reactions better. I have written a book on Vipassana: The Timeless Secret to Meditate and be Calm, it’s worth reading if you’d like to take up meditation. I see meditation being the new medicine in 2022 and spiritual self-care growing.
3. POSTBIOTICS AND GUT HEALTH
We have seen tremendous growth in the gut health arena, and this will continue as the stress on immune health is paramount. A new trend that is emerging and will continue to gain momentum is POSTBIOTICS (byproducts of the fermentation that goes on in the gut by the gut bacteria (probiotics). While the stress will remain on probiotics and prebiotics, people will also take to POSTBIOTICS to strengthen the gut. Specific postbiotics relate to specific areas as well, like skin requires different and unique postbiotics which are being now used in skincare products.
4. IMMUNE HEALTH
They will be a strong effort to focus on just our immunity and use anything to strengthen it. This also includes keeping environmental contaminants at bay. This way to also achieve this will stress on consuming natural foods like whole grains, lentils/beans, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, fermented foods and a modicum amount of animal protein to provide our bodies with the nutrition it will need. People will also seek out superfoods amongst these foods to help them. This may mean using some foods more often like garlic, ginger, spices, etc.
5. REPAIR AND RECOVER WITH SLEEP
Sleep will also be the new mantra to repair and recover from day-to-day stress and exercise. People will make an effort to get into a nighttime ritual. As I am in the health profession, I already see a lot of people using devices to track their sleep and this will continue. This opens up the space for people seeking to introduce nighttime remedies and rituals for sleep like aromatherapy oils (I use lavender), yoga nidra, certain lights that will enhance melatonin, adaptogens that will aid sleep.
6. USING GUT MICROBIOME, FULL MICROBIOME AND DNA TESTNG TO PREVENT DISEASE
Many companies approach me for trying various kits out to determine gut microbiome, full microbiome (e.g., skin microbiome is different from gut microbiome) and DNA testing. People want to be preventative and take action before anything happens to them. Genetic predisposition to a disease can be also avoided if people know how to manage themselves in advance. Hence testing will assume centre stage in 2022.
7. STAYING PLANT-BASED
It’s no secret that plant foods are processed better by the human body, they require lesser digestion time and assimilate better as well. With stress on immunity, people will want to stay more plant-based. A vegan lifestyle is richer in antioxidants coming from plants, and beneficial compounds. It helps keep the body’s pH in balance, sugar levels normal, produces less heat in the body, reduces inflammation, maintains a healthy weight and most importantly boosts the immune system. Hence, recognizing all these benefits people will turn to a plant-based lifestyle.
8. JOURNALLING FOR EMOTIONS AND MOOD
A lot of health practitioners including me have been talking about journaling. This is going to be an important process that people will take to in 2022. The reasons could be many, but the main ones are to deal with emotions and help moods. It’s been a tumultuous year, and people have realized the value of understanding themselves better to cultivate an attitude to have better moods and handle stress. Journalling will be an important tool in 2022.
9. FACIAL EXERCISES AND FACE YOGA
This was already a trend that was catching on pretty quickly on Instagram, with many facial exercise gurus emerging and starting small businesses in 2020-2021. This trend will continue further. In the quest to anti-ageing, avoid botox and other artificial stuff to prop up the face, these practices will grow in 2022. Not only will they be used to de-age the face in terms of preventing facial lines, wrinkles, etc.; but also, as a relaxing ritual for most women. The use of massage tools like Kansa wands, Gua sha tools will be on the rise.
10. WELLNESS AND HEALTH VACATIONS
People will seek out more destinations that offer services that impact health in 2022. More people will seek out Ayurvedic health spas, destinations set in nature – so they can be outdoors, eco-friendly environments, safari’s that take them closer to nature, places that will take people away from their busy city and being cooped at-home lives into the outdoors. Places where food is emphasized and special attention is paid to cuisine will flourish and could be an element that will be important to emphasize for people with such places.