WELLNESS: AGE OF WHOLENESS OR AGE OF VANITY?
The inspiration for my writing comes from many places, times and days. The last being on one of my regular walks around the block in preparation for bed time. Those who read my blog regularly may recall the post where I discovered the connection between engaging in gentle exercise and getting a good night’s sleep.
As I walk around the neighhourhood, I notice that the cafes, delis and restaurants, adding vibrancy to our neighbourhoods are all gone. In their place we now we have salons, nail bars and spas all lining up to compete for your body. Such is the age of ‘wellness’…
On one evening as I walked around the neighbourhood, something caught my eye.
I immediately questioned what all these cosmetic therapies and treatments were doing on a shop front that labelled itself as a ‘wellness centre’. This wasn’t wellness. This was vanity!
What is ‘Wellness’ you may ask? In my view and experience, ‘Wellness’ is something that aims to connect you to your highest potential. It’s a deep down passion for living to your fullest, most integral self, consciously.
Wellness is also a yearning for fully engaging in the environment that we live in – making the most of the knowledge that we have developed and learnt through science and practice, often in a very orthomolecular and ground-breaking way. It is spiritual and personal too.
In this regard, it is not something that you apply to your skin hoping to make you feel and look better.
The latest estimates put the value of ‘wellness’ of around $4.2 trillion dollars. That’s a lot of money. Bigger than some other industries such as pharmaceuticals ($934.8bn). Bigger than some countries GDP, including Australia.
As the chart shows, around a quarter of that relates to ‘Personal Care, Beauty & Anti-Aging’, which the above shop front picture would fall into.
The problem then with ‘Wellness’, is it is being used in all varieties to describe practices and activities which only scratch the surface. They have nothing to do with the holistic experience of what it means to be human.
It goes further whereby in the age of wellness, every new fad, concept or idea is being exploited to generate big dollars. Welcome to ‘charcoal lemonade‘.
Put it simply, as wellness practitioners, we need to be mindful of practices that are truly defining and practices which are designed to make money. By all means, enjoy your next cosmetic experience. But please don’t call it ‘wellness’.