The convergence of technological advancements and ever-growing access to health data at our fingertips is slowly shifting our relationship with our own health, paving the way towards a new health architecture. If we look back to the 60s or 70’s, the weekend was made for rest, work had nothing to do with wellness, juice bars were non-existent, Arnold Schwarzenegger was only starting to pump iron, Jane Fonda had not yet released a workout video and fitness was not mainstream...
Fast-forward a few decades and Nike made running shoes a thing to wear daily, watching your cholesterol was becoming popular and American presidents had to be seen running during their campaign. Health and wellness was slowly taking some headspace, advertising spots and a place in your office.
What the baby boomers created and generation X amplified through trends and the belief of wellbeing being an important part of someone’s happiness, the millennials have coded it into their daily lifestyle. There is now a growing trend for UK adults who want to lead a healthier lifestyle through better nutrition, exercise, sleep and reduced stress. Despite this trend, most are still unable to assess what they need to do to improve their health. The quest for better health is becoming mainstream, paving the way for change.
Let’s have a look here at 8 fastest growing trends igniting the change ahead.
1. From status quo to the awakening movement
The growing concern of chronic illness comes from the realisation that the health system in place is not solving the issue. We are conscious of the risk. There's an increasing number of people now wanting to take care of themselves and so a health movement has been born. We are also becoming more aware of powerful institutions that are contributing to making us ill. We were so disconnected from our health that companies started to practically poison our food and our environment with products used daily with chemicals directly linked with the development of cancers or other nasty physiological imbalances. Slowly though, some people have begun waking up, promoting healthy and organic eating and increasingly denouncing the ill practices of the food industry. This is only going to get stronger as public opinion is now too big to ignore, progressing the implementation of laws that protect our health.
2. From standardised and reactive sick care to a more personalised and preventative approach.
The rise of functional medicine that treats key physiological processes as a whole is on the rise. These medicines focus on the source of imbalance instead of treating a symptom. Many doctors have moved away from the current system they work into a more functional one, applying a more integrative and personalised approach with nutritional concepts.
3. From no health data to the quantified self movement
Thanks to the acceleration of technologies and the growing access to information at our fingertips, we can now track a lot more than steps. We now have the ability to gear ourselves up with devices that measure all sorts of biological processes and biomarkers from heart rate to blood pressure - even glucose level. Home kits for blood checks are now becoming available and soon to become the new norm. Lots of people now go to their GP with data from third parties. We are now entering an era of democratised medicine, where we have immediate access to our own data and can even generate much of it, allowing us to be in the driving seat of our own health.
4. From physiology only to physiology and emotional connection
The current 'modern system' is in no way implementing lifestyle medicine. In fact, in the U.S., a doctor giving nutrition or lifestyle recommendations without giving any prescription can lose his/her licence. Despite high blood pressure being one of the most common issues which can be completely eradicated, within weeks, through simple dietary and lifestyle changes.
Today, private practitioners and functional medicine practitioners are re-establishing the connection between the mental-emotional self and the physical self.
How many friends do you have who practice yoga? What about meditation? Now think back, 10 years ago. How many people did you know by then who practised these activities? Spirituality and the emotional world were for too long for the mystic people that were not complying with the current system. Nowadays, I talk to busy CEOs that would not miss their meditation session in the fear of burning out again and losing control over their physiology. Now companies are providing meditation to their employees. Even schools are teaching the young how to meditate.
Numerous studies have shown that the daily practice of gratitude affects the following areas:
- Better sleep
- Less depression
- A reduction in anxiety
- Lower blood pressure
- Higher energy
- A greater meaning to life
5. From doomed to the quest of health system optimisation
For too long we have heard the story that "if we get sick it is bad luck". As long as it is wired in our brains, it will influence our behaviour to be passive towards our health.
We now understand that a disease isn’t genetic and that your genes are not your fate! It isn’t because you have a certain predisposition to a disease that you will necessarily develop it. The results of the development of degenerative diseases is the miscommunication between our genes and our lifestyle, diet and environment and ongoing imbalances across multiple body functions. Knowing about your genes will help you understand what your predispositions and health priorities are so you can avoid the guesswork and focus on measuring, adjusting and re-establishing that communication. You can then learn how to make the changes that count for you and optimise your health accordingly.
This first step is a powerful one, as you would have established an intimate connection with your own biology. Allowing you not only to stop following trends that may not be relevant to you but also giving areas of focus that you can track and measure thanks to functional testing. All this enables you to regain control over your health, to discover and learn about potential imbalances and optimise pathways within your body that in turn will improve your overall wellness and potentially help you prevent degenerative diseases.
6. From quick fixes to sustainability
The one-size-fits-all system brought the culture of the ‘hit' and ‘quick-fix’ that creates trends. In this context, there is a new miracle product or diet every week to feed our appetite. However, many health experts are now turning back to the basics of health and wellness by adding a layer of personalisation to offer a long-lasting plan that works. This new methodology is in contrast to the quick fixes that offer quick results through restriction that cannot be maintained or can even be dangerous in the long term. Most people now recognise this, as we become progressively reluctant to buy products that involve a fitness model and a product attached to a price tag.
7. Back to real food
Organic food is a basic of health optimisation. However, it isn’t mainstream. Food production is one of the fundamentals of our society. If we change our mindset, our eating habits, and our way of consuming, corporations will have to respond and adapt to a new market. We can already see the small farmer getting back to being relevant to the whole chain of production. Even big corporations are allocating enormous budgets to respond to that shift in consumer trend.
8. From isolated movement to the power of the community
The old system has for too long made us believe that health should only be within the hand of the white coats, backed up with the powerful institution behind them. Succumbing to chronic illness is something that we can all easily avoid. It all starts by being educated in self-health and having access to all the technology that still needs to be made available mainstream. One thing that we know and can learn from the history of our civilisation; nothing is as quick to make the change than the change in the public opinion.
There is a new health order fuelled by a growing awakening that being healthy is our right and our responsibility. Who created this health model? Why are we not taught to take control of our health at school, isn’t it an essential area of our life?
It is time to accelerate that process by embracing a new health architecture. It all starts with making the right changes and being proactive towards your health, we now have the tools and access to all information to be able to do so. Being healthy does not require complexity, it is for sure more complex to treat or cure a disease and much of the time it fails. However, being healthy is easy and should be our natural way.
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