Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
A broader approach towards affordable integrative wellness destinations would help everyone deal with lifestyle diseases and mental health problems, observed by experts to have greatly elevated since the SARS-CoV2 of end 2019, with at least 168 million cases recorded worldwide as of early morning of May 26 (Wednesday).
Internationally-recognised spa industry visionary Sue Harmsworth defines integrative wellness destinations as the resorts that “bring everything together: Functional Medicine (wherein the doctor needs and studies a patient’s full disease and medical history alongside his over-all lifestyle in order to treat the root or underlying causes) and diagnostics, an aesthetic clinic, the traditional wellness (Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Complementary/Alternative Medicine) to serious meditation.”
Harmsworth who started off a career in the “health and wellness journalism,”jumped into the health and wellness industry, particularly the spa sector, 50 years back. Gulf Today received a copy of her recent full interview with the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), where she is a board member.
GWI is a non-profit organisation that promotes the concept of wellness and empowers industry players by reaching out and educating the public on preventive health and wellness. It had marked the global wellness economy at $4.7 trillion (Dhs17.3 trillion) in 2017 with the mental wellness ventures valued at $121 billion (Dhs444.4 billion) in 2019.
Harmsworth, responsible for the concept and development of over 500 wellness resorts in 65 countries and currently working on the Amaala Project on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea “spearheaded by their Ruler Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud,” believes integrative wellness resorts or destinations as “absolutely the future with all the lifestyle diseases hitting us so hard...mental and cognitive health will be a huge coming out of the pandemic, with depression and anxiety having risen exponentially since COVID and now affecting a third of the population globally (2.6 billion of the 7.9 billion).”
Concomitantly, the “Global Top Health Issues of 2021” by international professional network PricewaterhouseCoopers, disclosed that of 10,038 people surveyed across ages-from the Silent Generation (born 1928 to 1945) to the Gen Z (born 1997 to 2012)-in China, India, USA, UK, South Africa, Singapore, Canada, Australia, Japan and Germany, 3,614 admitted to having become worried and 5,822 having become anxious and/or depressed due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) and its consequences.”
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