Future Trends in Health and Wellness (Part III)

By H&W on 1st Feb 2019

This is our final installment of how developments in research and technology will shape the way we live in the future, how our health can be improved, our illnesses treated and how some health problems may become a thing of the past. 

Pain Management

According to the National Center for Health Statistics (2006), approximately 76.2 million, one in every four Americans, have suffered from pain that lasts longer than 24 hours and millions more suffer from acute pain. Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability.

Pain management is a branch of medicine that applies science to the reduction of pain. It covers a wide spectrum of conditions including neuropathic pain, sciatica, postoperative pain and more. Pain management is a rapidly growing medical specialty that takes a multi-disciplinary approach to treating all kinds of pain.

Overuse of highly addictive opioids has led to a health crisis across the world, especially in the US where more than 60,000 people died after overdoses in 2016 alone; president Donald Trump has declared the epidemic a public health emergency. As 2019 approaches, here are some non-addictive opioid alternatives to keep in mind for the future of pain management:

Stem cell therapy. This is among the newest innovations in the management of chronic pain and degenerative disease, and offers the most promising outlook in terms of success and prognosis. The technique of stem cell extraction is easy and can be done on-site. Patient recovery time is minimal, pain relief is prompt, and complications are comparatively low.

Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil. CBD is used by some people with chronic pain. CBD oil may reduce pain, inflammation, and overall discomfort related to a variety of health conditions. Studies on CBD oil and pain management have shown a great deal of promise. CBD can offer an alternative for people who have chronic pain and rely on more dangerous, habit-forming medications like opioids. But there needs to be more research in order to verify the pain-relieving benefits of CBD oil. CBD Oil is not yet approved by the FDA.



Parkinson’s Disease

Nearly one million will be living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in the U.S. by 2020, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease (or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year.

More than 10 million people worldwide are living with PD.

Incidence of Parkinson’s disease increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before age 50. Men are 1.5 times more likely to have Parkinson’s disease than women.

While there’s no cure for Parkinson’s disease, recent research has led to improved treatments.

Scientists and doctors are working together to find a treatment or prevention technique. Research is also seeking to understand who is more likely to develop the disease. In addition, scientists are studying the genetic and environmental factors that increase the chance of a diagnosis.

Be on the lookout for advances in:

Deep brain stimulation. In June 2015, the FDA approved the Brio Neurostimulation System. This implantable device helps reduce symptoms by generating small electrical pulses throughout the body.

Gene therapy.  Researchers haven’t yet found a sure way to cure Parkinson’s, slow its progression, or reverse the brain damage it causes. Gene therapy has the potential to do all three. Several studies have found that gene therapy can be a safe and effective treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Neuroprotective therapy. Researchers are currently working on developing neuroprotective therapies. This type of therapy could help stop the progression of the disease and prevent symptoms from getting worse.

Biomarker. Researchers are also hoping to discover a biomarker (a cell or gene) that will lead to more effective treatments.

Neural transplantation. Repairing the brain cells lost from Parkinson’s disease is a promising area of future treatment.

Until a cure for Parkinson’s disease is discovered, medications, therapies, and lifestyle changes can help those with the condition live a better life.



Period Power

Once a taboo subject, ‘Period talk’ has become a popular topic of conversation. Women are more open, conscious, and vocal about their periods and bodies than ever before—cue organic tampon brands like Cora and LOLA, cycle-tracking apps like Clue, and innovative products like Lunette’s menstrual cup entering the market and gaining prestige.

Natural and organic tampons are made from non-genetically modified and certified organic cotton. They are free from dyes, rayon, fragrances, and all other risks that accompany rayon. Certified organic cotton and chlorine-free tampons reduce the number of chlorinated toxins and pesticides in the environment and help keep these toxins out of the body.

In her book Period Power, PERIOD founder and Harvard College student Nadya Okamoto offers a manifesto on menstruation and why we can no longer silence those who bleed—and how to engage in youth activism. Period Power aims to explain what menstruation is, shed light on the stigmas and resulting biases, and create a strategy to end the silence and prompt conversation about periods.

All in all, rising demand for biodegradable products are continuing to emerge as a key trend in the global natural and organic tampons market.



Pet Food That’s As Healthy As Yours

Gone are the days of either dry or tinned pet food containing the unhealthy dregs and leftovers from human food processing.

Pet owners are involved concerning the health and luxury of their dogs and cats that urges them to pay more on high-end food product to extend their life expectancy and avoid age-associated issues. The market is witnessing vital growth because of rising endorsements of veterinary supplements for maintaining the pet health.

The Pet Food Market is expected to exceed more than $8.21 Billion by 2024

The pet food market’s consumer landscape is changing, with the organic pet food industry trending toward younger, informed consumers. Nearly three-quarters (69%) of millennial pet owners are more likely to consider foods whose recipes use naturally-made ingredients over “normal,” mass-produced foods, versus fewer than half (44%) of owners over 35.



Pili Nuts

Pili—pronounced “peeley”—is a distinctive, tear-shaped nut native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands.

Beyond being delicious, the nut is also a nutritional powerhouse, taking the win for the highest magnesium content of any nut. A single ounce contains 86 milligrams of magnesium, or 20% of the recommended daily intake for adults. The 2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that 56%t of Americans are magnesium-deficient. Low levels of the electrolyte, which is necessary for proper muscle and nerve function, has been linked to insomnia, heart-beat irregularities, hypertension, and muscle spasms and cramps. Multiple studies, have found that magnesium deficiency can also accelerate the aging process as it aids cellular senescence, a change in cell state that occurs when cells cease to divide or renew.

The easiest way to find Pili nuts is online via https://eatpilinuts.com/ or on Amazon.


Precision Medicine Initiative

The Cures Act, is a law designed to help accelerate medical product development and bring new innovations and advances to patients who need them faster and more efficiently. Funded at $1.45 bn the Precision Medicine Initiative is a long-term research effort among NIH and other research centers to understand how an individual’s genetics, lifestyle, and environment can impact disease prevention and treatment decisions.

Look for the Precision Medicine Initiative to play a key role in the shift to patient-centered, value-based healthcare. As precision medicine evolves to allow treatments and interventions targeted specifically to a particular individual’s genetic makeup and environment, healthcare outcomes overall should improve. At the same time, treatments judged likely to be ineffective based on a particular individual’s genomic and environmental factors will be discarded as an option in favor of those more likely to achieve the desired result, meaning cost of care should be reduced.



Printed Drugs

Imagine a future where patients with multiple chronic conditions no longer have to take numerous drugs several times a day – instead they can take one tablet containing all the required medications, once-daily, thanks to 3D printing.

The ability of 3D printing to produce medications to exact specifications tailored to the needs of individual patients has led some observers to predict the advent of more precision and personalized medicines.The main objective and one of the biggest benefits of 3D printed drugs is how they will be able to be constructed with an individual’s specific requirements in mind, and even created in line with certain preferences.   Factors like the size, dose, appearance and rate of delivery of a drug can be controlled. It can print tablets which aid swallowing, have different release rates and possess taste and appearances acceptable to children, thus improving adherence. For example, a pyramidal shaped tablet will be absorbed quicker than a cylindrical one.

Another advantage is that tablets can be printed to contain several active ingredients, with the dosage of each medicine personalized to the patient’s age, gender, race, weight, genetic makeup and biochemical profiles. Individualized dosing may reduce adverse events, especially for medicines with narrow therapeutic index.

We may never do away with the need for the corner pharmacy to fill prescriptions, but 3D printers could fundamentally change the way patients take certain types of medicine.



Rheumatoid Arthritis

Out of every 100,000 people, 41 are diagnosed with RA every year. About 1.3 million Americans have RA.

Women are about two to three times more likely to get RA than men. Hormones in both genders may play a role in either preventing or triggering it.

RA generally starts between the ages of 30 and 60 in women and somewhat later in life in men. The lifetime risk of developing RA is 3.6 percent for women and 1.7 percent for men. However, RA can strike at any age — even small children can get it.

Scientists are bringing precision medicine to rheumatoid arthritis for the first time by using genetic profiling of joint tissue to see which drugs will work for which patients, reports a new Northwestern Medicine multi-site study.

“Now we can start to predict which drugs a patient will respond to,” said co-senior author Harris Perlman, chief of rheumatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “We can truly do precision medicine for rheumatoid arthritis. I believe this could be game changing. 

“The idea is to develop gene sequences to predict whether a patient will respond or not,” Perlman said. “Our goal is that this procedure will become the standard of care of for all patients with rheumatoid arthritis.”



Skin Care

A new wave of skin-care products is protecting us from the tech world and pollution.Think “skin-barrier-supporting” and “microbiome-enhancing” serums that help fuel optimal skin function and, of course, a healthy glow.

Beauty brands are rising to the occasion with new products designed to nourish and support this important ecosystem of the skin, says Cindy DiPrima Morisse, co-founder of CAP Beauty. “Instead of stripping away layers of the skin, products are helping build up its own defenses.”

Launches from companies like Marie Veronique, Biossance, Allies of Skin, and microbiome-protecting Mother Dirt are anticipating the environmental stressors your skin might encounter over the day, and the imbalances they could cause.

They’re using ingredients like lipids, ceramides, adaptogens, and even live bacteria to help fortify your skin’s natural functioning, so it can do its thing—and be your first natural line of defense against technology and the pollutants of the modern world.



Social Media Backlash

Big technology is the next big tobacco. New research shows that those who spend more time on social media feel less socially fulfilled, and the more platforms we are on, the more stressed out we become

Smartphone addiction, which is currently a hot topic on Google trends, has a dark side. There’s been a cascade of brand-new research and concern about how tech, which is designed to grab and keep our attention, could be affecting our brains. Research has found that young people are especially susceptible to changes in brain chemistry, which can lead to increased drowsiness, anxiety, and may be linked to the tragic increase in teenage depression and suicides lately.

Making time to unplug is a higher priority than ever before, and places that help us put our phones down are popping up everywhere. Some restaurants are serving up discounts if you power down, for example, and others are mandating that date-night dinners be phone-free only and even some smoothie bars kindly forbid your devices and want to inspire you to “reconnect as a community, away from social networks.”

Hotels may now actually brag about not having WiFi: Everywhere from Camp Grounded in Mendocino, CA, whose motto is “disconnect to reconnect” to Villa Stephanie in Baden-Baden, Germany (the famous spa town)—which blocks all WiFi signals from your room by embedding copper plates in the walls to prevent your boss’ emails from reaching you on vacation—to the Mandarin Hotel Las Vegas’ ‘digital wellness escape”.

Want to go where no cell towers can reach you? A new glamping startup called Hipcamp can find you an off-the-grid place, a la Airbnb.



The facts about poor sleep are staggering: Some 50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder.

37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month.

4.7% reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving at least once in the preceding month.

Drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the United States.

Insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder,  with short term issues reported by about 30% of adults and chronic insomnia by 10%.

One of the most important things you can do to honor your circadian rhythm is maintain a consistent sleep-wake cycle. According to Michael Breus, Ph.D., a board-certified sleep specialist, “If there’s one thing you want to do to improve your sleep quality, it is keep a consistent sleep-wake schedule—even on the weekends. Why? Each morning when you wake up at the same time, you get sunlight through your eyes, which helps reset your circadian rhythm. This reset impacts every organ system and every disease state. In addition, your brain then knows when to fall asleep and when to wake up, and this allows your sleep cycle to become more efficient, and increase deep sleep.”

Tips for getting a good night’s sleep

There are several things that you can do to help promote good sleep. These recommendations fall under the category of ‘sleep hygiene’.

They include:

Going to bed at the same time, and waking up at the same time +/- 30 minutes. We are creatures of habit with internal clocks that keep track of our body systems.

Make sure that your bedroom is conducive to sleep: keep your bedroom dark. Turn off the lights. Close the blinds. Quiet – turn off electronics. NO TV. No cell phones. Cool – around 70 degrees is a preferable temperature

Avoid caffeine and alcohol five hours before bedtime.

Have a relaxing ritual – like taking a bath before bedtime. Many find meditation helpful. Soft quiet music can help set the stage

Avoid reading in bed. Avoid watching TV in bed. Don’t do anything on your bed that is associated with being awake.

Aside from drugs there are several natural remedies that are becoming increasingly popular in helping people get better sleep. 



Strength Training

According to ClassPass’ report, the most popular physical activity overall during 2018 was strength training.

If you want to try strength training in 2019, you don’t have to pick up a single weight (if you don’t want to, that is). “Building muscle doesn’t require complicated and expensive equipment,” Dr. Shaun Kennedy, a general medicine and nutrition doctor at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Medical Center, told Elite Daily back in October. “Significant muscle gains can be achieved at home using no more than your own bodyweight.”

In addition, according to Forbes Magazine, fitness is going to become more personalized. One way is through fitness regimes that are based on taking specialist recordings of your body via high tech machines based in state-of-the-art gyms.

This uses various forms of technology to capture the state and potential of your health and then puts this to a group of highly-skilled personal trainers to create a program unique to you.

A less expensive and more accessible way of personalized fitness that is growing in popularity is through genetic insight, via DNA testing. By measuring your vitals from inside your body, as opposed to superficially with sensors, testing your DNA and looking at your genetic code can give you a more accurate insight into the state of your health.

The idea is, once you’ve had a test you can see, genetically, where your weaknesses are and more useful recommendations about how to improve this can then be forged.



Short, yet challenging workouts are the name of the game in 2019, according to an ACSM fitness trends survey.

At its most basic, Tabata training is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, featuring exercises that last four minutes. It was developed in Tokyo by Dr. Izumi Tabata, at the National institute of Fitness and Sports, and was used to train Olympian speed skaters at after it was seen how effective it was for not only their aerobic, but anaerobic fitness, it has since been taken up, with a few adjustments, by fitness geeks.    

This form of high-intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. Add this to your fitness regime to feel the burn, save some time and take advantage of its awesome health benefits!



Team-Based Workouts

When it comes to fitness, there’s some truth to the old adage ‘strength in numbers.’ According to ACSM’s survey of the top fitness trends in 2019, these types of workouts will definitely be trendy come the new year..

“Group activity may not be a new concept but it has certainly seen massive international up-trends over the last twenty years with rapidly rising numbers in spin cycling, aerobic and dance-based classes and the emergence of CrossFit and its tribe mentality,” says Rob McGillivray, personal trainer and founder of RETROFIT.

“When we work out with other people we can gain a sense of camaraderie, because everyone is there for the same purpose,” agrees Davina Wong, Master Trainer at Club Pilates. “The people you see each week in a group class eventually become your family and want to see you back each week creating accountability.”

There’s a bond that is created when a group struggles, sweats, fights and grinds their way through a tough workout. And once that group workout is scheduled into your calendar, with other people banking on you showing up, it’s a whole lot harder to hit snooze a second time and roll back over.


Tele medicine

From cycle-tracking apps and birth control-delivery services to at-home STI testing, the reproductive health space is being disrupted by women-founded startups focused on getting health access into the hands of women—and out of the hands of politicians.

Take Maven, whose digital-first approach provides around-the-clock access to health-care pros—without that interminable wait on the exam table. Meanwhile, Eve Kit and SmartJane allow you to screen for STIs (including HPV) from your own bathroom, and delivery services like Nurx and Prjkt Ruby bring birth control right to your doorstep. The common (disruptive) denominator? They’re affordable services that don’t require health insurance.

Tech is also getting smart about your period. Women’s health expert and Well+Good Council member Alisa Vitti’s period- and hormone-tracking app MyFLO shows you how getting in sync with your cycle can help you operate at peak levels all month long, allowing you to plan your productivity as well as your fertility. NextGen Jane wants to get real up close and personal with your flow—it’s developing a “smart tampon” that aims to prevent disease by tracking your biological changes.

https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/wellness-trends-2018-birth-control-access-online/ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181025113150.htm


The Wellness Kitchen

The Wellness Kitchen is a new trend poised to transform the most popular room in our home into a better reflection of ourselves. Instead of serving as a relic of the past, our kitchens will use advancements in technology and design to foster a healthier lifestyle for our bodies, our minds, and our planet. Because just like the food it contains, the Wellness Kitchen doesn’t merely feed – it nourishes.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that consumer spending on organically produced goods continued to show double-digit growth with organic foods now available in three out of four conventional grocery stores in the U.S. The USDA also noted that mainstream consumers increasingly prefer organically produced food, largely due to concerns about their health, the environment, and animal welfare. And, while organic goods typically cost more than foods grown with chemicals and fertilizers, consumers don’t mind paying more for these products. Among organic foods, fresh fruits and vegetables are the top selling category, with produce accounting for 43 percent of organic food sales.

More people are also growing their own food at home or in community gardens (35% of all households in America in 2014). The largest increase has been in younger households, up 63% to 13 million since 2008. In short, counting calories is out and all-natural nutrients are in.

Unfortunately, traditional refrigerators and dark cupboards and pantries are often designed to store pre-packaged, non-living foods. That’s why consumers will look for new solutions in the future.

Simply put, people care more about the freshness and quality of their food, and our kitchens will increasingly be designed to store and even showcase fresh, organic products. Much like the organic food itself, Wellness Kitchens are an investment in one’s health.

And it’s not just about food. The Wellness Kitchen encompasses all the other non edible products you but-from Soap to Paint, Cutlery to Paper Towels. The Wellness Kitchen of the future will look be healthy and eco friendly (see box).

The Wellness Kitchen of the future can mean many things to many people. For some it is a warm, communal space, full of light, fresh air, and the sounds of friendly conversation. For others, it is a temple to healthy eating, with living gardens, centrally displayed fresh produce, and easy composting. But, for all of us, it is a testament to the idea that the most important room in our house should be a reflection of our values and lifestyle. And the ways in which new innovations in kitchen design will make that a reality is always food for thought.



The Whole30

The Whole30 is a 30-day food plan meant to change your relationship with food. But the program, which was developed in 2009, requires a huge dose of willpower and a lot of meal prep. It involves cutting out sugar (except fruit), dairy, legumes, and booze for 30 days. There’s no counting macros, calories, or anything else on Whole30, and while you’re encouraged to eat until you’re full, there are no restrictions on how much you can eat. You’ll mainly be eating vegetables and fruits, with a moderate amount of organic, sustainably and ethically raised meat, eggs, fish, and nuts—and hardly anything from a package.

Despite worldwide health officials shunning the diet with claims that it is restrictive and extreme, the eating plan continues to take the nutrition sector by storm, with many hybrid versions of diet hitting the mainstream, too. Thanks to hundreds and thousands of before and after pictures and Whole30 affiliated food blogger accounts on Instagrams, Whole30 is sure to stick around for years to come.



Vitamin Drips

Vitamin Drips are the next big thing in beauty.

According to Lily Kunin, wellness expert, Well+Good Council member, and founder of new health hotspot Clean Market in New York, IV drips are being administered as a quick way to get a skin boost.

As you would imagine, injecting something intravenously is a way to fast-track the delivery of the vitamins and nutrients from the IV bag. “IV drips help replenish the body with essential vitamins and nutrients in a much more rapid manner than taking supplements,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a New York-based dermatologist.

The appeal of using IV drips for beauty is that, besides delivering skin-boosting nutrients in larger amounts and more quickly than any other method, the results are pretty immediate. “You see results really fast—within 24 hours your skin looks amazing,” says Dr. Schwartz. “People do it regularly—some do it every week. Lots of actors and actresses will do an IV for their skin before an event because they look so much better.”

So don’t be surprised if on your next beauty treatment menu you see the option of getting injected with skin-enhancing goodness. Just make sure it’s by a nurse or a similarly officially trained medical pro.



Wearable Technology

A decade ago, almost nobody could predict that more than a million people would buy a watch that not only tells the time, but reads your text messages, checks the weather and tracks your workouts, too. But that’s exactly what happened.

Wearable tech, like smartwatches and fitness trackers, boasted the number one spot in the ACSM’s survey for top fitness trends in 2019.

Time Magazine asked six wearable technology specialists to predict where technology is taking us, creating hypothetical products based on their answers.

Smart shoes could charge your phone’s battery while you rush to work.

Your shirt could vibrate to help you find your way.

A personal assistant could be embedded in contact lenses. The assistant will be able to analyze your tears to understand your emotional reactions, predict your thoughts and intentions, and react accordingly, providing you what you need before you even know you need it.

Earrings will track your heart rate, body temperature and blood oxygen levels, providing you with vital health statistics.

Mood shirts will be a thing.  Sensors in your shirt will monitor your physiology, broadcasting it to the world around you—letting people respond appropriately.

Buttons will have embedded GPS, tracking your movements and learning your habits.

With innovations like this on the horizon, we’re moving closer to making possible products that are useful, usable and desirable for people.




While yoga has been around way before 2019 (like, thousands of year), it has mostly been inaccessible for the average person. There has, however, been a recent trend towards more easily accessible yoga classes, even short workouts in parks during your lunch hour. Yoga has become an anytime, anywhere activity. So much so that it was almost as popular as strength training in 2018, as per the ClassPass report. The mind-body exercise is incomparable when it comes to stress relief and inner contentment.

  • 36 million Americans practice yoga.

  • Between 2012 and 2016 the number of Americans doing yoga grew by 50%.

  • The number of over 50s practicing yoga has tripled over the last four years.

  • Flexibility and stress relief are the most popular reasons for starting yoga.

  • Americans spend $16 billion on yoga classes, clothing, equipment, and accessories each year.

  • There are currently 6,000 yoga studios in the US.

Yoga continues to grow strength in numbers and is expected to see more and more trends (bodysuits,  come and go. As the years continue, we can only expect yoga to continue to embrace current trends of health, wellness and fitness.


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