In a world where a growing proportion of society wants everything “now”, marketing gurus will offer anything and everything to answer that demand, promises of wellbeing included. However, while some of their claims are based on fact, years of practice and modern science and technology, many are gimmicky, some have completely unsubstantiated claims or are even complete falsehoods, and can lead to yo-yo results that do nothing for anyone’s long-term health.
How do we recognise what works and filter out what doesn’t?
There is much uncertainty about what to believe. If we sit back and digest it all it becomes obvious there is no one solution for everyone; what works best for you may not work for the person standing next to you.
Ultimately it is you who is responsible for your own health and wellness. You can defer your responsibility and blindly accept the advice of others, or blame them for where you are at, but if you proactively seek both knowledge (while accepting that a little knowledge will only highlight how little you actually know) and also seek qualified health and wellness professionals to pursue your goal of personal wellness, you are likely to be on the right track.
In this uncertain world that track will be wind through a number of different solutions. Of course, you do not have to agree with them all, but when armed with information you can consider the options and, providing you are living your own truth, make an informed decision.
Just Google it!
The Internet has become a major tool in our education, making everyone an armchair doctor and a purported expert. They accept the written word without researching the bigger context or even considering if it is really relevant to their own health.
Who are we kidding? We all know that Internet content is largely unregulated, and yet many believe information “because I saw it on the internet”, regardless of how farfetched or unrealistic the claims are.
Is the spa and wellness industry the answer?
So where does this leave the spa and wellness industry, when globally it has been so slow in defining who we are and what we represent?
While we may have a solid foundation in traditional medicines and healing waters, the industry has often adopted external beauty as a scale of its success, or failure. There is more research to be done on the traditional therapies we practice, even those practiced under state sponsored medical programs, so we can better prescribe appropriate and truly beneficial treatments.
We often rely on the creativity of those in product companies’ sales and marketing departments for information. But, despite their scientific tests, surely they are by nature biased? Many, from consumers to government regulators, blindly trust them and accept their claims of hydrating, anti-aging, toning, detoxifying, firming, whitening, tanning and slimming without question.
Are instant results realistic or possible?
Deep down, isn’t it clear that few of the ills caused by years of poor or ill-informed decisions can be corrected in one hour? And yet we still demand instant results. Surely we need to tailor our expectations, and understand that the results of years of bad habits cannot be corrected in an hour. It takes time to achieve health and wellbeing, just as it takes time to achieve ill health.
If it is not physically possible, then why do we demand it, and why do we allow our clients to demand it?
While we need to find out own realistic paths to wellbeing, is it also in part the responsibility of the spa and wellness industry to focus on consumer education and provide sustainable wellness? Long-term solutions can be supported by occasional short-term ‘pick me ups’, but the treatments promising instant results should be recognised as unsustainable and marketed accordingly by the industry. After all, when we grab for quick positives, they inevitably are followed by fast negatives.
And so the yo-yo train leaves the station.