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The Mind-body Wellness Connection
By: Simone Baroke
Posted: January 29, 2010, from the February 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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The result is that it is now possible in a spa to enjoy a true holistic wellness experience, taking care of the body, mind and spirit. People who attend spas increasingly regard them as a life-changing experience, inspired by concepts such as escape, well-being, self-improvement and spirituality. The lifestyle element is also particularly important, where the spa experience is the main aim for people wishing to enhance their health, quit smoking, manage stress and learn about healthier diets.
Functional water is a category that has enjoyed phenomenal growth due to the wellness movement. Euromonitor International data shows, in the United States, value sales rocketed twelvefold during the 2003–2008 period to almost $4 billion. Quite a fewof these products are marketed on the basis of mind-body wellness related benefits, and the proliferation of relaxation-positioned food and beverage products is another manifestation of the widespread acceptance gained by the mind-body wellness connection.
Water is often a go-to beverage offering in spas, and those that provide functional water can help impact their clients even further. Whether the product aims to replenish electrolytes, introduce minerals and nutrients into the body, or help soothe the mind and the nerves, the additional elements are typically complementary to spa treatments and programs, and can even supplement treatment results. As spa professionals know the importance of hydration, not just for the skin, but also for the body, functional water can be a perfect addition to a wellness-conscious business.
Many dietary components, often also sold as dietary supplements or as functional ingredients in food and beverage products, are either known or believed to have a positive impact on both the body and the mind. This is because the seat of the mind—the brain—is a bodily organ whose degree of functioning, like that of all other organs, is influenced by nutritional intake.
Iodine, for example, is an essential trace element that needs to be supplied by the human diet. In young children, iodine deficiency can cause cretinism, a congenital condition that demonstrates both severe mental and physical disabilities. Subclinical iodine deficiency, such as when iodine intake is below optimum levels but not low enough to reveal itself as a diagnosable illness, can still lead to diminished cognitive performance. The World Health Organization states people in iodine-deficient communities may have IQs that are between 10–15 points lower when compared to non-deficient populations. Low iodine intakes are surprisingly common, even in highly developed countries, such as France, Ireland and Italy.