HEALTH AND WELLNESS

AS AN INDUSTRY

Why Bali?

Three Months of Living and Woking in "Wellness Mekka"

I wanted to try to experience Bali in a work related context to satisfy my curiosity and to test my own assumptions around running and owning a retreat. I was using this project as a “test” scope to figure out whether this field could be suitable for me to work in long term – and to check out the already existing competition. Whether making a retreat on Bali is something I spcifically would like to do in the future is still something I am unsure of. Although on this page you will find a few viewpoints on our health and wellness industry that I discovered during my time on Bali. These statements from “The School of Life” and “The Health and Wellness Institute” has made me more clear on why I still find it inspiring, urgent and exiting to be working in and with the the “Health and Wellness” industry. 

A NEW TYPE OF CONSUMERISM

WHY FOCUS ON HEALTH AND WELLNESS?

Starting in the early eighteenth century, in the countries of north western Europe, a remarkable phenomenon occurred: economies began to expand and wages to rise. Families who had never before had any money beyond what they needed to survive found they could go shopping for small luxuries: a comb or a mirror, a spare set of underwear, a pillow, some thicker boots or a towel. Their expenditure created a virtuous economic circle: the more money they spent, the more businesses grew, the more wages rose. By the mid eighteenth century, observers regained that they where living through a period of epochal change that historians has since described as as the worlds first consumer revolution.

The One question rarely asked is whether there might be a way to ameliorate the dispiriting choice, to draw on the best aspects of consumerism (…) Might it be possible for a society to develop that allows for consumer spending ( and therefore provides employment and welfare) yet of a kind directed a something other than “vanities” and “superfluities”? Might we shop for other than nonsense? 

Adam Smith, an economist in late 1700´s understood that humans have higher needs that require a lot of labour, intelligence and work to fulfill, but that lie outside capitalist enterprise (..) among them our need for education, for self-understanding, for beautiful cities and for rewording social lives. 

The most concise yet penetrating picture of human needs ever drawn up was the work of a little known American psychologist called Abraham Marslow. “Pyramids of needs”

If we were to align the worlds largest corporations with the pyramid, we would find that the needs to which they cater are overwhelmingly those a the bottom of the pyramid. Our most successful businesses are those that aim to satisfy our physical and simpler psychological selves: they operate in oil and gas, mining, construction, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, electronics, telecommunications, insurance, banking and light entertainment. 

The true destiny of millennial opportunities for consumer capitalism is to travel up the pyramid, to generate ever more if it’s more profits from the satisfaction of the full range “higher needs”

Adverts wouldn’t work of they didn’t operate with a very good understanding of what our real needs are; what we truly require to be happy. Their emotional pull is based on knowing us eerily well. As they recognize, we are creatures who hunger for good family a promise of self development, dignity, calm and the feeling that we are respected. Yet, armed with this knowledge, they – and the corporations who bankroll them – unwittingly play a cruel trick on us, for while they exited us with reminders of our buried longings, they cannot do anything sincere about satisfying them.

– The School of Life

A key factor driving the growth of the global health and wellness market is the increasing incidence of chronic diseases, stress, and other adverse health conditions. Various chronic health conditions including diabetes, blood pressure, asthma, cancer, arthritis, and dementia are causing alarm among consumers. This is encouraging consumers to focus on preventive measures often offered by health and wellness products and services industry. Moreover, vendors in the market are targeting at increasing the overall consumer expenditure on preventive care products for chronic diseases. In addition, other factors such as the rising incidence of stress and other health-related issues are driving consumers to spend on fitness equipment, healthcare devices, and supplementary diets. These factors will foster the growth of the health and wellness market during the forecast period.

– Global Wellness Institute 

This wellness industry started because people are getting breakdowns from stress and other physical and mental illnesses. But what if we could teach ourself to use these breakdowns to our advantage?

“A breakdown isn’t just a pain, though it is that too of course it is an extraordinary opportunity to learn. The reason we break down is that we have not over years flexed very much. What the breakdown is telling us above anything else is that it must no longer be business as usual – that things has to change, and this can be frightening to witness. 

In the midst of a breakdown we often wonder whether we have gone mad – we have not. We are behaving oddly no doubt but beneath the agitation we are on a hidden yet logical search for health. We haven’t become ill we where ill already our crisis, if we can get through it, is an attempt to dislodge us from a toxic status quo, and constitutes and insistent call to rebuild our lives on a more authentic an sincere basis. It belongs in the most acute and panicked way, to the search for self-knowledge.”

-The School of Life

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