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January 13, 2016
by Alicia Meade, MA, LCSW

What’s New: 2016 Trends in Health and Wellness

January 13, 2016 21:59 by Alicia Meade, MA, LCSW   [About the Author]

For those individuals who are interested in discovering what new health trends will be the rage in 2016, Good+Fit - the online site for health and fitness - recently published its findings.  While some of the data focuses on the discovery of new foods and minerals thought to improve health, the online listing of trends also reflects a variety of changes in perception.

Lifestyle Shifts

According to Good+Fit, Americans will continue to address stress reduction as a way to improve health. For the past few years, meditation has been one method that individuals have incorporated into their lifestyle to minimize daily pressure and increase calm and a sense of well-being.  Recently, however, this stress-reduction tool has grown beyond individual practice to include group participation in order to improve one’s social life.  Last year, large meditation groups cropped up in New York’s Central Park where people shared the benefits of the technique in a more congenial atmosphere. People are turning to meditation gatherings after work as they previously would’ve turned to a spinning class at a fitness club.  Others are gathering in hotels or yoga studios to witness the benefits of “sound baths” where sound healers play traditional instruments for people seeking relief from stress and anxiety. Individuals are wanting to practice stress-reduction while connecting with others.

As society becomes increasingly mobile and fast-paced, Americans are considering ways to incorporate health and beauty into these changes. Some salons have created services such as drop-in facials or massages that only incorporate 30 minutes so women don’t have to clear their schedules. Rather than spending all day at a spa, apps are being developed to help women choose specific beauty and wellness regimens that are time-limited and they can book ahead of time at a chosen location. 

Some of these apps (like Glamsquad, advertised as Glam on the Go) allow services to be done in the home.  Alexandra Wilkes Wilson, Glamsquad’s co-founder and CEO explains: “During our home appointments, our clients are sending emails, talking to their children, reading the newspaper, or browsing on social media.  Now you don’t need to spend an hour or more at the salon and put your life on hold to look and feel your best.” (Held, 2016)

Another lifestyle shift for 2016 includes a move away from diets as a sole means of reducing weight. According to Good+Fit, people will begin to think of dieting as a way to feel emotionally strong and more mentally fit. Fitness will become not only a vehicle to improve one’s physical self but also improve one’s mental and emotional self; fitness will be seen as an important method to ease anxiety or increase focus and concentration. Recently Lena Dunham sent a photo to Instagram of herself working out at a fitness center with the message: “It ain’t about the ass, it’s about the brain.”

Weight Watchers also plans to move past pounds toward a new program called “Beyond the Scale”.  “This is our biggest innovation in our history and it touches every part of our experience,” said Gary Foster, Weight Watchers’ chief scientific officer. “We’re going to talk about taking care of yourself in ways that don’t involve food.” (Held, 2015, para. 3) This includes weighing accomplishments in addition to weighing pounds, thus addressing inner strength and improving overall wellness.

Herbs and Minerals

Adaptogens are superherbs used to fight stress and improve overall health. Dr. Frank Lipman, physician to celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, states: “Adaptogens help your body adapt to its specific needs.  No food can do that, and I don’t know any other herbs that work that way.” (Held, 2016) Adaptogens are found in Chinese herbal medicine (such as Asian ginseng and lyceum), Ayurveda herbal medicine (ashwagandha, shatavari, and holy basil) and western herbal medicine (hawthorn and rhodiola). Go+Fit expects that Americans will begin to find more of these herbs added to teas, juices, and beauty products.

In addition, the New Year will find less emphasis on vitamins and more emphasis on minerals, in particular magnesium, to improve health. According to Dr. Lipman, “Magnesium controls hundreds of chemical reactions in the body, helps regulate blood pressure, and keeps the immune system strong.” (Lipman, parag 3) In addition, Dr. Lipman believes that low magnesium contributes to PMS, heart irregularities, allergies, and memory problems and that stress, caffeine, sugar and alcohol contribute to low levels.  It can even increase the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Good+Fit believes more people will begin to remineralize themselves by taking magnesium supplements or by using magnesium oils and sprays.

It’s All About Seaweed

Recently, the New Yorker published an article about seaweed, calling it a “miracle food”. The article also discussed the environmental benefits of seaweed: “Seaweed, which requires neither fresh water nor fertilizer, is one of the world’s most sustainable and nutritious crops.  It absorbs dissolved nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon dioxide directly from the sea — its footprint is negative — and proliferates at a terrific rate.” (Goodyear, 2015, parag 3) Fiona Houston, CEO of Mara Seaweed, states: “Seaweeds are amongst the most nutrient-dense plants on the planet, as they have access to all the nutrients in the sea, they are an extremely rich source of minerals”. (Held, 2016)  She reports that a number of Michelin-starred chefs are now using seaweed in their dishes and manufacturers are replacing salt with seaweed for a number of their processed foods.


Held, Lisa Elaine 2016 Wellness Trends (2016) Retrieved from

Goodyear, Dana A New Leaf (2015) Retrieved from

Lipman, Frank Support Your System – With Magical Magnesium Retrieved from

Held, Lisa Elaine Weight Watchers says it’s going “Beyond the Scale” with a new wellness focus (2015) Retrieved from

About the Author

Alicia Meade Alicia Meade, MA, LCSW

I've helped individuals find solutions to their problems for over 30 years and am skilled in working with children, adolescents and families. I have worked in many different systems throughout the years: mental health centers, inpatient hospital settings, alternative schools, the legal system and managed care. As a therapist I am solution-focused and use aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). My approach is interactive and nonjudgmental.

Office Location:
1010 Lake St, Suite 620
Oak Park, Illinois
United States
Phone: 630-747-1312
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