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Another January. Another trip to Sin City to check out the next-level tech at CES. With everything from freshly baked bread vending machines to smart, self-cleaning kitty litter boxes making their debuts in Las Vegas, there’s one thing that can’t be ignored: the future of health and wellness technology is pretty bright—like transforming every aspect of your well-being bright.
Welcome to the age of voice-commanded bathtubs that can automatically fill and set the temperature for you. Now, that’s relaxation reinvented. This year, it was all about making your self-care smarter and simpler while creating a more personalized experience. After roaming the floor and listening to our VP of Consumer Products, Doug Hecht, speak about financial and physical wellness with MoneyLion, we found what wonderful wellness is trending in the tech world.
Last year, it was evident sleep science was a go-to topic. This year, it’s all about giving you the deepest sleep you’ll ever experience. Think headbands. Yes, headbands. Part headband part ear warmer, Philips exhibited their SmartSleep Deep Sleep Headband which delivers “pink noise” to enhance your resting periods. French-startup Dreem showcased their second-gen deep sleep headband and app, which assesses the problems that inhibit you from getting that perfect night’s rest. What caught our attention mixed old world practice with the future, thanks to Muse’s Softband. Utilizing brain-sensing technology, Muse enables you to meditate to a better night’s sleep. Plus, Muse offers guided meditations via their headband, and you can book Muse-branded classes via studios on the MINDBODY app!
AI is being integrated into every aspect of health and wellness—and machine learning to make you feel (and be better) is a trending topic. How about a smart mirror that gives you a holistic view of your well-being and beauty? Count us in! The biggest and most amazing AI-meets-technology unveiling that had us starry-eyed at CES was Samsung’s Bot Care. A bot that can showcase it’s owner’s vital statistics in real-time, the voice-commanded Bot Care can do everything from giving you exercise and stretching guidance to even tracking your sleep patterns. It might sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but the future of robots that help you manage your health is here.
Monitoring your fitness activity isn’t anything new, but how about a wearable that tells your car how stressed you are? Or a self-powered smartwatch that stays charged from your body heat and solar energy? The idea of wearables are constantly evolving—and making them hotter than ever is a top priority. Our favorite tracking device was easily Atomic’s Hawx Ultra Connected, a smartly connected ski boot. In the company of avid skiers, we were totally enamored. Featuring digital tracking and analysis, you can get *instant* on-slope feedback on how you perform. It’s like having a ski coach in the palm of your hand—or boot!
Anti-aging has never been so futuristic—or fashionable. With big beauty brands descending on CES, it’s no shock that high-tech solutions for skincare are part of the conversation. Procter & Gamble showed off their Olay Feature You Simulation tool utilizing AI, which shows users what their skin will look like in the future, for example, if you don’t wear sunscreen (eek!). They also released Olay’s new Smart Wand, which can provide electromagnetic treatment to personalize your skin care and pinpoint problem areas. L'Oréal unveiled a wearable adhesive skin sensor that monitors pH in real-time. Neutrogena stepped up their game with a new product called MaskiD™. An app that analyzes your skin, their technology enables you to measure your face and create a customized mask to fit with target treatments. Beauty is (finally) buzzworthy at CES.
The Kohler booth never disappoints at CES, and this year’s technology combines total relaxation and *really* good home products (that I can’t afford anytime soon). With a full line of pricey smart bathroom items that include an Amazon Alexa-enabled toilet featuring soft lighting, speakers, and a voice-controlled lighted mirror, brands like Kohler are making the bathroom less of a need-to-use space and more of a zen zone experience. Kohler’s Veil Lighted Bathroom collection blew our minds. Imagine your bath, intelligent toilet, lighted mirror, and 3-piece vanity all working together with integrated lighting. A girl can dream of the perfect, tech-driving bathroom, right?
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.