Health

Wellness tourism: travelling for your physical, mental and spiritual well being

What is wellness? In the broadest sense, it is synonymous with health, but the concept and practices set to bring it into your life are not just focused on physical health. Instead, wellness also emphasises the importance of psychological well-being, of feeling content with yourself and being in a state of calm and inner balance. It can include finding wellness in all areas of your life, including the workplace, and discovering ways to overcome life’s more difficult moments. The trend of travelling in order to achieve wellness has become more popular as well, and an ever-growing number of people swear by it. 

The reason appears to stem from an increased concern with health among the general public that has emerged in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent study, 62% of Americans agree that their health is more of a priority to them now than it was pre-2020. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the most important wellness travel trends of 2024, as well as some of the hottest locations you should add to your itinerary. 

ocean during sunset

Natural beauty 

Being in an area of stunning natural beauty will undoubtedly help you relax and improve your mood. Being close to nature has proven benefits, and there’s no better way to experience all of them than getting accommodation at a Wellness Hotel South Tyrol, an autonomous province in the north of Italy that boasts 300 sunny days a year. In recent years, it has become a genuine tourist hub, with roughly 6 million people visiting every year to experience both the Alpine views and the mild Mediterranean. While at the resort, you won’t be confined to a single area and can explore your surroundings as much as you like. 

You can take a dip in Lake Kaltern, the warmest for swimming in the Alps, which offers the perfect temperature as early as June. You’ll be surrounded by verdant hills, lofty mountains and high blue skies all around. Remember to take a deep breath and immerse yourself fully in the moment. At this spa hotel Tyrol, you can also enjoy a sauna, specially-designated relaxation area, pool and gourmet Mediterranean-inspired meals. From home-brewed beer to traditional dumplings, grilled chicken, egg dishes, freshly-squeezed fruit juice and a wide array of desserts like apple strudel, Sachertorte and jam tarts, you’ll truly understand the basis of the belief that food should nourish the soul as well. After you’ve finished your meal, you’ll have time to go cycling, play tennis and go forest bathing. 

The beach 

Going to the beach is the ideal summer holiday, but you might not have been aware of the ways in which your seaside visit can act as a health booster. Spending time in the sun increases your vitamin D levels, allowing your body and immune system to function properly. Halotherapy, also known as salt therapy, has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Many health-conscious people swear by it, but if you’ve never tried it yourself, you might want to give it a try. Since salt is a safe ingredient and does not have any side effects, many use it as part of the treatment for sinus and throat infections, issues that come with being a smoker, asthma and allergies. 

Some locations welcome guests with a vitamin B12 shot instead of a standard alcoholic drink and have rooms equipped with special mats providing users with infrared therapy that stimulates cell regeneration. Compression technology is also used to aid circulation so that you can continue wellness treatments after returning from the beach. 

Pilgrimages 

Even if you’re not religiously devout, going on a pilgrimage is still a unique chance to experience art, architecture and history. You can also learn more about a different culture and religion by travelling to a new country or region. Just remember that you must be mindful and respectful of the people who are on a religious journey by respecting the local customs and the dress code. During the pilgrimage, you can hike through beautiful natural landscapes and connect with your fellow pilgrims. One of the most well-known routes in the world is the Shikoku Henro, which will take you through eighty-eight temples on Shikoku Island in Japan. 

Temple number seventy-five, Zentsu-ji, is the birthplace of Kukai, the founder of Shingon Buddhism. The original structure dates back to the year 807. The first temple is Ryozen-ji in Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture, while the last is Okubo-ji in Sanuki, Kagawa Prefecture. Upon arrival, you will leave your kongo-zue at the temple as a sign that you completed the circuit. Visiting the Ise Grand Shrine is an essential part of the Shinto tradition. The shrine is dedicated to Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun in Shinto belief. 

In India, religious tourism is often associated with yoga tourism as well. The Himalayas are the birthplace of yoga, and the city of Rishikesh is a well-known centre for meditation and yoga learning. You can find it by travelling to Uttarakhand in northern India, at the foothills of the Himalayas. 

Therapy sessions 

Grief wellness has become better known in recent years as a way to support those dealing with loss and its emotional repercussions. Chronic stress, anxiety and depression are common complaints, and while there’s no single form of treatment that can completely cure a patient, there are many different therapies that can offer some relief from the burden of grief and teach those dealing with it how to make sense and peace with what has transpired. Apart from standard therapy sessions, retreats aiming to help grief-stricken individuals also offer a wide range of different practices such as mindfulness, nature walks and countryside visits, such as to the Erth Barton lodging in picturesque Cornwall. 

Some resorts and companies include surf therapy sessions in Morocco and Sri Lanka, as well as group therapy sessions that can provide additional mental and emotional support. 

Blue zones 

Blue zones are regions all over the planet where people live longer than average. Japan, Sardinia, Costa Rica, and Greece are some of them. Given their reputation, it makes sense that wellness centres have appeared all over these areas where you can experience the local cuisine, natural movement and life philosophy of the regions. For instance, Japan is known for “ikigai”, which translates to “a reason for being”. This concept focuses on having a defined purpose in life and being motivated to achieve it in order to enjoy a feeling of accomplishment. Self-discipline and the ability to enjoy a spontaneous undertaking you’re passionate about will have a positive impact on you. 

While there’s no secret recipe for achieving perfect wellness, there are certainly several ways to improve your well-being and enjoy a beautiful, healthy, and stress-free life. 

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