“Exciting and immersive new treatments can ease anxiety”
Face your fears virtually
There currently aren’t enough psychological practitioners in the UK to help with our mental health crisis ‒ but could virtual therapy be the solution? OxfordVR (ovrhealth.com), a spin-off from Oxford University, is pioneering new immersive treatments for mental health problems such as anxiety and psychosis. A session consists of wearing a headset while a virtual therapist gently exposes you to a simulated environment.For example, someone with social anxiety can enter a virtual party full of people. The Lancet reported that virtual therapy performed better than face to face therapy. Patients with fear of heights saw a decrease in their fear by over 68% according to a study.
Mindfulness is a time for rest
We’re so adept at multitasking that we can click and swipe while cooking or walking the dog. Yet while the digital world is developing frighteningly fast, the human brain isn’t wired to keep up. Although technology is able to adapt to any new hardware, our grey matter develops slower. In order to stay sane it’s important we practise slowing down our minds. Dubbed ‘mental deceleration’ – meditation and mindful breathing techniques will be more important than ever in 2022 for helping our brains (and bodies) unwind.
You are not old for fitness
One time, anyone older than 50 was advised to slow down and take a deep breath. No more. A league of inspiring older ‘fitfluencers’ such as 74-year-old Joan MacDonald (@trainwithjoan), and 66-year-old Wendy Ida (@wendyidafitness) have proven that you can lunge, squat, lift and sport a crop top at any age. Statisticians show that osteoporosis is the leading cause of fractures in women aged 50 and older. This means we should be more concerned about bone health as well as bone-boosting activities, such weight-bearing, which helps build bone density.
Sound can be a refuge
Digital wellness is poised to change the game with music. Many brands have begun to focus on sound’s healing properties as a way of addressing the growing demand for non-pharmaceutical solutions in health. One such company is the mental health app Calm, which originally introduced ‘soundscapes’ of rainfall and crackling fires. It is now working with musicians to produce melodies for wellbeing. Meanwhile, Spotify continues to curate playlists that influence our mood from ‘Good Energy’ to ‘Chill Tracks’ and is looking to personalise our playlists to improve our performance and overall wellbeing. Stay-on Supplements
You can say goodbye to oral vitamins
Patches are the next major thing on supplements’ scene. They work in the same manner as nicotine patches or HRT patches. These supplements bypass the digestive process for maximum absorption. Oral supplements, on the other hand, need to digest and reduce their efficacy. You can see the entire selection at vilwellness.com.
Eating for your genes
Watch out for nutrigenomics, a cutting-edge branch of science that explores how nutrition affects our genes and specifically gene expression ‒ which is central to our health and wellbeing. Karmacist is a new supplements brand ‒ set up with the help of Professor Vittorio Sebastiano, an epigeneticist at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and nutritional psychiatrist Dr Uma Naidoo ‒ that offers a range of botanical-based formulas to help our genes work efficiently. For instance, saffron or turmeric can regulate your mood gene. Black garlic and reishi mushrooms help to boost your immune gene.
My latest wonder wand
Jasmine Hemsley sells the Ayurvedic massaging stick
A huge advocate of Ayurvedic medicine, Jasmine Hemsley has just launched her Kansa Wand (£45, jasminehemsley.com). You can use it to massage your entire body, from your forehead to your toes. It has been in Indian tradition for many centuries. It’s shaped to activate the body’s Marma points (vitality points), increasing the flow of Prana (life-force energy), while the ‘sacred’ bronze metal has alkaline properties to balance your skin’s pH.
The cagoule cools down
Thanks to brands such as Sweaty Betty, the cagoule is ditching its geeky reputation.
I love the very stylish Mission Waterproof Jacket (£185, sweatybetty.com), which is set to turn rainy days into stylish ones. The three-layer fabric is waterproof and breathable. It comes in stunning colour options, and features a flattering cinched waist.