Ten years of health and wellbeing

10 years of health and wellbeing

In 2013, mental health and dietary health practices of ordinary people were seemingly at an all-time low. At the same time, the stresses and demands of the new online world were at an all-time high. La Crisalida Retreats was born from a need for a holistic retreat which encouraged people to explore and take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. In 2013 the La Crisalida Retreats dream became a reality.

On our tenth birthday we have been inspired to hear some people saying La Crisalida has been at the forefront of the Health and Wellbeing revolution over the last 10 years. This article takes a brief look back at how the global picture has changed, and I also make a few bold predictions about what the next 10 years may have in store for the world of health and wellbeing.

What was health and wellbeing like a decade ago?

The health and wellbeing world was very different 10 years ago:

  • The word wellness was more associated with not being sick, than the world of “self-care” and “spas”. Destination spa hotels were for the elite, and not in the price bracket for most ordinary folk.
  • Awareness of environmental challenges and sustainability issues were still low on most people’s agendas.
  • Diets based upon plant-based food was an emerging concept. Most people still considered removing animal-based products in their diet as weird. They were concerned it would lead to health problems due to lack of protein and/or calcium.
  • Vegan “fast food” products had emerged, and debate was raging about the benefits or drawbacks of relying on soya for your protein.
  • Juicing was a relatively new concept helping give your digestive system a rest and promoting a “detox” effect (and the nutri-bullet had not yet hit the market!)
  • People with allergens struggled to find places to eat who could guarantee allergen-free food.
  • The concept of “mental health” and “mental health awareness” was not talked about amongst mainstream media. However, life coaching was becoming fully established as a serious profession to help those wanting to make changes in their inner and/or outer worlds.
  • Concerns were starting to increase about over-use of antibiotics, which could lead to problems with their future effectiveness.
  • TV chefs were becoming established personalities, with the emphasis on taste (lots of salt!), look and speed!
  • People were starting to self-diagnose and challenge their doctors through their own internet research and a small number of doctors were challenging the “one-size-fits all” approach of the pharmaceutical industry.

When Lisa and myself shared our holistic La Crisalida Retreats concept with others, most people we spoke to thought it wouldn’t work, and we were being “too ambitious”. However, when we opened our doors it became clear that we had a message that resonated with many people. We genuinely believe that the most effective way to enhance your own health and wellbeing (including mind, body and spirit) is through wise lifestyle choices. We also believe that everyone is unique and needs to find the right diet and lifestyle balance that suits them.

Where is health and wellbeing now?

It has been a delight for us to see the transformation in global health and wellbeing messaging and understanding that has happened in the last few years.    

  • Health services around the world are now promoting that prevention is better than “cure”. Doctors are now raising lifestyle choices with their patients as a solution to health problems in addition to (or instead of) medical intervention.
  • Governments are raising standards of labelling so that we can make health conscious choices for the food that is put on our shelves. People with allergies and intolerances have far more choices, are now able to eat out far more and discuss requirements with chefs.
  • People are now being told it’s good to talk to deal with challenging emotional times. Mental health awareness is now at an all-time high, and the taboo is being broken.
  • Sustainability is now a necessity rather than a passing thought. Most people now understand that we cannot continue using up the planet´s resources and polluting the environment. Looking after our environment and the planet is now driving buying decisions for many of us.
  • People now understand the impact of their diet on the environment. We understand that eating things like meat and dairy and demanding huge quantities of things like palm oil has an impact on the environment. Cause and effect are now closer than ever in relation to the environment.
  • TV chefs are becoming more aware of an increasing interest in health and nutrition. We now have celebrity plant-based chefs!
  • Healthy (unprocessed) plant-based food is becoming differentiated from pre-prepared vegan food (which can be heavily processed).
  • There is now a mind-boggling choice of Spas and wellness centres to go to! However, the focus does still tend to be on luxury and relaxation for mind and body as promoting wellness. This does mean the spiritual and holistic approach is still lacking.
  • The understanding of the importance of the microbiome is at an all-time high. It is now accepted that the microbiome can have a direct effect on physical and mental health. Those with optimal health tend to have a wide variety of bacteria in the gut and in increasing number of diseases are now associated with having a relatively limited microbiome. The microbiome responds to a change in diet swiftly. If your diet changes, within a matter of days your microbiome shifts. We now also know that moods and psychology are affected by changes in your microbiome and there is a strong connection with the immune system. The mechanisms of cause and effect including the microbiome are starting to be understood. (Read more about the microbiome here).

What is the future of health and wellbeing?

So what, you may ask, is to come in the next 10 years! For a bit of fun, here are my “bold” predictions for where I think health and wellbeing will be:

  • The role of bacteria and viruses will be better understood from a holistic point of view. In the last 10 years there has been a move away from “germ theory” where all bacteria are bad. We will discover that there are hidden benefits from having dormant viruses in our system.
  • Scientists will start to focus more on our overall physiology, instead of breaking everything down to the cell or smaller.
  • The link between mental health and physical health will have strong scientific backing. We will also be using the term emotional health to more accurately reflect subjective levels of wellbeing.
  • There will continue to be growing demand on health services and economic decisions by government will be driven by prevention is better than cure.
  • Retreat attendance will continue to grow as the quality of the offerings improves further. Specialist centres open all year round like La Crisalida Retreats will outgrow “pop-up” retreats.
  • The food industry will go through a sustainability and pricing transformation as the world understands more deeply the benefits of fresh, local food with minimal processing.
  • Health and safety at work will include the need to ensure staff have access to fresh, plant-based food. There will also be a requirement for employers to formally measure and publish “emotional health” and “mental health” staff surveys.
  • Life insurance companies will help drive a move towards specialist health and wellbeing centres, through reducing their premiums to those who attend and participate

It will be fascinating to watch how science and governments start to embrace the importance of emotional health over the next few years. One of the triggers to this has been the impact of the Covid pandemic. There are children who grew up during lock down who will shortly become adults and this will bring fresh challenges to the wellbeing of the workforce.

In our view, as a society we should do all we can to maximise and enhance the physical and emotional wellbeing of our people. We do see strong signs that society is moving in this direction, and we hope that La Crisalida will continue to have a part to play in shaping the way forward.

At La Crisalida we use the butterfly to describe our holistic health and wellbeing programme. If you are interested in transforming your health and wellbeing then La Crisalida provides you with the knowledge and a safe and friendly environment to press the reset button. We are open 365 days of the year, and guests can arrive and depart on dates that suit them. You can send an enquiry now using our enquiry form

We wish you health and wellbeing.

About the author

John is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. He is a life and success coach, Transformational Coach and a master trainer in NLP. He leads our life makeover programme as well as overseeing the retreats.