I’ve just returned from four days of attending the 2016 Global Wellness Summit. Four days of seminar after seminar and 14 hour days – I must say that I’m exhausted! Yet as tickets are hugely expensive, I thought I’d lift the lid on some of the key findings and explore what’s next for the health and wellbeing industry… “Spa” is back: Spa was really the focus of this year’s summit. With its healing waters, Austria was a founding home of the spa concept as we know it. Apparently, once upon a time a hotelier there decided to introduce an element of these healing waters into his hotel – and coined the term “spa”. Expect to see a renewed focus on these traditional methods – updated with new science and technology. Mental health is the new focus: What does to mean to be “mentally healthy” today? At the summit, we explored how meditation, mindfulness, nutrition, sleep all play their part. There has also been a study linking certain bacterial bugs with schizophrenia – so the connection between our physical and psychological state is becoming ever more apparent. Data Buddhism: Yes, you heard it here first. This trend looks at how we use the Internet today. The difference between sitting trapped at a computer all day – and having the freedom to be healthy. Can we really learn to be zen with technology? Watch this space. Spa architecture: Remember when we just had sauna, steam and Jacuzzi? Well now, “spa architecture” is a whole sector in itself. Designers are analysing how electro-magnetic fields, light, the circulation of clean air plus plenty of plants and water features all benefit our physical and mental wellbeing. Then creating the space around us accordingly. Apply within: By 2020, it’s predicted that the beauty and spa sector will need an extra 470,000 people. So business is booming! What emerged from the summit is that there’s a lack of spa managers, whilst mentoring interns needs to be improved. So if you’re looking for a new career, you may have just found it! What’s next? Having said that spa is back, spa alone is no longer enough. What became very clear is that hotels with spas now also want “wellness”. That is, monitoring systems and clinical approaches that tackle a range of clients’ health and wellbeing concerns. As a result, integrated medicine - and treatments such as colonic hydrotherapy and intravenous infusions – are going to become more and more prevalent. So we’re ahead of the curve at EF!