The Wellness Metaverse is quickly being built & its merging tech, wellness, & health.
The Global Wellness Summit released its annual wellness trends report and revealed that the wellness Metaverse will blend tech, wellness, and health industries. The needs and desires of consumers have changed, according to GWS.
The in-depth report, “The Future of Wellness 2022,” was unveiled during the first Global Wellness News event in NYC.
Here are the 10 Wellness Trends for 2022, according to Global Wellness Summit:
1) Dirt-y Wellness: The Health of the World’s Soil–and the Impact of Soil Exposure on Human Health–Become More Important
2) Toxic Muscularity Comes Clean
3) From Wellness Tech to Technological Wellness
4) Senior Living Disrupted
5) Wellness Travel: Seekers, Welcome
6) Innovative Tech Closing the Gender Gap in Medical Research
7) Urban Bathhouses & Wellness Playgrounds
8) Next-Gen Naturalism: The Return of Self-Reliance
9) Health & Wellness Coaching Gets Certified
10) Wellness Welcomes the Metaverse
If it’s always daunting to predict trends in the fast-moving wellness space, it’s especially so two years into a pandemic where the long-promised ‘post-pandemic world’ is becoming visible but is repeatedly delayed,”– Susie Ellis, GWS chair and CEO
One thing that this forecast makes clear is that the future of wellness will be anything but a ‘restart’ of 2019. What consumers now need most, what they perceive as ‘true wellness,’ has profoundly changed.
The Metaverse is moving beyond gaming
The #10 spot on the Global Wellness Summit list is particularly interesting.
When it comes to the Metaverse, the “Wellness Metaverse” is inevitable, says GWS. People are becoming more health conscious, and the world is using technology to engage and influence people’s health.
According to GWS, the pandemic has pushed us all deeper into the digital world, and it will bring with it immersive health and wellness experiences.
The coming metaverse will move beyond gaming and health and wellbeing will be at the center—it will prove one of its meaningful bright spots. And it’s a bright future where the wellness industry can play a leadership role”– GWS noted in a press release
The role of VR & augmented reality
VR games are being used to treat conditions like ADHD and PTSD, and even pain management. As mentioned in the Vitamin Z newsletter, one company, XR Health, has launched virtual clinics using mixed reality technology to treat physical, cognitive, and behavioral health conditions. Some major insurance providers, like BlueCross BlueShield, cover such futuristic treatment plans.
One Vermont tech company is even working on incorporating scent into the VR experience with cartridges that fit into the headset.
Roblox: Not just for kids, but wellness seekers
Most recently, Alo Yoga, a fashion and lifestyle brand, launched a virtual ‘Alo Sanctuary,’ an immersive wellness space, on Roblox. The experience allows users to explore an island, enjoy guided meditation retreats, and take yoga classes. If a user collects all the emerald energy orbs, they can achieve the Alo Gold Rush Puffer Jacket, a digital piece of clothing.
Even sports apparel brands like Nike and Adidas have entered the Metaverse.
Using Crypto for a co-pay?
Revitalist Lifestyle and Wellness is also developing virtual mental health clinics in the Metaverse called “Revitaland,” where patients can attend virtual mental health appointments with professionals. Patients can use cryptocurrency as payment and receive NFTs as rewards for completing a certain number of sessions.
The company will be working with Metachain Technologies Inc. as it created its therapy-based virtual world. According to Kathryn Walker, CEO of Revitalist, the company was once entirely focused on brick-and-mortar clinics, but has since shifted as technology has enabled them to reach more people.
Fitness in the Metaverse
Liteboxer VR, which was showcased at CES 2022 and has raised $28.5 million to date, has also announced it has joined the Metaverse. The at-home boxing fitness company has created an immersive, competitive boxing experience with a full workout. The company even offers the option for a controller-free fitness experience because it uses hand-tracking software.
The dawn of the metaverse points to a demand for a deeper sense of connectivity. Virtual reality workouts connect people in a way that’s more meaningful than a 2D screen on a tablet, phone, or computer. With just a VR headset and your will to win, anyone can now workout anywhere in the world with the best trainers, tracks, and fitness technology,”– Jeff Morin, CEO and co-founder of Liteboxer
Mark Zukerberg’s Meta has also entered the virtual fitness space with its Oculus Quest VR Headset. Meta is heavily invested in VR, with Zuckerberg working on a secret project he refers to as “Project Cambria,” a code name for what he said is “a new product that will push the boundaries of VR even further.”
The full 110-page report by Global Wellness Summit can be found here.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.