Amid mounting work pressure, change in lifestyle and the changing eating habits, the concept of wellness has come to the fore. Wellness depends upon various habits an individual adopts for a healthy body, mind, and soul, writes Mukul Mishra for Elets News Network (ENN).
The old saying ‘A healthy mind lives in a healthy body’ holds a deep message as it is not limited to keeping oneself diseasefree but also it’s about adopting a holistic approach to maintain a good health. Wellness encompasses various practices an individual adopts for a healthy mind, body, and soul. In many families, the grandmas and grandpas could be found preferring natural healthcare for good health and keeping diseases at bay.
“Wellness is a concept which has been in vogue in India. With the progress of time, it has become a concept that has assumed a dynamic definition, including the individual’s desire for social acceptance and collective welfare,” said Sargam Dhawan, Director, Planet Herbs Lifesciences Pvt Ltd.
Though India has had a rich past in the field of wellness with its ancient practices including Yoga and Ayurveda, and many forms of traditional medicines, the concept of wellness still looks dormant in the country.
A big section of population in India still prefers alloapathy rather than giving a serious attention to making lifestyle changes.
Off late, due to a range of factors like changing lifestyle due to globalisation, work pressure at job places and the disposable incomes, this concept of wellness has found its new meaning.
In addition, a greater awareness about the wellness among individuals, transition in dietary habits resulting a steep rise in lifestyle-related ailments and an increase in the occurrence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have also contributed in bringing the wellness industry to the forefront.
According to a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report, one in four Indians is likely to die of noncommunicable diseases by the age of 70, which compels people to think about healthy approach of life.
“Indian urban people are most affected with mental stress and health disorders due to their busy work schedule and work overload. They don’t get enough time to adopt healthy food habits and hence miss out on important nutrients,” said Lakshman Kumar, CIO, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences.
“Despite knowing about its harmful effects, urban people can’t stop consuming junk or fast food as that’s easily available and ready to consume. With young people spending long hours at work, it’s important to get them talk about the importance of nutrition and good eating habits,” Kumar added.
Sensing a vast potential in the healthcare ecosystem, a lot of wellness players have jumped into the fray, shifting focus from traditional offerings like curative health care and value-oriented mass products to newgeneration offerings like preventive health care, luxury products and personalised services.
Never before Indians have been more conscious about how fit they are and how they look. The contemporary Indian population is well aware of health and tends to inculcate new ideas into their daily routine.
Nowadays one can witness mushrooming gymnasiums, yoga centres, spas, beauty salons in every nook and corner of India. In the quest to look younger, fit and rejuvenating, people, especially the youth, are showing keenness in yoga and Ayurvedic products that have been a part of India’s rich legacy as well.
Talking about the ways to minimise stress and keeping ourselves in good mood, Kumar of the Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, said, “Early morning stretches for even 5-10 minutes help us focus throughout the day. They keep us energised, improve flexibility, regulate proper body circulation and improve coordination and relaxation in our body.”
“We should drink a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water every day, depending on our physical activity. Sufficient intake of water is very essential to kick out toxins from our body and to rejuvenate our cells,” he added.
According to a report by FICCI and EY (Ernst & Young), the Indian Wellness Industry is growing currently at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 12 per cent.
Due to a huge demand of beauty products and alternative therapies, the wellness market is to be worth a whooping 1.4 trillion rupees by 2020. The sector has a potential to generate over 3 million job opportunities, says the report.
The wellness sector includes various segments such as alternative medicine, nutrition, preventive and personalised health, workplace wellness, yoga and fitness.
The key sub-segments in the sector are beauty care and nutritional care which constitute the maximum industry share currently.
In addition, the fitness centers which include gyms and slimming centres and alternative therapies too are catching up fast.
Experts believe that with a significant scope for penetration in areas like nutrition, rejuvenation and fitness, the Indian wellness industry provides huge business potential to the stakeholders.
Many variants are still not tapped and waiting to be harnessed. Be it physical wellness, emotional wellness or social wellness, the sector is evolving in its various dimensions.
The Rich Indian Heritage
India has an unmatched rich legacy represented by its ancient systems of medicine which are a treasure house of knowledge for both preventive and curative healthcare.
The Indian systems of medicine and homoeopathy, particularly Ayurveda and Yoga, are widely recognised panacea due to their capability to meet emerging health challenges caused by stressful lifestyle.
People across globe have now realised the benefits of these ancient Indian practices (especially yoga and herbal products) for a holistic growth of human mind, body and soul.
To promote and give required thrust to the wellness industry, the Government has a dedicated Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The aim of establishing Ayush is to promote and make people aware the benefits of indigenous medicine.
The Government made Yoga, which has been a part of the ancient Indian legacy of alternate medicine, popular on world map by declaring June 21 as International Yoga Day.
To make wellness industry more structured and easily accessible, the Government also allocated Rs 1,2 00 crore in Union Budget 2018-19 to establish 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres across country.
“Even the Government is undertaking measures to build the wellness industry in India. The Make in India initiative is pushing the wellness as well as other industries much far ahead so as to bring much more investments and opportunities to our country,” said Dhawan, the Director of Planet Herbs Lifesciences Pvt Ltd.
Challenges Despite the wellness concept having many health benefits, a large number of people in the country still hesitant or averse to adopt these practices into daily routine.
The major reason perhaps is less public awareness. In addition, not much availability of inexpensive yoga centres, Ayurvedic centres and regulated environment of the insurance or healthcare providers are also prominent factors causing wellness industry not getting the required push.
As the Government takes steps to align itself with the wellness ecosystem, it is important to address various challenges associated with it. One of the possible solutions is to pair the life insurance policy with a wellness plan which will encourage customers to take action to improve their personal health as well as to reduce their premiums.