Wellness Travel

Wellness is about awareness and making choices that promote a healthy and fulfilling life. On a personal front our wellness is impacted by many components including emotional, physical, social, spiritual, occupational, and environmental.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Wellness is the new black. Who doesn't want to live a better, fuller life?

The word wellness is being used to market everything from vitamins to water. Ewa Hudson, Global Head of Health and Wellness Research at Euromonitor International, estimates that Wellness will be a trillion dollar industry by 2017.

But what is the definition of wellness? As described by the experts, wellness is:
"...a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." - The World Health Organization.

"a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential." - The National Wellness Institute

Wellness is about awareness and making choices that promote a healthy and fulfilling life. On a personal front our wellness is impacted by many components including emotional, physical, social, spiritual, occupational, and environmental.


From a design perspective, environments can improve wellness when sustainability, environmental psychology and Classical Feng Shui are addressed. This is the winning combination of the EcoChi design system. For your convenience, I have listed the definitions of these three core principals:

Sustainability: The traditional definition of sustainability calls for policies and strategies that meet society's present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (EPA)

Environmental Psychology: An interdisciplinary science focused on the interplay between humans and their surrounding environments. The field defines the term broadly, including natural environments, built environments, learning, social, and informational environments. It is believed that protecting, rebuilding and creating a preferred environment, increases the sense of well-being and behavioral effectiveness in humans.
Feng Shui: In Cantonese Feng Shui (Fung Shway) literally means "wind and water." These are the forces that shape our environment. One is visible (water) and the other invisible (wind). In the broad view, it stands for the relationship between surrounding nature, landscape, the beauty of buildings and the happiness of the inhabitants. It is a system of purposefully arranging an environment so that it has a positive effect on the people who live, work or visit there.

At home many people are adding exercise, healthier eating habits, meditation, yoga, alternative medicine and eastern practices to their daily lives. Some are greening their homes to eliminate their exposure to harmful toxins. This is becoming a lifestyle choice for many but how can you take your core values with you when traveling? Be sure you are heard! Ask hotels to supply you with safe, healthy, beautiful and supportive spaces. Your dollars count and in this competitive marketplace hotels want your business and your loyalty.
Wherever you may be, it does not take much time to connect to the practices in your life that make you happy. Here are the EcoChi top ten Wellness Tips for Travel:

1. Plan
Schedule your travel during awake hours to help you keep your body's natural rhythm.
2. Rest
8 hours of sleep is best, but even a 20 nap in between meetings will be re-energizing.
3. EMFs
Over-exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is believed to be harmful to our health. Unplug all unnecessary electronics in your room and keep your cell phone at least 5 feet from your bed for a more restful night's sleep.
4. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Many hotels now offer healthy menus-if not, inquire about local farm fresh alternatives.
5. Hydrate
Drink lots of water while traveling. An occasional all-natural coconut water will boost the hydration process.
6. Move
Hit the gym or simply lay a towel on the floor for some sits ups and a stretch.
7. Green Lodging
There are now websites that make green lodging more accessible-check it out. You have choices!
8. Skip the Alcohol
De-stress with a massage, yoga or meditation instead.
9. Feng Shui Inspired Design
The design, color scheme, textures, light, furnishings, accessories and placement of each item in our indoor environments impact our senses from moment to moment and shape how we feel about ourselves and others. Select a hotel with spaces that delight and support you.
10. Connect with Nature
As we become more attentive to nature, we become more aware of ourselves. Spend time outdoors every day. Regardless of the weather, venture out when traveling for a new perspective and an opportunity to refresh.

Well-being is impacted by our conscious choices. Follow these simple wellness tips when traveling and enjoy a better and more fulfilling life at home and when on the road.