TagsCatch the Experts, Coronavirus, COVID-19, healthcare, Virginia Ngai, wellness
We’ve all heard it before—prevention is better than cure. But is the world built to practise what is being preached?
From the global shortage of masks to the lack of bed space in hospitals in various cities, the COVID-19 pandemic has quickly exposed flaws in healthcare systems around the world. To learn more about the measures needed to keep healthy and optimistic in these challenging times, CatchOn spoke to four experts during an informative webinar session held on 1st April, 2020, entitled “‘Catch the Experts’ Webinar Series: Wellness in the Time of COVID-19.”
Here, Dr. Johannes Wessolly, Medical Doctor and Co-Founder of Miskawaan Health Group; Professor Marc Cohen, Founder of the Extreme Wellness Institute; Susan Harmsworth, Founder of ESPA and Board Member at the Global Wellness Institute and Forbes; and Jamie Waring, Managing Director of the Wellness Octave Institute, share their insights on the future of healthcare and wellness.
Take ownership of your health.
The experts note that healthcare systems have been designed to treat when patients are sick—but going forward, taking ownership of one’s health will be a main priority for nearly 1 billion people currently forced to stay at home amid the pandemic. “COVID-19 has proven to us that we can’t be polite about this anymore: we have been delegating our health,” says Waring, who adds that the need for a change has now been forced upon us. “We have to define what health means for ourselves.”
While Cohen notes that government advisories on social distancing and maintaining cleanliness and personal hygiene are helpful, he points out that some things need to change. “The old paradigm is that if we are sick, we will take medicine. We have to shift this mindset to how to build a healthy ecosystem. This understanding is going to affect how we eat, down to cosmetics, and even real estate in the future,” he says. Dr. Wessolly, meanwhile, hopes governments can take it further. “We have to convince our governments to invest more in prevention,” he says. “This isn’t about producing more ICUs or respirators. Healthy people don’t need that.”
Being well and healthy starts with the basics.
According to Dr. Wessolly, healthcare systems should consider turning to natural supplements before turning to drugs for a cure. A change in perspective is much needed. “We have flu epidemics every couple of years,” he says. “People don’t die from the virus—they die because their health is [already] in a bad condition. Lifestyle plays a certain role in that.”
“What is a healthy diet? To be well is a simple approach—it’s about food and water,” says Waring, who notes that going back to the basics is necessary. For many people who don’t suffer from disease, it can be as simple as incorporating regular exercise into one’s daily routine, eating right and keeping hydrated throughout the day. Cohen suggests turning to external heat (such as a sauna) to clear viruses and strengthen the immune system.
The future of wellness will be built on science and integration—of everything.
“The future of wellness is going to be much more integrative and scientific,” Harmsworth predicts. “It will be very much about bringing family together as well as spirituality, connectivity, and nature, which is especially important, and finally, personalisation. It will be about getting the whole body well. We need to be grounded and be ourselves.” Importantly, she adds that wellness will also address mental health, especially as it affects the young.
The wellness and spa industry may have been viewed as largely nonessential—a luxury, if you will—in the past. But Waring notes recent scientific research “validates some of the things that the wellness industry has been doing.”
Amidst a global pandemic, there is a silver lining.
As people across the globe grow anxious about the state of their health as well as what the economy will look like when the world emerges from COVID-19, experts note that the shutdown leaves most with no choice but to wait out the pandemic. And for the time being, looking for a silver lining wherever possible will be necessary for emotional and mental health. “I think we’re going to come out of this with a lot of new lessons,” Harmsworth says. Waring agrees, “It is a gift, in a way. We have a real opportunity to cherish these times, and one of my hopes is that people will come out of this with different perspectives and see the importance of building a local community.”
Lending perspective to the situation, Cohen reflects, “At the moment we’re at an emergency, and the world is in a rest and digest mode. When the global shutdown is released, we’ll see a whole new world. And it will have to be a world of wellness, because it is hard to imagine otherwise.”
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