New Age Wellness Travel: The Adrenaline/Zen Cocktail

From rush to relaxation

No-one is invincible and everyone needs a break from time to time. The hectic lifestyles that get us what we want, don’t always give us what we need, but wellness travel can.

Growth in wellness travel is not to be sniffed at. In fact, it’s changing the face of travel as we know it. It represents a visible shift in the way people perceive the purpose of travel, and gives brands a golden opportunity to create meaningful experiences for their consumers.

With the emergence of fresh experiences – both traditional and innovative – we take a closer look at one trend that’s certainly got our pulses racing.

A new kind of cocktail

Traditionally, health and wellbeing getaways are associated with the calm and quiet, but this new approach to wellness has reared its head and gained a lot of advocates in a short space of time.

Though not an immediately obvious answer, what Susie Ellis, Chairman and CEO of the Global Wellness Institute, describes as The Adrenaline and Zen Cocktail has the power to both focus and relax the mind. All in one day.

“…medical science reveals why stressed out humans seek stressful adventure, and why this seemingly paradoxical “contrast therapy” is addictive: adrenaline rushes followed by Zen relaxation (whether massage or meditation) uniquely reset and quiet the brain, and result in the most blissed-out relaxation.”

As wellness travel goes from strength to strength, this unconventional combination of high-octane activity and stress-reducing relaxation brings a different dimension to travel and wellness. With a mad scientist concoction of intrigue, full throttle exhilaration and total relaxation, those who pursue this cocktail will find themselves relaxed to the max and itching for more of the same.

SpaFinder Wellness 365’s 2016 Trends Report brings us a comprehensive insight into The Adrenaline/Zen Cocktail and why it has become so popular with wellness travellers…

To the brink and back again

The report talks about the current zeitgeist we find ourselves immersed in. The notion of the extreme is by no means new, but with growth in technology and global connectivity, people are now exposed to those push-your-limits moments more than ever before.

There is a prominent culture of one-upmanship, of daring to be different and doing things that the ordinary person wouldn’t.

"…we’re an X Games watching, Patagonia-wearing, GoPro-that-crazy-thing-you-did world."
Susie Ellis

With this is mind, and adventure tourism on the up, it’s clear as to why people are ready to mix adrenaline with zen. Adrenaline-fuelled activities are accessible to a wider audience than ever before, and "…relentless innovation of adventure sports is transforming travel, which is increasingly all about personal transformation" (SpaFinder Wellness 365).

There’s method to the madness

The Trends Report includes valuable expert input from Dr. Kenneth Pelletier, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Universities of California, San Francisco and Arizona, in an effort to outline exactly what this approach to wellness does for the mind and body.

A new plain of mindfulness

Pelletier explains that stress can be good and bad – or Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 (beneficial/voluntary stress) – immediate, identifiable and resolvable

Type 2 (detrimental/involuntary stress) – professional stress, financial worries, insecurities etc

Beneficial stress that comes from hair-raising, scary experiences, transforms our outlook and brings us to a new plain of mindfulness, immediately replacing any stressful thoughts – that may be bouncing around our heads – with ultimate focus.

Post adrenaline

Once the adrenaline experience comes to an end (often abruptly) the body does everything it can to return to neutrality or homeostasis, the nervous system rebounds, fuelling what Pelletier describes as a "union of senses" that is intensified by zen activities that have a powerful effect on both body and mind.

From thrills to chills

So now we’ve got the biology lesson out of the way, let’s take a look at what The Adrenaline/Zen Cocktail means for brands…

This is one of, if not the most innovative trend in wellness travel. It represents a merging of two polar opposite pursuits. Two activities, both geared to alleviate stress, that when brought together can help to achieve the ultimate state for both mind and body.

Brands looking to appeal to an active, go-getting audience – that’s already engaged by adventure tourism – need look no further. Whether it’s bungee jumping, mountain biking or bombing down the alpine slopes on a pair of skis, there’s an array of activities to choose from when aligning your promotion prize with your audience.

Progressive travel like no other, this new cocktail provides consumers with an entirely unique experience that they won’t forget about any time soon.