Alternative Wellness Market

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Alternative Wellness Influencers: US

Alternative wellness treatment influencers are Charity Witt, Chris Mazdzer, Courtney Swan, Shani Darden, Ben Greenfield, Bianca Jade, and Amy Purdy. Wellness influencers in the United States include fitness and health experts, beauty experts, and wellness bloggers. Please refer to the Alternative Wellness Influencer spreadsheet for more information.

Alternative Wellness Influencers in the United States

Charity Witt

  • Charity Witt is a power lifter and strength training expert based in Georgia.
  • Her Instagram follower count is at 266,000 and she is most active on this platform.
  • Charity has promoted Restore Hyper Wellness' IV Drip treatment on her Instagram. She is committed to posting fitness and nutrition content on her platforms.

Chris Mazdzer

  • Chris Mazdzer is an Olympic Silver Medalist who promotes compression therapy from NormaTec Recovery on his Instagram.
  • Chris has about 91, 700 Instagram followers and 19,000 Twitter followers. His combined follower count across both platforms is 110,700.
  • He promotes a ton of content geared towards health, recovery, and fitness.

Courtney Swan

  • Courtney Swan is a nutrition and wellness blogger who shares the benefits of cryotherapy.
  • She has 106,000 followers on Instagram and is based in Los Angeles.

Shani Darden

  • Shani Darden, a Los Angeles based esthetician, is well-known in her advocacy of red light/photobiomodulation products in her skincare routine.
  • She has 216,000 followers on Instagram and has also worked with numerous celebrities.

Ben Greenfield

  • Ben Greenfield is a fitness and health influencer who has promoted several alternative wellness methods for fitness recovery including IVs, red light therapy, and cryotherapy.
  • He has 215,000 followers on Instagram. He is also the Co-Founder and Spokesman for Kion, a health supplements company.

Bianca Jade

  • Bianca Jade is a wellness and fitness expert who frequently shares her experiences with alternative treatments like cryoskin facial therapy and red light therapy.
  • Her Instagram has 189,000 followers.

Amy Purdy

  • After a series of surgeries, Amy has been documenting her experience with hyperbaric chamber therapy on her Instagram stories.
  • Amy's Instagram has 310,000 followers.
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Alternative Wellness Influencers: Global

Global alternative wellness influencers include Wallis Day, Caroline Standbury, Sophie Hermann, Emily Katz, Candice Kumai, Sanjjanaa Galrani, and YuiiWadee Srijaruphuek. Details about each influencer have been compiled in the GLOBAL Influencers tab of the attached spreadsheet.

Global alternative wellness influencers

  • Alternative wellness treatments, for the purposes of this request, was defined as wellness treatments which include the likes of cryotherapy, hyperbaric treatments, infrared treatments, and other similar treatments.
  • Wallis Day recently visited a cyrotherapy clinic, talking about her new resolutions in food (she started being vegan), fitness (running), and taking care of her body (cyrotherapy).
  • Caroline Standbury visited a London-based cyrotherapy clinic with her friend Paris Hilton, saying her visit made her feel young and fresh.
  • Sophie Hermann regularly visits XHU London, an alternative wellness clinic based in the UK, and says the clinic got her into healthy habits such as yoga and cyrotherapy.

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Life Expectancy Trends

Two life expectancy trends are that life expectancy is increasing worldwide and the life-expectancy gap between the rich and poor is widening, including among adults in some highly developed countries.

Overall Life Expectancy is Increasing

1. Trend Overview

  • A global trend in life expectancy is that it is increasing.
  • This trend has been noted by multiple sources, including the World Health Organization, Health Policy Watch, U.S. News & World Report, and the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, to name just a few.
  • Data from the World Health Organiztion's report titled "World Health Statistics 2019" found that between 2000 and 2016, life expectancy has increased by 6.5 years worldwide.
  • In 2000, the average life expectancy worldwide was 65.5 years. In 2016, the average life expectancy worldwide had increased to age 72.
  • The United Nations projects that by 2050, the average life expectancy worldwide will rise to 77.1.
  • Among highly developed countries worldwide (e.g. U.K., France, Australia), average life expectancy has increased by 7.8 years from 1980 to 2017, for an average life expectancy in 2017 of 82.3.
  • This global trend of life expectancy increasing is also projected to continue increasing. Between 2017 and 2040, average life expectancy worldwide "is expected to increase . . . [by] 4.4 years." In 2040, 80 years is the average life expectancy projected to be attained in 59 countries.
  • Also in 2040, 85 years is the average life expectancy projected for Singapore, Switzerland, the U.K., and Spain.
  • The U.S. is actually an exception to this trend, as life expectancy in the country has been noticeably trending downward.

2. What's Driving the Trend

  • Greater access to healthcare is a major factor driving this trend. The World Health Organization's goal is that by 2023, an additional billion individuals will "have universal health coverage."
  • Sustainability development goal (SDG) indicators have experienced marked improvement, which is another factor driving this trend. The World Health Organization reported in 2019 "that in recent years there have been improvements in 24 of the 43 health-related SDG indicators." Those improvements have resulted in a 56% net improvement in those SDG indicators.
  • Access to and utilization of "safely managed drinking-water services" is a factor driving this trend. Back in 2000, 61% of people globally used such, but that percentage increased to 71% in 2015.
  • Access to and utilization of "safely managed sanitation services" is another factor driving this trend. Back in 2000, 29% of people globally used such, but that percentage increased to 39% in 2015.
  • By 2040, overall health worldwide is projected to improve, which is a factor driving the future, projected trend of life expectancy continuing to increase.

The Life Expectancy Gap Between Rich & Poor Is Widening, Especially Among Adults in Developed Countries

1. Trend Overview

  • Another global life expectancy trend is that the gap in life expectancy between rich and poor people, especially adults in highly developed countries, is widening.
  • Multiple sources have observed this trend, including BBC News, a scientific journal article (peer reviewed) published in PLOS One, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and The Guardian.
  • As the aforementioned journal article stated, "[o]ur analyses suggest that the world is facing a new challenge: the emergence of diverging trends in longevity and age-at-death inequality among the elderly around the globe—particularly in high-income areas."

A. This Trend Is Appearing in Highly Developed Countries

  • This trend is apparent in some highly developed countries, including the U.K., U.S., and Norway.
  • In the U.K., women who resided in poor areas and were between the ages of 60-89 had a 41% greater chance of dying per year compared to women in the same age bracket who resided in wealthy areas. Among men in the same age group who resided in poor areas, they had a 52% greater chance of dying per year compared to men in the same age bracket who lived in wealthy areas. By 2015, people in the U.K. (men and women combined) residing in poor areas and between the ages of 60-89 had an 80% greater chance of dying per year compared to people in the same age bracket who resided in wealthy areas.
  • The aforementioned statistics about the U.K. are also true globally, as a 2019 journal article observed that "lifespan inequality among the elderly has increased virtually everywhere."
  • The average male who's born in the wealthiest parts of the U.K. will live 8.4 years longer than the average male born in the poorest parts of the country. That life expectancy gap has widened since 2001 when the gap was 7.2 years.
  • Norway has also been experiencing this trend. From 2005-2015, life expectancy among the country's rich and poor "were substantial[] and increased."
  • The life expectancy gap between Norway's wealthiest one percent and its poorest one percent for men was 13.8 years and for women was 8.4 years.
  • In the U.S., the life expectancy gap between rich and poor is as much as 20 years.

2. What's Driving the Trend

Research Strategy

We began our research by looking for articles about trends in life expectancy. Some of the articles we reviewed were published by health industry sources such as Health Policy Watch and media sources such as U.S. News & World Report. We also reviewed multiple research reports about trends in life expectancy from sources such as the World Health Organization and the scientific journal PLOS One. The trends we provided are global and thus are not specific to just one country. The second trend we identified was noted as a trend both globally and in three different, highly developed countries, which demonstrated that the trend is indeed global in scope. We ensured that each trend we identified is indeed a trend by finding each expressly described as such by multiple sources, which we listed above.
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Alternative Wellness News

The two most popular alternative wellness topics in 2019 were cryotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The 10 articles on these two topics that generated the most buzz are below.

Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy the Key to Treating Fibromyalgia?

  • This article was published by The Hearty Soul, a publication that partners with "actual healthcare practitioners" to provide "the most valuable, accurate and relatable holistic health information in the world, on February 14, 2019.
  • It received the most buzz of any article on hyperbaric treatments in the past year, earning 145,800 engagements on Facebook and 17 shares on Twitter.
  • The article centers on a team of researchers who believe that hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be a "viable option for fibromyalgia sufferers."
  • The Tel Aviv-based researchers found that "after 2 months of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients in the [fibromyalgia] treatment group had improved markers of brain functionality and pain."
  • Additionally, the researchers also indicated that since there is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, if patients suffering from fibromyalgia find hyperbaric oxygen treatment beneficial, it should be approved as a treatment.

Healing the brain: LSU professor sees Alzheimer's patient improve after hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Former Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown Suffers Frostbite After Burning Feet In Cryotherapy Chamber

  • This article was published by KDKA CBS Pittsburgh on August 7, 2019.
  • It received the most buzz of any article on cryotherapy in the past year, earning 10,200 engagements on Facebook and 21 shares on Twitter. It's total engagement was 10,300.
  • NFL football star Antonio Brown suffered frostbite from a cryotherapy chamber because he was not using proper footwear.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy helps Tallahassee child recover from brain damage

  • This article was published by WCTV on March 6, 2019.
  • It received the third-most buzz on the topic of hyperbaric treatments, receiving 5,900 engagements on Facebook and 11 shares on Twitter.
  • A child who suffered a traumatic brain injury from nearly drowning saw improvement in brain function after eight weeks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
  • The child's mother stated, "Within about three days he was trying to lift himself out of the wheelchair... When we first went, he was being fed through a G-tube, now he eats real food."

Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury With Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Jaylon Smith opening cryotherapy location in Fort Wayne

  • This article was published by WOWO News Talk on October 9, 2019.
  • It received the most buzz after articles about Antonio Brown's cryotherapy accident, earning 3,600 engagements on Facebook.
  • Dallas Cowboys football player Jaylon Smith partnered with iCRYO to open a cryotherapy location in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • The facility will offer "cryotherapy facials, localized cryotherapy, whole body cryotherapy, compression therapy, infrared sauna, vitamin IV therapy, and cryoskin body contouring services for body slimming and toning."
  • The article mentions that the benefits of cryotherapy include "metabolic boost, skin rejuvenation, anti-aging, muscle recovery, decrease in joint pain, immunity boost, stress relief, and improved sleep."

Cryotherapy Treatment Saves Nurse with Stage 4 Cancer

  • This article was published by The Hearty Soul, a publication that partners with "actual healthcare practitioners" to provide "the most valuable, accurate and relatable holistic health information in the world," on April 29, 2019.
  • This article's topic received the third-most amount of buzz following Antonio Brown's story and Jaylon Smith's partnership, earning 2,000 engagements on Facebook.
  • Colorado nurse Karie Fisher has been in remission for five years from stage IV esophageal cancer after receiving cryotherapy treatment from Dr. Toufic Kachaamy at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • After receiving three cryotherapy treatments, Fisher's tumor began shrinking and continued to shrink until it was small enough to surgically remove.
  • The article also discusses other cryotherapy benefits, including those that are applicable to cancer.

‘It’s like being alive again’: Pocatello hyperbaric oxygen therapy clinic changing lives

Despite New Research, Scientists Want More Proof That Hyperbaric Oxygen Treats Alzheimer's

  • This article was published by Forbes on February 25, 2019.
  • It received the sixth-most buzz on hyperbaric treatments, earning 1,700 engagements on Facebook, 75 shares on Twitter, and one share on Pinterest.
  • Even though two researchers at U.S. medical schools have reported what they believe to be the "first PET scan-documented case of improvement in brain metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease in a patient treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)," scientists at the Mayo Clinic say that "more research is needed before declaring HBOT a long-term treatment for Alzheimer’s and a host of other diseases."
  • Part of the issue stems from the fact that at least one Alzheimer's patient who received hyperbaric oxygen treatment suffered a "recurrence in her symptoms," though the stabilized after further treatment.

Lawmakers want to expand use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for vets with PTSD, brain injury

  • This article was published by Stars and Stripes, an American military newspaper, on September 18, 2019.
  • It received the seventh-most buzz on hyperbaric treatments, earning 1,500 engagements on Facebook, 33 shares on Twitter, and two shares on Pinterest.
  • Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D introduced the TBI and PTSD Treatment Act to Congress that would require the "Department of Veterans Affairs to offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury."
  • According to Biggs, "[Hyperbaric oxygen therapy] has the potential to help the VA make progress in their mental health and suicide prevention efforts."

Research Strategy

To determine the top news stories on alternative wellness topics in 2019, we used the BuzzSumo tool, which analyzes content to determine which articles received the highest engagement rates across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, and links. Unfortunately, to view this data, an account is required. Therefore, a screenshot of the data has been included to document the engagement rates for the 10 articles that were selected. Note that only the first article on a topic was selected for our list and blogs, articles from alternative wellness providers, and articles on questionably credible sites were eliminated.

From Part 02