Acupressure, an important part of traditional Chinese medicine, involves pressing and massaging specific points on the body to improve health. It’s like acupuncture, but with pressure instead of needles. Acupressure may help reduce stress, manage pain, and even improve blood pressure and heart health. Thanks to guided online sessions and a growing array of acupressure products (like mats and pillows), this alternative therapy is gaining traction as an affordable, at-home self-care practice.
Pelvic floor therapy treats ailments like incontinence and pelvic pain, and it encourages prenatal and postpartum wellness. Health-care professionals use techniques like stretches and exercises to relax and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Now, you can become your own therapist, with insertable, app-based Kegel trainers that make pelvic therapy a game, sending biofeedback to your smartphone to track progress and healing.
Catching the cold
Wild swimming is swimming outside. In a natural pool of water. “Isn’t that just swimming?” you ask. Yes, which is nothing new. What is new is the sport’s rising popularity as a cold-water therapy, linking potential health benefits—including improved mood and increased energy—to immersion in chilly water (below 60 F). For some, cold-water swimming may trigger cardiac problems; check with your doctor before taking the plunge. Then grab a buddy, swim safe, and be prepared to warm up afterward.
Move over, probiotics—there’s a new kid in town: postbiotics. Postbiotics are health-promoting byproducts made by good bacteria during fermentation. Early research looks good for gut health, and postbiotics show promise for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties too. Postbiotics are also easier to store than their probiotic relatives, as they’re not live organisms. Watch as postbiotics quickly make their way into snacks, supplements, skin care, and even pet food.
Ever-popular parsley has found its way off your plate and onto your face. Packed with skin-saving vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and E, topical preparations of this herb may treat skin discoloration, age spots, and wrinkles. Parsley also packs a punch against oily skin. Expect to see parsley grow into its place as a staple skincare ingredient.
Stress can lead to snacking, and these are stressful times. People want comfort and improved health. Can we have our cake and eat it too? Yes, apparently. Expect to see more functional comfort foods in the snack aisle. These leveled-up versions of your favorite snacks are both food and supplement: think chocolate fortified with calcium and probiotics, or ready-to-bake (or eat) cookie dough with added vitamins and minerals.