In the last decade, wellness has become both a widespread buzzword and a trillion-dollar industry. And, like any large industry, it’s attracted a large number of supporters and devotees, skeptics and deniers, with terms like “wellness” or “mindfulness” used by invested stakeholders and the tongue-and-cheek term “woo-woo wellness” adopted by the peanut galleries out there. I mean, one look at AwakenWithJP’s satirical YouTube channel and you'll be either laughing, a little offended, or humorously informed about the woo-woo aspect of new age wellness.
But the rapid growth of the wellness industry also underscores a dire social need. Too many people feel detached or unhealthy; and too many people aren’t getting the results they expect from western medical treatments. Tellingly, more than half of all Americans have been diagnosed with chronic illness, and more than 50% are expected to be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder during their lifetime, according to CDC statistics. [1, 2]
What’s woo woo wellness got to do with it? While we have A LOT to thank for western medicine, millions of people are underwhelmed by the results from certain western medical treatments and approaches, and turn to alternative medicine for help, usually for non-life-threatening practices. But if you’re unfamiliar with alternative medicine—and, to be sure, there’s a lot out there from bonafide to bogus and everything in between—cutting through the woo-woo red tape can be difficult.
But let’s give it a shot anyway, shall we?
What is Woo-Woo?
Woo-woo spirituality has become a buzzword for the belief systems that some of us can’t quite subscribe to, and others of us tote around as dogma. It can be used to describe the so-called new age mindfulness and wholistic wellness edging its way into the mainstream.
On the other hand, alternative lifestyles and alternative medicine can often be very beneficial. For instance, acupuncture and massage therapy, herbal medicine, and meditation. To further complicate matters, approaches that work for some may not work for others—but to be frank, western medicine can work (or, rather, not work) similarly. It’s helpful to think of things like this: western medicine addresses health problems; alternative medicine aims to prevent them. What counts as woo depends on what alternative wellness practices you believe work or don’t work.
Discovering whether something is too woo-woo for you takes an adventurous curiosity, a "don’t knock it 'till you try it" attitude, and then an internal discernment based on that experience. It also requires being safe and judicious. Again, not dissimilar to the medical advice you grew up with.
In her Elle article “Wellness Woo-Woo or Wellness Woo-Hoo? A yoga skeptic goes on a three-day yoga retreat,” Megan O’Neill describes her journey from woo-woo skepticism to woo-hoo. A self-proclaimed eye-roller about spirituality at worst, feeling insincere in a yoga class at best, O-Neill’s insights are both interesting and insightful as she experiences the value of wellness and spirituality in ways she’d never been opened up to previously. Her transition starts with what some call a woo woo wellness retreat, but taps into something much deeper, albeit simple: the benefit of opening yourself up to new experiences and ways of thinking, even healing.
There is a whole new world out there. Now more than ever, people are trying and converting to new and different forms of belief, practicing spirituality and wellness in new and innovative ways. While the past has seen Western cultures think in terms of reductionism and science, or a specific faith like Christianity, the future offers new approaches to spiritual well-being. To open ourselves to new concepts that are not always easily experienced or part of our heritage as a society can first create skepticism or a tight defense of current beliefs or facts.
But if we open our boundaries and realize we are not fighting a war or defending a fortress, then we can potentially play like a child in the myriad diversity that is arising in the world today. There are so many interesting and fantastical new tastes to explore, sift through, and utilize, in order to find and distill our own beliefs to their essence.
WHAT’S BHU GOT TO DO WITH WOO?
We might find ourselves on a journey to wellness we never thought possible, giving us the opportunity to practice honoring each other’s uniqueness and diversity of beliefs. What works for one may not work for another. We realize that.
At Bhu Foods, we believe that wellness starts with a healthy diet. We’re disheartened by the impacts of sugar and processed foods in our diets and the links between poor diets and chronic and mental illnesses. Let alone what over-consumption is doing to our planet. Our mission is one of both wellness and wholeness: to offer exceptional, healthy, low sugar, high fiber, clean label, delicious products while exceeding the expectations of our customers, honoring and meeting the needs of our employees and our community, and safeguarding the environment.
Our vegan and keto-friendly protein bars, cookies, and snacks are made to help you reach your full potential and transform woo-woo into a lifestyle. Find what works for you and expand from there.