The weirdest new wellness trends | The Sunday Times Style

Holotropic breathing


Developed in the 1970s to replicate the therapeutic effects of psychedelic drugs, this intense style of breathwork is the easiest route to a natural high. By energetically inhaling and exhaling for equal lengths of time at increasing speeds, people are said to reach healing states of consciousness: think reduced anxiety and a slowing down of mental chatter. Conscious breathwork has a star-studded reputation; even Hillary Clinton claimed to have used yogic breathing to get over her election defeat. To learn how to do it yourself, head to Richie at Xhale Breathwork, in London, who’s considered the best in the business (, for a regular workshop or one-to-one.

Mindful menstruation

Listening to your body and making your period work for you, ratherthan against you, is gaining traction in wellness circles. Bloggers are raving about the benefits of seed cycling: eating different seeds that are supposed to naturally boost oestrogen or progesterone throughout the two phases of your cycle, to balance hormones and lessen PMS symptoms. Flax, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds all feature, and are readily available from most supermarkets. The hip gym chain Frame also understands that your body needs varied exercise throughout your cycle; its mood filter lets you pick classes based on how you’re feeling, with options ranging from In Retrograde to Icky (

Gourmet CBD

According to the Cannabis Trades Association UK, the number of people using CBD oil has quadrupled in the past two years, no doubt thanks to its anxiety-busting powers, and it’s now stocked in Holland & Barrett. Non-psychoactive, the oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of hemp plants and the THC content — the bit that gets you high — is kept to a minimum. The downside is a distinctly acrid taste. Happily, however, there are now a number of solutions, including hemp-infused water (, a turmeric-oil blend (, specialist vape pens and hemp-laced honey ( For the widest selection, the hipster food market Planet Organic sells everything from hemp flower tea to CBD-infused lip balm (

Sound-bathing apps

Sound baths — part meditation, part listening exercise — are the latest wellness trend (Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan), and now you can have one on your commute. While it’s usually practised in a group, the innovative new website and app Third Ear allows you to get bathing alone — and on the go ( Developed by sound practitioner and meditation teacher Leo Cosendai, Third Ear aims to harness the powerful effect of sound, encouraging mindfulness through soothing sound waves and words. Go freestyle and dip into the app’s extensive library of gongs, mantras, chants and pranayama breathing exercises, or pick a guided meditation suited to your mood.

Constellation therapy

New to the popular yoga and Pilates hub Triyoga, constellation therapy is a fresh way to understand and resolve issues that might be holding us back in family relationships. Nicola Dunn has been practising this dynamic style of therapy for more than 25 years. In her sessions, you’ll get a board game and “models” of each family member, so you literally play out your issues ( “Often, people are surprised by their relief in finally changing a dynamic after it’s been keeping them back for so long,” she says. Dunn can work on a range of issues, but her real expertise is family — for healthy, recalibrated relationships, she’s an alternative option to “regular” therapy.

Meditation raves

It might sound like an oxymoron, but a number of group meditations are now offering an “amplified” experience. Will Williams’s Shavasana discos are meditative classes set to the Rolling Stones ( Meanwhile, Michael James Wong runs Quiet Club at Mortimer House, in London, a monthly community gathering that combines discussion, mindfulness and meditation ( Teams from Spotify, Google and Soho House are reportedly fans, and it’s frequently a sellout, so book in advance.

Sleep nootropics

You’ve probably heard of nootropics, supplements that give a boost to cognitive skills such as memory, creativity and motivation — unsurprisingly, they’re huge in Silicon Valley. Now they’re taking on your sleep. Our nightly kip is a time for the body to regenerate, and a careful mix of nootropics may give your brain a head start. The newest names are far from bog-standard sleeping pills. The latest offering from Form, appropriately named ZZZZs, is vegan and free from soy, gluten and dairy ( It combines Griffonia seed, amino acids, magnesium and zinc to help increase serotonin production, the chemical that produces the brain’s happy feels.

Enzyme cleansing

Juice cleanses are so 2017. Now the A-list wellness set is focusing on the enzyme cleanse. Purearth’s new programme combines a 24-hour fast with enzyme supplements to reverse the damage done by pollution, pesticides and modern-day toxins ( The kit contains liquid and powder enzymes, along with vegan broths and gut-supporting kefir drinks for pre- and post-cleanse. The science behind it? Enzymes speed up all the chemical reactions in your cells, boosting everything from DNA replication to digestion. Think of these biological catalysts as your body’s own go-faster stripes.


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