Pharmaceuticals 3rd January 2024 5 min read

International Mind-Body Wellness Day

January 3rd celebrates and creates awareness for all-round mind body wellness, and with the beginning of the New Year, International Mind-Body Wellness Day is a timely reminder for nurturing both mind and body.

Mindfulness, meditation, breathing techniques, yoga, and lifestyle changes such as good sleep hygiene are being introduced more and more often into daily life to support mind wellness and the importance of these interventions should not be underestimated. Eastern cultures and Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine practices have historically advocated the use of psychological techniques and practices as part of healing therapy as well as day-to-day life, recognising the value they bring to overall health.

Key facts

Mind and body wellness connection

Mind and body wellness are intrinsically linked - it is well known that long-term physical conditions impact mental healthand that poor mental health can also play a role in the development of physical conditions.The co-occurrence of both physical and mental health conditions has been shown to increase the risk of developing further health conditions as well as impact wellness by reducing quality of life.

Tapping into the physiological actions of mindfulness practices, meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques not only supports good mental health but can also significantly benefit body wellness. It is known that these interventions activate the vagus nerve which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system – the restful and restorative side of the autonomic nervous system. 

The vagus nerve gives a clear indication of a direct mind-body connection. Pranayama, a core breathing technique used in yoga practices, is an example of how mindful and controlled breathing can exert a stimulatory effect on the vagus nerve.3

Techniques that activate the parasympathetic nervous system not only bring a sense of calm to busy modern lives, reducing stress and improving sleep and mood, but also benefit areas of physical health such as immune function,4,5 blood pressure and other aspects of cardiovascular health.6 

The gut-brain axis also utilises the vagus nerve and gives bidirectional communication between the gut, the brain, and the gut microbiota, impacting the health of both the mind and body. 

A healthy gut supports positive mental health, and positive mental health leads to healthy gut function.

Holistic approach to mind body wellness

Consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of the link between the mind, the body, and overall health and are actively seeking out solutions that benefit both the body and the mind. 

Wellness supplements are top of the list for consumers wishing to achieve optimal health and wellbeing and since the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more consumers are reaching for natural supplements in order to maintain their health. A survey conducted by the Council for Responsible Nutrition showed that 44% of nutraceutical users cited overall health and wellness as their main reason for regular use.7

Consumers taking a more proactive approach to health and wellness also show a desire for a whole-health approach to mind and body wellness. Alongside using traditional mind-body techniques, like yoga and mindfulness, consumers are seeking out nutraceuticals with dual benefits in supporting the body and mind simultaneously. 

The growth of the nutritional psychiatry field indicates that consumers are developing a deeper awareness of the impact of nutrients upon emotional and physical health. The brain health supplement market is currently forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3% from 2023 to 2030, reaching a value of USD 23.41 billion.8

Top brain health supplements consumers reach for include essential fatty acids, such as omega 3. The impact of essential fatty acids on mental health is widely publicised and well researched,9 and in addition to benefits to mind wellness, essential fatty acids are also known to play a significant role in body wellness through modulation of inflammation and influences on immune, cardiovascular, and nervous tissue health.10

IMCD Solution

IMCD offers innovative nutraceutical concepts and science-based solutions, and when it comes to nurturing the mind and body, we have a variety of formulations and supplements that encompass a holistic approach to both mind and body wellness. One such example is our Be Well Gummy concept formulation. Developed by IMCD experts in our dedicated Technical Centres, Be Well Gummy offers a targeted, effective, and science-based solution to support many aspects of consumer health, especially cardiovascular and immunity, which are valuable to all. The gummy format allows for improved lifestyle integration compared to a standard tablet or capsule format.

Contact us to find out more and to discuss your next innovation.

1. Hooten, W. M. (2016). Chronic pain and mental health disorders: shared neural mechanisms, epidemiology, and treatment. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 91, No. 7, pp. 955-970). Elsevier.
2. Doherty, A. M., & Gaughran, F. (2014). The interface of physical and mental health. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 49, 673-682. 
3. Jayawardena, R., Ranasinghe, P., Ranawaka, H., Gamage, N., Dissanayake, D., & Misra, A. (2020). Exploring the therapeutic benefits of pranayama (yogic breathing): a systematic review. International journal of yoga, 13(2), 99. 
4. Yeun, Y. R., & Kim, S. D. (2021). Effects of yoga on immune function: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 44, 101446. 
5. Dunn, T. J., & Dimolareva, M. (2022). The effect of mindfulness-based interventions on immunity-related biomarkers: a comprehensive meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Clinical psychology review, 92, 102124. 
6. Khandekar, J. S., Vasavi, V. L., Singh, V. P., Samuel, S. R., Sudhan, S. G., & Khandelwal, B. (2021). Effect of yoga on blood pressure in prehypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Scientific World Journal, 2021. 
7. Council for Responsible Nutrition (2021) Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. 
8. Grand View Research (2023) 
9. Firth, J., Teasdale, S. B., Allott, K., Siskind, D., Marx, W., Cotter, J., ... & Sarris, J. (2019). The efficacy and safety of nutrient supplements in the treatment of mental disorders: a meta‐review of meta‐analyses of randomized controlled trials. World Psychiatry, 18(3), 308-324.
10. Shahidi, F., & Ambigaipalan, P. (2018). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and their health benefits. Annual review of food science and technology, 9, 345-381. 
11. Euromonitor International’s Health and Nutrition Survey 2019 - 
12. Teoh, S. L., Ngorsuraches, S., Lai, N. M., & Chaiyakunapruk, N. (2021). Consumer preferences and willingness to pay for nutraceuticals: a discrete choice experiment. Value in health regional issues, 24, 167-172.