12 Oct Incorporating Whole Body Wellness Initiatives at Your Event
There is a Latin phrase, cura personalis, that means “care of the entire person.” The phrase describes what it means to carefully ensure whole body wellness: mind, body and soul. Conferences and other events generally do an excellent job of exercising the mind.
But how much participants engage with the event, how much they enjoy it and how much of the material they retain is largely dependent on factors other than the information you are presenting. Thus, it is vital to also provide for attendees’ bodies and souls.
Select the food and beverage provider carefully
Caring for the body starts with what you put into it. Menus featuring food from local farms and vendors allows people to avoid the dread of eating soggy Sysco food all day, as well as ensures they have healthy options from which to select.
With more and more people choosing to be conscious of their environmental footprint, local food also acts as a meaningful, culturally relevant addition to your conference.
Finally, local food inherently integrates attendees with the location of the conference, giving them something to talk about and bond over – certainly more than catered Chipotle ever could.
Provide activities for wellness
Compared to local food, chair massages during breaks might seem like a needless luxury or even a waste of money. But a good chair massage has many benefits that mitigate the effects of sitting in a chair listening to speakers all day. They include increased circulation throughout the body, lower stress, reduced muscle tension, rejuvenation of the mind, a boosted immune system and increased energy and mental clarity.
Take the benefits a step further with yoga, which yields relaxation for the mind and body. Offering short 30-minute yoga classes during breaks gives people a chance to refocus while stretching their entire body. The best part of yoga is that it is a “practice” – hence, no experience is necessary.
Encourage physical activity
If chair massages are too expensive and yoga too free-spirited, consider strategically selecting a conference venue that has ample access to walking paths. Walking at work comes well-endorsed, with Aristotle, Beethoven and Dickens all espousing its benefits – the latter said he would “explode and perish” could he not walk far and fast.
The long-term benefits these men sought to attain by walking are well-documented; the short-term effects, until recently, were not. But a study led by Dr. Thogersen-Ntoumani at the University of Birmingham found that when people take post-prandial constitutionals, they feel “considerably more enthusiastic, less tense, and generally more relaxed and able to cope” than when they do not.
In the absence of walking paths, going outside for short periods of time can have similar effects. A letter published by Harvard Medical School encouraged spending time alfresco for all-around health benefits, from increased concentration to greater happiness. Take advantage of opportunities to get people outside before the conference starts in the morning or during breaks; if the setting allows for it, take the unconventional route and hold a session outdoors.
Get in touch!
ESG can help you find the perfect way to bring whole body wellness to your event, whether it is finding a location with verdant walking paths, bringing in the perfect local food vendor with the delicious sizzling teriyaki or even locating a yogi with the perfect simhasana pranayama (lion’s breath, for those of you who don’t practice).
We excel at making sure everyone who comes to your conference is cared for – mind, body and soul. Contact us today.