With well-being, both mental and physical, very much in the forefront of the news these days, we’ve put together some of the most popular current wellness trends and practices. We spoke to local experts about their offerings, as well as people living on the island who have made a lifestyle change and greatly benefited from it. Take notes, these self-care ideas could transform your health and well-being.

There’s evidence to suggest that music has been a part of human history since the Palaeolithic age; early man is said to have banged rocks together to create music. Even flutes made from bones have been unearthed. Since olden times, the healing powers of music have been harnessed by many cultures; in the 13th century, the Arab world is said to have had music rooms in hospitals.
Today, more and more people are becoming aware of this unique wellness modality. According to the British Academy of Sound Therapy, 89% of people believe music is essential for health and well-being. Whether you’re dealing with a serious issue or simply want to enhance your lifestyle, Bahrain is home to interesting music-related initiatives.
Florencia Grasselli, a Neurologic Music Therapist living on the island, says: “People encountering developmental challenges, anxiety, everyday stress and life-threatening or painful conditions, and anyone else open to self-discovery can benefit [from music therapy].
“Music is processed in all areas of the brain and has the ability to reach and stimulate sections that may not be accessible through other modalities. Music therapy requires you to be present in the moment and also creates positive emotional states.”
While this is a vast field and there are many kinds of music therapy sessions, Florencia shares an example with a focus on the wellness of an individual having difficulty expressing emotions verbally, causing stress and anxiety. Working through therapeutic songwriting can help reflect on the past, present or future, tap into the unconscious, and project feelings into music. Projecting one’s thoughts in songs is a safe way to voice out uncomfortable feelings.
Florencia goes on to share some success stories: a child with speech delay saying the first ‘mama’ after working with a mama song tailor-made for him; a woman with childhood trauma voicing out her feelings through songwriting; a man with broca aphasia learning to speak through singing, since our brains are wired differently for speaking and singing; a child with a rare genetic disorder interacting through music after being isolated for a long time; a woman with Alzheimer’s connecting with her daughter through her favourite song from her teenage years – individuals with dementia can recall most of their musical memories from seven to 15 years, until the end of their lives.
GO: Visit or follow @musictherapy_bahrain on Instagram for more information.

The pandemic taught us the importance of community connection. The need to socialise in person and online is one of the trends that has emerged worldwide this year. Héctor García and Francesc Miralles, authors of the popular book Ikigai, discovered that most residents of Japan’s Okinawa island lived to be 100 years old. One of the secrets behind it, they noted in their book, is that these people have an active social life. Sergio Halabi, Co-Founder of The Raven’s Nest café in Jannusan, started a men-only club. A safe space for men of different ages to gather and chat about topics they wouldn’t normally discuss with their friends or family members. He says: “It mainly revolves around their mental health, how to take good care of themselves and other issues they could be facing. Most of the time, it’s about sharing different experiences, suggesting books to read or just openly talking about pressing matters. “Sadly, in our culture, men are told not to discuss their emotions, to cast them aside silently and push forward, which can be harmful. We are here to break that stigma and to allow men to share without feeling judged or told to be quiet.” So far, there have been at least three gatherings, one every two months. Men can also join a WhatsApp group to stay up to date about the dates and topics of upcoming sessions. Sergio confirms that the response has been extremely supportive, highlighting that there is a thirst for something like this on the island. He also notes that those who joined the first time ended up coming back, as they felt supported and safe.
GO: Follow on Instagram for updates on the next session and more information.

An extension of community connection, support groups are a great platform where people facing similar issues can meet, discuss and learn from each other. People are becoming increasingly aware of this resource, which is a step in the right direction. Knowing there’s someone in the same boat as you brings hope. Razan Shaheen, Psychologist at Insights Therapy Center & Collective, says: “Our support groups are led by our qualified therapists and bring together people experiencing a similar issue with a goal of overcoming or coping with the issue.” Founded by Eman Nooruddin and Munira Al Shaikh, Insights Therapy Center & Collective is the first of its kind psychotherapy practice in Bahrain. Their support groups entail sharing stories and encouragement, exercises to help with coping or understanding the experience, and a space for others to offer what has been helpful to them. There are support groups exclusively for men and women and a grief support group among others. Razan shares one of their many success stories: a client who came with an intense fear of flying. This person went from sleepless nights prior to the flight and extreme anxiety on the flight, even with medication, to flying for fun and actually enjoying the experience. The centre also offers other community-based activities such as games, Zumba, meditation and more, all providing a safe space for people to bond with themselves and each other. They also work with corporates seeking to boost employee productivity.
GO: Follow @insightstherapybh on Instagram for more information on upcoming sessions.

Abeer Parkar, an English instructor, freelance writer and homemaker living on the island, takes comfort in spirituality as part of her wellness journey. She says: “Being spiritually active helps me function better. I read the Quran almost every morning and pray five times daily.” Abeer combines this with other wellness habits including working out three to five days a week and avoiding excessive consumption of oily foods, caffeine and sugar. Abeer was diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), an extreme form of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), which was affecting her mental health and daily routine. Prior to making lifestyle changes, she would experience panic attacks and emotional outbursts, clouded-thinking, low energy and downward spirals every month. Her quality of life improved significantly when she began focusing on her physical and mental health. She’s now a calmer and more stable individual. You can follow her journey @a.p._writer on Instagram.
Over the decades, the term spirituality has evolved, from meaning religion or religious practices to something more holistic. As we know it today, it also includes aspects such as your life’s purpose, your sense of morality, your values, your connection with nature and your environment and so much more.
Spiritual wellness practices such as yoga and meditation gained massive popularity in the 1970s, a trend that has gained further momentum in recent times. Many augmented versions of these modalities have surfaced in the last decade or so, such as aerial or anti-gravity yoga, using bungee-like silk contraptions, and goat yoga in the presence of cute goats who are sure to help you overcome any stress you might be facing. Meditation has also expanded as a concept, from the traditional practice of focussing on your breath to therapeutic activities that build concentration such as colouring intricate patterns or something as simple as household chores.
Ehsan Asghar, Yoga Instructor and Founder of PROP Yoga & Therapy Centre, was suffering from cervical and lower backpain, which led to depression and hallucinations. That’s when he walked onto the path of yoga in 2005, under the supervision of his guru, Shri Bandi Ramulu. Yoga helped him overcome his condition.
When his master left the island, Ehsan decided to continue the 37-year legacy and founded his centre in 2016. He teaches Iyengar yoga using props such as yoga belts, blocks and ladders. There have been numerous success stories in Bahrain, as well as in India where he serves in villages and tribes. Ehsan notes: “I have helped patients having spine ailments such as scoliosis and alignment problems, as well as paralysed and wheelchair-bound individuals, through this modality. Additionally, I facilitate holistic health and wellness as a life coach and motivational speaker.”
This year, Ehsan and his community of yoga practitioners organised the first ever Manthan, The Yoga Conclave 2023, a joint initiative with Bahrain India Cultural & Arts Services, under the patronage of the Embassy of India where they presented a demo, showcasing yoga as a sport in Bahrain for the first time.
GO: Visit @propytc on Instagram for more information.

Lately, ashwagandha has gained popularity with health and wellness enthusiasts. Commonly known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, it’s a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine, known to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mental wellness. The root of this shrub, which smells like a horse – hence, ashwa meaning horse and gandha meaning scent – is used in supplements, gummies, coffee and more.
Ayurveda offers several medicines in the form of decoctions, tablets and powders to cure lifestyle disorders without any side effects. Dr. Majeeda Anzary, Ayurvedic Specialist at the Indian Ayurvedic Medical Centre, shares a success story: “A 38-year-old lady came to our clinic due to some digestive disease. She had tried many medicines in vain. We found from her history that her lifestyle, food habits and everything was improper. She was suffering from anxiety, which was affecting her digestion and leading to constipation, bloating, etc. We suggested some herbal medicines along with a diet plan for proper sleep and to reduce anxiety. She also took Shirodhara treatment in which herbal oil is poured on the forehead in a certain way. Gradually, she got relief from her symptoms.” She goes on to list some other disorders treated at the centre such as musculo skeletal, neurological, respiratory, dermatological and more.
Mushroom supplements are also widely popular. A big trend this year is ‘mushroom stacking’. explains that mushroom stacking means combining medicinal mushrooms with other adaptogens and antioxidants, such as niacin and the functional mushroom Lion’s Mane. There is evidence to show that, when done properly, the practice can manage stress and anxiety, immunity, gut health, energy levels, sporting performance, focus, skin health, sleep and more. offers a wide range of supplements including gummies and mushroom coffee blends.
GO: Call the Indian Ayurvedic Medical Centre on 1772 2060 for more information.

Pursuing health and wellness isn’t a goal but a journey in itself. In order to achieve long-lasting results, one must make incremental lifestyle changes. Self-care is often misconstrued as a once-in-a-while treat or indulgence; it must be a habit or routine activity like eating, sleeping or bathing. It’s also important to have a holistic approach to well-being – as they say, a healthy body is a healthy mind!