Despite all our modern advances in health and fitness, many people still feel unwell—uncentered, uninspired, or just plain unhealthy. The response is an exploding wellness industry—now worth $4.2 trillion globally—and the next big thing, “integrated wellness,” just might be the solution we’re all looking for.
As people take their overall wellness into their own hands, seeking tools to care for themselves, they have access to acupuncture, meditation, health coaching, and more. But so much choice can be overwhelming: How can you know where to begin, or what method works best for you? That’s where “one-stop wellness” comes in. Integrative offerings like Clean Market and The Well provide virtually every health service—from health coaching and nutrition guidance to cryotherapy and massage, some covered by insurance, others not—in one location.
Recently, Lily Kunin, founder of Clean Market, and Rebecca Parekh, founder of The Well, joined Kate Flannery, the head of community and partnerships at fitness brand Athleta, for a Well+Good Talk at WeWork Now in New York City, to discuss how what Flannery calls “wellness overwhelm” has sparked the next evolution of the wellness industry.
Bringing the wellness retreat to urban centers
On a relaxing destination spa weekend trip to Sedona, Arizona, not long ago, Parekh had a breakthrough. “I thought, ‘Why does this not exist in New York City?’” she said. “I want to go here every Saturday, forever. It came to me that I really wanted to figure out how to solve for this need for integrated offerings in an urban market.”
When Parekh returned to New York she got to work founding The Well, a membership-based wellness club ($375/month) opening this summer, which combines Western medicine and Eastern healing practices under one roof. The facility will offer health coaches, practitioners, and doctors, as well as a full-service spa with steam and sauna, an organic restaurant and vitamin bar, reflexology lounge, yoga and meditation studios, private training gym, and a classroom that hosts weekly workshops and learning opportunities. Parekh believes that all of The Well’s services and amenities will expand members’ knowledge and experience of health, leading to a bottom line that The Well defines as “a more balanced you.”
A focus on accountability and community
Club memberships come with a glow of exclusivity, but Parekh is focused more on the sense of accountability. “[It’s about] getting people to make a commitment and show up for themselves on a regular basis, and the membership model is more likely to encourage that,” she said. “We can effect the greatest change with our mix of services with consistency, as opposed to [appealing to the] transient passerby.”
In her three years at Athleta, Flannery has also found that combining health and wellbeing services in one space is about fostering community. The brand’s monthly Wellness Collective, hosted at Athleta’s flagship Flatiron store, offers weekend mini-retreats—running anywhere from $25 for an integrative health workshop to $2,470 for an immersive family retreat in Alaska—featuring workshops on topics like Mind + Body, Finance + Career, Self-Care, and Community.
“Everything is super-interactive, and everything is about talking to each other,” Flannery said. “Yes, you’re getting actionable takeaways, but you’re actually hearing from other women in the room, and you’re getting a chance to ask questions.”
Personalized treatment and streamlined care
Another benefit of an under-one-roof approach is the convenience of having your full medical history accessible in one system. There’s no need to deal with the often-conflicting advice of doctors and experts, and you don’t have to repeat your ailments and symptoms to multiple practitioners. At these centers, practitioners are able to learn from each other, resulting in all-around better care.
Lily Kunin’s company, Clean Market, offers spa services like vitamin IV drips ($99-$599), infrared saunas ($47-$63), and cryotherapy ($62-$78), as well as a retail section that sells supplements. She believes this multipronged approach also allows for more stringent vetting of things like supplements, which are unregulated by the FDA. (See also: Goop’s latest hiccups in this space). However, said Kunin, “You can trust that we’ve already done the vetting. Every single supplement has clinical testing against it. We’re creating spaces where you can trust the brand; you can trust the space.”
While the idea of getting all your wellness needs met in one physical space may seem odd right now, Parekh referenced how radical the idea of Whole Foods was when it brought organic produce to the mainstream-supermarket experience. Now, she says, that model is simply expected. Likewise, in the future “we’ll look at this idea of integrated wellness clubs in cities as so obvious,” she said. “I think there’s gonna be tons of them.”
Growing from a few to a few hundred employees takes strategy and the right space.