Meet Juhi Singh, founder and chief practitioner of The Juhi Center, a holistic wellness center in New York City, whose own personal health issues inspired her to develop a career in wellness.
American Spa: How many years have you been involved in the wellness industry?
Juhi Singh: I’ve been working as a wellness professional for over 13 years, together, my team and I have over 40 years of combined experience. The Juhi Center is now moving quickly into its third year!
AS: What was the path that led you into the wellness industry?
JS: As a teenager, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. My mother and I traveled all over the tri-state region looking for cures. We were passed around from office to office–it felt like we were starting from zero every time we walked in an office. Eventually, I was faced with what looked like my only option–a colostomy. I was about to go through with the procedure when my aunt, a doctor, advised that I spend some time in India seeking Ayurvedic treatment. I went back to my birth country, spent two months on a diet optimized for my body type, practiced daily a specific line-up of meditation and yoga, and followed the prescription of my Ayurvedic doctor. I’ve been mostly in remission ever since. Already interested in becoming a medical professional, I decided then and there that I would forge my own path–one that would hopefully help others to find options when all they can see are roadblocks.
AS: What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of being in the wellness industry?
JS: In this country, we have a very fixed view of healthcare. There are unchallenged beliefs that if you aren’t taking a drug, if you aren’t spending insane amounts of money, if you don’t have to wait for doctors to send you back and forth before they make a decision…you’re not going to get better. Going through the motions of healthcare isn’t the challenge–it’s the fact that many people think it’s the only way. So what makes it all worthwhile for me is seeing someone experience the positive results of an alternative method. Everyday I am rewarded by people discovering that you don’t have to sacrifice a piece of your health, beauty, or happiness, in order to have health, beauty, and happiness.
AS: What is your proudest accomplishment?
JS: Having my son. He’s my proudest accomplishment.
AS: What has surprised you most about working in the wellness industry?
JS: What surprises me in this industry is what people trust without question. It creates this funny paradox where I often see that people don’t trust alternative options and yet when you explain a lot of these tried and true centuries-old procedures, it makes perfect sense. But people trust prescription drugs and many times we don’t even have an explanation for why some chemicals work the way they do.
AS: Where do you think the industry is heading?
JS: I think healthcare is becoming more difficult to access and afford, so, it’s eventually going to tip into a case of one extreme versus the other–excessive expenses, robotic surgeries, machines doling out prescription decisions ,versus all natural, entirely radical, and not necessarily more thoughtful methods. We have to find a balance. But to do that we first must understand and insist that our health is, largely, in our own control.
AS: What’s your favorite skincare ingredient?
JS: I love sesame oil. Everyday I rub sesame oil into my skin and then rinse. It’s how I get my skin to look and feel young and fresh. Sesame oil is packed with vitamins and nutrients, is a natural sunscreen, and prevents the signs of aging. It’s like ambrosia for the skin–the body eats it and then shines like the heavens.
AS: If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would you be?
JS: I’d be a chef. Maybe I could specialize in optimizing diets for body type using Ayurvedic diagnosis. There is no way I could make a menu–you’d walk in, sit down, and then you’re just going to have to wait and see what comes at you. But I guarantee you’re body will appreciate it!
AS: What new spa treatment would you like to try?
JS: Sound therapy has a very deep role in traditional Ayurveda. I’ve heard of two really great spas for sound therapy in Johannesburg and in Italy. I would love to hear and feel how different cultures approach sound healing.
AS: What’s your go-to spa treatment?
JS: Halotherapy. Saltwater healing has an enormous number of benefits–it rejuvenates skin, boosts the respiratory system, helps with anxiety, improves immunity, fights bacteria, is a natural disinfect, combats allergies and sinus issues. Not to mention, salt is accessible to almost everyone. I always leave a salt-room feeling better and looking brighter.
AS: What’s the best advice you’ve received?
JS: Practice meditation.
AS: How would you sum up your personal philosophy?
JS: Beauty is from the inside out.
AS: How do you like to spend your time away from work?
JS: I often travel to Haiti. I started going for aid work with my best friend Petra Nemcova and I haven’t been able to stay away. It feeds my soul to be in a place where so much is needed and be able to give so much. You’ve got to find some kind of soul food.
AS: What are your three greatest priorities in life?
JS: My son. My work. My soul.
AS: What are two things we don’t know about you?
JS: My greatest role model is my grandmother. And my full name is Juhi Singh. Juhi means jasmine flower and Singh is a warrior culture. I am definitely a feisty flower.