While health and fitness clubs have long been a go-to destination for those pursuing better health, today, wellness clubs, which bring together a variety of practitioners, such as acupuncturists, doctors, massage therapists, yoga instructors, and more, are proving to be even more enticing. It’s no surprise when you look at how wellness has evolved over the past decade. The Well (New York City), a membership-based holistic wellness club, recently made its debut. Cofounder and CEO Rebecca Parekh was inspired by the integration of destination wellness and interested in bringing that model to an urban market. “Consumers are becoming more conscientious about their health, and they are eager to take greater agency for their wellbeing, but with so many different offerings in the health and wellness space, they find themselves running around town and often receiving conflicting advice,” says Parekh. “By bringing together best-in-class practitioners and integrating a wide array of services under one roof, we aim to simplify things for our members and offer a truly personalized and holistic approach to health.”
On the West Coast, The Assembly (San Francisco) is a wellbeing club set in an old church in the Mission District. There, members can take advantage of unlimited fitness classes; wellbeing services; an arts-and-crafts table; a seasonal menu of local and healthy meal options; and access to a community of entrepreneurs, artists, freelancers, coaches, and more.
Saffron & Sage (San Diego) opened after founder Cristin Smith underwent her own integrated wellness journey. “Saffron & Sage was designed with me in mind, a busy entrepreneur who needed a space to support me in healing my gut, learning to breathe out of my belly, decreasing stress, eliminating toxins from my system, and the list goes on,” says Smith. “I wanted one place where I could walk through the door, not care about what I looked like or fear that I was going to break the bank, and I could begin to heal from the inside out.” With various holistic modalities under one roof, the membership-based center is focused on building a sense of community. “I think wellness clubs are starting to pop up in response to the growing need for access to integrative wellness,” says Smith. “I remember the days when massage was considered a luxury, and you went to a hotel spa to get a little pampering.” According to her, the introduction of Massage Envy (multiple locations), which brought massage to the masses, and the growth of yoga studios and integrative medicine all led to the evolution of holistic health clubs, such as Saffron & Sage. “We are providing affordable access to holistic healthcare through luxurious multi-sensory self-care experiences like acupuncture, massage, energy therapy, meditation, breathwork, and more.”
Pam Wolf founded The Parlor NYC because she, too, saw a challenge that needed to be addressed. “As a mother and busy entrepreneur, scheduling and finding time for my beauty and wellness appointments was challenging,” says Wolf. “I needed to somehow bring all of my beauticians and wellness professionals into one convenient location.” She also wanted to create a unique opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs and professionals hoping to expand.
With the growth of shared and coworking spaces, such as WeWork, The Wing, and The Yard, some are seeing the value of creating a cooperative workspace for practitioners, as well. “I quickly realized that this was not just a benefit for me as a client, but it would also create a collaborative learning community for the professionals I was visiting,” says Wolf. “The Parlor NYC is the solution, marrying convenience and curated talent with hospitality and community.” There, the practitioners are the members. Jennifer Albert founded JA Studios (New York City) with a similar revelation. Coworking spaces are also bringing wellness in-house as yet another member enticement.
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