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The Boutique Wellness Era Is Officially Here
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The Boutique Wellness Era Is Officially Here

ATN profiles four companies creating the future of wellness, giving everyday consumers access to therapies once reserved for celebrities

From cold water plunges to peptides, consumers are increasingly seeking non-invasive treatments that promote wellness and longevity — and industry leaders are taking note. 

Boutique wellness studios and spas are booming, and the addition of technology is allowing consumers to quickly book a non-invasive appointment leaving them feeling refreshed. Consumers also have the option of purchasing their own devices for wellness on the go or at home.

Here are four companies creating and disrupting the future of the wellness industry, winning over everyday consumers with therapies once reserved for celebrities.

Therabody & High-Tech Self-Care

Therabody, a wellness technology company renowned for its Theragun massage gun and other high-tech solutions, offers science-backed products that reduce stress and pain, and encourage wellness habits.

The company has partnered with top athletes including James Harden, Cristiano Ronaldo and DeAndre Hopkins, and closed a $165 million growth equity round last year.

Dr. Jason Wersland, Therabody’s founder and chief wellness officer, has seen consumers shift their priorities towards wellness, citing the pandemic as one challenge that empowered people to take charge of their health. 

“Wellness is definitely in the greater conversation, culturally,” Dr. Wersland said. “People are exercising more and looking for ways to care for themselves, which is where Therabody comes in. We’re always working on science-backed ways to deliver well-being to as many people as we can.”

credit: Therabody

Recognizing that Therabody customers lead busy lifestyles, the company has developed wearable product lines such as RecoveryTherm and RecoveryPulse, offering an on-the-go option so people can continue their daily routines while receiving recovery benefits.

“In terms of active recovery, products like the Theragun and TheraCup are really beneficial as well,” Dr. Wersland said. “We also like to make our innovations easy to use, so we have developed a wide range of routines that people can use in the Therabody App. Protocols are tailored to address specific needs and target treatment areas so you can feel better, faster.”

Most importantly, Therabody’s products are suitable for a wide range of consumers and have helped shape the narrative around recovery and self-care.

“While our devices are pro-grade, they’re used by everyone from professional athletes, parents and grandparents, people who work on their feet all day or at a desk,” Dr. Wersland explained. “We have made products that are simple, effective, and convenient so you can easily add self-care into your routine.”

credit: Therabody

As for the future, Therabody is focused beyond the body and to the mind, Dr. Wersland shared. 

“TheraMind content in our app pairs with several of our devices to help ease the body into the ideal state to relax and receive maximum benefit from our therapies,” he said. “Our focus is to consistently provide cutting-edge, best-in-class products, content and services that support both mind and body.”

The Covery Brings Spa Experience to the Masses

The Covery Wellness Spa, an immersive boutique wellness experience, is poised for significant expansion across the Northeast as the demand for comprehensive recovery services continues to surge.

The rapidly developing spa, projected to launch 100 additional locations by year’s end, provides an extensive range of therapeutic services, including cryotherapy, facials, body sculpting, IV therapy, red light therapy and more. All of the therapies at The Covery boast an impressive array of benefits aimed at supporting overall health and wellness, improving recovery and performance, and improving overall aesthetics to help clients live, glow and perform in their everyday lives.

credit: The Covery

Ryan Ensmann, director of marketing and operations at The Covery, reports a significant upswing in interest for non-invasive aesthetic therapies and peptides. It appears that an increasing number of consumers are exploring beauty and aesthetic treatments that provide viable alternatives to invasive procedures.

Peptides, particularly, are garnering increased attention from consumers. 

“Peptides have surged in awareness owing to the rise in popularity of Semaglutide,” Ensmann asserts. “The Covery offers an array of available peptides to help support various health and wellness benefits!”

According to Ensmann, oxygen therapy, IV therapy, and peptides currently rank as some of the most sought-after therapies at The Covery.

The wellness spa employs a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for oxygen therapy, a modality that involves inhaling oxygen at pressures exceeding normal atmospheric levels. This treatment promotes enhanced oxygen distribution throughout the body, especially in areas requiring an energy boost. The result is increased stamina and cognitive function, robust lung health support and expedited recovery from physical exertion.

credit: The Covery

“Every therapy we offer leverages cutting-edge technology,” Ensmann said. “The Covery serves as an ideal hub for health and wellness, offering these and numerous other therapies under one roof, coupled with a convenient membership model that provides easy access to our therapies for all of our members.”

SweatHouz & The Rise of Sauna, Cold Plunge 

SweatHouz, a rapidly growing chain of infrared sauna and cold plunge studios, plans to open 25 to 30 locations by the end of the year. The boutique wellness business began franchising last summer, quickly gaining steam with over 100 licenses sold in territories nationwide. 

“We hope to get 100 studios opened by the end of 2024,” Jamie Weeks, SweatHouz founder, has told Athletech News. “In 2024 and 2025, you’re going to start seeing SweatHouz locations pop up everywhere.”

credit: SweatHouz

The company also teamed up with Hyperice, a global wellness brand, in a deal where SweatHouz clients will find Hyperice’s tech-based recovery products as additional studio therapies in all SweatHouz locations. 

Stefani Rizzi, SweatHouz’s head of marketing and design, says the rising popularity of boutique wellness can be attributed to several factors.

“First and foremost, people are increasingly prioritizing their health and well-being — and they are looking for offerings that make it simple to achieve their goals,” Rizzi said, adding that boutique wellness studios like SweatHouz attract consumers looking to build a wellness routine with ease and comfort in mind. 

It’s also SweatHouz’s focus on creating a welcoming and high-end atmosphere that allows for a more personalized client experience, where guests develop a sense of community, ultimately creating client loyalty. 

“Over the last few years (SweatHouz) has fully immersed ourselves in the client experience and continues to outperform competitors when it comes to servicing our members and providing a next-level experience for everyone,” Rizzi said. “Service aside — it’s what we do behind the scenes that sets us apart.”

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credit: SweatHouz

Overall, Rizzi says the boutique wellness industry is just heating up. 

“You’ve seen it with brands like Orangetheory, Barry’s, SoulCycle, and other like-minded fitness brands — but the recovery space is full of untapped potential,” she said. “There are plenty of fitness concepts and more are emerging almost daily but you are not seeing that in the recovery and mental health space. At SweatHouz, we target it all — from cardiovascular health to injury prevention, muscle recovery, and just a simple escape from the noise of the world. It’s not just about your physical well-being — your mental health has to be a priority too.”

Icebox Cryotherapy Spreads the Gospel of Cold 

While being exposed to ultra-low temperatures may not sound like an enjoyable time, cryotherapy is one of the coolest trends in wellness. With just three minutes, cold therapy can be an effective way to assist in athletic recovery, pain management, beauty and wellness.  

It’s also a treatment that changed the life of Icebox Cryotherapy Studios founder and CEO Alia Alston. 

After being involved in a serious car accident, Alston was left with chronic pain and a debilitating neck injury. Her father, a chiropractor, caught wind of the first cryotherapy sauna in the U.S. and encouraged Alston to give it a try. 

Within just a few sessions, she soon discovered the therapeutic abilities of cryotherapy, eventually relieving the numbness in her arm and leg and experiencing a major reduction in pain.

Wanting to help others, Alston developed Icebox as a spa-like wellness studio offering cryotherapy and other services. The cryotherapy company has sold 36 locations through organic sales, with most franchisees being former Icebox members or guests. 

By the close of the year, Icebox Therapy will have 20 studios open and more planned for 2024, demonstrating the recent surge in interest in recovery, particularly cold therapy.

“People are using various practices and techniques to promote physical and mental healing,” Alston said. “Of course, one of the most popular methods is cold therapy, known for its ability to reduce inflammation and speed up healing.”

credit: Icebox Cryotherapy Studios

Alston explains that cold therapy has additional benefits, such as improving circulation and boosting endorphin production for pain relief and an improved mood.

“This trend towards holistic health shows a shift away from relying solely on medication or invasive procedures,” she said. “People are now seeking natural and non-invasive methods to improve their well-being.”

As consumers continue to seek out non-invasive wellness treatments like cryotherapy, Icebox is ready to implement a robust franchise development sales strategy that will allow the company to rapidly expand into communities.

“We’ve dedicated the past four years to building a solid foundation of systems, applications, technology and policies to support our studios,” Alston said. “It’s important to me that we have a plan and the capability to open all these studios. Franchising is my way of empowering others to have their own business and positively impact their communities.”

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