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22 May 2020

Webinar: Dr Richard Carmona shares insights with the wellness community
BY Lisa Starr

Dr Richard Carmona, a former Surgeon General of the US, hosted the Global Wellness Institute Master Class

Dr Richard Carmona, a former Surgeon General of the US, hosted the Global Wellness Institute Master Class

In some of the latest wellness-focused webinars, spa operators were privy to medical advice from the 17th US Surgeon General and gained insights from owners which are open to the public once more. Sessions also focused on workplace wellness and understanding the needs of people touched by cancer.

Global Wellness Institute’s ‘Coronavirus: from prevention to recovery – what you need to know’

Close to 250 people tuned into a one-hour conversation with Dr Richard Carmona, a former Surgeon General of the US, who offered sage advice from a medical perspective. In the Global Wellness Institute Master Class, he described the evolution of a virus, and said that “there’s no simple test” – we need to continue to wear masks, wash our hands, and stay as sheltered as much as possible in order to really flatten the curve.

He also highlighted the need for a ‘vaccine for uncertainty’ explaining that this is more virulent than the virus in our population and it’s leading to heightened depression and mental health challenges.

Carmona shared that pandemics end through one of two pathways. The first is scientific, where once 60-70 per cent of the population becomes infected (not necessarily sick) herd immunity develops; the second pathway is sociologic, when people get frustrated over the economic and social impacts and are willing to take their chances. He predicts that the sociologic approach is how this pandemic will end.

When asked if smokers are more susceptible to contracting coronavirus, Carmona said yes, but that’s also the same for people with many underlying conditions. He concluded: “In a world free of preventable disease, with no obesity or smoking, eating farm-to-table, exercising, meditating, we’d be better off now.”

To watch the full master class, click here.

We Work Well’s ‘Spa reopening tactics from the trenches’

Moderator: Lisa Starr, Wynne Business. Panellists: Kim Powell of Woodhouse Spas; Grant Jones of Garden of the Gods; and Laura Krohn of La Cantera Resort & Spa

As spas and salons begin to reopen in parts of the US, managers everywhere are anxious for the practical, actionable details that were addressed by these three owners and managers who have facilities which are already open, or are about to open.

The discussion focused on three areas – staff, guests, and operational preparation – and the panellists took questions along the way from the several hundred attendees.

Topics of most interest included mental as well as physical preparation and training for staff, PPE, clothing and laundry strategies, guest communications and mapping out the actual guest journey for spa visits. Other issues such as operating hours, staff shifts, treatment menus and pricing were also discussed.

In the US, all states have different reopening guidelines, as well as regional and city subsets, but in general, most spas are expected to be able to operate at 25-35 per cent of capacity in the early stages.

To watch the webinar, click here.

Global Wellness Institute’s ‘Repurposing Digital Content For The Cancer Community’, GWI Wellness for Cancer Roundtable

Host: Julie Bach, chair of GWI’s Wellness for Cancer Initiative

With the prevalence of cancer throughout the world, spas that fully understand the proper care of this population can market appropriate wellness solutions with confidence.

Session host Julie Bach said: “Brands have to partner with other brands for relationships, and expand their services to other platforms, outside the walls of the spa.”

With this in mind, she put together an excellent programme, with a number of presenters from different organisations providing support to patients during and post-cancer treatment and diagnosis. Examples included:
  • Aeroscena – Aromatherapeutic phyto-inhalants which support for cancer patients

  • Arts and Mind Lab – Has created an evidence-based arts therapy guide for COVID-19

  • Three Sages – Mobile app offering curated wellness practices

  • AnaOno – Bras for women who have had breast reconstruction, breast surgery, mastectomy, or are living with other conditions that cause pain or discomfort

  • Wildfire Magazine – targeting 20 to 40-year-old women with cancer

  • Cancer Fashionista – a wonderful resource to help people look good during for fashion, and after a cancer diagnosis.


Additional spa speakers included Karina Stewart of Kamalaya, Corinna Yap of Como Shambhala and Marina Efraimoglou, of Euphoria Retreat, a double-cancer survivor herself.

To catch up on the webinar, click here.

Global Wellness Collaborations' 'The future of wellness at work'

Representatives from 81 countries attended this conversation hosted by the Global Wellness Summit regarding what the workplace will look like when we're able to return.

Workplace wellness experts are hopeful for long-term commitments by businesses to engage their employees and show a more caring side of the organisation. Companies which prioritise safety and wellbeing will reassure staff and help their emotional mindset.

It's no longer sufficient just to have policies, we need to encourage staff to be in touch with their own declared, and undeclared, wellbeing needs.

All 325 attendees were put into breakout rooms to discuss the topic and came back with ideas such as these:
  • Provide a survey to staff ahead of return to gauge their mental state

  • Have a wellness point person available as employees transition back

  • Ensure mental wellbeing of leaders

  • Offer sensory therapy in the workplace – aromatherapy, music and art (images of nature and calmness)

  • Ongoing ideas included Wellbeing Wednesdays, Workplace Wellness Cafes, healthy food seminars, juicers in pantries/break rooms, movement breaks, meditation, sleep wellness programmes, fruit or vegetable of the day, encourage time dedicated to creativity, mental health tracking apps, outdoor lunch spaces where possible.


To find out more, follow this link.



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