In this in-depth, provocative criticism of the wellness industry, journalist Rina Raphael examines the history of an industry that modestly began with diets and calisthenics and has grown into the current mammoth entity of luxe self-care. Whether it’s yoga, pilates, barre, spinning, juicing, floating or chanting, there is something for everyone in an industry promising women health and vitality in the most fashionable package.
At times both fun and funny, from interviews with leading players in the industry to adventures in more bizarre practices such as desert dancing while drinking your own urine, The Gospel of Wellness reveals how its growth is a direct result of gender inequalities and structural sexism within medicine and society, forcing women to look elsewhere for health solutions. In theory a huge force for good, women are now flooded with offerings from more exploitative areas of the industry, peddling snake oil and questionable ideas for a pretty price. Balancing the bad with the good, the book considers what wellness offers now and what lies ahead.
For anyone who values their exercise but has raised an eyebrow at the use of a certain jade egg, here is a lively exploration of an industry that has captivated millions of women around the world.