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Remedy Place founder Dr Jonathan Leary: I’ll never offer what’s already available

In 2019, Dr Jonathan Leary launched Remedy Place, pioneering the concept of a social wellness club and transforming how we think about health spaces. Today, he’s setting his sights even higher with a new health and wellbeing education platform aimed at driving global change. Unfiltered sat down with Dr Leary to examine his vision and the self-belief required to overcome external doubt and scepticism
Dr Jonathan Leary
Dr Jonathan Leary

Dr Jonathan Leary is the founder and CEO of Remedy Place, a social wellness club with establishments in New York and Los Angeles. His practice and expertise have been featured in media outlets from Vogue to The New York Times, alongside a range of corporate advisories and appearances including Cannes Film Festival and The Global Wellness Summit.

“I want to help make more people feel better than any company in the world.” That was the succinct and ambitious goal Dr Jonathan Leary, the chiropractor turned entrepreneur, shared with Unfiltered during a recent trip to London. 

Dr Leary is best known for founding and running Remedy Place, a luxury destination billed as the world’s first social wellness club. It’s designed around the idea of “social self-care,” where the experience of health and wellness activities is shared with others, rather than pursued in isolation. 

Visit the West Hollywood facility, which opened in 2019, and you may find yourself sharing an infrared sauna with Kim Kardashian. Go to the site in New York’s Flat Iron district, which opened in 2022, and you may be sharing an ice bath studio with Drake.

Further expansion is inevitable and likely to be global but it’s not celebrity that motivates Dr Leary; it’s education. “All I want to do is use Remedy and our platform to teach you about your body and how to take care of it,” he says. That’s why he recently launched The Framework, a new free content platform and “road map to feel your best and achieve anything you want in life”.

It is based on Dr Leary’s personal practices and spans seven pillars: Human Connection; Intentional Environments; Time Training; Stress Training; Growth and Development; Appearance Training; and Conventional Health. 

Unfiltered sat down with Dr Leary to discuss the potential impact of his approach to wellness, the challenges he faces in the industry, and how he decides which therapies to offer his Remedy Place clients.

The IV room at Remedy Place in New York
Why does Remedy Place exist? 

People don’t feel good and people are sicker than they’ve ever been. My mission is to make them feel better. 

What convinced you that a “social wellness club” would work as a concept?

I had a gut feel for it when I started working on a business plan. The more I’m living it, the more it’s helping people and the more I’m growing and learning, I feel so confident of it working. And now I know there’s no way in hell that I would ever do anything that would jeopardise it from becoming what I want it to be. 

What it is about the modern world that is making people unhealthy?

I think people are looking for quick fixes or they’re looking for a magic pill. There’s no magical pill or magical fix. It takes hard work. People also think that other people can make them healthy. No one can make you healthy. Only you can make you healthy.

I also think there’s a lack of time and education in our healthcare system. The medical doctor goes and studies medicine. That’s their job. What’s the symptom? Here’s the solution. But the first line of intervention for anything that isn’t an emergency should not be surgery or drugs. 

And then lastly, with the social side, people are lonely. And what they do to not be lonely is to go drink and have fun. But alcohol is a depressant and dissociative. So it’s like, we’re lonely, and then we’re getting false connections and the things that we’re doing when we socialise are making us worse. So people just need a healthy way to socialise and a healthy way to connect and build community and relationships. 

How did people react when you first came up with the idea for Remedy Place?

They said there was no way that Remedy would be a company outside of LA. It’s like, you know, when 30 or 40 years ago, people said fitness was a trend and now it’s part of everyone’s life. I think social wellness is honestly the future and it’s going to be a part of our lives.

Have reactions changed since you first started talking about it?  

One million percent. Yeah, drastically. Last year, the Global Wellness Institute said as part of their summit that social wellness and social wellness clubs were the number one [health] trend in the world. So it’s a little crazy to me. When I was told that won’t work anywhere to [it] being kind of a global trend, that’s why it doesn’t doesn’t really matter what other people think. 

You have to be uncomfortable with being misunderstood. If you’re misunderstood, that just means that you are probably doing something that is innovative. For me, I never want to do anything that anyone else has done.

What’s your personal ambition for the brand?

I want to help make more people feel better than any company in the world. 

That’s a big ambition. How would it happen? 

Through education. I’m growing Remedy Place not to have hundreds of clubs. I’m growing remedy place to be a brand that’s a platform that I can use to provide free education. Because at the end of the day, the foundational pillars of health do not cost money and are very simple. And I always say your body is your number one asset, but you’ve never been given the instruction manual for how you supposed to take care of it.

You have a medical background. In what way is the current healthcare system failing?

I think it’s failing because, starting with education, we’re not teaching the right things and we’re teaching our healthcare system to be more of a sick-care system where we’re treating people’s problems and the only solution is medication.

Outside of that, doctors aren’t set up for success because they’re put in really stressful environments and they’re not given a lot of time. In most hospital settings, it’s quick, fast turnover and I think the average doctor visit in America is eight minutes long. How am I supposed to teach you anything or get to know you as a patient? I can’t get to know you or your problem in eight minutes. 

When we speak to people championing lifestyle interventions for healthcare, the pharmaceutical industry often comes up. Do you feel like you’re taking them on or working alongside them?

Big Pharma is a business. And there’s a time and place for most pharmaceuticals. But what I see wrong is that because of money it’s not always what’s best for the patient. And that’s hard to swallow. Like when I see certain things on the rise, like, say, Ozempic and people are just handing it out like candy for weight loss. Like, did you educate them on what this means and how long they have to do this and what happens if they come off it or what the side effects are? Or you put someone on Ozempic who’s already skinny, that wants to lose a couple of pounds. I think that’s where we fail. 

What makes you decide what you offer at Remedy Place? 

It’s all through my own clinical evidence, so it’s things that I’ve tested out on patients in my practice for five years before knowing that it works, testing it out on myself and all my patients.

There are a lot of novel therapies emerging at the moment. Anything you’ve got your eye on?

Instead of actual modalities, I’m thinking more AI. Anything that is more driven by AI, we’re going to get really smart and also more accessible. And I think with the right data, AI is going to be the biggest disruption in our healthcare system because imagine if you have someone in your pocket that can tell you in real time all the time how to take care of yourself. 

What about regenerative therapies? 

I don’t believe in anti-ageing. We actively age. We can repair and we can recover. When you get a cut your body scabs over. When you break a bone, your body rebuilds bone. Our bodies are really smart, and they’re really capable of doing these crazy things. If we could reverse age, we wouldn’t die. And based on my clinical evidence and my knowledge base, right now, we all die one day. So I think the goal isn’t to reverse ageing, it’s to actively age and feel and look better as we get older. 

Dr Jonathan Leary was speaking to Unfiltered at PerformX. For more on Remedy Place, click here. For more on The Framework, click here

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