What’s ‘social self-care’? Why is it critical? The surprising benefits of getting zen with friends (plus, the buzzy new place for it)

December 15, 2022

A buzzword borne out of these most stressful and uncertain times, “self-care” typically invokes images of solitary activities such as massages, meditation and moisturizing face masks while indulging in your favorite TV show. But what if practicing self-care with others can be just as effective in achieving Zen and good health? That is the concept behind social self-care, the wellness trend where meetups move away from happy hour and into the hyperbaric chamber.  

Human connection: The secret to better health?

“Humans are physical, social beings and making these social connections are crucial to our overall wellness,” says Murad founder Dr. Howard Murad. “We’re evolutionarily wired for community and connection, and making good relationships is one of the most rewarding experiences as a human.”

Additionally, Dr. Murad lists the myriad of health benefits from establishing strong relationships. “People with a good friendship support network tend to enjoy stronger immune systems and anti-inflammatory responses, quicker wound healing, reduced risk of illnesses and stress and an increased sense of belonging and purpose—the list goes on forever!” he says.  

A new place to get Zen with friends

Typically, meeting places for the wellness-minded might include the gym or a spa. But now there’s a new hotspot to practice social self care: The social wellness club. One such club, Remedy Place, which has locations in Los Angeles and New York City, was designed with social self-care in mind. “What I want to do is focus on three things: holistic self-care with a social twist, enhancing human connection and bringing hospitality back into healthcare,” says founder and CEO Jonathan Leary. “I didn’t want it to be like a spa where guests would isolate themselves in each room so I made sure that anything that could be social had enough space to accommodate at minimum groups of two.”

At Remedy Place, services range from vitamin IV drips and infrared saunas to hyperbaric oxygen chambers and cryotherapy. If you crave larger group settings, their locations also offer sound baths and classes in stretching and breathwork. You don’t need to be a member to make a reservation at either of Remedy Place’s locations. They do, however, offer exclusive memberships for those who want to regularly take advantage of its services.

Murad x Remedy Place = total skin health

Murad also recently partnered with Remedy Place on a curated treatment menu based on Dr. Murad’s four pillars of wellness: Eat Your Water, Awaken Your Body, Be Kind to Your Mind and Nourish Your Skin. “All four of our pillars of wellness come to life in the form of different Remedy Place treatments, allowing you to experience total skin health from the inside out,” Dr. Murad says. “For example, we chose the infrared sauna remedy for the Nourish Your Skin pillar because red light has been proven to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, helping to improve circulation and repair damaged tissue. Similarly, for the Awaken Your Body pillar, we chose the ice bath and cryotherapy remedies as both have been shown to reduce bodily inflammation and increase endorphins.” 

For the newly initiated, Leary shares some of his recommendations. For the quickest positive impact on the body, I would recommend our infamous breathwork ice bath class, and if it’s a date night or group experience, I would say our “Watch & Drip,” which is a movie and vitamin drip.” 

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Murad, and are for informational purposes only, even if the advice of physicians and medical practitioners are included. This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be considered specific medical advice.

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Enid Portuguez is an L.A.-based writer and editor. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, InStyle and The Daily Beast. She is also the Director of Communications and Events at the Writers Guild Foundation.