Initially, IHWA started as an informal trade association with membership limited to destination spas (aka health resorts or wellness resorts) and a goal of educating the industry and promoting best practice.
However, in 2014 we realised that if we really want to make a difference to the quality of wellness service delivery, we needed to expand beyond the exclusive walls of high end health resorts, and embrace the full spectrum of the wellness industry, from multinationals down to the ‘mom & pop’ day spas and small clinics who work with wider populations.
IHWA was formalised as a not-for-profit organisation in July 2014, incorporated in Australia. The scope of the organisation was truly global and membership was opened to all, however still with an emphasis on the Wellness industry.
In September 2016, IHWA evolved again. We decided it was time to stop ‘singing to the choir’. To really effect change and achieve our goal of transforming 10 million lives in 10 years, we couldn’t just talk to the Wellness industry. We need to talk and work with people – all people, and we need to meet them where they are…in their homes, work, schools, etc.
To this end, IHWA completely changed it’s structure – to eliminate any boundary between Wellness and non-Wellness industry members. We have a goal of positively transforming 10 million lives in 10 years, so we are now prioritising projects that work at a grassroots level and engage entire communities.
We’re excited by our new direction, and we hope you are too. If the idea of optimising global health and happiness inspires you, come and join us on the journey!
We would like to thank the following individuals who were part of the founding team, and committed their time and talent during IHWA’s formative years:
- Roberto Arjona, Rancho La Puerta
- Alejandro Bataller Pineda, SHA Wellness Clinic
- Dr. Daniel Friedland, SuperSmart Health
- Sharon Kolkka, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
- John Stewart, Kamalaya
- Karina Stewart, Kamalaya
- Nazir Sacoor, Longevity Wellness
Additionally, IHWA acknowledges early financial support from the following Foundation Members: Rancho La Puerta, Chiva-Som, Destination Spa Management, Gwinganna, Kamalaya and SHA Wellness Clinic.