This Health and Wellness Podcast Will Help You Get Through Med School

A new addition to the Alternative Health category on iTunes is Well Now, a health and wellness podcast by Saje Natural Wellness. The podcast was launched February 2018.

As not only an avid podcast listener, but also a student in the health profession with a strong scientific background, I can say the podcast does not disappoint. The content is not only scientifically sound and reliable, but the patient stories are heart-warming and informative.

The podcast is a new venture for the retail company. Saje Natural Wellness is a retail company based in Vancouver, Canada. It started in 1992 by a husband and wife team, Jean-Pierre LeBlanc and Kate Rose LeBlanc. They had a vision to introduce 100 percent natural, plant-based wellness products to the market. According to their website, the products contain pure ingredients from nature. The lavender they use in their products, for example, is grown in the hills of Provence. The company offers a wide range of products with the Saje label: massage oils, face and body mists, essential oils, and bath soaks.

Saje introduces Well Now as one that helps listeners “discover the hidden side of health.” Having enjoyed the first two episodes and listened to them both in its entirety in one sitting, I can attest that this description is as an accurate one.

Conventionally, a podcast will have a teaser or introductory episode. Sometimes it takes a while to get into the podcasts and you only get hooked after sticking with it for few episodes. I was moved after listening to the promo episode of Well Now. I checked the Podcast app several times a day, increasingly excited and waiting for the opportunity to listen to the first episode.

In the promo, host Shantz asks us a very meaningful question: How do you respond when someone asks you how you’re doing? Typically, she says, we tell others we are fine.

Then, Shantz urges us to reconsider this common and generic answer:

“What if you responded with something more authentic? More real? What if you really told someone how you were feeling? Maybe we need to reimagine our definition of health to mean more than just the absence of illness.”

So far, Well Now has released two episodes. Each episode is approximately 30 minutes long. As someone with a busy lifestyle and constantly on the go, I appreciate the brevity of the episodes. It is easy to take 30 minutes out of your day to listen, especially if you’re excited about it and look forward to the episodes as much as I have with Well Now. In the first episode, we learn more about chronic pain and inflammation. First, Shantz introduces us to a patient with the diagnosis and we learn about her story. During the episode, we meet leading medical experts such as Dr. John Pitts, a stem-cell therapy physician who discusses the use of stem cell for treating cartilage damage.

In the second episode, Shantz introduces us to the world of anxiety. We hear from Emelia Symington-Fedy, theatre-maker, speaker, radio personality, creative coach and author. She shares gripping anecdotes as someone who lives with anxiety. Next, we learn more from Holli-Ann Passmore, PhD student in Psychology and positive psychology researcher. We also get a unique perspective from Dr. Bryn Hyndman, a medical doctor who is also a naturopathic practitioner.

What I appreciate most about this podcast is the patient storytelling. This is the first time a podcast reinforces real anecdotes with reliable health information in the form of a podcast. The stories are genuine and real and provide a fresh perspective on an otherwise textbook disease. I am also fond of the medical and scientific perspectives that are introduced in each episode. The background music in between speakers is beautiful and melodic, the kind of tunes you would enjoy at a spa. It feels good to listen to Well Now.

Despite being a new addition to the podcast landscape, Well Now will definitely stands out in the health/wellness space and will certainly make its mark with future episodes.

Whether you are health/science student interested in listening to a podcast for the first time, or whether you are podcast-obsessed, story-telling junkie, Well Now is the perfect choice.

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Sonal Kumar

Sonal Kumar is passionate about combining science and storytelling. She has vast experiences outside of healthcare including marketing and advertising, print and broadcast journalism, including TV/radio production. Sonal is an alumna of Columbia University. She tweets @sonalkumar2011.