Nurturing Inclusive Wellness for All

A plus-size woman dressed in workout clothes. Announcement for a blog post on inclusive wellness and the intersection of mental health and size inclusivity

Understanding the Intersection of Mental Health and Body Diversity in Inclusive Wellness  

There are many links between mental wellness and physical wellness: feeling good in your body can boost your mental health, and vice versa. Consider the effect of wearing comfortable, flattering clothing on your mood, or the euphoria brought on by endorphins after physical activity, and you will know what we mean! 

The impact of weight stigma and anti-fat bias on inclusive wellness

Additionally, stress has been proven time and again to have negative effects on both physical and mental health outcomes, such as lowering immunity and resilience to hardship or illness. For people in larger bodies, there are even more pressures, stressors, and challenges than the average person, which can affect day-to-day stress levels.

Weight stigma and discrimination, for example, typically increase stress levels, lower self-esteem, and often prevent fat folks from seeking any kind of physical care, from medical appointments to massages. It is all too common for concerns to be dismissed by health professionals because of a client/patient’s size or weight. Socially, fatness is frequently (though falsely) equated with poor health — despite research showing that it is not only possible, but common, to be healthy and fit at higher body weights! 

The spa business plan: creating inclusive experiences

Spas and clinics offering supportive wellness treatments like massage and acupuncture have a unique opportunity to combat anti-fat bias. In an inclusive wellness setting, spas can reduce stress and start to improve clients’ health from the moment they arrive. 

Take our example of wearing comfortable clothing again. In a spa setting, comfort is key to creating a relaxing and rejuvenating appointment. This could mean investing in robes, table linens, and towels in a wider range of sizes so that clients with larger bodies can also have dignified, warm, and luxurious experiences between treatments or spaces in your spa.

Beyond physical comfort, incorporating inclusivity in your spa business plan involves thoughtful consideration of the entire client journey. This can include providing sizing information on your website, or accommodation requests as part of your appointment booking process, and ensuring that all staff members are training in creating a welcoming environment for clients of all sizes

Enhancing wellness with inclusivity

These kinds of inclusivity practices in your spa business plan can go a long way in reducing body-image related stress, anxiety, and mental load on your clients, by simply removing the potential opportunities for them to feel excluded in the first place. Taking these questions of fit and inclusion off their minds can free up mental space to focus on other goals or priorities for their appointments instead. No matter their size or shape, everyone deserves to feel welcome and accepted, especially when they come to the spa! 

These inclusivity practices not only benefit clients but also contribute to the overall success of your spa business. By prioritizing inclusivity, you open your doors to a broader clientele base and create a reputation for being a safe and welcoming space. Clients who feel comfortable and respected are more likely to return and recommend your services to others.

By integrating inclusivity into your spa business plan, you are not only fostering a healthier and more positive environment for your clients but also contributing to a more equitable wellness industry.

For more examples of how you can create more inclusive spa concepts, and celebrate body diversity in your spa business, see our blog posts on how to talk about bodies neutrally, and our three easy ways to make your spa more inclusive. When you are ready to grow your business and harness the power of diversity and inclusion to expand your clientele base, visit us at for our expertise and training. 

Kristin Michelle is a small-fat, feminist, freelance writer. She can be found reading, writing, and fibercrafting at [at]ramblereader on Instagram. 

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *