Women We’re Watching: Simone Wan, CEO of IN:TotalWellness
Simone Wan, L.A.c, founder and CEO of IN:TotalWellness, is a licensed Chinese herbalist, health care provider and acupuncturist who has been treating thousands of patients for common ailments including pain, anxiety and sleeplessness for almost 15 years. She was motivated by her personal experience with pain and opioid addiction, which she ultimately healed herself from, with the support of Traditional Chinese Medicine and bodywork.
In 2004, Simone graduated from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and has since successfully treated patients in her NYC and Connecticut private practices with potent healing herbs and other forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition, she is the resident acupuncturist at St. Vincent’s Cancer Center, treating cancer patients for several symptoms including pain, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness. With IN:TotalWellness, Simone can now further her personal commitment to the health and healing of others, making her one of the Women We’re Watching.
IN:TOTALWELLNESS utilizes many TCM herbs and plants. How did you go about determining the formulas for each product?
The genius behind TCM formulas is the thousands of years of use and data collected. So I merely used the work of the brilliant practitioners before me and tweaked them to make them multifunctional to address more diverse issues. For example, IN:PEACE is an herbal stress formula but I added herbs to help alleviate anxiety as well. IN:MOTION treats inflammation but also has corydalis, which helps mild to moderate pain so it can be used preventively as well as for acute pain issues. IN:DREAM helps relax you but also helps treat anxiety.
Why did you choose the remedies you did (sleep, pain, calm)?
These particular symptoms are often seen together. Pain can cause anxiety, and anxiety can cause insomnia. So often to help someone feel better, all three issues need to be addressed. When I had the idea to start this company, I had found relief using herbal remedies for pain, anxiety and sleeplessness, so I know how much suffering can go down when these three issues are not being addressed. Using pharmaceuticals to alleviate these issues for a short period may be necessary, but for more chronic symptoms, finding a natural alternative can be a much healthier approach.
Your formulas not only help provide immediate relief, but they also can help alleviate aliments long-term. Talk us through why that’s important to you—and how does that interact with your business model, if your products might make themselves obsolete?
One of the first mantras we learned in school was “teach, treat, teach.” Teaching someone about how to live healthier whether using nutrition, exercise or herbal remedies has always been my goal as a healthcare provider. Just because I have a new business doesn’t mean my morals have changed. I want people to be healthier and if that means that after using my product for one month and they find they don’t need it, that’s okay with me.
That has happened on several occasions where someone will take our anti-inflammatory formula and they will notice their chronic pain isn’t chronic anymore so they’ve stopped their recurring subscription. That’s okay because they can then can share their success story with someone else who needs the help and that’s the best marketing you can find.
What’s it been like for you as a female entrepreneur in the wellness space? What obstacles have you had to overcome?
I think the wellness space is dominated by women so I haven’t felt a gender inequality that some women might find in other industries that are male dominated. However, I have faced many obstacles, mostly pertaining to financial equity partnerships as those can be time-consuming, expensive due to legal fees, and anxiety-provoking. Also, the stress of starting a business can be extremely overwhelming so I can just say, have your wellness remedies on your desk at all times!! One phone call can be exciting, frustrating and anxiety-provoking all at the same time!
What do you wish more people knew about TCM?
I wish people understood that TCM is not a “Chinese” medicine, but a system of medicine that uses acupuncture and plant-based holistic medicine practiced and recorded in detail in China. The Chinese were the first to begin to record the experiences of people using plant-based medicines with rigor, structure and population density, and they recorded their findings and improved their practices over time. Cannabis, in fact, is a plant used in Chinese medicine but nobody thinks of Cannabis as “Chinese.”
You also treat patients through your acupuncture work. How does that work interact with your supplement line?
I’ve treated more than 1,000 patients, so from experience I’ve known how many people suffer from anxiety, pain and insomnia. I knew that people were tired of taking pills, and that they didn’t want to drink any nasty teas, so a tasty, effervescent drink mix was my best solution to get patients to be compliant when it came to taking herbal remedies. Having a TCM practice also lets me interact with people who try the formulas so they can tell me what works and what doesn’t, which is why my formulas are not only effective, but modernized for today’s hard working, over tired and over stressed community!
Any new products you’re working on? What goals do you have for the line?
Yes!! I have in the works IN:PEACE KIDS coming out in the fall of 2019. Down the road, I’d like to create an energy remedy, a menopause remedy and a fertility booster remedy. There are so many valuable plant-based medicinal remedies out there that should be easy to use and easy to understand and my vision is for IN:TotalWellness to be the company that brings all this goodness to the masses!
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the world, what would you change?
I would make it so that animals and plants could speak to us!
Interested in more women killing it as entrepreneurs—and changing their industries at the same time? Read about how one woman’s personal postpartum experience inspired her to start a CBD company, and how another woman is taking clean perfume by storm with a $7 million investment.