The Currency of Wellness and a Wealth of Currencies

If the currency of wellness is healthy living, the currencies of everyday life—the means by which we pay experts to help us improve our lives—are rich, indeed. That is, there is more than one way to compensate these individuals.

Technology allows consumers to choose an increasing number of payments—it gives vendors the resources to go beyond accepting a few forms of online payment—so everyone can benefit from this opportunity. Or: As digital currencies proliferate, and as health and wellness professionals (myself included) receive more queries from potential clients, technology will be at the forefront of this series of events.

The final choice belongs to each business owner or consultant, regarding payment in Bitcoin or some other currency. That the choice exists proves the point: that disruption within the health and wellness industry continues apace; that innovation is both technological and personal; that the former is the latest (but far from the last) development toward an alternative to cash, while the latter is an ongoing effort to offer consumers customized amenities—to have them enjoy branded goods and services—that are exclusive to a hotel or a resort, or to a mobile application or a combination of all three or more.

Consider, too, how digital currencies may propel an expert to the forefront of the health and wellness profession. Consider how choice is the catalyst of positive change, much in the same way that credit cards are indispensable to most businesses. Consider, in other words, how many more businesses would have to close—and how many more consumers would have to stop frequenting their favorite stores—because of a cash-only policy.

Digital currencies are not substitutes for Visa or MasterCard. But they are substitutes for paper money. How many businesses choose to promote this substitute is a separate matter. Consumer demand will influence that outcome more than anything else.

Look, however, for health and wellness experts to be among the most visible commentators on this issue. I say that, not because I am partial to a particular currency or have holdings in any of these alternative forms of payment, but because I know the subject is too important to ignore.

We must have a healthy conversation, so to speak, about the health and wellness industry. We must, therefore, acknowledge the technological upheaval underway—so we can learn how to not just survive this change but to thrive from it.

Let us at least begin this conversation. Let us invite our colleagues—even our competitors, too—to join this discussion. Let us find a way to address the rise of digital currencies, which suits our needs and is a suitable solution, period.

I welcome this moment. It is a chance to answer questions about the news, none of which should be new to my profession. It is a chance to speak to an audience of current and prospective consumers, in addition to present and possibly future business partners.

It is a chance we can neither afford to deny nor dismiss.

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