This New Netflix Docuseries Explores The Dark Side Of the $4.5 Trillion Wellness Industry

An eye-opening must-watch

Essential oils. Bee venom as ‘medicine’. Extreme intermittent fasting. What do they all have in common? They are all products and practices spruiked by the USD $4.5 trillion wellness industry.

But do they actually work?

That is exactly what Netflix’s (Un)Well, a six-part docuseries, aims to find out. Diving into the deeply alluring yet sometimes dubious — and occasionally dangerous — world of wellness, the show turns an unsparing lens on many of the industry’s trends, speaking to not only the people and corporations who’ve profited from them, but experts and scientists, with one simple question: “Do these wellness trends live up to their promises?” 

The aforementioned essential oils (as well as their often pyramid scheme roots), bee sting therapy (previously purported by goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow), and intermittent fasting are all put under the microscope, as are ayahuasca, tantric sex, and the trend of ‘bulking up’ with breast milk.

“There’s a lot of conflicting information and misinformation out there, and there’s not a lot of hard data and testing done,” executive producer Erica Sashin told The Guardian on the motivation behind the series.

“We felt like it was the perfect time to look at this industry that’s blowing up and try and help to sort out some of the fact from the fiction.”

Check out the trailer for Netflix’s (Un)Well below

The episodes tend to start off focused on an individual case study, usually a person or family who’s felt disenfranchised by the United States’ expensive healthcare system and sought out the alternative ‘treatment’, before interviewing a mixture of believers (who often have their own business peddling the treatment), scientists, cautionary tales and more. 

“I think that people become anxious and exhausted and disillusioned with mainstream medicine. Some people have health issues, and they’re left without answers or are left without an affordable solution,” Sashin explained to Fast Company.

“That’s what draws people in. It’s wanting to take control of their own health and looking for answers.”

(Un)Well is available to stream now on Netflix Australia.

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