This week, we have the honor to interview Heather Sloan, and Li , co founders of Heali Medical, a health and wellness company focusing on natural healing and recovery.
Heali Medical developed HEALI Tape, which is a therapeutic kinesiology tape that is infused directly with magnesium and menthol. These two natural ingredients directly infused into the tape provide fast acting, pain relief, and faster recovery.
The magnesium inside HEALI therapeutic tape can help reduce stress, cramps, spasms and twitches. Magnesium is a wonder element important for so many things such as flushing lactic acid, improving flexibility and even Hydration as it's one of the essential electrolytes needed. Magnesium also helps with Sleep aid and mood as Magnesium is important for serotonin production and regulating users' melatonin - important for sleep cycles
Picture: Heali medical
The HEALI tape is also FDA approved, Health Canada approved, and CE marked. It is also informed sports certified, hypoallergenic latex free, and 3rd party tested.
Picture: HEALI Therapeutic tapes
Heali Medical founders were featured on Dragon’s Den, the Canadian’s Shark Tank TV show.
As shown below, the HEALI therapeutic tape is currently being used by many athletes (Meb Keflezighi / 4x Olympic Marathon Medalist), Francesco Pinelli / LA Kings (NHL), Anicka Newell / Canadian Olympic Pole Vaulter..) and many teams.
📝Show Notes: Through this interview, we touched on their backgrounds, their company and product, the benefits for sports organizations and athletes to use their product. We also talked about their competitive advantage, business model and plans for the next 12 months.
Best Quotes: Here’s some of the key discussion points and best quotes from our conversation with Heather and Li:
On their backgrounds:
“I trained as a chiropractor. So I got very interested in natural health and wellness and then I moved into sales. I worked at an import / export company where I learned some basic sales and marketing skills. And then I moved into medical sales where I got to see a lot of surgeries and things like that and I saw what happens to your body if you aren't able to take care of it”.
“My path is a bit reversed from Heather. I worked in a trading company, where I was the director. I handled all the sourcing logistic operation, and then that carried that expertise into Heali (…) I always had a passion for Chinese medicine, so I studied it and I practiced it. So here at Heali we're just combining the medical background with our business expertise”.
On they got the idea of creating HEALI:
“We wished that pain and recovery didn't have to be so boring. So we started talking about different ways and different opportunities that existed to improve things, and make healing more accessible, more fashionable, and do something different that didn't currently exist in the marketplace”.
“For me, as a practitioner of Chinese medicine, we use a lot of herbs and herb patches. But it is overwhelming in smell and you can't leave it on the body for that long and it doesn't give that support. We saw the need that there was a gap in the market. So we developed a Heali tape, our first product (…) It took us almost a year to the find the perfect formula and to develop it and then find the manufacturer because it's a brand new product”.
On their Therapeutic tape:
“For the listeners that don't know, traditional kinesiology tape is an elastic bandage that provides support and it does a good job at that. But if you want to use pain creams and if you want to use any other oils or anything like that, it will loosen the adhesive and you can't use both together“.
“And so that’s what we started dealing with our patients and in our own individual lives. I happened to have a ski injury at the time, and I needed pain relief and support. And I wanted something that wasn't bulky and that was still fashionable, that you could wear under dress clothes. We really needed the solution for us, for our family, and for our patients”.
“Something where you had pain relief and support. And then I guess the light bulb moment came up with the recovery aspect as being the key extra benefit to Heali tape over what else exists on the marketplace”.
On how their therapeutic tape is unique as it is infused with magnesium and menthol which provides fast acting, pain relief and faster recovery:
“Heali Tape is a kinesiology tape that is infused directly with magnesium and menthol. So these two natural ingredients are directly infused into the tape to provide fast acting, pain relief, and faster recovery. In addition to support, HEALI also has amazing style. So we are different than any other kinesiology tapes on the market. We are patented, and we are the only ones to infuse it with both ingredients”.
On how their Heali tape is FDA approved, CE marked, informed sports certified, and hypoallergenic latex free:
“We're also heavily tested as we're FDA and Health Canada approved. We're also CE marked. We are informed sports certified, which is a question that we get asked by the high level athletes. Is it safe for Olympic or band substances? Yes. And then of course we're also third party tested, hypoallergenic latex free, and FSA/HSA eligible. So we have all our testing and credentials, which is great. That also makes us a little bit unique because we're very heavily tested”.
On the benefits of having a therapeutic tape infused with menthol as menthol gives athletes the cooling sensation, and the temporary pain block and it helps with inflammations:
“So I guess to get into menthol and magnesium, we could talk for hours and hours. Magnesium is incredible. First of all, menthol and magnesium are synergistic. So by using both together, it can help penetrate the body transdermally and get to the muscle and even work systemically. It can do the job better together than either component alone”.
“Menthol gives you that icy cool sensation. It gives you that temporary pain block, so it actually stops the message of pain traveling up the nerves into your brain and temporary stops that so that you kind of pay attention to that icy, cool sensation isntead. And it's also good for antimicrobial activities and inflammation and other”.
On the benefits of having a therapeutic tape infused with magnesium as Magnesium helps reduce stress, cramps, spams, twitches and decrease lactic acid, and improve flexibility, and fasten the recovery process:
“Magnesium is just the best. It's good for everything. It's a really important mineral that gets depleted in our bodies with, well, first of all, sweat. So that's really important to athletes, but also with stress and any routine, pharmaceuticals or any alcohol or anything like that. It's very difficult to get the amount of magnesium you need in your body through your diet. And there is oral supplementation, but a lot of that can upset the GI system”.
“So as a mineral it's important for so many things and, we can go through cramps and spasms and twitches and all the benefits of it. But the main reasons that we loved it is that it flushes lactic acid. So by flushing lactic acid, you can allow your muscles to recover better. You can prevent the cramps, prevent the spasms, prevent the twitches. And it also helps with flexibility”.
“So if you have an injury or something that's already bothering you, you can also use it as a recovery tool for that injury or to get back to sports sooner”.
On how the Heali tape also helps with hydration and sleep:
“Magnesium is absorbed transdermally. It will act locally, but it will have a systemic effect on your body. So there are studies that show that some of the general benefits of magnesium include hydration, so it's one of the essential electrolytes needed”.
“It also helps with muscle contraction, muscle growth, skeletal strength, energy production because it sustains a high oxygen consumption. And then we talked about prevention. It also helps with sleep aid as it helps with serotonin production and regulating your melatonin, which is important in your sleep cycle. And then of course it helps with general relaxation and mood enhancement. Those are some of the well-known, studied systemic effects of magnesium”.
On how to best use the Heali tape:
“So you want to apply it to a clean, dry skin. Your best bet is to have it applied to a clean and dry, oil free, lotion free skin. You can clean it with an alcohol wipe and apply it. If you have some hair, you might want to trim it maybe 24 hours before, so you're not applying menthol on open pores, and then you're going to rub it in similar to any kinesiology tape that you might have used”.
“If you happen to have an athletic trainer at your bedside, fantastic. But anyone can just apply it. The key part is just to apply it, rub it in, and let the infusion do the work. You're going to wear it for multiple days. You're allowed to sweat in it. You're allowed to shower in it. When the tape does get wet, the ingredients will re-release, and that's when you're going to feel it the most. So when your body's warming up, you're sweating and you're showering, that's when you'll notice it the most”.
“But it doesn't have to be wet to work. I mean, the magnesium, you're not even going to feel it's the menthol that you're feeling, but the magnesium will work either way. And a lot of people, especially some of our Olympians and high level athletes, they'll wear it specific for their recovery in bed”.
On the types of athletes using the Heali tape today:
“We have a whole roster across every sport, from pole vaulting to diving, to running, to pickleball. We also have basketball players who use our products. So I mean, really the one nice thing about it is that you don't have to be a superstar athlete to use it. It really just helps everybody with day-to-day living”.
“But if you are an incredible, amazing athletic, person with professional abilities it is really going to help with the recovery, with the pain relief, with adding the added benefits of magnesium. And it even helps prevent extracellular damage and all the extra benefits of magnesium will help you perform at your best”.
On what athletes like the most about the Heali tape:
“I think they like the Heali tap for both pain relief and recovery purposes. Those are in general the comments we hear all the time. For example we work with a four time US Olympian, who's now retired. His name is Meb Keflezighi, who also won the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon. And he was a tape user for his whole life”.
“But then he tried ours. He was kind of skeptical at first and then immediately he was like, oh my gosh, this is going to be my new go-to tape, especially as my body's getting older. So people like the magnesium benefits, the cooling sensation from menthol, and especially ours because it can be released after you sweat or shower, or when your body performs. And then the fashion perspective too is something they like as well”.
On their business model and where people can buy the Heali tape:
“So you can buy the Heali tape in retail chains like CVS, and Wegmans, Vitamin Shoppe etc... Soon it will be available at the Walgreens. And then in Canada it is available in places like Sport Check or Rexall, but you can also buy our products online on Amazon. We also have our own www.healimedical.com store”.
“And then we partner with some other channels where you can buy our products online. So there's lots of opportunities to buy our products. Our core product, our Heli Tape Pro, is super premium. It's a beautiful synthetic silk tape. It is ultra breathable, and moisture wicking. It comes in a really nice travel case. So that's our highest priced item. It's available for $19.99”.
“But we do have a cheaper version HEALI TAPE ECO that is still a really good option, but it's going to be cotton and it is about $5 cheaper. That will be hitting shelves soon, later this year. And then we also have some precut shape options, which are available only on our website right now and a few select retailers. We also have international shipping options. So people can reach out to us and we'll ship the product out to anywhere. So if any teams want to come directly to us, or any independent clinics want to come directly to us, we just work out a wholesale arrangement with them. We're happy to set up a wholesale account for anybody that has a team or clinic interest”.
On their plan for the next 12 months:
“We plan to introduce some new products. We are also looking to raise some money and expand into new locations. For example, we are working on developing new products on the sports side. We have some really unique, cool and infused braces that will be coming soon. So stay tuned for that for all the teams and athletic departments listening to this podcast”.
“So we will have a lot of innovation that will be coming out soon. Li and I have a lot of great ideas and we're really passionate about this wellness and performance space. We're also looking to expand and try to get our name out there to try to become the best tape and natural health product available and to provide it to as many teams as possible in clinics and stores”.
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