Our Story


At first glance, it doesn’t appear that Rachel Gersten and Jor-El Caraballo would have become friends and business partners. They’re pretty different people! But after surviving graduate school, a type A, always on the go, now obsessed runner (Rachel) and a zen, deliberate, calming presence (Jor-El) found themselves spending a lot of time together. This included regular Sunday afternoon Yankees games, where they had plenty of opportunity to sit and chat, as well as fantasize about what it would be like to run a wellness center. It was their answer to the “What would you do if you won the lottery?” question, but it wasn’t until 2017 that they decided to make their dream a reality.

Rachel had been pretty unhappy at her job at the time, and inspired by a good friend and marathon training, sent Jor-El a GChat one day and told him it was time. Jor-El was game and thus, Viva Wellness was born. Fun fact: it took more effort than planned to come up with a name, so Jor-El appropriately came up with the temporary name “Defiance”. All the Scandal (and Shonda Rhimes) fans out there, that one’s for you. 

The goal of Viva Wellness is to provide clients with individualized and holistic care. Too often, mental health is treated as separate from everything else, and that’s just wrong. Diet, activity level, mental health, and interpersonal relationships all affect each other to impact overall health. The focus is working with the whole person and the belief that a healthy lifestyle looks different on everyone. Services are tailored to the person sitting in the room, as there’s no “right” way to do therapy or coaching. It has to work for you.

If clients have health needs that can’t be served by Viva Wellness, we work to provide referrals and assistance in getting the necessary services and support clients every step of the way. 

Additional wellness resources can be found on the website, including a blog and podcast, as the goal is truly to make the world a healthier place - even for people who aren’t able to receive services in person!