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The Wellness Questionnaire with Shannon Vaughn, Founder and CEO of Pursoma

Discover how this entrepreneur maintains her personal wellbeing


Considering herself a minimalist digitalist, Shannon Vaughn is founder and CEO of Pursoma, a detox beauty company that creates bath treatments from all-natural ingredients. Passionate about helping others become their healthiest selves, she has created a female-centric brand that promotes products that encourage people to unplug from their digital devices and prioritize meaningful self-care. Living on a working farm in Maryland, Vaughn relies on her knowledge on the science of detoxification, Ayurvedic medicine, yogic philosophy, meditation, and public health. She also hosts mini retreats aimed at shifting lifestyle choices and creating healthy practices at home. Here, she shares some of the ways she introduces self-care into her own life.  

What are your favorite things to do to maintain your personal wellbeing?

I love hot and cold therapy, as well as using an infrared sauna and PEMP mat from HigherDOSE, which is my friend’s health-tech company. I have two routines, one for the summer and one for the colder months. In the summer, I’ll do an evening session in an outdoor infrared sauna and then I’ll take two cold outdoor showers at one-minute intervals. Although I have a small space, it’s super-efficient and in nature. During the winter and fall, I’ll take a Pursoma bath and then I’ll lay down on an infrared PEMP mat from HigherDOSE. I spend a total of 45 minutes doing this when my daughter is asleep and while listening to a meditation app. It’s divine.

Is there a specific fitness activity that you love and why?

I ride an outdoor road bike. I love being outside observing nature, plus it doesn’t hurt my joints or make my body hurt. I have been doing this sport for almost 20 years, and I love it! It’s a healthy alternative to running, which is high impact and hard on the body over time. 

What is your favorite healthy beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and do you have any insider tips for preparing it?

My all-time favorite drink is an aloe vera cleansing tonic. I buy fresh aloe vera leaves and then mix them with pineapple chunks in the blender. I advocate this to anyone who wants a cleansing drink. I have it every morning, all year round, and it not only feels cleansing but also makes my body feel energized. 

What is your greatest wellness achievement?

Being able to have my daughter and both of us being healthy. I was diagnosed with reproductive issues and had chronic concerns for most of my adult life, which really affected my overall health and could have prohibited me from having a child. So, taking the journey to heal in a natural way and using unconventional methods proved to be successful. Having my daughter, Esme, was certainly my biggest achievement and what put me on the path to a healthier life.

Do you have a secret health or wellness tip you would like to share?

I have two: Crying and bathing with Pursoma. I take a Pursoma salt bath at least four times a week, and I cry it out in the tub when needed. I also take a walk into the woods and have a big cry in nature, too. I always feel better. I believe crying is healing and a stress release.

What is your favorite place for a healthy vacation or escape?

An ashram or detox retreat. Something very simple without a lot of luxury amenities that has clean organic juice cleansing, yoga, meditation, and is located either by the sea or mountains. I like to be in silence at this time. I love The Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, CA, and Sivananda in the Bahamas. 

What wellness-related books or authors do you recommend, and why?

I have read and re-read books by Wayne Dyer. I think his personal journey to become a writer on wellness is so different from how he started his life. He genuinely wants to share his path to enlightenment and how you can create a life for yourself. He is so good at teaching you how to overcome negativity, which I think is something that we all struggle to overcome daily.

How do you celebrate small victories?

I think back to where I was and assess how far I have come. I celebrate the small victories in lieu of large ones or waiting for things to completely change or evolve. I do a mental recap of where I was, and I am always amazed at my progress. It’s the little steps that count along the way.

What brings you joy?

It’s very small things. A sunny day, my child saying, “I love you,” a bike ride, a hug from a friend, a hot bath, a love letter, a bike ride, a hike in nature with a friend, a woman complimenting me on a pretty dress that I love, a new bottle of skin cream, and then seeing a genuine smile from someone I love reflected back at me, because I helped put it there.

About The Author

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent,,,, and, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.