Celebrities and socialites around the country will do just about anything to maintain their youth, health and beauty. While some activities like diamond facials and coffee enemas (yes, coffee enemas) seem like a far off idea for those of us out of the spotlight, there are affordable treatments celebrities indulge in that we can try out as well.
Treatments often used by our favorite television and movie stars are becoming more and more accessible in large cities - like Chicago, where I'm located. While coffee enemas are not in my immediate future and I'd rather have diamonds around my neck than scrubbed on my face, I did take on three treatments that have picked up some serious media attention over the last six months.
Floatation therapy, cryotherapy, and IV hydration treatments are all accessible and affordable options for those looking to feel like a star and more importantly, feel healthy.
Although I don’t have the mind of a skeptic and I am pretty prone to believing that anything will work (I’ve been known to having more than a few deliveries from infomercial sites), I really went into these treatments looking for the benefits.
Think about it - almost all the holistic and unusual wellness centers can find a home in Los Angeles and New York. But when it comes to Midwest cities like Chicago where I reside, who is using the out-of-the-box facilities so much that even the most unusual of treatments are not only staying in business, but thriving?
The first treatment I tried was floatation therapy. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, Space Time Tanks specializes in floatation therapy and also hosts other beneficial wellness options like massages, light and sound therapy and NexNeuro - a multi-sensory relaxation system that works with the sounds of music to exercise the central nervous system.
According to Stephanie Stephens, owner of Space Time Tanks for 23 years, their biggest customers include “people [who] are just really stressed out and want to relax in a very personal and deep way - in a selfish, but in a good way.”
The demographics alone are impressive - people ranging from young teens to senior citizens are utilizing their free time in order to slip into a deep relaxation. As Stephens affectionately calls the sessions “a float,” people have been known to "float" multiple times a week "in search of themselves."
As I entered the room where my tank (and shower) was located, I was a little apprehensive about the tank itself, which Stephens confessed is somewhat unnerving for new clients. The tank inside is completely dark. In fact, it’s designed in a way that takes away all your senses. You can’t see, hear or really smell anything. Less than a foot of water is mixed with 900 pounds of epson salt which creates the floatation.
The density falls into proportion with your body, which allows people to fall asleep in the water and not drown. Also, the temperature of the water is warm - in fact, it’s the same temperature of your body, which makes it feel like you’re not even in water, but that you are actually floating through space. Another big misconception that’s overcome by floating is that clients don’t prune in the water like you would in a normal pool situation.
It’s really difficult to not enjoy this therapy, especially since one hour of floating is more or less equivalent to a full night’s rest. Professional athletes are known to go into floatation sessions before big games in order to reset the mind and body.
Space Time Tanks is located at 2526 N. Lincoln Ave. in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Visit their website at chicagofloatationtanks.com to check out their floatation packages and other treatments.
Secondly, I went into Cryotherapy - you might be familiar with the practice if you follow Lindsay Lohan on Instagram. Also located in Lincoln Park, Chicago CryoSpa offers a variety of chilly treatments that are focused on recovery - especially for those involved in high intensity workouts.
Jim Karas is the founder of Chicago’s best Cryotherapy facility and is more known for his work as a celebrity personal trainer. He was a contributor on Good Morning America and has worked with Diane Sawyer and Hugh Jackman. He’s also the author of the New York Times bestselling book The Ultimate Diet Revolution.
Karas sat down with Womensforum to elaborate on the major benefits of cryo chambers. When the human body steps into a chamber that dwindles down to -250 degrees Fahrenheit, the body is fighting to survive and blood is becoming newly oxygenated.
While there are no benefits during the 2 to 3 minutes of shivering in the chamber (you’re actually not supposed to shiver), the real benefits begin once you’re out — similar to a post workout endorphin rush. From a recovery standpoint, the blood immediately rushes back into your system to find the weakest points of your body — essentially applying new blood to old and/or new injuries.
As an avid runner, I went into the appointment pretty excited to reap the benefits that were convincing once explained by Jim. Upon your arrival to Chicago CryoSpa, you’re given a tour of the room with the chamber and explained all the steps that are taken during the process. One potential fear is the inability to get out if you'd want to. Chicago CryoSpa makes it so no one is in a chamber without someone else in the room - it’s always easy to get out when you need to.
In a separate changing room, I removed all my clothes (besides my underwear and sports bra) and I put on a bathrobe, two pairs of gloves, two pairs of socks and slip-on shoes (basically covering up anything that could potentially fall off). I was then escorted to my chamber with one of the incredibly friendly workers who reduced the temperature of the chamber as I walked in. There’s a step inside the chamber that I initially stepped onto and at that point, I took my bathrobe off and threw it to the employee who held it during my two minutes.
Well, it is really cold. As Jim mentions, it’s a dry cold which is a much more pleasant experience than a wet and wintery cold. I was also talked through the whole two minutes and even went an extra 30 seconds! At the end of the two minutes, my robe was tossed back over for me to throw on and the temperature of my skin was measured at 38 degrees Fahrenheit, which I guess is pretty good! Jim mentioned earlier the importance of getting the body cooled down to between 35 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit - better for the blood rush!
I was then taken in a room to ride an exercise bike for five minutes to warm my body back up and I’m not kidding when I say I really came alive once stepping out. I was pretty tired when I went in early morning, but I left alert and prepared for the day ahead.
When using Cryotherapy to recover from an existing injury, sessions are recommended everyday or every other day. For more practical and regulated use, Jim Karas still recommends popping in a couple times a week (which is roughly about a five minute visit a few times a week).
Chicago CryoSpa is located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago at 2640 N Lincoln Ave. They offer various treatments and packages that make recovery and injury prevention treatments easily and affordable. Visit them at chicagocryospa.com.
Dr. Jack Dybis is an experienced surgeon who saw an opening in the market a couple years ago when he realized people (especially professional athletes) were looking for quick fixes to feel better after being sick. In fact, during his years as a young doctor, Dybis and other friends in the field were often using IV bags for a quick relief of pain, colds, and other debilitations.
The problem is that receiving an IV is illegal unless administered by a registered nurse or doctor. Thus, Dybis founded IVme Hydration. The spa-like facility is run by a small but qualified group of people who are all certified nurses or doctors, and pros when it comes to providing IV’s!
IVme doesn’t look or feel like a hospital - a common misconception about using IV facilities. It’s the perfect combination of spa and trustworthy medicine that is able to provide high caliber service to customers looking for a quick fix to feel better. Of their offered "recipes," the hangover IV is admittedly the most requested, according to Dr. Dybis. When asked if people can actually come in with a hangover and leave completely back to normal, he answered “absolutely.” The ingredients in the IV are customized to treat dehydration and nausea - the two largest components of a killer hangover.
“The only thing we can’t fix is if you’re tired,” admitted Dybis.
Another big attraction is the Jetlag IV which is a popular option for those traveling nearly all the time and don’t have the luxury of taking off work to treat jetlag. IVme’s Jetlag IV helps treat those looking to re-regulate their schedules and get back on track with their health and wellness after a long (or short) trip.
Unfortunately, I went into the therapy feeling pretty good (I had a pretty relaxed and recovering week after floating and freezing my butt off). It was perfect though, because I signed up for the wellness and vitality IV - just a quick boost to my health. I was set up in a spa-like room fit with fur blankets and lounge chairs. All together, the process takes around an hour and every customer receives a B12 shot to go.
I would highly recommend IVme for a safe and healthy fix to everyday problems. The professionalism and relaxation methods exhibited by the staff was an exceptional experience.
IVme is located at 1347 N. Wells St. in the Oldtown neighborhood of Chicago. They offer a variety of different IV treatments, and you can learn more at Ivmechicago.com.
Sometimes, celebrities are onto something. In this case, they're even onto things that are affordable and superbly beneficial to health and wellbeing!
Not doing a coffee enema though... unless it's decaf.
Photos By: Beth Delany