Aislyn Griffin has been an avid traveler and fitness professional for over ten years. She designed and implemented health, wellness, and training programs as part of her private practice in Istanbul, Turkey. She can also be found sailing the Greek seas as a personal trainer for fitness voyages. Now back home in the US, she brings her experience in programming, communication, and passion for wellness to Vane Airport Magazine as the Director of Promotions.
Even a beautifully busy life can leave us exhausted. City, work, traveling, athletic training, life in general.
I am an avid and constant traveler, stricken with jetlag and brain fog. I’m also a Crossfitter with sore, fatigued muscles being worked to their max. I need to recover!
But where can we turn to for physical and mental recovery, especially in a place like New York City? In the coming weeks, I will be exploring wellness spots around NYC for just this.
My first stop on this NYC Wellness Tour is the Kollectiv, an urban retreat center nestled in Manhattan’s East Village.
I was greeted with friendly smiles, clean, healthy foods, and naturally fresh air immediately upon entering. Aside from a healthy snack and rejuvenating deep breaths, the Kollectiv has a fantastic menu of treatments on offer.
Here is my list of 5 must-try wellness experiences at the Kollectiv
Though hesitant (read: terrified) I always had every intention of trying cryotherapy after a hard day of training. I couldn’t resist any longer when I heard the same treatments helping my fellow athletes recover could also be used to recover from the mentally and physically exhausting effects of travel. So I made my way down the plant-lined staircase to an open floor where Cryosphere master Anthony Arango was waiting.
And there was the KryoLounge, a standing open-topped cryotherapy chamber. The idea of being locked in an ice chamber on a 90-degree August afternoon seemed like absolute perfection. Wearing only cold-resistant slippers and gloves, I stood in the chamber a tad apprehensive as to whether or not I could withstand that much cold for three whole minutes.
To my surprise, it was not the frosty torture I had expected! For the entire duration of the treatment, Anthony chatted with me and queued me to rotate every 10 seconds. These two distractions helped keep my mind alert and off the cold.
Three minutes came faster than expected and I was out. I immediately felt a euphoric rush of circulation through my legs. Then I took notice of my back pain, or should I say a lack thereof.
I have dealt with lower back pain for more than ten years, and after a day of rushing around Manhattan from meeting to meeting, I was certainly feeling sore. That soreness had been relieved after my three minutes in the KryoLounge.
PHOTO: Vane Airport Media
The cold continued with a Cyrofacial. The same temperature of the air as the chamber was then applied to my face. As the hose is moved continuously around the face, the cold never feels uncomfortable but rather very relaxing. To my surprise and delight, a very noticeable glow beamed from my skin for days.
Next up were the air compression leg sleeves, another common recovery tool among my workout tribe. I spent 15 minutes lying comfortably in a recliner with a waist-high sleeve around each leg. Imagine a blood pressure armband around your legs, applying compressed pressure perfectly in sync, like a massage inducing immediate circulation from hip to toe.
These sleeves perfectly targeted tight muscles and provided a wonderful release for blood flow. Rigorous training and stiff-legged airplane seats are constantly causing leg cramps and discomfort. This short treatment alleviated so much of that pain immediately.
I took my much-relaxed legs for a walk to one of the private areas for a Theraphi treatment, an energy treatment inspired by Nikola Tesla. I laid on a table in a serene, dimly lit room. At each end of the table was a plasma tube that would send ions through the body to induce a deep state of relaxation.
During this 11-minute treatment various areas of my body, specifically my troublesome lower back, experience incredible tingling sensations that led to deep physical relaxation.
5. Ajna Light Therapy
Ajna light therapy was my final treatment. Again lying face up on a table, my eyes closed, while a panel above my head flashed a series of white lights creating colorful kaleidoscopic patterns. These lights were timed perfectly to music patterns, all designed to deepen the meditative state and unleash inner creativity. This is an intense meditation not to be missed.
I emerged back onto 1st Street not at all feeling as if I was in the middle of a busy city, but rather peaceful, clear-minded, and physically relaxed.
I have had my fair share of massages, both after rough training and while trying to recover from physically exhausting travel.
They were enjoyable, peaceful, and left me feeling nice afterward. However, these more technical treatments I had the pleasure of experiencing at the Kollectiv provided a type of recovery that have clear, longer-term benefits for sore, fatigued muscles.
The technology and peaceful environment in the midst of such a hectic city and work schedule were truly restorative on my overwhelmed mind as well as overworked legs and back muscles.