Turn Back The Hands Of Time

Just in time for wedding season and beyond, Lance Avery Morgan, our ardent alternative health seeker discovers an intense feeling of wellness and detoxification at the new Evolve Cryo + Wellness in Austin

Olympians and professional athletes alike agree that staying in top shape often comes with a price of post-performance pain. They’ve enlisted cold therapy for years, believing it reduces inflammation, speeds recovery and prevents muscle soreness in their busy athletic lives. The technique is known as cryotherapy. We’ve all heard the rumor that Walt Disney, himself a cutting edge pioneer in his day, had his body frozen with a cryogenic treatment so that when he may be revived when the technology is fully developed. Whether that is true or not, the future is now and everyone can benefit from cryotherapy.

So what happens, if we are not necessarily pro sports athletes, when we want to increase our own dynamic physicality with methods the experts use? With whole body cryotherapy, oxygen therapy, compression therapy and the like, we evolve. Or rather, we find Evolve Cryo + Wellness, the new state-of-the art facility in Austin.

The experts at Evolve believe in taking responsibility for your own health, by taking preventative steps to increase physical health and steps for long-lasting youthfulness. What’s not to love about the opportunity to live a better and longer life? “I think we are becoming much more thoughtful about how we take care of ourselves and our families,” shares Shannon Maddalena, founding partner of Evolve Cryo + Wellness. “Taking a pill that could cause negative life-altering side effects is not a desirable option for most people. I think we are more engaged and aware of what is in our food and everyday products, and we’re willing to take steps to learn about healthier ways to be well. We only have this one body, and quality of life is paramount.”

Overall health is the main focus at Evolve. Maddalena first learned about this new health technology and wanted to bring it to Central Texas. “I had read the research, but wanted to test everything myself. So I purchased equipment early and put it to work,” recounts Maddalena.

She and her husband, a chiropractor, had been using oxygen therapy to relieve headaches, and she tasked herself with cryo challenges to test the sports recovery benefits after extreme fitness classes. By using cryotherapy, as well as compression and oxygen, she experienced the results firsthand. “I didn’t have any real injuries to speak of, and I don’t experience pain,” she reports. “I just feel better, am more rested and energetic.”

The techniques used at Evolve are an updated approach to the 3 R’s: recover, relax and re-energize. They offer cutting edge technology, customized body treatments and unique therapies to relieve those sore and stiff muscles, detox the body and to recharge your wellness. No matter your age, you can experience the new generation of modalities that both treat pain and promote wellness. So, I decided to give it a try myself.

Upon entering the Dior gray facility, an immediate calm sets in. Various options like compression, oxygen therapy and the relaxation room are housed among four inviting chaise lounges and treatment rooms. Compression therapy is popular with pro athletes to target areas for accelerated healing – like arms, hips and legs. The sleeves are placed and the motorized compression, which happens while you are relaxing horizontally, pulsates a soothing current in the targeted region. The tightness, then release, takes some getting used to, yet after only two minutes of the thirty minute cycle, the effect is evident. After the session, a sense of lightness and calmness occurs immediately, as does the absence of any type of pain. Coupled with simultaneous oxygen therapy, it’s a refreshing experience that feels like both having run a marathon and achieving the perfect night’s sleep.

Then, into the cryo chamber I step. The ten-foot tall, state-of-the-art chamber looks like it belongs in a sci-fi film, yet is equally at home at a five-star wellness venue like this. Full disclosure, I am not a cold weather person and instead, prefer a tropical vacation instead of hitting the slopes any day. When I learned that the chamber is cooled down to 264 degrees below zero, I felt like I burned calories just thinking about the extreme cold. In fact, a three-minutes session in the chamber can burn up to 600 calories. But weight loss isn’t the objective for me. It’s all-over wellness. It’s a reduction of inflammation, which is the foundation of disease. According to Evolve, after one session, you can expect increased energy and endurance, reduced recovery time post workout, reduction in pain, and improved sleep. With regular use, cryotherapy induces an adaptive change. Studies show, through repeat exposure, users may experience reduced anxiety and depression, increased immune function, reversed psoriasis, and a significant reduction in pain.

Dressed in a swimsuit, a double set of gloves and thermal socks, I step into the machine. The technician, in the room, provides not only entertaining conversation, but a distraction from how cold 264 degrees below zero can really feel. At quarter turn intervals, the three minutes of submersion fly by. After just having played a grueling tennis match, it was the perfect antidote toward feeling fully recovered. “We see people for sports recovery with great success,” states Maddalena “Thanks to professional athletes replacing ice baths with cryo, this is a large percentage of our client base.”

Additionally, Evolve has been receiving positive results from clients with inflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases. One client with psoriasis experienced more than 50% improvement after only 10 sessions. Clients with pain are experiencing great results as well, with noticeable change after one session. I can confirm that those statistics were proven accurate with me. After participating in the compression therapy, oxygen therapy and the cryotherapy three days in a row for this story, I felt years younger and pounds lighter after a cumulative three hours of the treatments. Beaming, I exclaimed my experience to Evolve’s co-founder Shannon Maddalena, who simply gave me an all-knowing nod and said, “The most rewarding part of my work is getting comments from our clients about how positively it affects their lives.”