TACOMA, Wash — It only looks like I'm sleeping on the job. I'm inside a Somadome meditation pod, a high-tech machine that uses colored lights and sounds to guide the mind to a state of bliss.
“I still think we're the only one in the state that has one,” says Grit City Wellness owner Chyna Willman. “ I am enamored with this thing.”
The meditation pod is just one of the futuristic services Grit City Wellness offers to provide rapid recovery to bodies in pain. That’s something Willman, who has fibromyalgia, knows all too well.
“When you’re always in a car or on a plane and always in a meeting and always at your desk your body doesn't work like it used to,” she says, “especially when you start to age.”
That's why Grit City Wellness offers whole body cryotherapy.
“If you're feeling pain in your body, actual physical pain, it reduces it immediately,” Willman says. “It is fast.”
Before exposing herself to minus 160-degree temperatures Andrea Perez comes in wearing just a wrap.
“It's important to protect your hands and your feet and your nose and your ears,” says Willman.
So Perez is handed a pair of socks, some slippers, gloves, and a hat. The first booth is just cold enough to take the heat off the skin. Then she spends two minutes in the second chamber where it's as cold as the dark side of the moon.
“This will be the deep freeze,” says Willman. “ This is where the healing magic happens.”
Proponents claim cryotherapy can help alleviate everything from migraines to nerve pain, even mood disorders.
“Honestly everyone in their job wants instant gratification and we get to have that every time somebody exits the chamber,” says Willman. “It's a joy.”
Now to warm up, Perez spends 30 minutes in the infrared sauna where 150-degree heat is just one of the features.
“We also have chroma-therapy lighting on the interior which runs a spectrum of colors,” says Willman.
Each color is believed to have different therapeutic benefits.
“The blue light is really great for nerve pain,” says Willman.
In a world that constantly asks people to push themselves, Chyna Willman is happy to offer healing.
“It's incredibly rewarding,” she says. “For me, it fulfills my life's purpose. I feel like I am absolutely where I should be.”
To give you an idea of the pricing, a package of six cryotherapy sessions costs $205 but Grit City Wellness is also offering a happy hour special where single sessions sell for $20. Eventually, Willman says she wants cryotherapy to be as accessible as a cup of coffee.