Alternative Wellness: Ease your mind at Recovery Lab Vail

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily’s Tricia Swenson searched the valley for alternative wellness modalities that are lesser-known and have proven benefits. Follow along each Sunday in January and discover other ways to work wellness into your life in 2023.

If you rang in the New Year with a bit too much zeal last night, you may be looking for any answer to make you feel better today but think about the bigger picture. Were you stressed in 2022? How did you sleep? Were you able to calm your mind down or did you constantly feel like you were running on the hamster wheel?

If you answered yes to those questions, it might be time for you to try NuCalm and the Woojer Sound Haptics Vest at Recovery Lab Vail. Recovery Lab Vail offers cutting-edge recovery modalities available to the general public.

“Many times these modalities are offered in a medical setting to only pro and elite athletes or those who have the financial means to have these modalities in their home,” said Vail native Harrison Brown. He and his wife, Kordi Schmidt Brown, opened Recovery Lab Vail last winter and Harrison Brown knew he had to jump on the opportunity to offer this to more people.

“It started when my wife was the massage therapist for the athletes at the Burton U.S. Open. In her spa at Manor Vail, we dialed in the Normatec compression boots and the oxygen bar and saw a good response to it,” Brown said. “We knew if a location that was right for this type of service ever became available, we wanted something that would give people multiple ways to recover.”

Recovery Lab Vail is located in The Ritz Carlton Club in Lionshead and offers not only the Normatec compression boots and an oxygen bar, but also IV therapy, a hyperbaric chamber, Cryo inflammation treatment and more.

I was curious about the NuCalm and Woojer Sound Haptics Vest treatments and wanted to immerse myself in that. Why not try to calm down my brain a bit? I have two jobs and am trying to juggle everything into a 24-hour day and figured I could use this “downtime” or at least try to train my brain to allow some downtime.

“NuCalm is a neuro-acoustic software that facilitates putting you in a state between alpha and theta. We’re always in this sort of high anxiety state, every single day, people run high rates of anxiety and a high frequency, and you never really get to a point where you can completely relax,” Brown explained.

“Even at night when you are sleeping, when you are trying to decompress, it’s really hard to get into that state. With this software the music helps facilitate bringing your brain from a very active state to an idle state, into a state between asleep and awake, that lucid state, and you can relax, regain creativity, focus, recharge and get you back to your day,” Brown said.

NuCalm involves headphones and an eye mask to alleviate distractions. Next, we added the Woojer Sound Haptics Vest.

“The Woojer Sound Haptics Vest will help you feel the music and help you immerse yourself in the experience a little bit more. It’s like being at the concert and the feel of the music can be that much more therapeutic,” Brown said. “The Woojer Sound Haptics Vest will also facilitate in getting you down into that relaxed state.”

What I heard was calming spa music, but what I didn’t realize was that it’s those frequencies in the background that I don’t necessarily hear but my brain perceives that puts me into a theta state. Think about monks and the chanting. They teach the frequencies that connect the brain with dropping in and out of active state.

“That is the technology that they have harnessed into a digital version of it. Compare it to sound baths, yoga, there is a connection from auditory to mental to the point that they understand it so well that they digitalized it, and they are using it to its fullest extent,” Brown said.

“And, not to get too scientific about it, but we produce an amino acid called GABA, which stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid, and our body naturally produces this. When we are in a high alpha state, the receptors that allow us to access GABA are generally blocked, so when we put you in a theta state, we are dropping the receptors to be able to access the GABA in your body, that amino acid basically puts your body into a healing state, so if we can keep you in that perfect state of mind to access GABA, your brain is healing your body more proficiently for you,” Brown said.

In addition to the NuCalm and the Woojer Sound Haptics Vest, Brown let me experience the Relax, Revive and Recover Treatment that they offer, so he put me in the Normatec compression boots and on 100% oxygen with a nice aromatherapy featuring eucalyptus, rosemary and mint for a half hour. A warm, cozy blanket was covering me as I went off to la la land. And although I didn’t actually fall asleep, I felt like it several times and my mind just felt like it was calmer. When I was done, I felt like I had to ask, “what day is it?” My to-do list faded, my constant feeling of trying to get things done disappeared as I traveled to a different state for a while.

The Woojer Sound Haptics Vest is so cool, and although I was doing the introductory session, Brown did turn it up to a more advanced setting so I could really feel the sound. It reminded me of being at the Bon Iver concert at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater a few summers ago when I was about seven rows up from the stage and they had not one, but two drum sets…that feeling was incredible.

“We don’t do the vest with everybody since it is more for the experienced NuCalm’er because the vest can be very stimulating, and we want to make sure that they understand what NuCalm is able to do for them first and then the next time they come, we can see if we can immerse them more,” Brown said.

Brown also said that people take the NuCalm technology home with them to continue the good vibes felt at Recovery Lab Vail.

“It’s a great tool to get you back to a less anxious state of mind. A lot of people say after they’ve used NuCalm, they’ve slept really well that night or the next night. Plus it’s FDA approved as a stress reliever and sleep aid, so it’s nice to not have to use drugs to sleep,” Brown said.

Although many of the services offered at Recovery Lab Vail help people pursue their physical conquests, Brown likes to remind people to take care of their mind, too.

“A lot of the time we think about our physical aptitude or how we feel, we forget that our brain is the one thing that is controlling this, we have to take off our head space before we take care of our physical state,” Brown said.

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