Wellness Spotlight: Nola Chill


Article by Lily Schaefer

Photography by Lily Schaefer

Known for the partying, decadent food, live music, and spell of euphoria the city casts on its residents and guests alike, New Orleans is not considered a wellness hub. To its guests, New Orleans is a weekend getaway to indulge in sin and bad behavior. To its residents, New Orleans encapsulates home in every definition of the word. Being a New Orleanian means being resilient. It means being proud. It means coming together and dancing in the street.

Not until now did it mean the future of wellness.

Amidst the global pandemic of COVID-19, New Orleans looks a little different. There is no live music as you drive down St. Charles Avenue, and the only residents of Bourbon Street are the rats crawling in from the river. Things are different. The experience of dining out with friends and family is now closed off to the four walls of our homes. In a city that is so shamelessly intertwined, there now lies a huge disconnect. With that being said, we must connect with ourselves. With the reinforced responsibility of taking care of our health and well-being in quarantine, it is time to consider the mind, body and soul. 

Nola Chill can be your cure. It was mine.

Recently opened on upper Magazine Street, Nola Chill is a wellness studio design to help you relax, recover and rejuvenate. They offer services ranging from whole-body cryotherapy, localized and cryotherapy facials to infrared saunas, NormaTec compression, NuCalm and more.

The first service I tried was whole-body cryotherapy. Cryotherapy reaps all of the benefits of an ice bath, without the time commitment and discomfort. It is a quick 3.5-minute service designed for go-getters who usually do not have time during the day to better themselves. In under 5 minutes, cryotherapy reduces inflammation throughout your entire body, alleviates soreness and joint pain, typically burns 500 to 800 calories, and boosts endorphins.

How it works:

You first cover your extremities with provided booties, socks, gloves and earmuffs. Next, you enter the first cryotherapy chamber at -60 degrees for 30 seconds. This acclimates your body to the cold and allows to you enter the second chamber, which ranges from -100 to -120 degrees. These below-freezing temperatures put your body in survival mode, allowing it to achieve all of the benefits. After a fast three minutes and mental dance party to Destiny’s Child “Survivor,” you are directed out of the chamber.

Upon arrival back into room temperature, I immediately felt the endorphins rush throughout by body. I assumed with all of the benefits, my whole-body cryotherapy session would be painful and arduous. I was absolutely proved wrong. This small three-minute change in my routine increased my mood and improved my workouts.

Next, I tried NuCalm. It is an app-based software that is designed to calm the mind and create a state of meditation and deep relaxation. You wear sound-canceling headphones, an eye mask and weighted blanket. An electromagnetic sticker is placed on your left wrist that sends brainwaves to your REM cycles.

I am a horrible sleeper. My thoughts keep me up, and it is a challenge to wind down at night. NuCalm put my mind in a stress-free environment and truly allowed me to relax. Not only did I feel completely refreshed after a short 20-minute session, that night I was also able to effortlessly fall asleep.

Home, for me, has always been my safe space. A place where, outside of the four walls, there may be stress and problems, but where inside, I knew I could debrief and remove myself from the traumas of everyday life. However, after spending so much time cooped up in home, my safe haven completely transformed. Being stuck at home made me resent the space and unable to appreciate its aforementioned healing qualities. I was always agitated and never completely relaxed. In 20 minutes, NuCalm restored my sense of calm and allowed me to completely unwind.

Lastly, I tried the NormaTec compression on my legs. NormaTec is a pressure massage used to decrease lactic acid and increase circulation in targeted areas. The process itself was amazing. The sensation of the pulsating compression was comforting and non-invasive. After my session, my legs felt amazing. It’s an indescribable feeling knowing that small adjustments in your daily routine can completely change your mood and body.

Nola Chill was my light at the end of the tunnel. Its an all-in-one studio that taps into your mind, body and soul. It’s for the go-getters who keep going. It’s for couch potatoes who want to reinvent themselves. It’s is for the anxious soul that needs to escape into a comforting oasis. Nola Chill is for everybody. Nola Chill is for you.

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