The Recovery Room—Unique Sports Spa for All Ages Is Now Open in Carmel and Westfield
Writer // Ann Cinnamon Photography //Trevor Ruszkowski
On any typical day in the Recovery Room, you will see a wide range of people with a wide range of conditions using the wellness center’s state-of-the-art equipment to recover faster or just feel better. In fact, feeling better is really the mission of the Recovery Room with locations at Bridgewater Corporate Village in Carmel and the Pacers Athletic Center in Westfield.
Konnie Komarovsky, the president of the Recovery Room, and his wife, Helen, opened the sports spa facility more than three years ago because there was nothing like it in the area.
“There was a huge need in Hamilton County for something that helped people speed up their recovery process, a place that people can go to feel better that is not a doctor’s office. It’s somewhere between a doctor’s office and a spa. But it’s very accessible, and the number of reasons that people have for coming in here are so varied. That’s what makes it so unique,” he says, adding that their clients run the gamut from a 9-year-old gymnast to an 84-year-old arthritic grandma to pro athletes like the Colts and Pacers.
Komarovsky took an interesting and long road to opening the Recovery Room. At one time weighing over 300 pounds, he decided to make life changes that resulted in a great deal of weight loss. He says people took notice and started asking him for help, so he became a certified trainer. What he discovered was that people often give up on workouts when they feel pain, so he went on the hunt for ways to rebound more quickly from workouts and with less pain.
“That was the whole idea, to try and make them feel a little better, soften the process a little because it’s brutal,” he says. Having gone through it himself, he knew the importance of trying to feel better along the way. His research led him to try cryotherapy for himself, and the results were so impressive that he and his wife decided to invest in it.
Cryo was designed in 1978 in Japan by a doctor whose mother-in-law had arthritis. So, any condition that causes inflammation can be improved with cryo, according to Komarovsky.
The Benefits of Whole-Body Cryotherapy
Whole-body cryotherapy, which is popular with professional athletes such as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, is a three-minute session of cold exposure that reduces inflammation and helps to increase circulation by exposing the entire body to temperatures as low as -220 degrees F.
Komarovsky says it is an extreme environment, but the benefits are well worth it, and you’ll feel a difference immediately. “The environment that we create forces the body to go through a response where it adapts to the new cold environment, and part of that response is an anti-inflammatory response, which is really the main benefit.”
What Does Cryotherapy Feel Like?
For the whole-body cryotherapy, you stand in the cryo chamber in very cold vapor. Men wear shorts or underwear and socks, gloves and slippers. Women wear sports bras, shorts, socks, gloves and slippers, All clothing is provided by the Recovery Room. The session lasts for up to three minutes, during which you can listen to music. The idea, according to Komarovsky, is to expose as many skin sensors as possible to the cold, which then triggers response. He says it is a dry cold, so your skin sensors feel it, but it is not painful. He likens it more to the feeling you get with exercise. “You go to the point of where it feels uncomfortable, and then you can stop, but the real change happens right at that threshold of how much further you can go past that. There is a ‘tough it out’ factor,” he says, adding that feeling nervous about it is normal. “If you’re going to see real change in three minutes, you’re going to work for it. There’s always a price to pay.”
Aftereffects of Cryo
An “insane energy rush” is how he describes the aftereffects of doing the whole-body cryotherapy because your body goes through cold shock. “When you get out, the amount of norepinephrine has doubled or tripled in the brain, and that’s the hormone responsible for making you feel good, feeling happy; the general feeling of well-being is what makes it so unique. That’s why our goal is just to get people to try it,” says Komarovsky, who adds that once people try cryotherapy, 99 people out of 100 return to use it again.
How Long Do the Effects of Cryo Last?
How long the effects of cryotherapy last depend on your inflammation level. Komarovsky says it might be four hours or for some people it could be two to three days that they find their joints feeling better and their range of motion is different. Many people report sleeping better.
Today, cryotherapy is the main thing that leads people to the Recovery Room, but it’s not the only leading-edge recovery technology they offer.
Both Recovery Rooms also have local cryo equipment, which offers a three- to five-minute session that uses a stream of nitrogen vapor to target specific areas of pain, as opposed to the whole-body treatment, resulting in hours’ worth of icing being accomplished in minutes.
Komarovsky describes the localized cryo as a similar principle to the whole-body cryo but more like icing. “You’re trying to get your skin temperature down. That’s what we do here, but we do it way quicker. In two minutes, I can do what it would take hours of icing to do. And that’s the difference,” he says.
Another pain reducer offered at the Recovery Room is Normatec, which uses pneumatic compression to push excess fluid out of tight muscles and achy joints using a choice of leg, arm or hip sleeves for just 20 minutes.
Komarovsky describes pneumatic pressure as being like a blood pressure monitor. “They have pockets that start at the feet and work their way up the leg. It squeezes your legs like a toothpaste tube. It breaks up lactic acid. The original design was for patients who were bedridden post-surgery to help circulation in their feet,” he says. People with heavy legs feel lighter after a 20-minute session, adds Komarovsky. He says diabetics and anyone who has circulation issues can be helped by it.
Game Ready drastically reduces pain and increases circulation to a desired area by utilizing the effects of hot and cold contrast on the skin. Game Ready sleeves will go from up to 113 degrees F down to 38 degrees F in just 10 seconds.
Komarovsky describes Game Ready as a 15-minute session that you use on whatever your trouble area is, such as your elbow, shoulder, hip or knee. “It gets wrapped, and a hose attached to it sends cold and hot water through. It goes a minute cold, a minute hot. That minute hot and minute cold contrast creates a lot of extra circulation to the area, again reducing the risk of injury,” he says. This technique is used a lot for people in post-surgery situations.
The Recovery Room also offers help in the area of stress and mental recovery with the NeuroSpa, which is a 15-minute session that allows you to sit comfortably as soft sensations captivate your body. The acoustic frequency neutralizes resistance and communicates directly with the nervous system, which gradually relieves tension caused by stress.
In the Neurospa, you sit in a zero-gravity chair that vibrates, wearing noise-canceling headphones that have sound going through them. A hood is pulled over your head, giving you privacy, and light is filtered through. “The light, the sound and the vibration synchronize, and what it does it triggers a response from your brain that helps reduce cortisol,” says Komarovsky, adding, “so in a 15-minute session, it feels like you took a power nap, and you may not have fallen asleep. You feel significantly calmer without feeling drowsy because you never enter into a sleep cycle. It’s a very interesting feeling.”
He says it’s similar to the sensation you get with flotation pods but without water, and the Neurospa takes less time.
Komarovsky says that most people come to the Recovery Room for the physical side of things, but if you are able to turn off the stress hormone cortisol in your body, you’ll set your body up better for the recovery cycle. “And that’s really the game we play here. We increase circulation and decrease inflammation. That’s what the majority of the things we have here are designed for.” He goes on to say that Neurospa was designed to reduce cortisol because if that hormone is too high, there are triggers in the body that will shut certain things off, such as your digestive system.
“There’s a cortisol drip going through people all the time. If you turn that off, it improves how you feel,” says Komarovsky.
Flotation Tanks and Infrared Saunas
The Carmel location also offers float tanks and infrared sauna. The float tank is a 45-minute session that allows you to feel weightless as you float in 10 inches of water saturated with 900 pounds of Epsom salts. This creates a density that takes pressure off of tired joints, bones and muscles.
The infrared sauna is a 45-minute session that uses gentle infrared light to heat you from the inside out, causing a decrease in inflammation, a decrease in cortisol levels and an increase in circulation.
What Technology Is Right for Me?
Komarovsky says you can use one of the technologies or all of them. He says anyone is a candidate for the Recovery Room. “The qualification for us has been ‘are you paying attention to how you feel?’ ‘Does it matter to you that you can feel better in any way?’ And if people are out there genuinely curious about an opportunity to feel better, they are going to stumble upon one of these services in research, and that’s why we have such a variety,” he says.
Cost and Affordability
The services at the Recovery Room are amazingly affordable, according to Komarovsky. “We have a unique offering because no one else has invested this much into the equipment and no one has ever invested this much into the look of the facility and the feel, while charging as little as we do.”
The Recovery Room charges $89.99 for one month of unlimited access to all services with no commitment. Komarovsky says some places charge that for one cryo session. “When it comes to our pricing, that’s a no-brainer,” he says. If you want to commit to 12 months, the monthly charge is $69.99. Day passes are available for $39.99 for those that want to try it out.
Whether you are an athlete, are recovering from surgery or are just dealing with general life aches, Komarovsky says the Recovery Room can help you feel better.
Where Is There Cryotherapy Near Me?
The Recovery Room has locations at Bridgewater Corporate Village at 4654 Kilarney Drive in Carmel and at 200 E. 186th St. A in Westfield. For more information, go to www.recoveryroomusa.com or call (317) 798-8130.