Tag Archives: Restore cryotherapy

Long COVID: One Woman’s Story

Laurie* was active. She led full, rewarding professional and social lives. She’d always eaten well, taken vitamins and supplements, and exercised faithfully. She was double vaxxed against COVID, and boosted.

On December 28 she tested positive for the virus. Besides a brief period when her oxygen level plummeted, she had mild symptoms: a slight sniffle and cough.

“That was easy,” she thought.

Six weeks later, the after-effects hit.

Laurie felt like she was hungover — all the time. Her eyes were sensitive to light. Her brain was foggy. She forgot things, like what day it was or where she’d parked her car. Her hands shook.

She was constantly exhausted. At 11:30 a.m., she could barely hold her head up. She napped for 2 hours at midday. At night she had trouble sleeping.

After 20 years of yoga and Pilates, she could not even walk down the street.

“I had no life, no vitality,” Laurie says.

Laurie’s internist did blood work, but said nothing could help.

Week after week, Laurie’s symptoms dragged on. Fortunately, she says, she did not feel sorry for herself, or fall into depression.

“Maybe it’s because I was proactive,” she suggests. “I tried to find solutions. I didn’t sit around thinking ‘woe is me.'”

Finally, her holistic chiropractor suggested increasing her daily dose of curcumin. She also started red light therapy and infrared saunas at Restore Cryotherapy.

Over the past few days, Laurie has started to feel better. She is not sure she’s out of the woods, though. She knows she could relapse.

She’s telling her story because she wants to help people understand COVID. Many friends were sympathetic. Colleagues covered for her at work.

But some people could not empathize. She hopes that sharing her struggle will help readers become more knowledgeable about the effects of the virus.

Laurie is not “the” face of COVID. The disease takes many forms. It runs its course in many ways.

But she is one face of COVID.

And she is a reminder that our fight against it is a long way from over.

*Not her real name. For medical privacy, she asked to be identified by a different name.

New Westport Yoga Spot: Definitely Hot

The shopping center between Sherwood Diner and the old Bertucci’s/new-and-may-open-someday Ignazio’s Pizza — is hot and cold.


On the ground floor is Restore Cryotherapy. Clients step into chambers chilled to minus 220 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s an adrenaline-surging, toxins-removing, endorphin-producing way to burn calories, reduce pain and enhance endurance.

Right above it is a new tenant: Westport Hot Yoga.

That’s exactly like it sounds. You do all your yoga stuff — stretching, breathing, concentrating, posturing, working out — in a room super-heated to between 95 and 105 degrees.

It’s as energizing and relaxing as cryotherapy.

A recent session in the new Westport Hot Yoga space.

The studio — which opened July 4 — is not new. For nearly a decade, it operated as Fairfield Hot Yoga.

Owners Abbey Chase and Richard Failla moved here from the Sportsplex for a few reasons.

Both have long local roots. Many of their clients came from Westport. And while the Fairfield location was a hot, windowless box, their new space has a view. Granted, it’s the Post Road, but if you’re going to sweat like that it’s still better than 4 walls.

Chase is a single mom, with 3 kids going through the local schools. Failla is a former Westport police officer now working part-time as a traffic agent.

Rich Failla and Abbey Chase, in Westport Hot Yoga.

Hot yoga attracts a wide range of people. Some are in middle school. Some are in their 70s. About 30% are male.

The sweet spot, Chase says, is women 35 to 60 years old. They add yoga to their routines, to balance their other activities.

Hot yoga also appeals to people who have had knee or hip replacements, shoulder surgery or back issues, Failla says.

Westport Hot Yoga offers a variety of classes, of different lengths (and heat levels). There’s bikram, power vinyasa, and low-impact, high-intensity interval training.

The studio gets hot, sure. But the heat can be sucked out, enabling Chase and Failla to offer something here they could not in Fairfield: unheated yoga.

With Chase’s kids involved in Staples sports, she knows several Staples coaches. She’s talked with the school’s trainers about offering stretching classes for Wrecker athletes.

She and Failla are excited about their move. Their many Westport connections will serve them well here.

Early feedback is positive. Several people said the new space has “great energy.”

Between yoga and cryotherapy, the strip mall by the Sherwood Island connector is definitely hot.

And cool.

(The official grand opening is tomorrow [Friday, July 12, 5 p.m.] There’s wine, cheese and raffle prizes — including from Westport Hot Yoga’s neighbors Restore Cryotherapy and Shearwater Coffee.)


Westporters Chill Out. And Restore.

Andy Udell stood in a tall tank-like chamber. He wore just a robe, socks and gloves. Only his head was visible.

Super-chilled air — minus 220 degrees Fahrenheit — swirled around him.

His body went into vasoconstriction, reacting to ancient cues to protect itself. His heart raced. Adrenaline surged.

Blood rushed to Andy’s core, protecting vital organs. Toxins were drawn out, making his blood nutrient-dense and oxygen-rich. Endorphins and anti-inflammatory proteins also coursed through his body.

Andy stayed inside — shivering and laughing. That was his reaction to both the seeming absurdity of his situation — volunteering to stand inside a ridiculously cold chamber — and the fantastic way he felt.

Andy had just undergone 3 minutes of cryotherapy. Now the rest of us can too.

Andy Udell, midway through his 3 minutes of cryotherapy.

Restore has come to the former Radio Shack store, on the Post Road across from the Sherwood Island Connector. The grand opening is tomorrow (Tuesday, November 14).

Owned by a group of local investors — including Andy — the new business is a franchise of an Austin, Texas-based company. The nearest location is Virginia.

Restore has taken over a large space. (I guess Radio Shack stored a ton of batteries and fax machines in the back.) And Restore offers a lot more than calorie-burning, skin care, pain-reducing, endurance-enhancing cryotherapy (in whole body, localized and facial versions).

There’s drip therapy. A personalized cocktail of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants helps burn fat, relieve inflammation and dehydration, and provide energy.

Two signs, in the drip therapy room.

And an infrared sauna makes you feel good by — pardon the analogy — cooking you from the inside out, like a microwave.

And a hyperbaric chamber delivers highly concentrated oxygen, while compression therapy offers leg, hip and arm sleeves. Both promote healing, particularly after races, games and workouts (for high-level athletes as well as weekend warriors).

The hyperbaric chamber.

But it’s the cryotherapy that will draw most people to Restore.

“I feel like I can do handsprings,” Andy — who back in the day was a Staples High School soccer star and is still very fit but, like many of us, now stands on the sidelines — says, emerging from his probably-felt-a-lot-longer-than-3-minutes cryo session.

“The energy boost is great. It helps my mental focus. It lasts all day, and I sleep better too.”

That sounds like quite an endorsement. Of course, you’d expect that from an investor.

So try it yourself. It sounds really cool.

I mean, freezing.

The Restore team includes Lauren Winchester, director of operations; Donna Toth, Westport manager, and lead investor David Kass.