Yesterday Vic and I had the pleasure of experiencing the newly opened Wellness Me in Montreux. The 600m2 spa centre in hilly surroundings of Montreux is a luxurious wellness oasis like no other. All treatments are located in individual rooms for complete privacy of use, and boy were Vic and I spoilt. We got the private spa (which is available for 290 .- CHF for 1 ½ hours) all to ourselves and got the full attention of the lovely owner, Michelle, as she guided us through the facilities to introduce us to the different treatments.
While they do offer traditional manual massages , you can also find funky sounding treatments like cryotherapy, Iyashi Dome, Aquafit cycling and Hydrojet massages on the menu. Huh, what? That's what we thought as well at first.
We were asked to look at their offers beforehand and decided to give the cyrotherapy and acquafit cycling a go. We didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into, but hey, let's give it a try, shall we?
Wellness Me in Montreux | Route de Brent 13F1816 Chailly-Montreuxinfo@wellnessme.ch
This emerging health trend is redefining the term "chilling out". Cryotherapy is the use of extremely low temperatures to treat symptoms such as tissue damage (reason for why it's excellent for athletes), decrease inflammation, increase cell rejuvenation, improve skin tone and is psychologically stimulating as well as a highly effective trigger for weight loss. Like something out of a sci-fi movie, the treatment involves standing in a deep freeze chamber while temperatures plummet as low as -150ºC. Price point at Wellness Me: 80.- CHF.
If volunteering to go into a small chamber that is -110ºC to -150ºC seems crazy, it just might be. But I had seen athletes promoting it on Instagram before, so I was actually really excited to give this a try. I told Michelle that I've done ice baths in the past and she assured me that while it would still be very cold, I would not experience a near-death experience like I had the first time I stepped into a pool filled with bricks of ice. Thank god.
The theory: The frigid cloud of nitrogen in the chamber tricks your body into thinking it’s in danger, forcing it into preservation mode. Blood is flooded to your core for protection, which in turn increases body heat and your metabolism. After the three minutes, the blood rushes back throughout your body, boosting immunity and cell renewal.
After a quick blood pressure check (you can't do cryotherapy if you havae high blood pressure, heart disease or a multiple neurological disease) and donning underwear bottoms, a fluffy bathrobe and warming socks, I stepped into the small chamber. On my OK, the machine was switched on and nitrogen gas emerged, surrounding me up to the neck. There's a big thermometer right in front of you, so you can observe how the temperature is slowly dropping all the way down to -150ºC. Not that you would need a thermometer to know that is is getting really cold really quickly! During the three minute treatment I had to turn around in circles to keep myself "warm" and put my hands out of the gas worst case if I was feeling really cold. I was eager to leave my hands in for the duration of the treatment, but, oh well, that didn't happen...
Because of the thermal shock your body actually burns between 800 to 1500 Kcal in 3 minutes. How crazy is that?!
Research supporting these claims is mixed, but I'll get to that at the end..
As you are not all allowed to do sports for 30 min. after cryotherapy, Vic and I took the opportunity to relax in the private spa for a while, which is absolutely breathtaking with it's modern design, stimulating color game and relaxation water beds. P.S.: Can I please have a bath tub like that at home?
Who doesn’t like making a splash? - AquaFit
After some relaxation it was time to get down to work. After all, Wellness Me's focus besides relaxation and regeneration is fitness, physical stimulation and detoxification. Say hello to: AquaFit.
It involves a half an hour cycling class under water while simultaneously receiving a hydrotherapy massage from jets that are on both sides of your legs. Working out in water means your muscles are forced to work harder and the extra pressure of the water on your legs pushes blood back up into the top half of your body, raising your heart rate and burning more calories during the session. We cycled for 30 minutes and both burned a bit over 400 kcal, so I would say that's pretty amazing. Michelle said that for the first time this was a pretty decent number, and jokingly added that it's probably because we were chit chatting away the entire time. To our defence, Vic and I don't see each other a lot so we have to exploit every chance we get.
Plus, the water resistance coupled with cyclical motion and the constant lymphatic massage supposedly breaks down fat even faster, reducing cellulite and preventing varicose veins. Another great thing is that aqua bikes reduces the joint impact as your body weight is reduced by 80% underwater.
After this session, we both got to experience a little massage treatment using the super futuristic HydroJet, aka a water bed which massages you while simultaneously diffusing essential oils. Personally, I don't think I would ever trade in a real massage from someone's warm hands with the robotic motions of a machine, but it was definitely a great way to end our afternoon and totally zen out.
Now, about the whole calorie thing:
I admit that I was a bit skeptic when Michelle mentioned how many calories we supposedly burnt that day. 800 kcal during the 3 min. cryotherapy + 400 kcal during the 30min. cycling theoretically amounts to minimum 1'200 kcal burnt in 33 min. That almost seems impossible..
But by the end of the day I was so incredibly hungry and I admit buying a bag of chips for my drive back to Bern. Clearly the exercise got to me and we must have burnt quite some calories after all. Check out our video:
Overall, we had a great time trying out new things and can only recommend Wellnes Me! Thank you, Michelle, for the great afternoon and for showing us around.