Cryotherapy chamber

Mom Around Town Andrea Miller freezes away fatigue in a cryotherapy chamber at Hiatus Wellness Spa.

Despite the recurring heat waves and the lack of an official start to fall (I’m looking at you, Sept. 23), we’ve said sayonara to summer and succumbed to the school year around our house. The backpacks are getting more stuffed by the day, and we are beginning to settle into our school-year routine, with its busy days, activity-packed evenings, and early bedtimes. The sweet sounds of silence are filling the halls of our home during the day, and I’m turning my eyes to an option that has little to do with my darling offspring and everything to do with the two people who keep them alive and well. 

Let it be known that I’m no stranger to self-care. In fact, I consider it an art form at which I am well-versed. Call me the Picasso of Pedicures; the Mozart of Massage. If it involves an hour alone, and a little bit of relaxation, I’m in. I learned early on in motherhood that a happy mom is a better mom and the whole “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” philosophy quickly became one of my standards. My husband, however, didn’t get the memo and his time to unwind is well overdue. With kids in school, and a day full of possibility, we set out for a little school-time date that would leave us with vessels overflowing and abundant relaxation.

It’s amazing what you can cram into a weekday if it isn’t filled with things like, oh-I-don’t-know, work? On this day, we set aside the never-ending to-do lists, dropped our favorite underage relatives off for seven hours of education, and hit the gym for a luxurious late morning workout before topping off our tanks at Sunnyside Diner (7 E. 2nd Street, eatatsunnyside.com). Since opening in May, this bright addition to the formerly defunct corner of 2nd and Broadway is an awesome spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner options. My better half, Kevin, cleared a plate-sized chicken fried steak, while I scarfed my go-to pancakes topped with Nutella and bananas. The fourth installment for the local chain, Sunnyside has a large outdoor area with a dog-friendly patio, and the Edmond locale includes a plant-based section of the menu and extended dining hours until 8 p.m. 

Post-brunch, we headed to Hiatus Wellness Spa (1015 Waterwood Pkwy, hiatusofedmond.com) to diffuse the physical exhaustion that the return to school rush left behind. Formerly Edmond Cryotherapy, Hiatus Wellness Spa opened in July 2019 with a huge range of spa and wellness options including facials, beauty treatments, body services, and massage. We love a couple’s massage as much as the next basic suburban couple, but today I was taking Kevin for something a little cooler — his first experience with cryotherapy. Literally meaning “cold therapy,” cryotherapy is exposing the body to extreme cold for a short amount of time — for us, three minutes. After undressing and covering our hands and feet in protective mitts and socks (with silly unicorn slippers to boot), we took our frosty turns in a -250 degree chamber of cold. Benefits are said to vary from migraine relief to Alzheimer’s prevention, but I love the cold for relief from the widespread aches and pains of active adulting. 

“Whole body cryotherapy is the modern-day ice bath,” said Stephen Crain, with Hiatus Wellness Spa. “It flushes toxins and enriches red blood cells with oxygen, nutrients and enzymes.”

Once our body temps returned to normal, we headed to part two of our rejuvenation station, the NormaTec Pulse machines. Situated in a dark, relaxing room with two comfy recliners, we zipped up our legs in the NormaTec sleeves and eased back into an hour of nothing while the machine compressed and released our tired legs.

“The system provides deep, relaxing massage and aids in complete recovery from training, competition and injury rehabilitation,” Crain said.

The NormaTec Recovery System is used to alleviate any fluid in the muscles, reduce swelling, decrease recovery time and soreness, and increase blood flow and circulation. For us, it was a welcome treat after a “leg day” workout, and sitting still and zoning out on random daytime television was pure bliss. 

Parents Day Out complete, we hightailed our happy, detoxified bodies to the carpool line. Were we better parents than we were at morning drop off? It’s doubtful. Were we more relaxed? Without a doubt.

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