Situated in the corner of Sierra Madre Plaza on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, a city northeast of Los Angeles, is a unique kind of wellness center. Opening its doors just two years ago, amidst social distancing and a nationwide pandemic, Muscle Lab welcomes clients to experience an array of innovative muscle recovery services, including cryotherapy, a treatment that is rapidly gaining mainstream popularity. Using extremely cold temperatures to provide full body recovery in a gaseous chamber, cryotherapy is meant to enhance your mood and immunity, alleviate pain and muscle soreness, reduce inflammation, and increase overall performance. It’s no wonder some of the center’s most frequented visitors include Ben Simmons, Jake Paul, and Oscar De La Hoya.
The brainchild of serial entrepreneur Andy Treys and his dear friend Vatche Ourishian, Muscle Lab was a joint business venture that combined Treys’ marketing prowess and Ourishian’s extensive background within the health community, quickly transforming the lounge into a reputable stomping ground and the “Soho House” of recovery. The ultramodern facility is bright and spacious with luxe leather recliners, baby blue panels, and violet strip lights that give the interior a warm aesthetic and sets the mood for both rejuvenation and socialization.
“I used to do cryotherapy when I played basketball and it felt amazing,” says Treys. “When I moved out of Pasadena, I always tried to find places that offered it and eventually, I started going almost every day. It was something that I needed to do to start my day, but I never told anyone that I was doing it. I was still playing basketball and wanted to have a competitive advantage over everyone.” Benefitting from the sub-zero temperatures of cryotherapy, Treys would partake in a session after each game during tournaments. “When I’d come back to play, I literally wouldn’t feel anything while the other players were limping and worn out. But eventually, I started to bring a few teammates because I wanted my team to have an advantage.”
While cryotherapy has been around for decades, the technology has evolved over time and has developed substantially alongside the advancements of modern science. From the Egyptians using cold therapy to heal injuries and inflammation in 2500 BC to the Anglo-Saxon monks applying the freezing cold as a local anesthetic in 1050 AD and Japan adopting the therapy in 1978 as a remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, the use of cryotherapy gained swift momentum and today, it has become a well-established ritual for folks across the globe.
Actresses like Jessica Alba and Jennifer Aniston are known to use the treatment for skin-cell renewal while leading athletes like Steph Curry and Cristiano Ronaldo are using it for whole body recovery. “You know, Kobe Bryant used to do cryotherapy too,” says Treys. “And it’s crazy because he didn’t tell anyone about it either.” According to Grand View Research, a U.S.-based market research and consulting company, the global cryotherapy market size was valued at $3.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand.
Whether you’re suffering from chronic illness and pain, need guidance in creating healthier lifestyle habits, or simply want a home away from home to relax and recharge, Muscle Lab offers a range of quality services, including IV therapy, infrared sauna, cupping, stretch therapy, and more. And if you can’t make it to Pasadena, the team has forthcoming plans to expand with new locations in West Hollywood, Las Vegas, Miami, and New York. “We have a really cool thing right now,” says Treys. “But I definitely see Muscle Lab evolving in a very big way.”
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting the Village Voice and our advertisers.