I meet Mila Joura in her newly opened Cryotherapy place called THE FUEL STOP right on Central Park South next to Central Park, a busy area in Midtown Manhattan. Mila has been working in nutritional health for 15 years, together with internationally renowned nutritionist Oz Garcia, PhD. Before that she was Vice President of International Marketing for Miramax films. While being exposed to the fast-paced, highly-demanding life style of the film industry, and later to the challenges as a working mother, Mila has been searching for fast, effective, time-efficient and natural “fixes” that would allow her to maintain energy, build her immune system and reverse ageing in a sustainable way. Being a mother of two and having to juggle family, work and constant travel made her come up with a pretty effective health model as her new business. I wanted to know what exactly a Cryotherapay treatment can do for you.
IRMA: Why Cryotherapy now? The method has been known since the 70s and is used for health benefits in hospitals for orthopaedic damage, depression and hormonal imbalance. How come that it’s becoming more and more a health care method in high demand?
MILA JOURA: Cryotherapy – or Cold Therapy – to me it is the most beneficial and most overlooked anti-ageing treatment that is finally getting all the attention it deserves. Number one trigger for degenerative diseases and ageing is inflammation, and cold (ice packs, ice baths) was used for centuries to combat inflammation. It sounds unrealistic that the human body can survive in -130°C temperatures, but strangely enough it can – if only for 2-3 minutes, and with quite dramatic positive results: bringing down inflammation, increasing energy, boosting the immune system, releasing endorphines and dopamine, improving sleep, increasing collagen production and –healing itself from ailments of stress. So if you could do all of this in just 2 minutes with no negative side effects – would you? I guess the answer is “yes” – so Cryotherapy is hitting mainstream at a high rate.
IRMA: What do you mean by “Fast Track Regeneration”?
MILA JOURA: Our life is becoming more and more demanding, we multi-task through everything. Today’s generation needs everything at the speed of light – so who has time to chill all day in the spa? But we also want to stay forever young, energetic and attractive. Fast Track Regeneration seems to be the right solution for the urban uber-beings: spend minimum time and get maximum result.
IRMA: How often can you do Cryotherapy and what is the benefit in both the long and the short term?
MILA JOURA: You can do Cryotherapy as often as twice a day, with an interval of 4 hours in between, but this would be for high-performance athletes or people recovering from surgery. I do it once a day every day, it’s a way of life, like exercising or eating healthy. But I would recommend once every 2-3 days to get all the benefits, and on a regular basis – the more you do it, the more “bionic” you will feel.
IRMA: How do you train and live when away on vacation to get that very balanced and fit feeling without Cryotherapy?
MILA JOURA: That is a tough one – I’m waiting for the travel-size, roll-out Cryo sleeping bag… Every time I land in Europe, my first thought is “where can I find a Cryo chamber”, because nothing treats jet lag as quickly and efficiently. But there are ways to get close to the divine healing power of cold, even in the hotel room: contrast hot/cold showers and ice face baths. Ice face baths are shortcuts, but surprisingly very effective: The skin on our faces has many receptors that trigger anti-inflammatory responses and help to balance the nervous system. Submerging our face into the ice cold water for a short period of time trains the Vargus nerve that is connected to all other nerves in your body to tolerate cold, balance the nervous system and promote restful sleep. And I’m not even mentioning reducing those jet lag puffy eyes …
Here’s the recipe: Fill a shallow dish with water and put it in the freezer (or ask the hotel for a bag of ice and a bowl). When the water is frozen solid, take the dish out, add water on top of the ice and stir it up to chill the water. Hold your breath and put your face into the dish for as long as you can hold your breath, or until you can’t take the discomfort from the cold anymore. You can start slowly with just a few seconds at a time, and build up to longer periods over time.
IRMA: Tell me more about the other therapies and methods that you offer and how do they intersect with Cryotherapy?
MILA JOURA: We try to combine most efficiently products and treatments that work together for the maximum effect. Our Facial Cryo treatment is a great addition to the Whole Body: the face is submerged into -150°C temperatures for 10 minutes by using a gentle stream of nitrogen resulting in no-puffy eyes, glowing complexion and rejuvenated appearance. Recurrent treatments stimulate collagen production and reductions of wrinkles, so if you’re on the opposite side of “botox mania,” this may be your natural saviour. We also offer unique manual cellulite reducing/fat deposits eliminating Body Contour treatments by Gloria Hincapie. This quite amazing body-slimming technique was created over the last 30 years, it eliminates fat concentrated in specific areas of the body (we all know what those are…) where no machine, exercise or diet gets in.
IRMA: How can you prolong the energized feeling for as long as possible?
MILA JOURA: Of course nothing lasts forever, so no matter how great you’ll feel after Cryotherapy releases your “happy hormones” – and you get even happier seeing your de-puffed face and slimmed down tummy – it will all succumb to stress and gravity if you don’t exercise, eat healthy and get enough sleep.
Or another suggestion: send your kids to summer camp and your husband on a business trip – save the energy for yourself…
IRMA: What is the best way to get prepared before Cryotherapy?
MILA JOURA: The treatment is really of short duration – 1.5 to 3 minutes, and since there’s no moisture or wind current inside the chamber, it’s not nearly as frightening as it sounds, even kids can do it for up to 1 minute. It requires more mental preparation than physical – just think of how fresh those flash frozen strawberries look at the supermarket, and you’ll be ready to go.
IRMA: What can the nutrition cocktails you serve at the Fuel Stop do for you?
MILA JOURA: Since I’ve been in the nutritional field for the last 20 years, I’ve always researched the best supplements for brain performance. We have worked together with Nutrascience – one of the leading US manufacturers of supplements – to develop proprietary Brain Boosting Energy formula that combines most important brain nutrients like Choline, DMAE, Huperzine A and Phosphatidylserine – M3FS Brain Floss. It comes in powder form and we offer a cocktail of Brain Floss and fresh green juices at the Fuel Stop Energy Lounge. We are all about replenishing healthy energy, without jitters and crashes – and this is what Brain Floss offers: sustainable brain energy throughout the day.
IRMA: Anything I can buy from the Fuel Stop to take home?
MILA JOURA: We sell Brain Floss jars and proprietary formulation Slimming Pineapple Tea made by Gloria Hincapie to help eliminate bloat and reduce cellulite.
IRMA: What book do you read at the moment?
MILA JOURA: “Epi-Paleo RX: The Prescription for Disease Reversal and Optimal Health” by Dr. Jack Kruse – quite an amazing insight into human beings’ evolution in the Ice Age and the critical role of cold – no wonder we do so well in Cryochamber. That, and “Skinny Bones” by Barbara Park – to stay relevant for my 9-year-old son….
IRMA: What is your daily health routine?
MILA JOURA: I start my day when the children are off to school. The first thing I do is drink a glass of water with lemon juice and cayenne pepper to stimulate metabolism and lymphatic system. I then follow with a very simple but extremely powerful exercise that I learned from a Qigong master: fold left hand over right and place both hands in the middle of your chest, rotate clockwise for 100 times, then change hands right over left and rotate in the opposite direction for another 100 times. I don’t know how it works, but it helps me to balance and get into my “centre” in the most efficient way. I may do this exercise several times throughout the day, if the stress level goes high – and New York stress is a species of its own.
IRMA: Besides the Fuel Stop, what is your favourite place in New York to recharge your batteries?
MILA JOURA: The Russian Baths on Fulton Street – it’s the complete opposite of Cryotherapy, but in line with the principles of thermodynamic – going from +100°C (or so it seems) to an ice cold shower, and back to sweltering heat supported by large hot stoned walls – now we’re talking anti-ageing!