Unique wellness activities to try in the New Year

Erica Thompson
Miranda Justiniano at Ohio Cryo


Ohio Cryo offers whole-body cryotherapy treatments, where customers immerse themselves in sub-freezing nitrogen gas. During a recent visit to the Dublin office, located in Salon Lofts, co-owner Miranda Justiniano described the process as follows.

“Your body goes into shock,” she said. “It's going flight or fight. It's trying to save your vital organs.”

Before we could run for the hills, we were informed of the benefits of cryotherapy, which originated in Japan in the 1970s. According to the Ohio Cryo website, “This process provides the body with extra nutrients, rids the body of toxins, produces collagen and activates the body's natural cell regeneration cycle to produce newer, healthier cells.”

The treatments are used for pain management, anxiety, depression, sleep-improvement, anti-aging purposes and more.

“You never know what somebody is going to come in for,” Justiniano said. “We'll have one person come in and say, ‘My back's messed up and I haven't been able to put on my shoes for three weeks.' And then we'll have one person come in to try and lose weight.”

Customers strip down to their undergarments and stand in the cryosauna for a three-minute session. Temperatures range from about -140 to nearly -200 degrees.

In addition to cryotherapy, Ohio Cryo offers Cryoskin 2.0 for fat removal and skin toning; Celluma LED light therapy for inflammation and pain reduction; and compression therapy for muscle recovery and rehabilitation. Justiniano's goal is to expand to a bigger location to offer even more for customers.

“We understand cold therapy's not for everybody,” she said. “We want to make sure we have something for everybody to try.”

Tranquility Salt Cave

After owning a decorating company for 20 years, Leslie Dahn and her husband, Rob, were looking for a new business opportunity. It had to provide a service, be holistic and allow them to work with people.

“I meditated … and I was given the image of a cave,” Leslie Dahn said. “By the third time I saw it, I started to understand what it was.”

The couple was being directed to open what is now the Tranquility Salt Cave, which includes Himalayan rock salt boulders, and tons of Himalayan granulated salt on the heated floor. Customers purchase 45-minute individual or group sessions in the cave, where they relax in recliners with blankets.

They can also look up at lights on the ceiling and listen to guided meditation recordings.

Halotherapy, or exposure to the salt-infused air, is said to help with asthma, depression, anxiety, congestion and skin conditions. And because the salt is anti-inflammatory, customers have told Dahn it helps with arthritis.

“Every day we find something new,” Dahn said of the benefits.

Tranquility Salt Cave, located on the North Side, offers additional services such as detox foot baths and sessions on a vibration exercise machine. Patrons can also purchase jewelry, crystals and other products, or take part in activities like hypnotherapy and yoga.

Nude Yoga

With its limb-bending poses, unique terminology and often attractive practitioners, yoga can be intimidating on its own. Why add nakedness to the mix?

“There's a bunch of different reasons that people will do it,” said Vince Graves, who teaches nude yoga each month at the Columbus Space for Alternative Self Expression. “A lot of people are trying to come to terms with their bodies. … A lot of people [are] overcoming childhood shame. [And] some people just like to be nude, but want something to do.”

Others are accepting physical scars, and Graves falls into that category. He underwent stomach surgery after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. For a while, he couldn't practice yoga at all. And today, he can't do everything he could in the past. However, he wanted to help other people find their inner strength, regardless of skill level.

“We all just have to be where we're at now, and acknowledge it,” he said.

Despite the obvious, Grave's nude yoga class is the same as an average yoga class, except he does not provide hands-on adjustments. And women and trans participants have the option of wearing bottoms.

“There's always a moment of curiosity where people are peeking around,” Graves said. “[But] you are so concentrated on what you're doing and what you're feeling that there's no extra space for you to worry about what anybody else is doing or looking like.”

It also helps that Graves — who teaches the course nude — does not have a perfect body, he said.

“We're just all equal on the same playing field,” he added. “This is definitely pushing way past the comfort zone. … It's a great place to do it because it's a safe place. It's a judgment-free place.”

Ohio Cryo

7501 Sawmill Rd. #19, Dublin


Tranquility Salt Cave

30 Dillmont Dr., North Side


The Columbus Space for Alternative Self Expression

7:30-9 p.m., fourth Thursday of each month

180 Outerbelt St., East Side