No other city does wellness quite like L.A., the ground zero for health trends. Inspired by ancient traditions and new technology, today’s practitioners, entrepreneurs, even Hollywood stars—hi Gwyneth Paltrow— are continually rewriting the manifesto on how to feel good, live strong, and slow down ageing. From Ayurvedic massages to infrared saunas, here’s the latest on L.A.’s health obsessions.
You’ve had a rough night and need to feel good, stat. Head to cryotherapy, a freezing treatment that boosts blood circulation, increases oxygen delivery, and improves skin tone, all within the time it’ll take to read this article. “Cryotherapy is like a full body reset. People come in feeling like zombies, and walk out—three minutes later—feeling rejuvenated and energized,” says Morgan Fone of Renew Juicery, a Culver City superfood shop complete with CryoSauna. Guests don just thermal gloves, cotton socks, and booties before taking to a stand-up chamber that blasts minus-150-degree-Celsius vaporized liquid nitrogen. Think a dry polar bear plunge.
Jet lagged and in search of a restorative nap? At Brentwood’s SaunaBar, private rooms are fitted with state-of-the-art dry heat infrared sauna pods lined with activated jade crystals, said to align energy and revitalize the body on a mental, physical, and spiritual level. As far infrared rays increase the body’s core temperature, it’s normal to sweat a little after the 40-minute lie-down. In turn, you’ll acquire a healthy glow.
Similarly, Shape House (their fourth location just opened in West Hollywood) uses this radiant form of natural energy to encourage sweating from within, thus expelling toxic chemicals, pathogens, and heavy metals. At this “urban sweat lodge,” you’re provided with a sweat suit, and then wrapped in an infrared blanket on an infrared bed. Because the face isn’t exposed to the high temps (upwards of 80 degrees Celsius), you can comfortably spend 55 minutes reclining while watching Netflix on your personal TV. Oh, in doing so, expect to burn upwards of 800 calories.
Stressed-out Hollywood execs have standing appointments at Pause, a float centre in Mar Vista. The 60-minute sessions, spent floating on magnesium-rich water in high-tech private pods, help to quiet the mental chatter and release muscle tension. Imagine floating on your back in a quiet ocean under an inky night sky and you’ll get the picture. After a shower (skin will feel as smooth as butter), sip on organic tea before facing the hustle.
Ayurveda is making a comeback. The 5000-year-old philosophy, a holistic system of healing rooted in India, was recently introduced to the Burke Williams Spa menu in the form of massage. Of the two treatments, Shirodhara feels the most profound: After a full-body body massage, oil specific to the guest’s dosha (body constitution) is run in a steady stream over their forehead and third eye. This process might ignite deep-rooted dreams, perhaps spark inspiration. Whatever the impact, know that this experience is unique.
Everybody from author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) to actress Gwyneth Paltrow praise the benefits of bone broth. Basically, slow-roasted beef or chicken bones are simmered with vegetables, herbs, and spice, creating a nutrient-dense soup packed with protein, amino acids, and gelatin—great for improving digestion and repairing the skin. Cut down on the cooking time by buying bottled broth from farmers markets in Brentwood, Melrose Place, or Malibu—to name a few. Look out for Brothee, a Los Angeles-based small-batch purveyor who brews not only delicious organic bone broths but vegan ones too.
Ashwagandha, cordyceps, mucuna – how well do you know your adaptogens? If the answer is “not very,” don’t worry—L.A.’s juice and smoothie shops have got you covered. Unlike refined sugars, which elicit tiredness by crashing blood sugar levels, adaptogenic herbs fight fatigue by supporting the adrenal glands. At Lifehouse Tonics + Elixirs, an Insta-worthy spot on Sunset Boulevard, the Love Shack is loved for its perk-inducing combination of coconut, ashwagandha, and pearl. Other Aussies have already taken to this place: Rebel Wilson and Toni Collette were recently spotted here.