When Xena Therapies founder Tammy Lee shares what she’s passionate about — cool products for hot women — she’s talking about women nearing or in menopause or suffering from other hormonal challenges. She’s speaking the ModernWell woman’s language and recently offered us a look at heat and cold therapies at what’s possible when we seek to work with our body’s own natural potential to respond and regulate hormonal inflections like hot flashes. Flashes might be the water cooler conversation of the day in our women-centric co-working space as many of us learn from each other what our mothers of a more private era never shared with us. The point is, we’re talking about what’s happening with our bodies and sharing anecdotally what we’ve found to be true and effective in managing the perfectly natural process of aging.
An earlier generation turned to hormones to manage changes, my mother being one. She directly correlates the hormonal supplements to her breast cancer (she caught it early and has since been in remission). In conversation with Tammy, she walks through tech, products and a bit of science, all the while making aging experiences seem light and manageable – if you’re paying attention.
I perked up at the mention of healthy brown fat, a term I’d never heard. This fat, also called brown adipose tissue (BAT), is a special type of body fat that is activated when you get cold . Brown fat produces heat to help maintain your body temperature in cold conditions. Think of this fat as the little engines that burn calories to produce heat.
As we age, we have less brown fat and more challenges regulating our body temperature. If we can use heat and cold technology and products in short daily practices, notes Tammy, we can build a better response. For example, research shows a 70% reduction in hot flashes for women who used simple, at-home treatments twice daily.
Xena Therapies has a whole portfolio of companies and products using heat and cold technologies to improve well-being for a broad audience including those seeking therapy for orthopedic injuries, sports medicine, and active recovery (Onyx Cool), those suffering from symptoms of menopause and MS (Onyx Opal), and an infrared heat and light technology (WARMMS (Wellness and Recovery Metabolic Medical System) platform).
This is where I stepped out of the ModernWell garden level and conversation with Tammy into the WARMMS heat therapy pod on site, tucked away in a private room off of the yoga studio. I sized it up. Looks like a tanning bed… feels high tech enough to be a sleep pod out of Avatar…seems aerodynamically designed and supportive like a dental office chair… except I am definitely not at my dentist.
Tammy walked through the process and demoed how I could control my 30-minute heat therapy experience. After sliding on thigh-high compression socks and zipping them up, the socks began to inflate with air and gave my legs a squeeze that felt much like getting my blood pressure taken. The air moved through in rolling motion that felt like the work of your best, most consistent masseuse, but you’re paying $29 for the experience.
Tammy exited the room and I was in for a sensory experience of heat, movement, light and sound. Despite my legs in socks, connected to tubes, the rest of me was comfortably un-claustrophobic (I mean I survived the tanning bed experience of the 80s and 90s, later cringing at the damage I did to my epidermis). The pod design super smartly kept my head out of the heat mix with a wonderful airflow streaming. I could reach up out of my cocoon with my hands to control the light experiences offered – stimulating, calming, etc. I could take in inspirational scenes and quotes or just opt for a podcast or streaming music.
I watched as the temp (always at the control of your fingertips), inched up to a heated but very tolerable 188 while the other side of dashboard nudged my calories burned count up (my session ended with a readout of 218 calories burned!). At the session’s end I lifted the pod lid, watched the socks decompress so I could easily zip myself out of them, toweled off a moderate sauna-like sweat (remember, the head /face is cooler in temp, not beat red like after a hard workout or intense sauna), and sanitized before re-entry into ModernWell.
I was feeling fully relaxed, but not depleted. I would sleep well that eve (another benefit of heat therapy) and will happily return to the pod. As Tammy and I wrapped up the conversation, we talked about the importance of accessibility to these types of technologies. No longer are WARMMS only in destination med spas, they are now conveniently located at places of work or connected to other well-being providers like chiropractic offices. This level of accessibility empowers people to use them in shorter but more frequent amounts, increasing their healing power.
We closed out our chat with a nod to the new potential of heat and cold therapies being explored, like heat technology to help with cognitive issues and its potential to help those in addiction or those with pain management challenges. I’m excited to track with her journey, new research and discoveries in this field.
Tammy is an innovator with a wealth of experience and knowledge — we’re lucky to have her and the pod at ModernWell! Schedule your appointment and don’t be shy to ask for a little hand-holding the first time. You’ll be popping in, using the pod, enjoying your podcasts during caloric burn, and benefiting your health in one efficient half-hour session. Getting WARMM is for all seasons – test it out and report your findings — we’d love to hear about it!