Planning & Inspiration
Interview With Dasha Varshavski of Cryo Empire
On the afternoon we stopped by CryoEmpire to talk with cofounder Dasha Varshavski, a cluster of silver mylar balloon letters were floating in the spacious lounge where clients relax after being treated. Turns out, the letters spelled out FROZEN and were left over from the party that CryoEmpire had just hosted for cast members of the Disney musical on Broadway, which officially opened this month.
Located just blocks away from Bryant Park, CryoEmpire is a state-of-the-art rejuvenation center that combines anti-aging services with the latest technology to tailor services that focus on beauty, performance, and recovery. As Dasha showed us around and explained the various equipment and procedures, we could really sense that a lot of thought was put into creating a welcoming and tranquil space. The interior is painted in airy shades of blue and white illuminated by crystal chandeliers with elegant decor. “Everyone who comes here says they never want to leave. That means a lot, because we really wanted to create a unique and beautiful environment that provides an escape from the city.” We couldn’t help but think how fantastic it would be to have a bridal shower here!
The cast of the Broadway Musicial Cats, the Rockettes, and Victoria’s Secret models have come to CryoEmpire to recover from the wear and tear of work while enhancing and maintaining beauty. Here, the focus is on cryotherapy (whole body, localized, and facial) with additional services such as hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy, PRP therapy (aka the Vampire Facial made famous by Kim Kardashian), IV vitamin drips and much more.
After the tour, we relaxed on infrared mats lined with healing gemstones of amethyst, jade, and tourmaline, and asked Dasha about her start in the health, wellness, and beauty industry, which treatments are best for getting that wedding day glow, and what it means to Freeze Your Youth.
Can you tell us about your background? What drew you to the field of health, wellness, and beauty?
My father is a physician and I was naturally exposed to medicine at an early age. In college, I chose to major in Health Science. I then completed an accredited Physician Assistant Program and became a Board Certified PA. Initially, I worked in plastic/reconstructive surgery, where I learned a lot about various beauty treatments. I began to notice that when people led healthier lives, they not only looked better, but felt better. They were happier and did much better on their post-op recovery. This led me to explore more about nutrition and its impact on our health. I was fortunate to meet and work with leading doctors and researchers, such as Gary Null, Andy Wile, and Kenneth Blum. I soon opened up my own nutritional practice. After a few years, I joined my business with a nutraceutical company and turned it into an online mega store, offering people cutting edge nutritional formulas while collaborating with various organizations. The business blossomed and I was truly happy doing what I did. Then one day, I had to give it all up due to personal circumstances. Afterward, I had this hole inside of me. I wanted to create something new where I could combine my skills and my experience to ultimately help people. Several opportunities came by, but none of them felt right. Until one day, in the summer of 2016, I was approached by a former colleague of mine who was starting a new business. He asked me to come on board in creating a state-of-the-art rejuvenation center with a primary focus on cryotherapy. And it just clicked and Cryo Empire was born!
We first heard about world-class athletes like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Michael Phelps using cryotherapy to help recover from strenuous workouts and injuries faster. How does cryotherapy act as an anti-aging skincare treatment?
Most disease and aging is due to inflammation of one type or another. So whatever your weak spot is, that’s where you’ll usually age first. For example, if you are predisposed to heart disease, your vasculature will suffer. Skin is an organ. In fact, its the largest one and follows the same pattern. If you reduce inflammation and increase circulation, you improve collagen production, which in turn increases the skin’s suppleness, tone, and reduces wrinkles. Nowadays, not just athletes but many Hollywood starlets regularly practice cryotherapy – Mandy Moore and Jessica Biel just to name a few. It is also very popular with dancers. We have many Broadway dancers as clients.
What are the main benefits of cryotherapy? Does it actually Freeze Your Youth?!
It does! Cryotherapy not only reduces inflammation, but it increases circulation. Circulation is life. It brings all the nutrients to every organ. Diabetics for example have poor circulation, which results in all sorts of problems for them; it affects their heart, their skin, even their sexual functions. Here at CryoEmpire, we Freeze Your Youth by enhancing your Beauty, your Performance and your Recovery. While picking our slogan, I thought it was a cute play on words: we “freeze” your youth because we use cryo/cold therapies, and we also “freeze” or stop time by helping you feel great, similar to when you were young.
These days, everyone wants treatments that are non-surgical with quick results while being as natural and safe as possible. Can you tell us about the other services you offer that cater to the modern woman?
Absolutely. Sculpsure is one of those services. It’s an FDA approved fat reduction laser device for abdomen, flanks, back, and inner and outer thighs. It’s only 25 minutes long and with each treatment, you get at least 25% of fat reduction. There is no anesthesia or downtime. It’s very reliable and when used correctly, produces impressive results without any surgical intervention.
Looking and feeling her best is the ultimate goal of every bride. What treatments are best for achieving that wedding day glow?
So there are long-term procedures to consider such as the PRP / Plasma Facial. And then there are some short-term treatments like a Cryo Facial that could be done right on the day of. If it were me, I would start with a PRP Facial about 3-4 weeks before my wedding. This procedure is administered by our Medical Doctor. A small amount of your own blood is collected, which then gets spun in a centrifuge machine, separating plasma from the red blood cells. The plasma is then injected into the face via a microneedling pen device. This procedure is as popular as its effective. Simply put, Facial PRP is like a time machine for your skin! Within a couple of weeks you will generate new, youthful, plump skin, while removing, dark spots and acne scars along the way. Perhaps, one week before the big date, I would do a deep cleansing facial to help finish off leftover peeling from the PRP. And on the day of the wedding, a CryoFacial is a must! It immediately shrinks pores, tightens skin, chisels your facial features and gives you a nice glow. It only takes 10 mins and the best part – you can even do it with the makeup on!
How far ahead of the big day should a bride-to-be begin specialized treatments?
It depends on what they are trying to achieve. If significant weight loss is desired, we have a special program – HCG diet, which is administered under an MD supervision. If body contouring is preferred for one or more problem areas, Sculpsure is an excellent choice. Most people notice results within the first four to six weeks, with the optimal results being at 12 weeks. So now would be a great time for June and July brides! I would definitely recommend a CryoFacial package one month prior to the big day. Start with bi-weekly treatments to shrink pores, tighten skin, and reduce jowls. And of course, nothing is like whole body cryotherapy in improving energy levels, helping you sleep better, and stimulating collagen in the skin. And it it burns up to 800 calories per three-minute session!
When it comes to leading a wellness and beauty lifestyle, maintenance is key. What are your favorite treatments for maintaining excellent skin and body health?
I am a strong believer in proper nutrition. Hippocrates once said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” He was right! Everything we ingest could either work for us or against us. I try to aim for the right balance, I eat organic whenever I can. I believe organic food is cleaner, less processed and more nutritious. As for the treatments, I really do like cryotherapy. I think it is great for the skin, for the body and also for the mind. Everyone who comes out of our chambers is happier, more energetic, and has a positive state of mind!
Your center is beautiful with a very peaceful and welcoming feel. The atmosphere is perfect for a bride-to-be who is about to do cryotherapy for the first time! It was very important that CryoEmpire not be just another medispa. What considerations did you make to ensure this?
Thank you. We put a lot of consideration into designing our space. We wanted it to be not just another cryo stop, but a classy rejuvenation center with a touch of luxury. We wanted to create an environment where one feels at home in a beautiful, relaxing space. We complement many of our treatments with upgrades such as infrared mats, which are very healing to lie on. Our clients often tell us that they don’t want to leave!
The science behind health, wellness, and beauty is changing/advancing at rapid speed. How does CryoEmpire stay at the forefront of innovations in research, technology, and treatments?
Oh, this is a full time job! We’ve been in business for less than a year, but we never cease to look out for new technologies, equipment, and treatments. We do a lot of investigative work before taking on anything new. We attend trade shows and do a lot of online research. Additionally, we collaborate with many leading doctors and other professionals on various treatment protocols.
Who are your health and beauty icons? How do they inspire you?
I like everyday women, such as fitness instructors Amanda Kloots and Melissa Wood. Coincidentally, Amanda Kloots did her pre wedding pampering here at CryoEmpire! Certainly, Angelina Jolie is worth mentioning. I admire her strength and openness in speaking out and bringing public awareness to cancer prevention. I also like Tony Robbins who invests heavily in his wellness and recovery. He speaks very highly of cryotherapy, by the way. All of these people inspire me to do better, but perhaps most importantly they inspire me to be a lifelong learner, so I can pass this knowledge on to others in the most meaningful way.
A big thank you to Dasha for taking part in our Women Paving The Aisle interview series! Bride & Blossom readers can receive an exclusive discount from CryoEmpire! Use the promo code BRIDE for $200 off Sculpsure treatment!
For more information CryoEmpire’s services, visit: www.cryoempire.com
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