Exercise recovery goes high-tech with new business

Two members of Recover Fast Spa in Carmel rest their legs in high-tech compression boots.

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – The traditional tenets of recovery – sleep, a good diet and drinking plenty of water—still reign supreme, but a new business in Carmel is making some of the high-tech recovery equipment formerly reserved for pro-athletes more mainstream.

“A lot of times you don’t know you feel bad until you feel better,” says Matt Tanner, owner of Recover Fast Spa, 624A South Rangeline Road in Carmel.

Tanner is a competitive cyclist who opened Recover Fast Spa in September 2014. The business features hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), a 3-beam infrared sauna, Normatec compression boots and contrast soaking.

In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Ali Markus steps into the hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) chamber for a 50 minute session.
Ali Markus steps into the hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) chamber for a 50 minute session.

“When your body is exposed to pure oxygen at pressure, it absorbs it,” says Tanner. “So, when you’re breathing in this air, it goes into your plasma and into your blood and all of the oxygen is going to be transmitted into your muscles to help them repair.”

Ali Markus, 22, has exercise-induced asthma and says before using HBOT, she would only be able to stay in a quidditch game 7 or 8 minutes. In the two months since she has been using the HBOT, she has been able to increase that time to about 15 minutes before needing to sub-out for another player.

“I started gettting in the Hyperbaric and it significantly improved my lungs,” says Markus. “I feel like I can breathe deeper — I can move better.”

The FDA has approved HBOT for 14 different uses including severe anemia, gangrene and chronic bone infections among other things.

Recover Fast Spa also features a Sunlighten infrared sauna heated with 3 light beams – near, medium and far – and has six different program settings for cardio, detoxification, pain relief, relaxation, weight loss and skin health.

Matt Tanner steps into the 3-beam infrared sauna to give a demonstration on how it works.
Matt Tanner steps into the 3-beam infrared sauna to give a demonstration on how it works.

“You pick which program you want to run and it adjusts the different beams of light as well as the temperature and the length of the program,” says Tanner.

According to the sauna manufacturer, it is the only far infrared heater on the market clinically shown to raise core temperature, lower blood pressure and aid in weight loss.

Recover Fast Spa also has a room for contrast soaking, also known as a hot-cold plunge. It features two rectangular tubs of water. One tub is heated to 108 degrees, while the other is heated to 44 degrees. This technique goes back hundreds of years, used to decrease pain and increase the circulation to areas of injury and restricted blood flow. Along with improved circulation that flushes away the toxins trapped in the tissues, it will bring essential nutrients and increased oxygen to the muscles and surrounding tissues.

“So if you get in the hot side, your muscles relax, and all the blood is able to flow through your body and into your extremities,” says Tanner. “Once you get into the cold, your body’s natural defense is to rush blood to the vital organs, so blood rushes out of your arms and legs and straight to your core and that flushes out toxins.”

Tanner suggests spending three minutes in each tub, alternating back and forth for 40 to 50 minutes.

Pat Rocab uses Normatec compression boots several times a week and says their regular use has shortened the amount of time it takes to recover.
Pat Rocab uses Normatec compression boots several times a week and says their regular use has shortened the amount of time it takes to recover.

Recover Fast Spa also features several pairs of Normatec compression boots which uses Sequential Pulse Technology starting at the toes and working up through the leg.

“They are compression boots so they flush all of the blood out of your legs in a pattern sequence,” says Tanner. “It’s kind of like a massage when you get out, so your legs feel lighter, more refreshed, rejuvenated.

Pat Rocab uses the boots several times a week and says their regular use has shortened the amount of time it takes to recover.

“I have bad knees, older knees, since I’m in my 50’s and this helps me recover from jazzercise and being able to keep up with my aerobic activities.”

Everybody who comes into Recover Fast Spa becomes a member. Memberships last for 30 days and then they expire. You choose the level of membership you want every 30 days. The unlimited membership is $399. The 10-pack membership that allows you to use 10, 1-hour long sessions in 30 days costs $199. The 4-pack memberships – which allows you to use 4, 1-hour long recovery sessions in 30 days costs $149.

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