Restoring body and soul

Wagger Meghan met up with RēCOVER co-founder Aaron Drogoszewski to learn more about his fitness background and what prompted him to create the world’s first studio dedicated to restoring the body.

After taking a boxing class led by Aaron Drogoszewski at Bloomingdale’s White Plains as part of its October Breast Cancer Awareness events, our editor in chief suggested I learn more about Drogoszewski’s new business, RēCOVER.

As I type this, I still have that awkward soreness that has me struggling to climb steps or sit at my desk chair after a workout for another story. Thus, the idea of a business catered to recovering my body after a tough workout (the first in months) immediately piqued my interest. 

So, I hobbled onto a Metro-North train to Manhattan to visit the wellness studio co-founded by Drogoszewski and Rich Richey. Located near Madison Square Garden, the fourth-floor studio is an easy commute. 

Drogoszewski welcomes me at the door as I take in the surroundings. Dark-colored walls with contrasting neon signs make for an aesthetically pleasing (and totally Instagram-worthy) setting. At 10 in the morning, a client rests peacefully in a reclining chair with headphones and an eye mask.

“We are the world’s first fully-comprehensive recovery studio,” he tells me. “For us, comprehension means recreating what recovery is.”

When forming the idea for his business, Drogoszewski saw a gap in the market. 

“There wasn’t a place that focuses on recovery and not just a specific tool,” such as cryotherapy, he says.

But when he and Richey came up with the idea, they knew they had to act fast. 

“We were like, we have to jump on this now. Two days after we signed the lease, recovery was number two on a list of wellness trends for the new year.”

Since its March 2018 opening, the business has gathered some of the highest-end technology to promote recovery for athletes and everyone else.

“Performance demands aren’t specific to athletes,” Drogoszewski says. “It’s moms. It’s business professionals. I ask people, ‘Do you want to be good enough at things you do or do you want to be the best version of you?’ That’s why we wanted to make it about more than just athletes.”

As a father of two children under 5, he knows how stressful being a parent can be. But services like NuCalm can help. While it was developed to treat patients with post traumatic stress disorder, FDA-approved NuCalm is designed to provide anyone with 30 minutes or so of quality sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed — unlike some midday naps. 

I have to say, I was skeptical of NuCalm. As someone who struggles with a variety of sleep issues and has run the gamut of natural and medicinal sleep remedies to no avail, I really doubted it could be all that special. However, after Drogoszewski insisted I give it a try, I was impressed.

The staff set me up in a luxurious La-Z-Boy-esque chair, covered me in a weighted blanket (something I swear by at home, too, after receiving one as a Christmas gift) and instructed me to rub a dollop of calming cream on either side of my neck. Microcurrent pads were then applied to my neck. A comfortable foam eye mask covered my eyes to black out the room while meditative music played through the over-ear headphones. And there I was, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of New York City, in the middle of the work day, taking the most luxurious nap I had ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

While I never drifted into a deep sleep, it certainly provided me with a feeling of escape. After the time was up, I felt ready to take on the rest of the day as if my battery had been fully recharged in just 20 minutes.

RēCOVER also offers a CVAC (Cyclic Variations in Atmospheric Conditioning) pod, which boosts energy by increasing oxygen in the blood cells. CVAC is a little-known secret to some of the world’s top athletes, including tennis’ Novak Djokovic. Drogoszewski has a number of UFC fighters among his clientele who swear by the CVAC service, but are relatively hush-hush about the technology as they believe it gives them an edge to their performance.

Other services offered includes infrared saunas, in which you can watch Netflix or listen to Pandora radio to pass the time, air or ice compression, hydro massage and hyperice heat/ice technology.

Drogoszewski and Richey pride themselves in their years of experience in fitness and on the fact that they research and stay on top of new technology to best suit their clients’ needs. It is important that all of the technology is vetted and research can support the benefits before they invest. By researching so much prior to offering these little-known services, they are able to educate their clientele and inform the public about new ways to boost your body, mind and physique.

What I find so special about RēCOVER is that, unlike some gyms or wellness studios, there’s no intimidation factor. As a young woman (who hasn’t considered herself an athlete since high school), I was immediately comfortable with the staff and the studio itself. 

“If it looked like a physical therapist office, you know, sterile and clinical, it’s not going to complement the experience,” Drogoszewski says. “It shouldn’t feel like a day spa. It should be that in between where it feels kinda hip, professional, but still calm. We want people just to enjoy being in here and having that energy, and to be that nice middle ground where I know I’m doing something good with my body but I feel happy with my surroundings.” 

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