Crystalizing your intentions

A new wellness center in NoMad offers a variety of New Age treatments in a spa-like atmosphere

Modrn Sanctuary’s treatments, including acupuncture and rolfing, a type of massage meant to realign your energy with the Earth’s gravitational field, fit in with the neighborhood’s wellness vibe.

Could there be an area in New York City more devoted to health and wellness than the neighborhoods of the Flatiron District and NoMad?

Considering the abundance of athleisure shops (Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, Bandier and Athleta, to name a few), the sheer number of popular boutique fitness classes (Mile High Running Club, Pop Physique, Barry’s Bootcamp) and the wide selection of salad and healthy food options (Sweetgreen, Chop’t, Inday), it’s a wonder that real estate brokers don’t test future residents’ BMIs before they’re allowed to move in.

Of course, the neighborhood also has the original Shake Shack. You have to have fun sometimes.

But if people living in the area feel as though they need an extra boost of health, a new “luxury wellness center” at 12 West 27th Street might be just what the doctor ordered. Called Modrn Sanctuary, the spa-like space offers all sorts of funky wellness treatments, including an uber-trendy Himalayan salt room, rolfing (a type of massage meant to realign your body’s energy with the Earth’s gravitational field) and hypnosis.

The center’s claim to fame, however, is its crystal light therapy bed, which Modrn Sanctuary’s owner, Alexandra Janelli, tells me was “custom-built with intention” for the center by Quantum Resonance in Sedona, Arizona.

The treatments at Modrn Sanctuary are New Agey
and hippieish, but the place itself feels more like a
luxurious spa than a patchouli-scented yurt.

According to the maker, the bed “promotes emotional, mental, physical and spiritual healing” by using “the vibrational tools of light, color, crystals, aromatherapy, and sound to pump energy into the cells of the body, creating greater complexity and thereby increasing longevity.”

As I learned on a recent visit to Modrn Sanctuary, what that actually means is you pay $75 to lie on a soft and warm surface for 25 minutes while dagger-like multicolored crystals hang over you like the Sword of Damocles in positions that are meant to align with your chakras.

The treatments are New Agey and hippieish, but the place itself feels more like a luxurious spa than a patchouli-scented yurt. “I wanted it to feel beautiful but not pretentious,” Janelli said, as she showed me around.

Before I was allowed near the bed, Janelli had me watch a five-minute video on an iPad about all of the benefits I could expect from the therapy. According to Janelli, the process requires that you set an intention for your session, which is designated by a list of “healing frequencies” you choose before your treatment.

Options include “reduce pain,” “transformation and miracles” and “awaken perfect state.” I chose “facilitate change,” which promised to help me “deal with change and removes old patterns and habits.” That sounded promising, so I sat back on the bed, put on an eye mask and a pair of headphones and allowed Janelli to arrange the crystals so that they aligned with my chakras. “Does that seem right?” she asked me when she had them set up. I admitted my lack of chakra knowledge and deferred to her.

Once the bed got started, I found it incredibly relaxing. The gentle sounds of a rippling river rushed through the headphones and coordinated with the vibrations on the bed. Pretty soon, I started to feel like I was somehow in that river, floating far, far away on some kind of cloud-like apparatus to a land of sparkling sunshine and rainbows. Bald eagles soared above me.   

I’m not sure where I went in my mind during my crystal light bed session, but wherever it was, I liked it. And whether or not the bed helped me “facilitate change” or will “increase my longevity,” I’m pretty convinced the perfectly relaxed state I was in afterward is better for me than any exercise studio or salad place I’ve ever visited.