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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

‘Wellness Days’ In Wicker Park Will Offer Cryotherapy, Marie Kondo Advice And More

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce/Provided
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WICKER PARK — Dozens of health and lifestyle experts will participate in two back-t0-back weekend “Wellness Days,” offering their best tips and trials to locals looking for a little extra self-care.

The Wicker Park/Bucktown Wellness Days are free to the public and will start at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. on Saturdays April 13 and April 20 during the weekly Wicker Park Farmer’s Market at Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave.

Vendors will offer on-site spa treatments and lessons in organizing one’s home.

Wellness Days are presented by Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce with sponsorships from MedSpring Urgent Care and HealthSource Wicker Park.

Here’s what’s happening this Saturday:

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Vendor booths, raffles, coupon books, manicures from Dynamic Salon, “cold nitrogen vapor facial samples”  from CryoBar, one-on-one coaching sessions from CoPilot-Holistic Life Coaching.

And here’s what’s happening April 20:

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Vendor booths, raffles, coupon books, KonMari folding and tidying demos from For the Love of Tidy and one-on-one coaching sessions with Learn Alexander.

Tidying Up — a form of self-care?

One of the vendors attending April 20’s Wellness Day offers a service many might find more stressful than relaxing.

Kristyn Ivey is the founder of For the Love of Tidy, a business that goes inside Chicagoans homes to help them de-clutter. Ivey applies the KonMari method recently made popular by Netflix star and organizational guru from Japan, Marie Kondo.

Ivey, who has a master’s degree in interior design, said she wanted to start her business after KonMari made a profound impact in her own life.

Making an effort to de-clutter one’s home is as much a form of “self-care” as going to yoga class or purchasing a clay face mask, she said.

Many of her clients end toxic relationships, improve their daily productivity and decrease their levels of anxiety after de-cluttering their homes, Ivey added.

“Tidying up is typically not thought of as self care because self care is so often associated with taking a break, or checking out. Like taking a bubble bath,” she said. “(Tidying up) intentionally being a little bit uncomfortable in order to shift your mindset for the long term.”

KonMari is an organizational method goes through clutter item by item, rather than by room. (For example, KonMari de-clutterers will sort through all the pieces of clothing in their house in one sitting, then books, then papers, etc).

The method asks participants to evaluate each item in the home and ask themselves if the item “sparks joy” in their lives.

The Big Chill

A second vendor, Sara Latham, offers a service that some might find scary or intimidating.

It’s called cryotherapy, and it’s the practice of stepping into a controlled yet very frigid cocoon-like machine for a few minutes in order to increase the body’s production of collagen and endorphins.

When Latham first learned about cryotherapy, she admitted she pictured Jabba the Hutt freezing Han Solo. It seemed like science fiction, she said — until she tried it herself.

After her first cryo session three years ago, the mother of three said she experienced a significant decrease in symptoms associated with an autoimmune disease she was diagnosed with in her 20s. Now, she’s nearly symptom-free.

“It is cold,” she said. “But I feel so amazing after.”

Like Ivey, Latham was inspired to start her business because she wanted to share her own success with others.

She launched The CryoBar near her home in Lincoln Park three years ago. Since then, she opened a second location in Bucktown, at 1917 N. Damen Ave. Soon she’ll open a third spot in West Loop.

(You can read more about the science behind cryotherapy on Latham’s website.)

Cryotherapy began in Japan in the 1970s and gained a serious following in Europe before becoming popular in the U.S., Latham said.

After she first opened three years ago in Lincoln Park, months before the Chicago Marathon, several European runners called her to book appointments, she said. Cryo sessions are also popular among bachelorette groups and anyone in need of a “hangover helper,” she said.

During Wellness Days, Latham will bring a cryotherapy facial machine, which is portable and safe to use with patients who may have heart conditions — a great way to introduce the public to the new age concept, she said.

“You have to give it a shot. … If you’re really suffering with a thing, (such as) severe acne, it affects you as a person, it affects your mental state,” she said. “It’s not for everybody. There are people who are allergic to cold … Give it a try. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you.”

Additional Wellness Days vendors include: Advocate Health Care, Arc’Teryx Chicago, Athletico, Blade and Bloom, Bucktown Crossfit, CBD Kratom, Cortland Smiles, Dermatology Physicians Group, Juice+, Laura B Folkes, MedSpring Urgent Care, PNC Bank and Simply Smita.

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