By CASSIE MCKEE, Four Points News
Steiner Ranch entrepreneur Steve Welch is hoping to bring cryotherapy treatment to a more mainstream market with the opening of Restore Cryotherapy at the Hill Country Galleria on June 13.
“We really wanted something close to home that not only we could use but the community would benefit from,” Welch said.
The new store is the sixth location to open since Welch and his co-founder Jim Donnelly opened the first two locations in 2015. Restore Cryotherapy has two other Austin-area stores, one at Arbor Trails and the other in Round Rock.
During a cryotherapy session, a person spends up to 3 minutes in a chamber that is cooled with liquid nitrogen to a temperature of around -220° to -240° F. As the body is exposed to the cold, it reacts by undergoing vasoconstriction and centralizing blood around key internal organs. Welch said the easiest way to think about cryotherapy is as an alternative to cold water immersion or ice packs.
“The blood becomes super-oxygenated and nutritionally rich and resupplies the entire body once a person is removed from the cold,” Welch said. “This reduces inflammation, provides a boost of energy and increases the body’s healing properties. The therapy also triggers the release of endorphins which induce immediate pain relief.”
Welch said Restore Cryotherapy is able to offer services at lower prices than previously available, making it more accessible for athletes and those who suffer from chronic pain. Each location offers whole body cryotherapy, local cryotherapy, drip therapy, compression therapy and oxygen therapy.
“All of these services are designed to help our customers live healthier lives and allow them to do more each day,” Welch said. “We have a medical director and nurses at each location to ensure the best possible service and safety.”
Welch said he was first introduced to cryotherapy in 2014 while he and Donnelly, who lives in Spanish Oaks, were training for a triathlon. After finished a difficult 35-mile bike ride, Donnelly convinced Welch to give it a try.
“I felt much better right away but, more importantly, I woke up the next day and could hardly tell I had been biking,” Welch said. “Typically after a bike ride like that I would wake up the next day and be in pain.”
Welch and Donnelly decided to build two concept stores, which opened in 2015, one in south Austin and one in Charlotte, N.C. The south Austin location did extremely well, which led to the opening of four more locations in Round Rock, the Houston area, another in South Charlotte and now Bee Cave.
The partners raised $1 million to build out their last four stores and for additional future stores.
“The money came primarily from professional athlete and doctors. We felt it was important to have doctors as investors and team members give the nature of our business,” Welch said.
The Bee Cave location offers special discounts for Vandegrift athletes and faculty. Discounted services include a full body cryotherapy session for $15.
“Vandegrift athletes are playing at a very high level and clearly pushing their bodies to the limits,” Welch said. “We want to make sure that if a student athlete needs help, money is not what is stopping them from getting this help.”
Welch said after traveling the country for a year, he and his wife Nicole fell in love with Steiner Ranch and decided to make it their home. They have four children ranging in age from 3 to 9 who all attend either Steiner Ranch Elementary or School in the Hills. Steve coaches the math pentathlon team, which won the state championship in 2014 and 2016, and the Destination Imagination team at Steiner Ranch Elementary. He also coaches youth soccer.
Welch and Donnelly aren’t planning to slow down any time soon. They hope to open many more locations across the country.
“Chronic pain and recovery are big issues in our society and we strongly believe that there are better ways for people to treat this pain then taking a tons of pills each day which has some pretty terrible long term consequences,” Welch said. “All the services that are provided at Restore are safe, proven and repeatable.”
For more information, visit www.restorecryotherapy.com/.