I Got a CBD Massage—Now I’m a New, Chill Woman
The benefits are incredible.
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In This Article
Let me just start by saying that there’s nothing I hate more than when people tell me to “relax.” As a highly emotional person, this is possibly the worst thing you can say to me when I’m feeling stressed or high-strung, and I guarantee that I will do the exact opposite the second I hear those words (my ex-boyfriends can attest!). Therefore, I felt like I had come to a place that understood me when I walked into NYC’s Chillhouse and saw that all the staff were wearing shirts that said, “Don’t tell me to relax.” Finally, a place full of kindred spirits who understood me. If more people realized that relaxing is not just something you can tell yourself to do, the world might be a more understanding place.
For me, the concept of relaxing often feels like a nice but unrealistic fairytale. Yes, of course, I’d like to Zen out and release tension from my body and mind. Now, would someone explain to me how I’m supposed to do that? Clearing your thoughts and allowing yourself to slip into deep relaxation is something that feels quite unattainable in a world where information is exchanged at lightning speed and there’s always, always something on your mind—from work stress to realizing you really underestimated Jessica Biel after watching season one of The Sinner (just me?). Anyway, all of this goes to say that I walked into Chillhouse feeling hopeful but slightly dubious about the de-stressing benefits promised by its CBD massage, an add-on you can choose to boost any of its normal massages for just $15.
Keep reading to find out what happened when I got a CBD massage.
What Is a CBD Massage?
First of all, let’s talk about CBD—full name cannabidiol—which is non-psychoactive and is found in high concentrations in cannabis and hemp (not to be confused with THC, which is the psychoactive part of the cannabis plant that people associate with the “high” feeling). When incorporated into a massage, the only difference is the product used not the massage technique itself. So, while it sounds like something much different than a traditional rub-down, a CBD massage is just that: a massage performed with CBD-infused oils and creams.
Benefits of a CBD Massage
- Calms inflammation
- Soothes anxiety
- Reduces chronic pain
- Melts tension
Health-wise, incorporating CBD into your routine via tinctures, oils, and lotions has been shown to have amazing anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antibacterial properties, and lately, there’s been a boom of CBD products and treatments in the wellness space.
In terms of the benefits of CBD massage specifically, “CBD oil has natural anti-inflammatory effects that can more effectively soothe sore muscles and joints, which makes it great for massages,” explains Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, Chillhouse founder. “It encourages the body to speed up the healing process and is beneficial in relieving anxiety as well as gastric distress. Our CBD cream also has arnica and lidocaine, which allows for additional anti-inflammatory benefits.” (As a note, arnica is a common natural ingredient that people swear helps reduce bruising and muscle fatigue more quickly, and lidocaine gives a soothing, cooling feeling). Ramirez-Fulton is clearly a CBD believer and told me that if she ever can’t make it in for a massage, she’ll turn to her inventory of CBD oils and creams. The second she puts them on her shoulders or anywhere tense, she feels temporary relief. “For creams, I love Lord Jones ($60) and Cannuka ($28). For ingestibles, I love Soul Addict’s hemp butter ($35) and Cap Beauty’s The Daily Hit,” she says. “Hard to say what’s working for me long-term, but I’m overall less stressed these days, so something’s gotta be working!”
CBD Massage vs. Regular Massage
As mentioned, the biggest difference between a CBD massage and a regular massage is the CBD. When it comes to Chillhouse (and most massage studios for that matter), the kneading technique doesn’t change. That way clients are able to really tell the difference of the CBD inclusion alone, as opposed to trying to figure out what’s a result of the CBD and what’s due to the rubbing motions.
How to Prepare for a CBD Massage
Just chill. No, but really, when it comes to getting a CBD massage, the whole point is to reach peak relaxation, so don’t stress out over how to prepare for the rubdown. Simply arrive as you would to any other massage and get excited for a calming CBD experience.
What to Expect During a CBD Massage
As someone who also wants to feel less stressed overall, I immediately took her up on her offer to experience the CBD massage. I told the masseuse that I’d like her to focus the CBD part of the massage on my shoulders, which always holds a million knots from sitting hunched in front of a computer all day. As I laid facedown on the massage bed, I felt the familiar hurricane of thoughts begin to swirl in my mind. Deadlines, upcoming projects, what I’d be eating for dinner (one of my favorite things to think about)… I tried to quiet my mind and focus on my breathing using a meditation technique I had learned last year that involved counting up to eight while picturing the shape of the number eight. It worked. I felt my shoulders unclench (though that may have been because of my skilled massage therapist). The last thing I remember was feeling a slight cooling, chilly feeling on my shoulder blades. Then, the next thing I knew, my masseuse was gently shaking me awake and telling me she was done. A full hour had passed. It felt like minutes. Slightly surprised at just how quickly it had gone by and how the tension in my shoulders seemed to have all but melted away, I floated out of the room in a hazy cloud. I felt inexplicably calm and, yes, relaxed. If someone told me at that moment to relax, I probably would have smiled serenely and said, “I am. Isn’t it lovely?”
While many people swear by topical CBD, it’s worth noting that the National Institutes of Health regularly point out that more research needs to be done. Currently, the majority of the studies on CBD pertain to oral dosages, which, in some cases, have been associated with diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, and more. None of these results, however, have been tied to topical use. As such, when considering a CBD massage, remember that, while it seems like everyone on social media is singing CBD’s praises, the science isn’t all there (yet).
Bliss out. That’s it. Simple as that. Following a CBD massage, there’s no need to immediately hop in the shower—in fact, it’s advised against. By going about the rest of your day with the CBD cream still intact, you’ll be able to benefit from the calming ingredient for hours to come.
The Final Takeaway
If you have the opportunity to incorporate CBD oil into a massage or facial treatment, I highly recommend it. It adds another level of relaxation, and you’ll emerge a chiller, less anxious person. As a very un-chill, anxious person, I can attest.
Our editorial director investigated the benefits of a CBD massage. Check out her experience and insights from the founder of Chillhouse here.
Massage & Canna Care
The spa is great—I always love getting a massage here. It’s quiet, there’s a sauna to sit in before hand so you can wind down and lots of hot tea.
I also received a massage that was fabulous. The atmosphere at the Habitude spa is also solid. They serve nuts and dried berries and spa water while you wait for your services. The support staff is very helpful. All in all, Habitude rocks.
The whole experience was fantastic. It is a very well run place and the staff is super courteous and helpful. Nice sitting areas, locker room, and sauna.
Relax upright and fully clothed—great for quick kink relief.
$25 and up/15 minutes
A half hour of pure bliss. Special attention for the neck, arms, shoulders and back.
$78 and up/30 minutes
A full hour of relaxation and firm pressure complemented by your choice of Aveda aromas.
$128 and up/60 minutes
$384 series of 4
The essential massage plus—indulge yourself with a full hour and a half to unwind and de-stress.
$178 and up/90 minutes
Release chronic muscle tension through slower strokes and direct, deep pressure. This intense deep tissue service focuses on more specific problem areas and may cause some soreness during or after the massage. Includes heat or ice if needed.
$158 and up/60 minutes
$218 and up/90 minutes
Recommended during second and third trimesters. Focus on comfortable positioning, relieving tension and reducing the stress on Mom’s changing body.
$138 and up/60 minutes
$414 series of 4
River Rock Rub Massage
Smooth, heated stones are incorporated into a relaxing massage that also produces re-energizing responses in the body. The spa has hand-collected many of these stones from the open beaches on the Pacific Coast.
$148 and up/60 minutes
$208 and up/90 minutes
Enjoy a relaxing one hour massage in our Gathering Grove Room with a loved one or friend.
$128 (per person) and up/60 minutes
$178 (per person) and up/90 minutes
Get grounded with this thirty minute service focused foot pressure to stimulate corresponding organs, glands and areas of your internal systems.
$78 and up/30 minutes
Cupping Therapy Massage
Cupping is suction therapy which pulls out tension from the tissue, bringing it to the surface of the skin so that it can more easily dissipate.
$78 and up/30 minutes
Experience beauty and wellness with cannabis-infused one-hour spa treatments utilizing CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid extract from the hemp plant. They offer incredible pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that allow our therapists to work muscles on a much deeper and more healing level. The products we utilize in our SpaCanna services include Blue Ridge Hemp CBD Massage Oil 100mg, Apothecanna’s Calming Lotion 50mg, Circulating Leg and Foot Crème 100mg, and Extra Strength Body Crème 100mg. Bliss out and just be — at Habitude…
Canna Glow Facial With Mini Mask
Perfect your glow with our deeply hydrating facial using Everyday Facial Oil, which eliminates dryness, prevents premature aging and balances skin tone. Complete with a circulating foot massage leaving you balanced from head to toe.
$162 and up
Moon Spirit Massage
Alleviate cramps, moods, and monthly ebbs and flows with our balancing massage that focuses on your abdominal area and pressure points using the healing power of Calming Lotion.
$162 and up
Air Serene Massage
Relax and unwind with the therapeutic nature of soothing massage and the calming nature of aromatherapy of lavender, chamomile, and frankincense from the Calming Lotion.
$162 and up
Fire Power Massage
Restore your power to overused, exhausted muscles with hardworking Circulating Lotion and intermittent heat and ice for nonstop relief.
$162 and up
Eclipse Relief Massage
Melt away stress and tension with our most customizable and therapeutic choice. Relax sore muscles and stiff joints with Extra Strength Lotion.
$162 and up
Water Brush Canna Escape
Renew with a full body exfoliation utilizing our Dead Sea Salt Scrub and hydrate with Blue Ridge CBD Oil that relaxes the whole body as you detox under our healing heated sauna tent. Enjoy your choice of Eye Zone Wrap or Spa Scalp Revitalizer.
$192 and up
Solar Wrap Canna Escape
Begin with a dry brush exfoliation to reveal smoother softer skin that firms and tightens with each stroke. Next, we apply the antioxidant-rich CBD oil to hydrate and loosen deep within your muscles. Breathe and escape while warming up beneath our Infrared Blanket to help flush out toxins, promote healing, and improve blood circulation. Enjoy your choice of Eye Zone Wrap or Spa Scalp Revitalizer.
$192 and up
Canna Bliss Manicure or Pedicure
Spa Canna focused pedicure that includes nail and cuticle care, polish, and massage with Circulating Lotion for extra relaxation and pain relief for sore and tired hands or feet. Topped with a heated neck pillow and your choice of aroma.
Pedicure $78 and up
Manicure $48 and up
Deep Inhale with Canna Bliss
Canna Massage of Your Choice, Canna Glow Facial, Spa Scalp Revitalizer, and a Hot Rocks Sauna
$354 and up
Massage & Canna Care The spa is great—I always love getting a massage here. It’s quiet, there’s a sauna to sit in before hand so you can wind down and lots of hot tea. I also received a