I walked into Modrn Sanctuary expecting to find an upscale retail store, perfectly situated off Broadway in NoMad. What I found instead was something better - a holistic, wellness space equipped with everything one might need to feel right at home in the middle of the city.
“Modrn Sanctuary was created around the idea of home” says founder and resident practitioner, Alexandra Janelli, who came into the healing and wellness industry after working for years as an environmental consultant. It was her own persistent neck and jaw pain that drove her to seek solutions outside of the traditional health industry. To her delight she found chiropractic medicine and hypnotherapy to be so effective at helping her through not only physical pain but also mentally tasking life-changes that she decided to go back to school to study alternative medicine.
“I had been getting injections in my face to help my muscles relax and after a while I just thought...there’s gotta be a better way.”
After finishing up her studies, Alexandra became a hypnotherapist at Longevity Health, the predecessor to Modrn Sanctuary. When Longevity Health decided to close their doors in 2016, it opened up an opportunity for Alexandra to pick up where they left off and fulfill her dream of bringing luxury wellness to NYC. “It started with a salt room,” says Alexandra of her early plans for Modrn Sanctuary. “At one point I went into a Himalayan salt room somewhere and I just was so enamored with it.” This experience led her to take a deep dive into NYC salt room spaces, of which she found none that matched her expectation for a well-designed experience. So she jumped at the chance to build her own (which contains “10,000 pounds of salt).
Two years after opening (on election day in November of 2016, no less), Modrn Sanctuary now offers a range of both traditional and lesser known alternative medicines for their guests. Office workers looking to realign their posture and relax will find chiropractors, masseuses, and acupuncturists to care for their needs. Those in need of balancing their energy or working through an emotional issue will find themselves in the infrared sauna, 7-chakra crystal bed, or salt room (the crystal bed incorporates several different types of treatment into one, with seven crystals aimed at the different chakras, utilizing binaural beats, UV lights, and color therapy to maximize the experience). Athletes even come here for physical therapy, aromatherapy, or cryotherapy to help repair and tone muscles.
“It’s about the luxury of being taken care of and of being able to be your complete authentic and genuine self.”
Beyond healing practices, Alexandra strives to create a space which is “holistic, judgement free, full of good energy and good vibes,” without being pretentious. It's a tall order for any upscale business in this part of New York City, but witha balanced decor and down-to-earth staff, Modrn Sanctuary pulls it off.
“If it’s beauty that makes you feel well, then great, we start on the outside to move inward.”
Alexandra believes in “listening to the body first and foremost, because the body tells us everything.” She personally allows herself to “just lie down and not move” on days when she feels that her body is exhausted. Other times, she trades her hypnotherapy and life coaching skills for a massage with one of the resident practitioners when she feels the need to be touched and taken care of by another. If anything, Modrn Sanctuary is a place that’s designed to enable all people to be in touch with themselves and their needs in a similar way, and to provide solutions to those problems in a way that’s truly empowering.
Whatever it is that brings you to Modrn Sanctuary, we’re certain that you’ll leave feeling refreshed and centered. Spaces of judgement-free health and wellness are a rarity to begin with, but especially amidst the never ending, unforgiving, but magical hustle and bustle of New York City.
*This post was written by Faye Lessler, a California born, New York City based advocate for holistic sustainable living. Faye is the author of sustainable lifestyle blog, Sustaining Life, she is passionate about supporting sustainable brands and making an ethical & eco-friendly lifestyle easier and more accessible for all. Faye is also a freelance writer, consultant, and the Events + Talent Manager for the Ethical Writers & Creatives. Sustaining Life has been featured in Glamour Magazine and has collaborated with sustainability leaders Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, Thinx, and Klean Kanteen.