Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese practice that involves placing small needles into one’s body at various points, is surging in the wellness world in an effort to improve both inner and outer health. In an era where self-care reigns supreme, ORA, a boutique acupuncture destination located in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood, is the latest outpost to open its doors with the intent of marrying the ancient Chinese practice with convenient, modern touches.
Customers feel at ease as soon as they step foot off the busy Manhattan street and into ORA’s calming atmosphere. “The space is meant to be a buffer zone between the streets of New York. It’s mellow, but it’s a buffer for the ultimate relaxation zone that you’re about to enter,” explains ORA’s founder Kim Ross. “It’s relaxed, but for a medical space, not too sterile.”
Enter a private treatment room, complete with ambient lighting and music that you control for a more personalized experience. Drop your phone on a charging dock that is tucked away in a drawer for complete disconnection for the next 35 or 65 minutes–depending on your treatment choice. From the heated bed and jade roller at hand, to the herbal tea or tonic that you are welcomed with upon entering ORA, the modern touches that complement the actual treatment experience make for a restful and well-appointed escape from the stresses of the day.
For the acupuncture novice, it is worth noting that the benefits are comprehensive. As a first time participant and a generally low-stress person, I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I would need to be treated for during my visit to ORA. After an in-depth, yet comfortably streamlined, conversation with ORA’s Director of Acupuncture, Gabriel Sher, about my health, stress, and general lifestyle, I was ready to have 18 needles staggered from the top of my head down to my feet. Focusing on pain, sexual health, GI + digestion, immunity, emotional/mental health and optimization, ORA’s treatments are uniquely tailored to each person’s needs with a range of introductory, regular, and express treatments.
I emerged from a 25-minute meditation-turned-sleep session in a conscious state of true tranquility. As I ventured back into the chaos of the city to return to my daily life and on with my night, I felt more relaxed and a bit lighter. Ross describes this as “efficient relaxation,” which is what ORA aims to accomplish when making time for yourself isn’t always easy. Ross says, “Going to acupuncture shouldn’t cause you more stress to find the time and space–the curated online booking system is a modern option that makes for a seamless set up. Besides, nobody wants more stress while attempting to find the time to de-stress.”