Will A CBD Massage Really Make You More Relaxed?

Illustrated by Lindsay Hattrick

It can’t hurt to try

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a naturally chill person. I am, however, very drawn to chill environments and activities that create a chill inner and outer atmosphere. So, it’s no wonder then that I so often find myself walking into the Lower East Side’s Chillhouse, a cafe-pampering den hybrid of all things trendy, quiet, and—most of all—chill. While I’ve found myself in the chairs of the nail art studio more times than I can count, it wasn’t until attending the launch party for The Chill Times, a new editorial experience put out by the Chillhouse team, that I learned that the very space I was sipping cocktails and getting my hair styled in a très chic single wave in was usually outfitted with massage beds, the most of-the-moment chill tunes, and—best of all—bottles on bottles on bottles of CBD.

Unfamiliar with the tri-lettered word? Allow me to introduce you to the product, or rather the ingredient, that’s currently taking the world, as well as my adventures in beauty and wellness, by storm. While many people are questioning the sudden popularity of CBD (a derivative of cannabis), thinking people may be more so fascinated by the sudden acceptance of a weed by-product, there are actually real benefits to be had with incorporating the non-psychoactive ingredient into your self-care, beauty, and wellness routines. To better understand what these benefits can entail, I reached out to Constance Finley, a cannabis expert and founder of Constance Therapeutics, a vertically integrated medicinal cannabis company producing standardized, science-based whole-plant cannabis extracts. "CBD topical products like lotions and balms, when made from nourishing plants and via non-toxic processes, can really help a woman calm down,” Finley says. “Calm down from inflammation, from stress, from aching muscles and sore joints, from sports injuries, from a demanding day in the office." In other words, from the daily weight of a woman’s modern-day life. Cool.

Now, back to Chillhouse and the launch party that opened my eyes to a whole new way to relax. As someone who has anxiety that tends to manifest in the form of physical tension, and used to treat herself to weekly deep tissue massages—keywords: used to, because there’s a big price difference between Virginia and New York City massages—to manage the stress of it all, the idea of being able to pair two of my favorite things—massages and CBD—together seemed like such a no-brainer, I was surprised I hadn't thought of it myself. I immediately set up an appointment to do what I like to think of as investigative reporting, but really it was just a chance to lay down, get rubbed, embrace a body high, and bliss out. 

When I arrived back at Chillhouse on the day of my massage, I met with my therapist, Andrea, who just so happened to be wearing a shirt that I would happily have bought off her back as it said, “Don’t tell me to relax.” Good, right? I think so. Once I finally got done complimenting her shirt (which I soon realized every other Chillhouse worker was also wearing—talk about a perfect brand motto), she asked me where my main focus area was. Once I told her it was my right shoulder leading into my neck, I quickly made sure she knew to massage the rest of my body too, worried that I wasn’t going to get the rub-down I was so badly looking forward to. Andrea assured me that a full body massage—what they like to call The Works—would be in effect, however, when a CBD add-on is incorporated into the process, they like to focus it on one main area to pinpoint the effects of the balm. After the rundown on what I could expect, Andrea led to me to the chillest part of all of Chillhouse, what I am now referring to as the Chill parlor, but what is in actuality just the back half of the salon. 

Once I got to my curtained-off massage room, Andrea told me to strip down and lay face up between the sheets—something I was surprised by, as most massages start face down in my experience. After I tucked myself in, Andrea pulled back the curtain and reappeared, ready to make magic happen. Immediately she began kneading, tugging, and pulling my shoulder and neck in the most gentle, yet effective, way, making me wonder how on earth I’m not able to stretch my neck the way she so softly was just able to. When she applied the CBD balm to the area, after heating it up in her hands, I could immediately feel a slight cooling sensation. I later learned that’s because the balm they use in their massages, Lab Blends Professional CBD Massage Balm, combines 660 mg of hemp-derived CBD with active and powerful pain fighters, menthol and lidocaine. So, not only was the CBD relaxing my never-ending knots, but the pain fighters were semi-numbing them as well. 

At the close of the super-soothing full body massage sesh, Andrea explained to me the anti-inflammatory effects associated with CBD massages and, while she’s unsure how well they hold up, her patients all seem to think one thing: They’re totally and completely sold and in love. 

As we wrapped up our conversation and I gathered my belongings, she told me to make sure to cover my neck when I headed outside. Unsure why, and not wanting to assume the wrong thing, I asked her if not covering my neck would reduce the loosey-goosey neck and shoulder feeling I was currently experiencing. Her response? “Well, it’s said that evil enters the body through your neck, so you just always want to have it covered up from rain, wind, and any uncomfortable weather; plus your neck is really warm right now from the massage and you don’t want it to lose that feeling.” Noted and true Andrea, noted and true. 

Screenshot via YouTube

The band shared details about their new St. Vincent-produced album that will drop "you into the world of catastrophe"

Sleater-Kinney just shared more information about their St. Vincent-produced album and dropped a new single.

Per Billboard, Sleater-Kinney revealed that their new album, which they've been teasing since early this year and will be their first since No Cities To Love from 2015, will be called The Center Won't Hold. It's due out on August 16 via Mom + Pop Records. "We're always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person—ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness—in the middle of the chaos," Carrie Brownstein said in a statement. Corin Tucker further noted that the new album will "[drop] you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election."

Janet Weiss noted that the band will "explore a different sound palette" with this album, and pointed to St. Vincent as the reason behind it. She said that St. Vincent "has a lot of experience building her own music with keyboards and synthesizers so she could be our guide to help us make sense of this new landscape and still sound like us."

To satiate us until then, the band released a lyric video for new single, "The Future Is Here," which is very grungy. Bump it, below.

Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here (Official Lyric Video)


This is so satisfying!

Even Jon Snow knows just how unsatisfying the final season of Game of Thrones was, and he's ready to apologize. Well, a deepfake of him is at least. A heavily-edited version of Snow's speech from the fourth episode—just before the bodies of those lost in the Battle of Winterfell get burned—now features Snow apologizing for the conclusion of the show and lighting the script on fire.

"It's time for some apologies. I'm sorry we wasted your time," Snow begins. "And I know nothing made sense at the end. When the Starbucks cup is the smallest mistake, you know you fucked up! We take the blame. I'm sorry we wrote this in like six days or something," he adds, before signaling to his peers to light the script with torches and "just forget it forever." "Fuck Season 8," he says before the pages begin to crackle and burn.

If there were more lines left to alter, we would have loved to see Snow also tackle how messy Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister's story line ended up, as well as Bran's kingship, Cersei's boring demise, and the water bottle appearance.

Watch the entire deepfake and try to heal the wounds left by HBO below.


Photo by Darren Craig

It premieres today, exclusively via NYLON

In LP's song "Shaken," the most recent single from her 2018 record Heart To Mouth, she tells the story of seeing her lover out with someone else—ouch. Today, exclusively on NYLON, she releases a cheeky animated music video that pokes fun at the song's heightened drama and perfectly demonstrates all the angst that comes with falling hard for someone.

"She looks at you like I used to/ And I'm just sitting in the corner sh-sh-shaken," LP sings, as the visual—with art by Maayan Priva—depicts the singer hanging out in a bar, watching the girl she likes meet up with another girl. Despite the situation's inherent drama, "Shaken" is less of a ballad and more of an upbeat bop. LP told us she loves the way "this little video captures some of the fun of the song, and its inherent comical anxiety." Sure, heartbreak isn't that funny, but our (sometimes) overly dramatic reaction to it kind of is.

"'Shaken' feels like a bit of a wild card on this record," LP says. "It's the closest I've come to writing a musical, which I hope to do one day." We heartily endorse this idea: Please, LP, give us the queer jukebox musical we crave.

Until that day comes, though, you can watch the music video for "Shaken," below.

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Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

This cameo has the Beyhive buzzing

I went to see Men In Black: International alone. Which would have been fine if it wasn't for the shock I received when I saw two specific characters on the screen. Unable to keep it to myself, I shared a curious look with the stranger next to me, who was obviously thinking the same thing as me. "Is that them...?" I whispered first. "I think… so," she replied. Then the two men in question started to dance, and we were both sure: "Yep, that's them."

It was Laurent and Larry Nicolas Bourgeois, better known as Les Twins. Fans of Beyoncé will recognize the duo as the talented brothers who often accompany her on tour and in music videos. In Men In Black: International, the two of them play shapeshifting entities—they're more like energy forces than aliens—who pursue Tessa Thompson's and Chris Hemsworth's characters throughout the duration of the film. The twins' ability to manipulate their bodies in ways that are graceful and otherworldly really helps sell them as extraterrestrials and is fun to watch.

So if Thompson in a suit or Hemsworth shirtless weren't enough motivation, here's another reason to go see it. If you look close, you can see them in the trailer below.


Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

"I am honored to share this bonding experience with my own daughter"

In a heart-warming Instagram photo, Serena Williams shares the history of hair braiding and the importance of the tradition. The tennis player shared a photo of herself braiding her daughter Olympia Ohanian's hair and spoke about how "honored" she was to be able to "add another generation" to the tradition of the practice.

The photo shows Williams attentively braiding her daughter's hair while Olympia smiles, obviously loving the experience. Williams noted that hair braiding was created by the Himba people in Namibia, Africa, and that "we have been braiding our hair for centuries." "In many African tribes braided hairstyles were a unique way to identify each tribe," she continued.

Williams pointed out that braiding is a bonding experience. "People would often take the time to socialize," she wrote. "It began with the elders braiding their children, then the children would watch and learn from them. The tradition of bonding was carried on for generations, and quickly made its way across the world."

Williams closed her post with a sweet message about her daughter, saying that she's "honored to share this bonding experience" with her.

See the post, below.