Cool off this summer with a little cryotherapy to reduce pain and inflammation and tighten up your skin!
With warm weather settled in, why not try something cool, literally? Cryotherapy, or Cryo for short, is a new service that is becoming popular in most major cities. Cryo gives you the benefits of a thirty minute cold bath in just three minutes!
What are the reported benefits?
- Reduction in pain and inflammation
- Tighter, more youthful skin
- More energy
- Better sleep
- Immune boosting
After reading about cryotherapy for a number of months, I was ready to give it a try! Being as I grew up in Canada, I have an aversion to extreme cold. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I detest the cold. I now live in a desert climate and try to avoid the cold at all costs. With cryotherapy, you stand in a capsule with your head sticking out, and liquid nitrogen is blasted within the capsule at a temperature of -240F! It sounded like torture to me, but I finally mustered the courage to try it out! I chose an athletic training center called Cerulean, based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
First, I undressed down to my undies in a private room, and put on a robe, socks, and gloves. I was told to remove any metal – jewelry or piercings, otherwise they will get too cold and freeze, which would burn the skin. The belly button ring, necklace, and bracelets went to the little holding container in the change room.
Then the attendant helped me enter the cryotherapy chamber. It looked a little like a stand up tanning bed, but shorter so that my head stuck out. For my first time, I had a choice to try just a minute and work my way up to three minutes in different sessions. I chose to just go for it – the entire time for the first time!
I took off my robe and handed it to the attendant outside the chamber. I left on the socks and mittens to protect my extremities. Even though the capsule is opaque so that no one can see in, I admit to feeling a little vulnerable standing practically naked next to a person I had just met a minute ago. The attendant turned on the nitrogen mist, and the cold began. At first it just felt cool, then cold, then finally it felt a little numb. The mist micro freezes the outer layer of the skin just enough to stress the body to promote a healing response.
Three minutes might not seem like a long time, but I was surrounded by a -240F mist, and the last minute seemed to last forever! Although it was freezing cold, it was also surprisingly invigorating. My head felt really clear, and I was extra energized. It might have been the adrenaline kicking in, but the effect was revitalizing.
After the session, the attendant handed me the robe, and I put it on while still in the capsule. When I stepped out of the capsule, they took a quick skin temperature reading any my skin had dropped down to an impressive 34F–just above freezing!
Overall, the experience was about 10 minutes start to finish (undress, cryo, dress, then you’re done). As a quick, invigorating midday break, I really like the concept. I felt energized and alert for the rest of the day, and I slept very soundly that evening. I plan to do more cryo sessions as an invigorating boost; if it helps me detox, have smoother skin, and enjoy any of the other reported benefits, then that is a bonus!