For a girl that enjoys summer and warm weather more than snowy winters I surprised myself recently by really wanting to give cryotherapy a try. What the heck is cryotherapy??
Cryotherapy is using extreme cold as a health benefit. There are many brick and mortar locations popping up all over cities as the latest fad for athletes, workout-a-holics, and even just the regular person with aches and pain. Some of the benefits listed online, but not scientifically proven, include:
- Pain Relief and Muscle Healing
- Weight Loss
- Increased Collagen Production
- Reduced Inflammation
- Reducing anxiety and depression
and then some more intense ones like:
- Preventing dementia
- Treating Migranes
- Preventing and Treating Cancer
As I workout about 5-6 days a week I can get SORE, especially after sitting at a desk all day. I was curious if I would feel better.
As well, people noted better sleep and feeling more alert along with cryo as a hangover cure!
I went to my local place, Districtcryo, and ended up going religiously for 2 months until my work schedule interfered. So what was my experience?
What you do?
So you show up to cryotherapy and you go to a changing room. You get undressed, remove any metal, and put on a robe. When the technician is ready then you are up. There are different levels of cold that you can choose. You enter a chamber and hand the technician your robe. So YES you are naked in there, except guys who have to wear underwear. Then they start the session. You are in there for 3 minutes. About halfway through the session you get to the coldest level. Overall, its like being in a really cold tank with fog that is caused by nitrogen. It is more of a dry coldness compared to something like an ice bath.
How did I feel?
I definitely felt less sore after my workouts. I have tight hips which can cause a sore lower back and I found cryo helped with this. As well, I felt like a slept well at night and cryo then helped to wake me up after a session, probably because I was getting blasted with coldness. I can't say that it helped me lose weight because I was not actively trying hard to lose weight and stayed about the same.
One of the big benefits is reduced inflammation. Inflammation is the body is to blame for cancer and other sicknesses. Whenever I got out of the chamber I did feel less "swollen" for lack of better description. I did not get sick all winter which was positive as well! Inflammation can be the cause of getting sick so maybe they were correlated??
Hangover cure? I do not know about this. I tried this twice while (extremely) hungover and it did help to wake me up! It did not cure any stomach uneasiness but it always felt good getting in the cold.
The one weird side effect was that I got extremely dry skin on my right leg, which has now disappeared since I stopped cryo.
Was it worth it?
When I did this I jumped ALL in and went every day. Unless you suffer from chronic pain I do not think you need this. As well, this is EXPENSIVE. One session is around $60 and its about $350 a month for unlimited sessions.
I recommend going if you are sore and need that extra boost to recover but unless you are making big bucks and can afford to go every day I would use it occasionally.