Instructed to keep my head tilted backwards, and to place my hands on the back of my head if the cold temperature were to become unbearable on my vulnerable fingers, I reluctantly stepped into the capsule-like ice sauna. Instructions that sent a chill down my spine more than the time I physically spent in the -152 degree celsius Cryotherapy chamber.
If someone were to tell you that a frozen cylindrical chamber chilling (in the most literal way possible) anywhere from -184 to -292 degrees fahrenheit was beneficial for your health, would you believe them? Cryotherapy may sound crazy, but deep freezing yourself in a reverse sauna chilled by liquid Nitrogen is the freshest way to improve your health, and your skin.
It all started with the athletes. Professionals like Kobe Bryant, Usain Bolt, and Cristiano Ronaldo credit their edge, improving recovery time and increasing athletic performance to this small, icy box that chills your bones for three minutes. Full-body Cryotherapy is essentially an ice bath taken to a whole new level as it releases freezing cold air that surrounds your body within seconds. It’s a process in which you subject your body to extreme cold in order to reduce inflammation (to sum it up). In the world of professional athletes, this means excellent treatment for muscle soreness and joint swelling. But in the fashion and beauty world, this means that Cryotherapy can also boost metabolism, stimulate collagen production, increase endorphins, reduce cellulite, and improve energy.
So no, I did not undergo Cryotherapy treatment with the intentions of treating muscle soreness that I would not have due to my lack of engagement in sporting activities. Instead, I chose to freeze my butt off for three minutes for the sake of health and beauty – a perfectly good reason if you ask me. Inside the spaceship, professionally known as a cryosauna, I wore nothing but a pair of oversized slipper-socks (good thing my freshly painted toe nail polish wouldn’t crack, right?). I stood in the chamber, awaiting the cold air that would flood out the top of the sauna, over my body and through my veins for the next three minutes. In all honesty, the cold vapour didn’t feel as cold as I had expected (Although I expected to shake like a frost-bitten Jack Dawson), and I held out about 30 seconds longer then planned (the longest 30 seconds of my life, might I add). I finally reached out for mercy after my legs had become numb to anything that touched them.
When I eventually stepped out of the sauna, my legs felt like (or didn’t feel) they could function properly. It felt as though even a dip in the hottest of tubs couldn’t get rid of the icicles that were my legs. Although I didn’t notice any immediate results after regaining circulation in my body, besides a slight glow in my skin (this usually takes at least 10 sessions per month), I did feel a lot more energetic and lively than I had prior to the session. After about a week or so, I also started to notice that my body had begun to clean out all of its toxins through my skin.
Johanna Fryben, the woman responsible for bringing Cryotherapy to the U.S., stated in an interview with Elle, that “When you enter the machine you are basically fighting for your life according to your brain,” she said. “These temperatures trigger your cold receptors and give you this flight or fight response. Your lymphatic system is being activated as your blood is being pushed to your core. That blood is being nourished with enzymes and oxygen, and it is being delivered to every single cell in your body so you can perform at the highest level. That explains the glow.” Cryotherapy is also known to curb cortisol levels—the hormone responsible for water retention. Top models Crystal Renn, Maryna Linchuk and Laura Love can even back up these beauty claims, as they’ve all deemed themselves repeat customers.
The best part about Cryotherapy? It’s said to accelerate the metabolism for hours after a session, burning an additional 500 to 800 calories in the 5-8 hours following the treatment, meaning it’s pretty much the easiest workout on the face of the Earth. Who needs activity-induced recovery treatments when the treatment itself works as an athletic activity?
Would you try Cryotherapy?