Freezing yourself: the "hottest" new wellness trend
What’s cooler than being cool?
Recently, I hit Cryofuel for a cryotherapy session to see if I could banish some of the inflammation I was feeling after an active week. I had heard many wellness gurus sing cryotherapy's praises, and decided to see if it lived up to the reputation.
What is cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy is the process of subjecting the body to extreme dry cold temperatures (more than -200 degrees Fahrenheit) using liquid nitrogen for therapeutic benefit. For whole body cryotherapy (most common) you stand in a liquid nitrogen chamber, leaving your face exposed, for 3 minutes. Note: You are not in danger because the cold you are exposed to is dry (so no humidity), it barely penetrates past the top layer of your skin.
It’s like tricking your body into thinking that it has hypothermia (in danger of freezing) so that the blood vessels in your extremities constrict. This drives a large percentage of your blood to your core in an effort to keep your organs from freezing.
Which is good because...
The blood vessel constriction “wrings out” out toxins, stagnant lymph, and inflammation. When you step out of the cryochamber, the oxygenated rich blood rushes back into your extremities providing you with a kick ass adrenaline rush. Not to mention, the fresh dose of oxygenated blood reboots your body (increased circulation, immune support, cellular regeneration and rejuvenation) AND gives you a massive hit of energy.
- Increase collagen production (#goals)
- Reduce signs of aging and improve skin tone
- Reduce inflammation and muscle soreness
- Weight loss
- Boosts metabolism (you burn mad calories) in an attempt to restore the body to normal body temperature
- Aid in tissue repair by improving circulation
- Increase energy
- Reduce depression and anxiety (from the endorphin release)
I checked in and asked the attendant at the front desk how cold was the “freezing cold” I was about to brave. Her answer: around -250 plus degrees Fahrenheit . YIKES *Cue jaw drop*. I was shown to a changing room and instructed to strip down to my underwear, and put on the provided shoes, socks, and gloves to wear inside the Cryochamber. The attendant then switched out the liquid nitrogen tank right before it was my turn in the chamber. OH! a fresh tank? HA…..I was all nervous laughs and raised eyebrows.
I stepped in and handed my bathrobe to the attendant as the liquid nitrogen came pouring out of the inside of the chamber. She guided me through what to expect/ acted as MAJOR emotional support. I f*cking hate the cold - I have to hand it to this attendant- she was my rock. She empathized with me, counted down the minutes, and headed my music requests.
What It felt like:
When the cold first hit me it felt like a mild pinching which quickly translated to pins and needles. Within 30 seconds of the first minute, I felt numb. UNTIL about the last minute of the 3, where I was starting to feel the pinching sensation again. I distracted myself by dancing (if we can call it that) as seen in the video. Mind you- I am VERY sensitive to the cold. Apparently, after a time or two you get used to the freezing sensation. My sister said that she sometimes will do TWO sessions back to BACK…. (and I thought I got the crazy genes..).
A RUSH of adrenaline. It took me about 10 minutes to adjust back to a a normal body temperature. On the Cryofuel website, they had suggested that you work out post cryo session so that you can reap the benefits of the extra energy kick.
BOY WERE THEY RIGHT.
It could have been a spectacular performance by the placebo effect, but I was able to sustain a faster running pace and a higher weight load.
The days proceeding:
I definitely felt like it helped with muscle soreness in my back and decrease present/ward off potential inflammation. As far as lasting effects- I think that if I were to implement routine cryotherapy I would reap more of the benefits that many of those who preach of cryotherapy speak of. I did notice the increase circulation brought more "life" to my skin. I didn't notice a change in metabolism, but then again, if I were to after just one session- that would be some black magic now wouldn't it.
Is it worth it/should you do it?
My energy boost and decrease in inflammation was definitely noticeable. I felt like I was glowing for the event that I had that evening. I would suggest using cryotherapy on a monthly basis (or if you have an event and want to stunt on 'em). It's a good treatment to keep in mind for times when you need to relieve muscle fatigue, pain, and inflammation.
If you don't have access to cryotherapy
Cold/ice therapy in it's simplest form (cold shower, ice bath, or ice roller) is an effective means of reducing inflammation and bringing fresh blood to targeted areas.
As for me, I have implemented cryotherapy into my routine once a month as a reset.
And yes, I have left "Gucci Gang" in 2017 where it belongs (see video).
Have you tried cryotherapy? How was your experience?