Happy Friday! I’m so happy that only a few hours stand between me and the weekend. Even though I’ve been in recovery mode, it’s been a long week. I was so tired on Monday/Tuesday. Work has also been pretty busy this week.
I’m going off topic this week for Friday Five because I want to share my recent experience with cryotherapy. A few weeks ago I saw a deal on Living Social for a local cryotherapy place in my city. I’ve also been intrigued by cryotherapy so I decided to try it out. Last week I had my first session and it was super cool (pun intended)! Allow me to tell you all about it 🙂
What is Cryotherapy?
According to Wikipedia, “Cryotherapy is the local or general use of low temperatures in medical therapy. It is used to treat a variety of benign and malignant tissue damage and is widely used to relieve muscle pain, sprains and swelling either via soft tissue damage or postoperative swelling.”
Here’s my experience in a nutshell. I arrived and signed some paperwork before going to the back room. Then you take off all of your clothes (expect underwear) – I actually kept on my bra as well. Then you put on some really sexy socks and shoes (lol), a robe and gloves.
Then it was time to step into the chamber! Once you’re in there you take off your robe and get started. There are different degrees of “coldness” (-130 F to -190 F) but I started on the “warmest” temperature since this was my first time. Trust me, that was more than cold enough! You’re in the chamber for a total of 3 minutes. After the first 30 seconds I didn’t know if I would make it – it was SO cold. Picture being outside in 10 degree weather, naked, with the wind blowing on you. I kept thinking about warm places and I turned around in circles a few times to take my mind off the cold. If I ever felt like it was too much, I had the option to stop the treatment so I always kept that in the back of my mind. Luckily I made it the full 3 minutes – woo-hoo!
If you’re local to Stamford, definitely check out Remedy BodyWorks! It was a great experience and I’ll definitely be back.
There are quite a few reasons to try cryotherapy, but here are my top 5 (based on my research):
Alternative to an Ice Bath – Granted, I’m not a huge fan of ice baths, but I will do them, especially during marathon training. But let’s face it, these are not enjoyable at all, and 10 minutes can feel like an eternity. With cryotherapy, only 3 minutes and you’re done, and you’re still dry after it’s over!
Weight Loss – I can’t vouch for the validity of this since I only did the treatment one time, but reports show that you can burn anywhere between 500-800 calories per session. This is because being so cold forces the body to work harder to stay warm. I also read that it can boost your metabolism. Sign me up for anything that helps with weight loss!
Lower Inflammation – I suffer from inflammation in my body. While I try to eat the right foods, sometimes that’s just not enough. One of the main reasons I wanted to try cryotherapy was the claim that it could help lower inflammation in the body. I did my session the week of my marathon. While I did experience cramping in my legs during the race, my knee felt pretty good overall and my back pain didn’t last as long as it normally does. Cryotherapy may have had something to do with this!
Increase Performance Levels – Since cryotherapy reduces inflammation and can help in speeding up recovery (i.e. – less muscle soreness), it can result in increased performance levels. When I try it again I will do a session right after a long run to see/feel that benefit.
Decreased Fatigue – In doing my research, I read that sometimes people enjoy a boost of energy after a cryotherapy session. This was very true for me as well. If you’re training for a race, it would be good to try a session during a peak week of training when you’re typically more tired.
Tell me: Have you ever tried cryotherapy? If not, would you try it?