CRYOTHERAPY – Freeze the Stress Away!
(Written by, Dawn Lupul)
The promises are plenty – whole-body cryotherapy is purported to reduce stress and anxiety, ease insomnia, reduce muscle and joint pain, assist in reducing pain from rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, and burn up to 800 calories per session – seriously, I don’t care what I have to do SIGN ME UP RIGHT NOW!!
Admittedly, the thought of stepping naked into a capsule and surrounding myself in a liquid nitrogen generated cold reaching -180 Celsius makes me want to go to the dentist for three root canals instead. But for the sake of research there I was, nothing but a thin robe and big fuzzy slippers on, getting ready to freeze for three fun-filled minutes.
Why three minutes? Because if you stay in much longer you could die. Seriously. It’s 180 BELOW zero – this isn’t messing around.
The technician explained everything in thorough detail after taking my health history and informing me of the contraindications. Anyone with a weak heart, high blood pressure, or pregnant women need not apply. I questioned my sanity briefly and then remembered that I was actually paying to do this – the average is $65 for a 3-minute session. I was secretly hoping that the cold would knock some sense into me if nothing else!
I stepped in the chamber and handed the technician my robe, nothing but the fuzzy slippers left to protect me. She showed me how to keep my hands in fists, so my delicate fingertips wouldn’t freeze off. She distracted me from the cold by having me turn in circles, lifting up each leg in a strange ice dance, and ensuring me that I was doing very well. I felt calm, but apparently some people tend to panic a bit. So much for stress relief!
The three minutes passed by, not quickly but not interminably either. I dipped down to get my face in the cold, with the promise of fewer wrinkles pushing me to hold my breath and listen to the count as the seconds ticked by. I managed 30 seconds of face-time and felt quite proud of myself. My lower legs were starting to feel like the skin was going to crack, then suddenly the technician was counting down from 10 and that was it. She handed me the robe and I was done.
There is definitely a sense of euphoria that accompanies the afterglow of the treatment, and it lasted for at least 10 minutes for me. I have to say that part was worth enduring the rest of it.
After I paused to think about it, I did feel better. I’m fortunate not to be suffering from any illnesses or major aches and pains, but my shoulders were less achy from yoga than normal and I did sleep amazingly well for the next few nights.
Would I do it again? I already have – two times. The after-treatment euphoria is worth it. I also lost two pounds in a week even though I wasn’t trying to lose weight.
So, is it worth the money? It depends. For athletes and people with major health issues, it might be. For me, I enjoy it enough to make it an occasional feel-good splurge.
Who knew that freezing could be so much fun!!
Dawn Lupul, Intuitive Holistic Health and Reiki Practitioner