Colder than the coldest place on earth. That's where I'm headed today. Cryotherapy is officially in my neighborhood and I worked up the courage to try it.
My husband told me about professional athletes stepping into -250F chambers to help them recover faster, and I have to admit I rolled my eyes at him. What crazy invention will people come up with that will 'help' you. But once Glacial Peak Cryotherapy opened in our city I decided to give it a fair chance to learn about it and try it myself.
Usually I'm the type that will use my remote car starter in the winter, even if I only have to drive somewhere 5 minutes away, I like a warm and toasty car. I was expecting this to get cold, but also worried about how cold it can get.
Whole Body Cryotherapy uses temperatures from -160°F to -250°F to make muscle recovery quick and for medical therapy. A person is put inside the sauna/chamber for anything from 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. Once inside, the body will trigger it's natural healing mechanisms to make blood go to the core.
Owner of Glacial Peak Cryotherapy Pam Bradow says this will make white blood cells flow through the body faster, and for some it helps accelerate the healing process by up to 50%. Because the rate of blood circulating through the body it is increased and maximizes the rate at how soft tissues and joints can heal.
I was pleasantly surprised at the temp inside the chamber. Although looking at the thermometer that says -245 scared me, it didn't actually feel that cold. Instead of a wet cold like we are used to when we go outside in winter, this was a dry cold.
As a high school and college athlete I had been in many ice baths to help with aching muscles, and let me tell you, that is a horrible cold pain. But inside the chamber it was a cold tingle sensation as your blood starts to work it's way to the core. There is always someone in the room with you to keep an eye on everything to be sure you are getting the full benefits without pushing your body too far.
After 2 minutes, I stepped out and immediately felt a rush of adrenaline and the body working it's way back to a comfortable temperature. It was hard to describe but I suddenly felt very aware of every part of my body.
Pam explained they are seeing clients that range from people doing cross fit, to a 72 year old woman who has some pain in joints. In many of the videos to talk about the process, they even show a working mother who uses it to help her energy levels say up and her body feel restored.
This is definitely something I would do again. I think the next time I have aches and pains, or just need a energy and mood boost, I will hop in for a chill and thrill!