Swimming in Very Cold Water Keeps Me Sane

I’m standing with two friends in the 39-degree air on the edge of a lake in northeastern California in just our bathing suits. A lone fisherman in several layers of outerwear stares, drinks from a bottle of Racer Ale and says, “Tell me you ladies aren’t going in that water.”

We go in that water. It’s probably 56 degrees. It’s not the coldest water in the world currently being swum, not “My Octopus Teacher” cold — that guy swims in 48-degree water all the time, but hey, he’s in love with an octopus. What do you expect?

Still, it’s cold. I am always last, and I always scream the loudest. It is so cold, like jumping into a martini. The misery lasts about two minutes, and then you are just alone in a giant lake. Some people sneer at this lake for being man-made, but the water itself — pristine, cool, deep blue and tropically turquoise at its shallow edges — has no idea if the big hole it’s sitting in was dug by machines or by a glacier. It doesn’t know that the beach is ugly and covered with blasted rocks and studded with tree stumps. It’s just water, amazing water, fresh from the Sierra, and to have it to yourself is a pretty good return for agreeing to be uncomfortable for 90 or so seconds, before your heart just starts chugging away and a special, private warmth blooms inside you, as if E.T. himself were sitting on your heart, holding up his finger.

Daily swimming in really cold water began innocently enough, with daily swimming in warm water, which began, less innocently, with a drunk neighbor sideswiping my car and landing it in the shop. I started getting rides to the lake with the two friends in the summer, and on one of these pleasant summer swims they casually mentioned they had a regular habit of swimming, without wetsuits, until Thanksgiving.

Cold water swimming is in now, which is somewhat embarrassing for anyone who does it. People gush over the ponds at Hampstead Heath in winter, there’s the Octopus Guy and President-elect Joe Biden is known for taking Thanksgiving “polar plunges” in the waters off Nantucket, to say nothing of Wim Hof.

Wim Hof is this Dutch guy who not only swims a lot in cold water but calls himself a global health leader, which means that he has managed to parlay cold tolerance into a business that helps people do everything from kicking drugs to just generally not being unhappy. Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Goop Lab” on Netflix did a whole episode with Hof, which begins with him assuring teary Goop staffers that he can help them with their problems and culminates in the same staffers jumping into wintry Lake Tahoe, swimming to shore and proclaiming various states of healing. Granted, the water they were in was probably 43 degrees, but they were in for about 30 seconds. I am sure they felt exhilarated when they got out, but if I actually thought there was any permanent result from this exercise, believe me, I’d be driving the 90 minutes to Tahoe right now instead of writing this.

Indeed, the next person who asks me if I know about Wim Hof is going to get a swat. Still, whenever something is really popular and you start doing it just as it becomes popular, you must ask yourself: Am I, too, a lemming? Surely something led me to this moment other than just free will, an amazing personality and an exceptional ability to withstand discomfort, especially since I am confident I have an exceptional inability to withstand discomfort.

On the July day my friends told me they swum until Thanksgiving, I was like, no way. Then, on Aug. 17 the town where I live, Nevada City, had its fire, the Jones Fire, which was just the beginning of it all, of fire horrors that topped themselves every day. At two o’clock in the afternoon on Sept. 17, just hours after getting back from swimming during the short window where the air wasn’t too smoky for swimming, more smoke poured in, so much that the sun disappeared. It was nighttime in an instant. I looked at Twitter and saw that much of the West Coast was in the dark.

I went into the bedroom and pulled down the blinds so that I could feel I had chosen the darkness. I sat on the floor with my back against my bed frame and my head in my hands. I can’t bear this, I must bear this, I can’t bear this, I must bear this, was all I could think.

I thought that I was never going to swim with my friends again, which was ridiculous, because of course climate change doesn’t happen all at once. The horrors would recede, regroup and advance again with new strength, and there was no law saying we couldn’t go swimming through it all.

And before long we were back out there every day, in that beautiful water. It wasn’t so much that I planned on swimming into mid-November in a lake in Northern California at 3,017 feet, as I just kept going every single day and over time, the water kept getting colder and colder. It was around Oct. 26 where I started to feel that I was doing something unusual and brave and at times painful. My first thought every morning was resentment that my day had this big hard part in the middle of it. But even as the air and water got colder, it didn’t get worse, it got better. My body started to get used to it. The big hard part of my day became the best thing in it. My first thought every morning became “swimming.” And then I would just lie there smiling stupidly into the dark.

For the first minute in very cold water, your brain just goes on a vacation. (Cue several million people Googling “cold water near me.”) You are nothing except a body experiencing itself. I laugh at this stage, I laugh like my guts are going to fall out of my body, then scream. It’s so cold, and yes, that is hard. But it doesn’t last that long, and you can feel the unpleasantness of the cold melding with the pleasantness of it until it is all pleasantness, until all you feel is bliss.

Your skin is cold, but inside, you are warm, and safe-feeling, so that the cold is just a sensation, and not a misery. It’s unlike anything else I have ever felt in my entire life, and it is just a moment every day when I feel too good to remember that things are bad. And then, honestly, I spend the rest of the day recovering from it, not hyper-focusing on a million tasks, not being free from anxiety, not feeling ready to conquer things. I take a long bath and often fall asleep, and at some point manage to do the work required of me, but it’s basically a whole day lost to 20 minutes of extreme pleasure, and that’s fine with me.

I think it’s funny that whenever people talk about swimming in cold water they immediately start talking about how good it is for you. “Oh that’s so good for your immune system, it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your skin, it’s good for your circulation, good for your anxiety. Maybe at another time in human history I would have cared, but at this point, I’m like, what does “good for you” even mean? Two months ago I saw the sun disappear, and it will not be the last time, so, forgive me if I feel like the “good for you” ship has sailed.

The lake is not my source of strength or my fountain of youth. I swim in the cold water because it feels good, and I will keep doing it for that reason, until one of us is no longer here.

Originally Posted at The New York Times


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What to Know About Cryo Facials, the Skin-Care Treatment Celebs Swear By to Chill Out

Cryo facials and cryotherapy have gained a lot of popularity over the last few years with celebrities swearing by cool treatment for red carpet prep and skin-care experts boasting about its long list of benefits. For anyone new to the world of cryo facials, there are a few key things you should know before signing yourself up for one.

Below, celebrity aesthetician Sarah Akram explains exactly what a cryo facial is, what the benefits are, and how you should prepare for one (hint: prepare to be really, really cold).

What Is a Cryo Facial?

“A cryo facial is a type of skin-care treatment relying on tools and modalities that harness super cold temperatures for safe use on the body,” said Akram.

Whereas a standard facial usually involves cleansing and treating the skin with products like serums, peels, and creams, a cryo facial utilities a controlled beam of vaporized liquid nitrogen from a fancy machine to apply freezing-cold air to treat the skin.

What to Expect During a Cryo Facial

Number-one: expect it to be cold — the air used during cryo facials is around minus-250 degrees. But the facial treatment shouldn’t be painful in any way; some people actually find it soothing. Akram explained there’s nothing you need to do in advance to prepare, other than doing your research on the facility like you would with any treatment.

“Every kind of cryo treatment is different — as practitioners and professionals all develop their own style and protocols. Make sure you talk to your service provider about any precautions and what you should expect,” she said. “Cryotherapy has become controversial mostly due to misuse and unsubstantiated, miracle claims from service providers. There are risks to just about any kind of facial treatment without the proper training and skincare knowledge.”

What Are the Benefits of a Cryo Facial?

Aside from the immediate jolt of energy you’ll feel from the cold air, cryo facials are great for several reasons. “Cryotechnology provides a number of skin-care benefits like resetting and increasing circulation which nourishes cells and tissues, stimulating the production of collagen, reducing inflammation, tightening pores, and general lifting and sculpting of the facial contour.”

Immediately after receiving the treatment, you can expect your skin to look smooth and see a decrease in puffiness — unlike some facials that can leave you red or slightly irritated afterward. “Like all skin-care treatments, the effects are cumulative over time,” said Akram.

Click here to book a cryo facial $29 (reg $50)


Cryoslimming is a painless, non-invasive, incredibly effective treatment.
Reducing stubborn body fat, and tightening the skin, Cryoslimming is a perfect alternative to painful treatments with downtime. After your Cryoslimming session, you will be able to return to your regular schedule – same day, for a fraction of the price of other fat reduction technologies.

Cryoskin vs. Other Treatments: What’s the Difference?

What is Fat-Freezing Technology?

You may have heard the term “fat-freezing”. But what exactly does this mean? Other treatments involve attaching vacuum-like paddles to various areas of the body. These paddles suction to fat areas and cool them. Sessions can require you to sit with paddles on the area for up to two hours and treatments can be uncomfortable. One treatment causes very minimal difference and requires multiple sessions to see results.

A Better Way to Freeze Fat

Since fat-freezing hit the market, science has been on the hunt for improvements. The result of these efforts is Cryoslimming, a treatment that is faster and more effective. In a battle of fat reduction, consumers are finding Cryoslimming offers better results without downtime or pain. So what is Cryoslimming? Your practitioner uses a wand that delivers cold directly to the skin in targeted areas creating efficiency and enabling the practitioner to truly contour the area while firming the skin. Able to target for both toning and slimming, this equipment is the most effective treatment for reducing stubborn fat on the market today.
Zero pain. No downtime. More affordable.

Click here to get a $150 credit towards cryo slimming 

Does Cryo Slimming and Toning Really Work?

Over the past year there have been a number of spas starting to offer Cryo Slimming and Cryo Toning treatments to help clients freeze away their fat cells. While it seems that some of the treatments offer show minimal results, others offer clients a significant decrease in fat around the targeted area. This has left many people skeptical about fat freezing treatments, wondering if they are worth the investment or are all hype.

Many of our clients have tried the ever popular fat freezing treatments, such as Cool Sculpting and similar treatments and expressed that they were less than satisfied with the results. Some have spent thousands only to have lost little to no weight or inches off their waistlines. As with any weight loss program or service, the client plays a significant role in whether or not they lose weight. If someone is consuming thousands of calories per day but maintains a mostly sedentary lifestyle they are not likely to maintain any fat that is lost during the treatments and will find it nearly impossible to keep off until the following session.

Cryo One Selene uses it’s own technology, Thermal Shock Cryotherapy, which alternates periods of hot and cold destroying fat cells completely.  Selene can be used to target cellulite areas, such as the stomach, thighs, and neck. Selene’s Thermal Shock Cryotherapy aids in reducing cellulite, slimming and toning, stimulating the production of Collagen and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Using Cryo One Selene for fat reduction is a safe way to remove unwanted fat cells from the arms, abdomen, and thighs while preventing sagging or loose skin from developing. Cryo One facials can be used to stimulate Collagen in the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth, eyes, forehead, and neck.

What is Thermal Shock Technology

Thermal Shock Technology uses alternating heat and cold to break down and destroy fat cells. The alternating temperatures shocks and kills the fat cells, which are then naturally eliminated through the body over the next several days. The session is safe, non-invasive, and is not painful.

Cryo Slimming targets fat cells to break them down and decrease the appearance of cellulite. Progress MD explains Cryo Slimming as:

CryoSlimming safely and effectively uses thermal shock of heat, cold, and heat again to naturally freeze, break down and eliminate fat cells without any damage to the skin.  The slimming setting also firms and tones the area at the same time.  The Cryo One Sélene freezes and removes fat cells, which your body naturally flushes out through our waste removal system, the lymphatic system, and the blood system within the next two weeks following the treatment, while firming and toning the skin all at the same time.  It is a safe, painless and a non-surgical alternative to liposuction. It is most similar to “Cool Sculpting” but is cheaper, painless and more effective.

Whereas, Cryo Toning used used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles:

CryoToning helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen and elastin production while tightening the muscles.  The heat applied first increases the blood circulation to the area being treated, then the quick change in temperature to freezing shocks the skin , this allows the skin to contract and tighten.
The difference between CryoSlimming and CryoToning: CryoSlimming reaches colder temperatures that destroy the fat cells through a process known as apoptosis. CryoToning involves less cold temperature and therefore does not kill any fat cells. It stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.

Sessions & Frequency

After just one session our clients see noticeable results, some up to an inch or more around their waistlines. We recommend at least 5-6 sessions to build on results and maintain fat lost in prior sessions. For maximum results we recommend between 10-12 sessions, as well as maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet and exercise routine between sessions. We suggest around 2-3 weeks in between appointments to allow your body to naturally eliminate the dead fat cells and toxins from your body. Cryo One Selene has no down time, so you safe to return to your normal routine as soon as the 30 minute session is complete.


Click here to get a $150 credit towards cryo slimming 


 from Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D
Click here to get a free voucher for a $29 cryo and a complimentary compression therapy session!

With the recent explosion of Cryotherapy into mainstream industry and media, many sources have been quick to either claim the modality as effective or ineffective. This article summarizes a 20 page report conducted by Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D, expert in the field of aging, cancer and nutrition, and serves to shed light upon the century-old, proven science of the effects that cold exposure has on the body.

Cold exposure has been proven in several anecdotal studies to improve mood and even be a viable option for the treatment of depression and other mood disorders. One of the most important response mechanisms of the human body is centralized around the regulation of the crucial hormone and neurotransmitter Norepinephrine (NE). In regards to the body’s sympathetic nervous system, NE is increased when the body’s fight-or-flight response is activated. As for the brain, presence of NE in the bloodstream have profound effects on vigilance, attention span and mood, while the absence of NE results in inattention, poor mood and decreased energy. Not only does NE act as a neurotransmitter in these instances, but it also acts as a hormone, and when present in the blood stream cause vasoconstriction. The role that NE plays in the human body is essential for how the body responds to cold temperatures: by increasing NE in the blood, resulting in constriction of blood vessels and retention of bodily heat (decreased loss of heat to the environment).

Dr. Rhonda Patrick
Dr. Rhonda Patrick
Ph.D, Biomedical Science – Expert in fields of Aging, Cancer & Nutrition
For more information on Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D, visit her website at http://www.foundmyfitness.com

The answer: It’s gotta be COOOLLDDDD.

Dr. Rhonda’s site’s a few different studies in her report:

“cold ­water immersion at 68°F (20°C) for 1 hour does not appear to activate norepinephrine release… A long­ term study in humans directly compared people that immersed themselves in cold water at 40°F (4.4°C) for 20 seconds to those that did whole body cryotherapy for 2 minutes at ­-166°F (-­110°C) three times a week for 12 weeks and found that in both cases, plasma norepinephrine increased 2 to 3­fold (200 to 300%)”

So…although standing outside on a cold winter day may not be enough to trigger your body to release NE, the temperatures involved in cryotherapy will!

Synapses are gaps between nuerons in the brain. These synapses are responsible for cell communication and forming memories. Different things can cause degeneration or breakdown of synapses including disease & environmental factors. When exposed to cold, synapses between nuerons break down. But, not to worry! Synapses do regenerate with the help of Cold Shock Proteins. One protein in specific, RBM3 has been shown to be elevated up to 3 days after exposure to cold! Why is this significant? Degeneration or breakdown of synapses occur from normal brain aging and is greatly increased by diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or after traumatic brain injury. When these Cold Shock Proteins are present, nuerodegeneration or the breakdown of these synapses is decreased! Although most studies conducted thus far have taken place in a laboratory setting and much is still unknown about the effect of RBM3 in humans, the link between synapse regeneration, cold exposure and Cold Shock Proteins may pose as significant puzzle pieces into combatting cellular degeneration and aging.

Inflammation is the body’s way of eliminating the cause of cell injury, ridding the body of dead cells and initiating cell & tissue repair mechanisms. Inflammation has been proven to not only be a key cause for the aging process, but to also be behind at least 80% of all disease.

Now, let’s get back to our friend Norepinephrine. We know that NE acts as both a neurotransmitter and hormone, but NE also has key inflammation reducing properties. NE acts to inhibit the inflammatory pathway by decreasing TNF-alpha, a molecule that increases inflammation, as well as reducing other inflammatory cytokines that are key players in causing inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Because inflammation is major cause of pain, NE has also been known to decrease pain.

You may be asking ‘why does my body house such self harming substances such as TNF-alpha or the harmful cytokines mentioned above?’. The reason for this is because these molecules are what compose your body’s immune system and help to rid the body of any harmful materials. Having a large amount of these immune cells is typically a good thing, as long as they remain in a dormant state and are not overactive.

So how does the cold effect these immune cells? It increases them! Regular cold exposure has been shown to increase white blood cell count, increase cytotoxic T lymphocytes (active in killing cancer cells) and increase other beneficial immune cells as well.

When the body is exposed to cold, its response is to produce heat. It does this by increasing it’s metabolism, not to produce ATP (your body’s fuel for energy), but to produce heat to warm the body back up. This process is called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis happens in one of two ways. The first is through muscle contractions which result in shivering — this produces heat. The second is non-shivering thermogenesis, that involves the body transferring white adipose tissue cells into the more mitochondria-dense & more metabolically active brown adipose tissue cells. The more Brown Adipose Tissue your body has, the more fat your body will burn.

Another one of those pesky, self-harming substances that your body produces during several processes including metabolism is Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). ROS are great for damaging any and all kind of cells in the body, including DNA. As stated previously, ROS will always be present in the body; this is normal. The important factor is how the body responds to the damage cause by ROS. ROS are key players in the aging process and preventing damage from ROS not only means extending cell and DNA lifespan but also means staying cancer free.

So how can we keep these nasty ROS from wreaking too much havoc? You guessed it, cryotherapy. Cold exposure has been shown to activate invaluable naturally occurring genetic anti-oxidizing systems (these are much more powerful than supplemental antioxidants).

One important thing to note here is that in regards to anti-oxidizing enzyme activity, it was shown to take multiple sessions of whole body cryotherapy to activate these enzymes. AKA the more cryotherapy sessions done, the more activation of these beneficial enzymes.

The science behind cryotherapy and cold exposure is not new science. It has been proven in studies time and time again. Cryotherapy allows the controlled elicitation of the body’s natural cell repairing, pain & inflammation reducing and metabolic processes. Do understand that many of the studies detailed in Dr. Rhonda’s report include extended, regular exposure of cryotherapy and cold exposure. The use of coldness as a ‘good stressor’ on the body can help to trigger several beneficial responses within the human body.

Click below to get a free voucher for a $29 cryo and a complimentary compression therapy session!

$29 Cryo and Compression Voucher

Cryotherapy Cold Therapy for Pain Management

Cryotherapy literally means cold therapy. When you press a bag of frozen peas on a swollen ankle or knee, you are treating your pain with a modern (although basic) version of cryotherapy.

Cryotherapy can be applied in various ways, including icepacks, coolant sprays, ice massage, and whirlpools, or ice baths. When used to treat injuries at home, cryotherapy refers to cold therapy with ice or gel packs that are usually kept in the freezer until needed. These remain one of the simplest, time-tested remedies for managing pain and swelling.

Using cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is the “I” component of R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). This is a treatment recommended for the home care of many injuries, particularly ones caused by sports.

Cryotherapy for pain relief may be used for:

  • Runner’s knee
  • Tendonitis
  • Sprains
  • Arthritis pain
  • Pain and swelling after a hip or knee replacement
  • To treat pain or swelling under a cast or a splint
  • Lower back pain

The benefits of applying ice include:

  • It lowers your skin temperature.
  • It reduces the nerve activity.
  • It reduces pain and swelling.

Experts believe that cryotherapy can reduce swelling, which is tied to pain. It may also reduce sensitivity to pain. Cryotherapy may be particularly effective when you are managing pain with swelling, especially around a joint or tendon.

How to apply cold therapy

Putting ice or frozen items directly on your skin can ease pain, but it also can damage your skin. It’s best to wrap the cold object in a thin towel to protect your skin from the direct cold, especially if you are using gel packs from the freezer.

Apply the ice or gel pack for brief periods – about 10 to 20 minutes – several times a day. Check your skin often for sensation while using cryotherapy. This will help make sure you aren’t damaging the tissues.

You might need to combine cryotherapy with other approaches to pain management:

  • Rest. Take a break from activities that can make your pain worse.
  • Compression. Applying pressure to the area can help control swelling and pain. This also stabilizes the area so that you do not further injure yourself.
  • Elevation. Put your feet up, or elevate whatever body part is in pain.
  • Pain medicine. Over-the-counter products can help ease discomfort.
  • Rehabilitation exercises. Depending on where your injury is, you might want to try stretching and strengthening exercises that can support the area as recommended by your healthcare provider.

Stop applying ice if you lose feeling on the skin where you are applying it. If cryotherapy does not help your pain go away, contact your healthcare provider. Also, you may want to avoid cryotherapy if you have certain medical conditions, like diabetes, that affect how well you can sense tissue damage.


Feel free to book online at www.gocryosd.com/booknow/ or call/text 858.255.0699

Fat Reduction – Minimally Invasive Procedures

Nonsurgical or minimally invasive options for fat reduction include technology that uses heat, cooling or to destroy fat cells.

What is cryolipolysis?

Cryolipolysis, commonly referred to as “CoolSculpting” or “Cryo Slimming” or “CryoSlimming” by patients, uses cold temperature to break down fat cells. The fat cells are particularly susceptible to the effects of cold, unlike other types of cells. While the fat cells freeze, the skin and other structures are spared from injury.

This is one of the most popular nonsurgical fat reduction treatments, with over 450,000 procedures performed worldwide.

Reasons patients want cryoliplysis

Patients who wish to reduce a localized fat bulge that has persisted despite diet and exercise may be interested in cryolipolysis.

Who is not a candidate for cryolipolysis?

Patients with cold-related conditions, like cryoglobulinemia, cold urticaris and paroxysmal cold hemoglobulinuria should not have cryolipolysis. Patients with loose skin or poor tone may not be suitable candidates for the procedure.

What does cryolipolysis do?

The goal of cryolipolysis is to reduce the volume of fat in a fatty bulge. Some patients may opt to have more than one area treated or to retreat an area more than once.

Does cryolipolysis require anesthesia?

This procedure is done without anesthesia.

Cryolipolysis procedure

After an assessment of the dimensions and shape of the fatty bulge to be treated, an applicator of the appropriate size and curvature is chosen. The area of concern is marked to identify the site for applicator placement. A gel pad is placed to protect the skin. The applicator is applied and the bulge is vacuumed into the hollow of the applicator. The temperature inside the applicator drops, and as it does so, the area numbs. Patients sometimes experience discomfort from the vacuum’s pull on their tissue, but this resolves within minutes, once the area is numb.

Patients typically watch TV, use their smart phone or read during the procedure. After the hour-long treatment, the vacuum turns off, the applicator is removed and the area is massaged, which may improve the final results.

What are the risks of cryolipolysis?

The complication rate is low and the satisfaction rate is high. There is a risk of surface irregularities and asymmetry. Patients may not get the result they’d hoped for. Rarely, in less than 1 percent, patients may have paradoxical fat hyperplasia, which is an unexpected increase in the number of fat cells. This is three times more likely in men than in women and is seen more in those of Hispanic or Latino descent.

Recovering from cryolipolysis

There are no activity restrictions. Patients sometimes feel sore, as if they had worked out. Rarely do patients experience pain. If that happens the patient should contact the plastic surgeon, who may prescribe medication for a few days.

What are the results of cryolipolysis?

The injured fat cells are gradually eliminated by the body over 4 to 6 months. During that time the fatty bulge decreases in size, with an average fat reduction of about 20 percent.

Book your appointment here at www.gocryosd.com/booknow/

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Infrared Sauna, Cryo and Compression Therapy, at GoCryo!

I wanted to give you everyone insight on all these trending health therapies- cryotherapy, infrared sauna and compression therapy… Do they really work? Are they worth the time and investment? My short answer is yes, and here is why.

I got the chance to visit GoCryo, a local cryotherapy spot in Clairemont which is centreal San Diego . Upon first entering, I was overwhelmed with a sense of ease as the place was clean and nicely decorated. We were greeted quickly and taken care of by a personal assistant that made us feel very welcome and put all our (my) worries at ease. She mentioned that it didn’t really matter what order we do the therapies, it just depended on how we wanted to feel when we left the studio. If you do infrared sauna/compression therapy last, you will feel most relaxed upon leaving, whereas if you do cryo you will leave feeling energized. It was the weekend, so we decided to do compression therapy last so we could leave feeling relaxed. The order in which we chose to do these therapies was as follows: infrared sauna, cryotherapy, and then compression therapy. My experience with each of the following were as follows:

Infrared Sauna: I have always been a fan of saunas, but I had never been in one with an infrared light. The different lights provide different benefits, for example the red can make you feel relaxed and also increase libido, so naturally I chose this one. I spent 30 minutes in the sauna, breathing deeply and sweating A LOT. The sweating didn’t begin until about the 15 minute mark, because these saunas penetrate deeply from the inside out. After about 30 minutes, I was fully drenched and felt amazing afterwards. The benefits from using these infrared saunas are: detoxification, weight loss, improved blood circulation and blood pressure, pain relief, relaxation, skin purification, and more. I definitely felt the detoxification effects immediately, and I am excited to see how the other benefits unfold as I do more sessions.


Whole Body Cryotherapy: This was my first time doing cryotherapy, and it definitely was interesting! For those of you who don’t know what cryotherapy is, you are basically freezing your whole body for a short period of time. You enter a chamber in which temperatures drop to about -245 degrees, for 3 minutes. As the body warms back up, there is increased blood flow throughout the body, which helps in muscle repair, reduces inflammation, and helps with a general sense of overall well-being. As I entered the chamber, I was nervous and it didn’t really start to get too cold (since I was just in the sauna) until about 1 minute and 30 seconds in. Liquid nitrogen comes out of the chamber to increase chilliness, and it is perfectly safe to breathe in, but I had to make sure I was breathing more oxygen than nitrogen. I also rotated every 20 seconds to make sure one area didn’t get too cold. It’s hard to think under these conditions, but I just breathed to stay mentally calm. When it was over, I took my gloves and socks off (which you put on to make sure your extremities don’t freeze) and went out of the chamber. My body was red, and I felt a sort of euphoria as blood rushed back into my muscles. I felt like I could run a marathon! How crazy. Other benefits of cryotherapy include: relief of chronic pain and fatigue, accelerated recovery, increased collagen production for healthier skin, boosted immune system, accelerated metabolism, and natural biological regeneration. So amazing! I am definitely excited to try this one again.

Compression Therapy: After both the sauna and cryotherapy, we headed to compression therapy. This is such a new space that I haven’t really heard of until recently, but it is really promising. During compression therapy, you basically put on these funny looking boots that zip up and inflate and deflate for about 30 minutes (it feels like someone is taking your blood pressure on your legs). Those 30 minutes were really relaxing! The benefits of this therapy include: increased blood circulation, relief of muscle tension, reduced pain and soreness, and recovery aid. I can’t wait to try these out after a hard workout.

After all of these therapies, I felt very relaxed. Overall, my experience at GoCryo made me want to come back for more. I can’t wait to come back and do this on a weekly basis! Feel free to book online at www.gocryosd.com/booknow/ or call/text 858.255.0699

10 Best Things to Do in San Diego, CA

California’s birthplace and the first spot in the United States where Europeans stepped ashore, San Diego is a city with great appeal.

To go with the comfortable climate and laid-back style, San Diego Bay and its natural harbor have a rich military heritage.

The colossal aircraft carrier USS Midway speaks to this, and stands as the mother of all museum ships.

San Diego’s easy-going culture and miles of beach breaks may awaken the surfer dude in you, while Coronado and La Jolla have two of the best family beaches in the whole country.

Set just north of the border, the city has a Mexican influence that spreads to its delectable cuisine, and there’s a deluge of culture at the museums, monuments and theatres of Balboa Park.

Let’s explore the best things to do in San Diego:

1. Cryotherapy – GoCryo in Clairemont

Cryotherapy San Diego, CA – Cold Therapy and Cryo Slimming

GoCryo Cryotherapy San Diego’s Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is a cutting-edge innovation using hyper-cool temperatures to stimulate powerful physiological responses and trigger the body’s natural healing processes in a therapeutic manner. These remedies include accelerating healing in soft tissue and joints, reducing inflammation and pain, and boosting your metabolism inside our cryo chamber which immediately lowers your body’s temperature (without freezing it) through the application of instant cold therapy using nitrogen gas. Cryotherapy offers fitness, wellness and beauty benefits to individuals striving to improve their overall well-being by feeling, looking and performing better everyday. Explore the science and process behind cryotherapy cold therapy today. ‘Awesome!’ is often a response that we hear from our Cryo clients as they exit the cooling chamber.  We also offer cryo facials, compression therapy, cryo toning and cryo slimming similar to coolsculpting.
Book you session at www.gocryosd.com/booknow/ or call text 858.255.0699 to get 50% off your first session!

2. Balboa Park

You’ll keep returning to this 1,200-acre urban park for its world-class zoo, restful cultivated areas, museums in refined Spanish Revival buildings and live shows.

There’s a tapestry of gardens around the park, planted with more than 350 plant species hand-selected at the turn of the 20th century by the botanist Kate Sessions, the “Mother of Balboa Park”. An emblem for the park and San Diego is the Botanical Building, one of many splendid holdovers from the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition.

Among the largest lath buildings in the world, the Botanical House contains 2,100 individual plants and is fronted by a pond with annual displays of lilies and lotuses.

Suggested tourSan Diego Walking Tour: Balboa Park with a Local Guide

3. Embarcadero

San Diego’s walkable harbour-front is brimming with shops, interesting sights and eateries, and looks across the bay to Coronado Island.

A lot of the Embarcadero’s interest is literally floating on the water, at the USS Midway and the heritage ships belonging to the San Diego Maritime Museum.

This is also the place to board tour boats around the harbour and out in the ocean to spot whales.

When the mercury rises kids can go wild at the interactive fountains in the Waterfront Park and adventure through the creatively designed playgrounds.

In November the Embarcadero stages the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, while the San Diego Symphony Orchestra plays the Bayside Summer Nights from late-June to the start of September.

4. USS Midway Museum

The longest-serving aircraft carrier in the world has been permanently moored at San Diego’s Embarcadero since 2004. Commissioned in 1945, the USS Midway served in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm, before becoming the largest museum dedicated to aircraft carriers and naval aviation anywhere.

GetYourGuide.com offers a self-guided audio tour of this humungous vessel, during which you’ll see over 30 restored aircraft, including 8 propeller planes, 14 jet aircraft and 8 helicopters.

You’ll be led through the galley, brig, crew’s sleeping quarters, pilots’ ready rooms and engine room, and hear exciting snippets from people who served aboard the Midway.

You’ll have lots of chances to get involved, testing simulators, climbing into cockpits and watching films documenting the dramatic events that took place where you stand.

5. Point Loma

The west side of San Diego Bay is embraced by a long rocky peninsula that merits a visit for jagged topography, thrilling history and views you won’t soon forget.

We’ll touch on a few of the sights on Point Loma later, but in 1542, this was the landing point for the first European expedition to what is now the West Coast of America.

Given the peninsula’s setting, protecting the west flank of the harbour, Point Loma has a military presence going back to the 19th century.

The 77.5-acre Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery (1882) is on the grounds of a former coastal artillery station.

There are more than 100,000 graves here, and solemn memorials like the USS Bennington Monument, recording an accident in San Diego Bay that claimed 66 lives in 1905. Head to the marina for whale watching expeditions, and to Osprey Point were climbers scale the rocks and fishers camp over the water.

Available tourGPS Talking Tour Cars: Point Loma & Beaches Loop


6. La Jolla

The upscale oceanfront community of La Jolla is on a rocky headland poking out into the Pacific and surrounded by water on three sides.

La Jolla means fine dining, cliffs with sea caves and little coves where seals and sea lions rest on the sand.

We’ll stop by La Jolla many times on this list, visiting the famous Torrey Pines and its State Reserve, beaches and golf course.

La Jolla proper has a cosmopolitan, European feel in its cafes, boutiques, low-rise houses and steep stairways.

At Ellen Browning Scripps Park by La Jolla Point you can contemplate the majesty of the Southern Californian coast, catch open-air concerts on summer evenings and see the fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Make a detour to the Legends Gallery on Prospect Street, which has original art by former La Jolla resident Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr Seuss).

Available tourSegway Tour in La Jolla

7. Surfing

Surf culture is woven into San Diego’s identity and the county’s 70 miles of open ocean coastline has more surf spots than we could list here.

Much of the shore has southwest facing beach breaks, while there are rockier sections with reef breaks at La Jolla and Point Loma.

Avid surfers are always ready to travel for the perfect wave, and this might mean a trip up to the highly popular Swami’s, which was mentioned in the Beach Boys’ Surfin USA. The river mouth point break at Trestles is world renowned and hosts WSL competitions from May to September.

Honourable mentions go to the beach breaks at Oceanside and the spacious Del Mar, where you won’t have to jostle for a wave.

There are shops for gear rental near every major spot.

And if you’d rather keep your feet on dry land, you can watch some great surfing action from the rocks at Windansea in La Jolla.


8. Cabrillo National Monument

At the southern tip of Point Loma you’ll stand where a European person first set foot on the West Coast.

Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo’s expedition arrived here on 28 September 1542, and he named the bay San Miguel (this would change to San Diego in 1602). The original heroic statue of Cabrillo was donated by the Portuguese government in 1939, while the current replica has stood since 1988. The national monument’s visitor centre has a movie and exhibits to retrace Cabrillo’s voyage along the Californian coast.

Outside you can still see the old coastal batteries that protected the harbour and check out the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which has been converted into a museum.

But maybe best of all is the widescreen view of San Diego’s skyline, the harbour, across to Coronado and down to Tijuana.


9. San Diego Old Town

The site of the first European settlement in present-day California, the San Diego Old Town is a visitor-friendly neighbourhood with historic adobe buildings from the city’s early days between 1820 and 1870. There’s wonderful set of preserved streets in the State Historical Park, which we’ll talk about next.

In the 40-acre Presidio Park you’ll be at the site where the San Diego Mission and the San Diego Presidio, the first settlements in modern day San Diego, were founded in 1769. The Old town is a great place to go for real Mexican food and brims with specialty shops and art galleries.

There’s lots of colour during annual festivities like Fiesta Navidad, Cinco de Mayo and Día de Muertos in November.

Suggested tourOld Town San Diego: Hop-on Hop-off Narrated Tour


10. Old Town San Diego State Historical Park

A time warp back to the mid-19th century, the State Historical Park in the Old Town is scattered with restored historic buildings, including five original adobes, as well as detailed replicas.

The finest of the adobes is the Casa de Estudillo from 1827, one of the oldest remaining pieces of Spanish architecture in California.

The park is free to enter and gives a sense of the intersecting cultures, as a Mexican pueblo became an American settlement.

There’s constant activity, with burros to pet, shopkeepers happy to share their stories, and artisans showing off their knowhow: At the Black Hawk Smithy & Stable you can see a blacksmith working the forge.

There are shops, little museum and restaurants, while the Historic Plaza has a full schedule of cultural celebrations and events.

How Infrared Sauna and Cryotherapy Benefit Skin

Whether you have your finger on the pulse of the hottest wellness trends or not, it is hard to ignore the rise in infrared sauna sweats and cryotherapy chills. Despite their polar opposite temperatures, both of these tried-and-true rituals come with a dose of impressive health benefits. And as with many things in the health and fitness world, the promising properties of infrared sauna and cryotherapy cross over into beauty, too.

Up ahead, we tap the experts to find out why (and how) cryotherapy and infrared sauna leave a lasting effect on the skin, plus how submerging yourself in their hot and cold temperatures can amp up your health regimen.

Infrared Sauna Benefits
If you belong to a gym or have ever treated yourself to a relaxing day at the spa, you are probably familiar with the sauna. But although they look similar, these saunas and the raved-about infrared saunas are different in the way they heat the body up. “Hot coal saunas [aka those typically found at the gym] warms the surrounding air and causes you to become warm,” explains Alissia Zenhausern, N.M.D., a naturopathic physician at NMD Wellness of Scottsdale. “An infrared sauna uses infrared light to actually stimulate heat from the inside out,” she adds, suggesting that it’s like “a mini-fever [that] stimulates your body to detox.” Because of that, sweating it out in an infrared sauna can up the ante on your skincare.

“With your skin being not only the largest organ of your body but also a vital organ of detoxification, infrared sauna treatments will help you detox from environmental toxins leading to exceptional glowing skin,” says Zenhausern. In addition to glowing skin, detoxification can also help reduce acne because “the mild increase in body temperature that is seen with infrared sauna use can help kill bacteria that can cause acne,” notes Zenhausern. “The other reason it is helpful is because infrared sauna treatments help your skin properly detox and can help minimize clogged pores, areas where bacteria love to sit,” she adds.

The stimulation of sweat helps to improve blood flow and circulation, two necessities in targeting the look of cellulite. And, on top of that, an infrared sauna sweat sesh could help improve rosacea. While the heat from an infrared sauna might seem like the worst thing you can do for rosacea-ridden skin, its anti-inflammatory benefits (combined with the detoxification) actually help reduce the appearance says Zenhausern.

A sauna isn’t the only way to reap the benefits — infrared light facials are an excellent way to target concerns specifically on the complexion. Like the sauna, the infrared light helps kill acne-causing bacteria, helps decrease inflammation, and promotes detoxification for clearer skin.

What is an infrared sauna treatment like?
When you step foot into an infrared sauna, you will find that it has a similar look and feel to the hot coal saunas, only it uses light to trigger your body’s natural detox. According to Zenhausern, an infrared sweat sesh typically lasts around 30 minutes and can range in temperature from 110 degrees to 130 degrees. “Typically, if it is your first treatment, start slow at about 110,” she notes. “The idea is to stimulate sweating, not to make you feel distressed, so some people do just fine at 110 and do not need to increase the temperature for future sessions,” she adds.

As to how often you should sweat, Zenhausern says “the frequency of treatment varies depending on what you wish to address. Ideally, a 30 to 40-minute infrared sauna treatment can be done three times a week.” However, most people can hit the sauna once a week. “You will still see results with going weekly or monthly, but the effect will likely be less,” notes Zenhausern.

In your first sauna session, you might not sweat as much as you think as “the sauna warms you using infrared light [it] can take your body a little time to adjust, [which] is often why you don’t sweat during the first treatment,” explains Zenhausern. “Once your body understands what the infrared sauna is doing, sweating will occur.” After your infrared sauna treatment, Zenhausern recommends increasing your water intake. “Make sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces. So, for example, if you weigh 135 pounds, drink roughly 67 ounces of water.”

Cryotherapy Benefits
On the opposite end of the spectrum, cryotherapy is another popular wellness treatment that boasts major benefits. “Cryotherapy is the practice of exposing the body to cold temperatures,” explains Lily Kunin, founder of Clean Market, a wellness center in New York City. “Whole body cryotherapy exposes the body to sub-zero temperatures of up to -220 degrees Fahrenheit in order to stimulate multiple physical benefits,” she adds.

Cryotherapy isn’t just for the body though, which is why cryotherapy facials — aka cryofacials — have become increasingly popular amongst beauty editors and skin care fanatics alike. If a full body experience in a cryotherapy sauna seems intimidating, this facial treatment may be for you. “When applied locally to the face, cryotherapy reduces inflammation, which can help stimulate collagen. Additionally, it can help reduce fine lines, clear acne and eczema, and reduce signs of aging,” notes Kunin. On top of that, some use the freezing temperatures as an alternative to Botox, or “Frotox,” as John Hoekman, founder of QuickCryo, says. Applying cryotherapy to the face “decrease[s] pore size, reduce[s] puffiness and dark circles, stimulates collagen and elastin production, and lifts and tightens the skin,” Hoekman notes. At Hershesons in London, you can experience the signature (and only) Sunday Riley facial. You have a choice of three treatments depending on skin needs: Ice Lift, Ice Clear and Ice Express. The common denominator? Cryotherapy is used in each to reduce inflammation and redness.

What is cryotherapy treatment like?
The cryo facial treatment uses “cryogenically-cooled air of up to -160 degrees Fahrenheit” to target the complexion and help aid in the reduction of said symptoms. “The skin on your face is much more sensitive and the benefits max out at -160F,” which is why the temperature is kept so low Hoekman notes. Unlike traditional facials, a cryofacial is a quickie. It lasts up to 12 minutes and can be applied to a full face of makeup. But, there is so much more to a cryofacial — and cryotherapy in general — than a blast of cold air to the face.

The treatment itself uses liquid nitrogen vapor to super-cool the skin, which “triggers neuro-receptors to stimulate the flight response in our bodies, [which] hyper-circulates blood, distributes nutrients and enzymes, and flushes out toxins,” explains Hoekman. The process sets off “a domino effect of anti-inflammatory factors and endorphins, as well as lowers cortisol [aka, the stress hormone],” he adds.

Cryotherapy on the body requires a little more preparation. Before going into a cryotherapy sauna, you will strip down (women can go in nude, men should wear boxer briefs for additional protection) and cover your hands and feet with socks and gloves. Then, you will enter the ice sauna chamber and begin a treatment of up to three minutes. The biggest misconception of a cryotherapy session is that you will experience a freezing sensation — the cryotherapy air lacks moisture, which means that you will feel cool but not uncomfortable. All in all, the many cold sauna benefits are definitely worth a quick chill.

Cryotherapy vs. Infrared Sauna
In the case of cryotherapy vs. infrared sauna, one is not exactly better than the other. As it turns out, these two treatments work together to maximize health benefits. According to Kunin, the two treatments can be used synergistically. “Hot and cold therapies have been used together for centuries,” she notes. “Both have their own unique benefits and using [the] contrasting temperatures can improve treatment of pain and inflammation, boost your immune system, improve blood flow and muscle movement, and encourage a deeper detox,” she adds. The practice of alternating between cryotherapy and infrared sauna treatments is similar to that of winter bathing in Scandinavian countries — aka the mix of hot and cold therapy Kunin references — and both have the similar benefits, only the modern technology of infrared and cryo can enhance them.

That said, using these treatments back-to-back can counteract the benefits of each. “Artificially heating yourself back up with a sauna after cryotherapy is cheating yourself of the great benefits,” says Hoekman. So, while you can benefit from adding both to your wellness and beauty regimen, spreading out your treatments is the best way to reap their benefits individually and together.

“That is truly all you need to maximize the benefits and feel great,” says Kunin. “[But,] as with any therapy, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor if you believe you may have a contraindication,” she adds.


$29 infrared session at GoCryo