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/

Sign up for a $150 credit www.gocryosd.com/cryoslimming/

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

I Spent 3 Minutes Inside a -264 Degree Cryotherapy Machine

“You may now start to hyperventilate and shiver uncontrollably,” I hear. Other than undergarments, I am wearing nothing but athletic socks and clogs on my feet, raw-wool mittens on my hands, and a post-concussive expression on my face. I am ensconced in a shoulder-height cauldron spewing nitrogen-iced air at minus-264 degrees Fahrenheit.  I’m about to try cryotherapy.

The woman talking is Joanna Fryben, co-owner of KryoLife, a year-old spot off Central Park South that specializes in whole-body cryotherapy — a three-minute treatment said to burn up to 800 calories, release an eight ball’s worth of endorphins, improve sleep, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, smooth wrinkles, and solve the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Fryben is 40 — a Cameron Diaz 40. She has not been sick in four years, about the time it’s taken her to bring WBC from her native Poland (it’s popular and even covered by health insurance in much of Europe) to New York, where KryoLife is the only game in town.

But that may soon be changing. “When we opened our beta site in 2012, there were maybe six other cryotherapy centers in the U.S.; now there are at least 30,” Fryben notes. Dr. Aran Degenhardt, an integrative physician who’s referred chronic-pain patients to KryoLife, says he’s also noticed an uptick, “probably because there are more celebrities and high-profile athletes using it” — like Demi Moore and Kobe Bryant.

A framed article along KryoLife’s entryway touts Cristiano Ronaldo’s at-home cryotherapy chamber (the treatment, originally developed by a Japanese doctor in 1978 for rheumatoid-arthritis patients, has been more recently adopted by pro athletes seeking ice-bath-like recovery). But aside from jocks and joint-pain sufferers, Fryben’s broader goal is to target more self-help-inclined fools, like me, who have fit bands on their wrists and bone broth in their fridges.

A full minute into my deep freeze, I am neither hyperventilating nor convulsing, just feeling numb from the waist down. At these extreme temperatures, allegedly, the air no longer contains moisture, so cold does not penetrate the skin like it does in, say, Siberia; according to Fryben, three minutes or less in here is safer than a hot sauna. To distract myself from the cold that is penetrating, as I peer down from my perch inside what looks like an open-topped Coke can, I chat up Fryben like an undermedicated child: “Should I be standing very still?”; “Do you normally talk people through the three minutes?” I am short of breath. Words are coming out, but my face is not really moving.

And just like that, the three minutes are up. I emerge Godzilla-like from my enclosure feeling … wow, I did not expect to feel so great. I am gabbing relentlessly as Fryben guides me to an Airdyne bike, where I’ll spend the next five minutes warming up my muscles. My skin temperature has dropped to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and science would suggest (although major cryotherapy studies are still in short supply) that my body has incinerated calories in the quest to restore homeostasis.

“Those are the endorphins,” Fryben explains when I ask about my Mountain Dew rush. “You went into a stressful environment, and your body reacts in a way to protect itself. The immune system is boosted, the lymphatic system moves, the blood is oxygenated — enzymes and nutrients are delivered to every part of the body.” Degenhardt likens this fight-or-flight response to a runner’s high.

People I meet at KryoLife speak to various other benefits. An arthritic client named Nicola says the swelling and pain in her hands have gone down significantly since she started coming here (she does batches of ten sessions punctuated by three-month breaks, the recommended course for jump-starting the nervous system). Eduardo Bohórquez-Barona, a KryoLife associate and former caffeine addict, says, “I’m Colombian; we need coffee. But if I do cryotherapy, I’m energized all day.” I would compare my own state of whole-body awesomeness to the afterglow of a fabulous colonic, with an added kick of adrenaline and a tighter-seeming complexion; co-workers later tell me I look like I’ve just been skiing.

Still, I decide that I would be more inclined to shell out the $90 per session if this place looked less like that unmarked tanning salon I frequented in college. (Fryben assures me that a cushier KryoLife outpost is planned to open downtown in the months ahead.) And then, of course, there are the risks: I had to change into fresh socks pre-sauna because any lingering moisture could cause frostbite. And Degenhardt noted that passing out is a possibility if your blood pressure gets too high or too low. KryoLife gives all clients a medical questionnaire and blood-pressure check, but in short: ­Consult your physician before freezing.

When my biking is done, Fryben explains that she doesn’t mandate this post-­treatment exercise for on-the-go New Yorkers. “But if this were L.A. or somewhere you’d be getting straight into a car, that wouldn’t be safe for the joints,” she says. “Because your body, you know — it gets frozen.”

This article appears in the January 26, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.

Book your cryotherapy session today:  https://gocryosd.com/booknow/

Cryogenic Chamber Therapy Has Some Serious Evidence That It Works Wonders For Recovery

Used by a laundry list of elite athletes including everyone from professional bodybuilders to olympians, UFC fighters, and even entire NBA teams, cryogenic chamber therapy is building a reputation as one of the most effective new recovery therapies currently available to athletes. With its growth in popularity WBC (Whole Body Cryotherapy) is becoming more accessible to the general public as more and more clinicians are adding chambers to their practices to use as a more effective alternative to cold water immersion or ice packs.

For bodybuilders? Quicker recovery means that you can lift heavy things more often. When you can prevent DOMS and quickly alleviate other aches and pains, that means you can train harder and more often with less downtime. But are these chambers the real deal, or just another fad?

What is cryogenic chamber therapy, anyways?

Cryogenic therapy is like The Jetsons equivalent to jumping into a garbage bin filled with ice water. Whole body cryotherapy was invented in Japan in the late 1970’s, but only started to gain traction stateside in the last few years with clinics opening up all over the country.

More and more weightlifters are starting to swear by it. A three minute session costs about as much as dinner for two at a mid-tier restaurant so you don’t have to be a pro athlete to afford it either, you just have to have your priorities in order.

How does cryotherapy work?

Once you’re inside the chamber, you’ll get a burst of nitrogen gas every thirty seconds or so. The freezing gas surrounds your entire body which causes your blood to rush away from your limbs and towards your core in an attempt to warm and protect your vital organs from an icy funeral. It puts you into survival mode, and fills your blood up with oxygen. When you step out of the chamber, your blood immediately rushes back to your arms and legs and you’ll feel a warm, almost tingly sensation. That means it’s working.

If you have a sports injury, whether it’s a contusion or a strain, the blood running to the core and then coming back to the limbs with oxygenated blood redevelops injured cells and helps you heal faster.

It’s no secret that ice and extremely cold temperatures help with recovery, the first thing you reach for when you hurt yourself is an ice-pack. Now imagine an ice pack for your entire body.

Quick facts:

The temperature of the nitrogen gas ranges from -166 F to -260 F.
The treatment lasts between 90 seconds and 3 minutes.
You are subjected to several short bursts of nitrogen gas, each lasting just a few moments.
Athletes report feeling much less sore in the days following an intense workout.
Notable fans of WBC include Usain Bolt, Steve Kuclo, Cristiano Ronaldo (Bought a chamber for his home), Kobe Bryant, UFC welterweight champ Johny Hendricks, and many more.
Notable Scientific Findings Related To Athletic Recovery:

Effect of whole body cryotherapy on the levels of some hormones in professional soccer players.
Whole body cryotherapy leads to a significant decrease in serum T and E(2), with no effect on LH and DHEAS levels. As a results of cryotherapy, the T/E(2) ratio was significant increased. The changes observed are probably due to cryotherapy-induced alternation in the blood supply to the skin and subcutaneous tissue, as well as to modulation of the activity of aromatase which is responsible for conversion of testosterone and androstenedione to estrogens.

Time-course of changes in inflammatory response after whole-body cryotherapy multi exposures following severe exercise.
Overall, the results indicated that the WBC was effective in reducing the inflammatory process. These results may be explained by vasoconstriction at muscular level, and both the decrease in cytokines activity pro-inflammatory, and increase in cytokines anti-inflammatory.

Cryotherapy effective for treating frozen shoulder
In patients with adhesive capsulitis (AC) of the shoulder, the addition of whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) to physical therapy and joint mobilization appears to be more effective than the latter two alone, research shows.
Indeed, patients receiving additional WBC achieved “clinically significant” improvements of over 20% relative to the physical therapy and mobilization group, suggesting it could become “the preferred treatment strategy,” according to Hyeong-Dong Kim (Korea University, Seoul) and colleagues.

There was even a study to determine if whole body cryotherapy (WBC) could be an effective treatment for anxiety. Despite a small sample size, the results were encouraging.

Continued on the next page…

Cryochamber vs Cryosauna

The difference between a cryochamber and a cryosauna is simple. With a cryosauna, your head sticks out of the top and you’re not completely isolated inside, as opposed to the chamber which you step into and it is sealed off. The chamber allows for a more uniform distribution of temperate, in other words your face will be freezing cold along with the rest of you.

Cryogenic Therapy in MMA

Joe Rogan (who we last mentioned when he was talking trash about modern bodybuilding) is an evangelist for cryogenic chamber therapy and has personally played a role in influencing many people to try it out for themselves, including UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub who said “I usually do ice baths between training sessions, but the set-up is such a hassle. Cryo is convenient and it brings my recovery to another level. Cold as hell, but it works!”

Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks says “3 minutes to make my body feel good? I’ll do anything for 3 minutes.”

For athletes in any sport, proper recovery is essential in order to prevent injuries. Preventing injuries means more training, and more training means better performance. Even if you aren’t an elite level athlete, cryogenic chamber therapy can help with reducing inflammation and pain.

 

Book your cryotherapy session today:  https://gocryosd.com/booknow/

A blast of cold jump-starts fat burning and generates body heat

Looking for a silver lining in the cold that’s gripping much of the country? The next time an icy blast of wind cuts through your flesh, remind yourself that it is also stimulating the growth and activity of brown fat, the so-called good fat that burns calories and produces heat.

Located in your chest and back, brown fat’s job is to protect your vital organs which, in winter, means giving you a way to generate additional heat for them. It’s more prevalent in newborns and hibernating animals, whose need for warmth is greater, but researchers discovered about five years ago that adults have some, too.

In contrast to white, or “bad,” fat, which stores energy as those bulges you’re trying to eliminate at the gym, brown fat is full of mitochondria, the glucose-burning power plants of cells, which give brown fat its color. People with more brown fat tend to be leaner and have lower blood sugar levels.

It takes a little time in the cold to crank up the brown fat, but temperatures don’t have to be down at the Polar Plunge level. When researchers exposed people to temperatures of 59 to 60 degrees for two to six hours over 10 consecutive days, they found immediate increases in brown fat activity. In another study, men who slept in rooms for a month at 66 degrees increased their brown fat and its activity by 30 percent to 40 percent. When the night-time temperature was raised to 80 degrees for another month, their brown fat stores declined below baseline levels.

This information has intrigued researchers who wonder whether stimulating brown fat might help in the battles against obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

How does this work? In a study released Thursday, University of California, Berkeley, researchers said they had identified the protein critical to the formation of brown fat. Exposure to increased levels of “transcription factor Zfp516” helped mice gain 30 percent less weight than other mice when both were fed the same high-fat diets. They also found that it helped “brown” that nasty white fat, though other researchers did not report this result.

In an interview, Hei Sook Sul, who led the research, said that in the laboratory, the same process worked on human cells, though the process has not been tested in humans themselves.

She said it’s impossible to determine how long an individual needs to be in the cold to kick-start the process, but recommended giving it a try at safe exposures.

“Get out,” said Sul, a professor in the university’s Department of Nutritional Science and Toxicology. ” The more you do it, the more energy you will lose.”

Originally posted at the Washington Post

 

Book your cryotherapy session today:  https://gocryosd.com/booknow/

Cryotherapy: Why Pro Athletes Like It Chilly

The traditional ice bath isn’t so cool anymore. These days, professional athletes are opting for a treatment that sounds more like sci-fi torture: whole-body cryotherapy.

Here’s how it works: You stand in a cylindrical chamber for about two and a half minutes. Hyper-cold air is released all around your body, bringing the temperature down to as low as 300 degrees below zero.

It’s a similar concept to an ice bath, but the benefits, many athletes say, are far better. Texas Rangers’ pitcher C.J. Wilson is a regular, and several members of the Dallas Mavericks credit this year’s NBA Championship win in part to their cryotherapy treatments. One athlete compared it to standing in a giant Red Bull can with your head poking out.

Eric Rauscher is the managing director of Millennium Ice, a company that manufactures whole-body cryotherapy chambers in the U.S.

“We’re taking skin-surface temperature to 30 degrees in less than a minute,” he says. “The body literally gives up trying to regulate skin-surface temperature, instead drawing the blood to the core to protect the core.”

When the blood is in the core, Rauscher says, it picks up oxygen and nutrients, since the body “feels like it’s in massive distress.”

“It’s really not,” he adds, “but it feels like it.”

At the end of the 2.5-minute session, the brain figures out where to send the blood first.

In the case of the Dallas Mavericks players, he says, fatigued leg muscles were getting oxygen-rich blood. “They were stepping out of the device essentially with instant recovery effects.”

Rauscher has tried cryotherapy himself. He says he’s been using it every other day over the course of a month. “Although it’s cold, it’s not that excruciating cold that an ice bath feels like.”

Rauscher says his own company spent months monitoring athletes and looking for the placebo effect.

“Every single athlete that we worked with told us that it produced a change, it produced a recovery like they hadn’t felt,” Rauscher says. “You’ll see this in training rooms around the country.”

Original Article posted at npr.org

 

Book your cryotherapy session today:  https://gocryosd.com/booknow/