Used to the ColdBorn and raised in the midwest, I pride myself on being used to the cold. Whenever people talk about how much they hate Chicago Winters, I always tell them that they just need a better coat. As you can imagine, people are very annoyed when I say this. This gives you some background on why I thought it was completely normal to try cryotherapy.
Prior to my visit Chicago Cryospa, I have had some previous experience with completely immersing myself in the cold. And no I’m not referring to that one time Chicago was referred to as Chiberia.
During my track and field days, I would take freezing cold showers after practice. The cold is supposed to speed up muscle soreness and recovery. In order to bear the icy temperature, I would take a cup of ice cubes with me and suck on them throughout the shower. Eventually, I got tired of torturing myself so it was back to warm showers I go. However, I will say as a result my skin looked amazing so don’t knock it till you try it.
Fast forward to now and I’m still having some pretty bad muscle tension. I pulled my calf muscles years ago and they still haven’t fully recovered. With that being said, I thought it would be a great idea to give cryotherapy at Chicago CryoSpa a try!
What is CryotherapyIf you are looking kick your health regimen up a notch, then you may want to look into trying Cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy is a therapeutic treatment that puts participants in incredibly freezing temperatures. Immediately your body goes into survival mode which in turn activates some of the benefits of Cryotherapy.
It sounds scary but your body thinks that you are dying so it goes into overdrive making sure you survive. Fight or flight at its finest.
The BenefitsSo why on earth do all of your favorite celebs like Lebron James, Floyd Mayweather and Tyga (yes I said Tyga) take part in this unique treatment? It’s because cryotherapy claims to help with
- Muscle Tension
- Reduce your Metabolism
- Energy Boost
Some believe that the treatment allows them to sleep better at night. In fact, super fans of the treatment visit the chamber every day. Think of it as a very cold pick me up like a cup of coffee.
In order to see the results of cryotherapy, it is recommended that you do the treatment a couple of times a week. If you decide to commit to cryotherapy it should eventually be a part of your everyday life.
Meet Chicago CryospaFor my treatment, I went to Chicago CryoSpa located in Lincoln Park. The facility is quaint and has one cryochamber.
Before my treatment began, I signed a waiver that did mention the possibility of frost bite so immediately I was scared. I was ready to back out at that moment. However, I will add that unless you are just doing something extra crazy, frostbite rarely occurs.
To protect extremities from frost bite, you put on two thick pairs of socks and gloves. You strip down to just your underwear ( Ladies you can be nude. Guys you cannot do this).
It’s Getting Cold In HereOnce you’re all suited up you are ready to enter the chamber. Going into the chamber, you start by wearing your robe. The platform raises up so your head is outside and nitrogen fills the chamber. However, once the platform is raised you disrobe and enjoy that ice cool sensation of –250 degrees.
You stay in for about 2-3 minutes. Women tend to get colder faster than men so the max is 2 minutes for women.
With my head being exposed, I felt a lot more comfortable about the procedure. It didn’t feel like I was trapped. However, not sure if I’m down to enter a cryoroom (Imagine stepping into a -250 degree freezer room).
The cold initially was very painful but after a few seconds, it became very soothing. What’s funny is I can tolerate this a lot more than I could a cold shower. Basically, if you can withstand a cold shower, then cryotherapy should be no problem.
In a cold shower, your skin doesn’t have the opportunity to produce heat when wet. This explains why a cold shower is almost unbearable because you aren’t producing any heat to warm your body up. However, with a cryochamber, your body immediately starts to warm up which is why the sensation is relaxing.
After my two minutes, I step out the chamber and admittedly my legs were on fire. I thought I had frost bites for a second. If anything is slightly uncomfortable, it’s when you first step out of the chamber.
Once complete, the cryospa tech will take your skin temperature. The goal is to get your skin temperature to about 50 degrees. However, when I exited the chamber my skin temperature was 35. While I was feeling good and feeling great, 2 minutes is my max for a cryochamber. Anything beyond that you are in dangerous territory. This is not the time to be a hero and push your limits.
ConclusionAfter the experience, I genuinely felt really great. My muscles felt looser and I would describe the feeling as light. And surprisingly, my skin wasn’t looking crazy ashy. I thought that would be a side effect.
In fact, I would totally try cryotherapy again. However, do your research before you go to any cryospa facility. Make sure you are comfortable with their methods, and never get inside a cryochamber without a licensed technician.
To complete my experience, I received a cryofacial which was very soothing. It has the same benefits as the full body but of course focused on the face. Expect a youthful glow when you emerge.
If you are afraid to take the full body plunge then maybe it’s best to start with a facial.
Special thanks to Chicago CryoSpa for providing me with this fun and exhilarating experience. If you guys decide to go to the cryospa let me know because I would love to hear about your experience. 🙂
Photo Credit: Lead Image by Chicago CryoSpa