I had started to hear things about cryotherapy, but it wasn’t until I saw that adorable picture of Joe Rogan in his “manties” exiting the cryotherapy chamber that I decided to research it a bit and try it out for myself. Depending on your source, cryotherapy is either the best thing ever, or a bit of benign quackery as Dr. Andrew Weil has written.
But first, a description: the name cryotherapy is a bit of a misleading since cryotherapy is a general term for local or general use of low temperatures in medical therapy. The type of cryotherapy I’m discussing is what’s referred to as Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC), where you’re encased in what looks a hybrid standing tanning bed/freezer for 2-3 minutes oozing liquid nitrogen at -165 to -220 degrees fahrenheit.
Professional athletes are credited with starting the trend and it’s easy to see why. Benefits include: decreased recovery time, muscle and joint pain relief, arthritis relief, helps with migraines, decreased inflammation, endorphin boost and….a burning of 300-800 calories per session, which just seems like good time management.
Once the machine is appropriately frosty, you step inside and the cold that engulfs you is REALLY cold, like, not found in nature cold. Let me tell you, that first 3 minutes is long. The first time I did it, I found myself getting a little panicky, almost a scared feeling since it was so intense. It’s a bit of a pain tolerance test in a way, but absolutely worth it for the tremendous endorphin rush that ensues. I felt light, happy and highly aware of my body for a few days after. They may not have many studies on cryotherapy, but I'm a believer.