If you remember back in February, I told you that I would be trying one of the hottest trends in therapy right now known as cryotherapy for 30 days. It’s actually been popular with professional athletes for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently that regular humans — like non-Lebron James type humans — started to hear about it. And what is cryotherapy exactly? It’s essentially an alternative to ice baths, exposing the body to temperatures of -200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sounds insane, right?
I admit, I was a) very scared and b) very skeptical. I actually agreed to try it for 30 days before I had even tried it. Now that I’ve successfully completed 30 days of it, I can tell you that both I and the owners of The Athletic Room, where I did my challenge, had some questions about whether I’d actually make it. I’m really not one to try fad diets and health treatments, so I went into this with a healthy dose of cynicism.
But oh, did I make it.
I had heard some pretty incredible things about cryotherapy, that it could help with energy levels, reduce inflammation, increase blood flow and shorten soreness from working out, help you lose weight (though disclaimer, they do not claim this at The Athletic Room and all results are my own) and even help with depression and anxiety.
Before I go any further, a couple of important things to note. First, I didn’t do it every single day. I’m a full-time business owner and mom to little kids. I can barely even brush my hair every day, let alone make it to cryotherapy every day. So I was averaging 5-6 times per week, which is still pretty good. Second, I have a very, very low tolerance for cold. My family can tell you about the time I jumped ship during a family snowmobiling ride in Breckenridge. I had to wait for them for over an hour in a little shed with one old, very questionable space heater. That was preferable over being numb in every extremity with a frozen face. So that should tell you a little about my baseline.
Initial Thoughts and Results
The first time I tried it, yeah… it was really freaking cold. Three minutes felt a lot longer than 3 minutes, though I actually made it almost all the way to the end before making them shut it off. Even on that first time, I didn’t get out. I finished the last 15 seconds and was feeling pretty proud of myself.
And to give you an idea of what to expect, you’ll go into the cryo chamber wearing gloves, thick socks and waterproof booties on, and that’s about it. Your face doesn’t go in at all, which is great, because the owners Kailee and Marissa totally distract you and talk you through it. They are seriously the coolest people, and aside from the cryo, getting to know them has been my favorite part of this experience.
On day 30, which was just a few days ago, I was up to intermediate level, and pretty much rocking it.
And the reason I finished the challenge at all is simply this: the benefits made it totally worth it to me.
The first time I tried it, I felt immediate euphoria, a burst of energy that I can’t even describe. It was incredible, like drinking 5 cups of coffee without the shakes. I also noticed that the feeling stayed with me the entire day. Every day around 4 o’ clock, I would start to drag and wonder how I was going to make it through my day. And I made it all the way to kids’ bedtime, and didn’t even look at the time once. Can you even imagine? I mentioned in my original post that I’d been having these horrible headaches, and lo and behold, three minutes in the cryo chamber and my headache was gone.
This is what everyone’s been asking me this week… they want to know, “so what happened?” And I’m excited to share my cryotherapy results with you now! Now keep in mind, this is just my purely personal experience, and results will vary, but here are mine:
- I have more energy. I legitimately feel better every single day, even not doing it every day, though the days I do it, I feel exponentially better and more energized. I have definitely noticed I’m not as sluggish as I usually am.
- I’m not as sore after workouts. I don’t have a ton of time to workout anymore, and I’m averaging twice a week. When I go, I try to work really, really hard to make up for the fact that I can’t go as much as I’d like, so I’m always so sore afterward. After a session in the cryotherapy chamber, my muscles are more relaxed and I have better mobility.
- I’m sleeping better. I am the kind of person who can feel positive and productive all day, then get into bed and start thinking, what did I even do with myself today? obviously that’s a downward spiral to sleeplessness and anxiety. So you can imagine my surprise when I was actually getting better sleep during this period of time.
- My headaches virtually went away. I don’t know if it’s the increased blood flow that happens, but my headaches have been almost non-existant lately. And they were BAD. I could barely open my eyes some days. I knew that the cryo chamber would relieve the pain better than the Advil I was taking.
- I actually DID lose weight. The baby weight wasn’t easy for me to lose the first time around, and the weight from baby #2 has stuck around even longer than the first time. I was so, so close to my pre-pregnancy weight, but couldn’t lose that last couple of pounds. After 30 days of cryotherapy, and doing nothing else differently, my pre-pregnancy jeans finally fit and the scale reflects it. Not that that’s the most important thing, but I admit, it does feel pretty good.
So there you have it. Will I be going every day? Maybe, if only to see owners Kailee and Marissa. I told them they’re pretty much stuck with me now, so they’d better get used to me. In all seriousness, I will continue to go regularly (though not every day), and any time I’m feeling extra sluggish, I’ll be heading to cryo instead of Starbucks. They also offer stretching and flexibility sessions and compression therapy, both of which I loved. The stretching especially helped a lot. I have plantar fasciitis that never fully healed after years of running, and I can tell the flexibility sessions I did made a big difference in mobility.
So what do you think? Have you ever wanted to try cryotherapy? Would you?
And mention this blog post to get 15% off unlimited month of Cryo, a $40 value!
Images by Snapshots by Ailee Petrovic