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The Cryo Experience: What to Know Before Your First Freeze

Cryotherapy: What to Know Before Your First Freeze
The CryoBar, Bucktown

Have you been curious about stepping into the chill, but are not sure if cryotherapy would be right for you? Some things you might want to consider include the benefits of cryotherapy and what a cryotherapy session feels like, as well as some things that may inhibit one from doing whole body cryotherapy.

First things first, what is cryotherapy used for?

If you missed our last blog post, here’s a quick reminder of what cryotherapy does:

Athletes, zen-enthusiasts, and beauty guru’s alike have been picking up on cryotherapy’s increasing popularity – and for a good reason!

Cryo activates your body’s own natural healing process, triggering the production of endorphins, anti-inflammatory proteins, and antioxidants.

For this reason, cryo is often used to promote muscle recovery, weight loss, healthy skin, and chronic pain relief.

Below, is a list of some of the conditions our client’s use cryo for:

Inflammation: Whether you realize it or not, inflammation plays a huge role in our declining health. It may express itself in the form of arthritis, autoimmune disorders, chronic headaches, joint issues, irritable bowel syndrome – among many more inflammatory diseases! It may also result in more subtle nuisances like redness of the skin, swelling, fatigue, and hot flashes. Luckily, Cryotherapy reduces three different types of inflammatory processes, while reducing the over-activity of the immune system.

Weight Loss: In order to maintain its core temperature, the body increases metabolic activity to produce heat. As a result, you burn up to 800 calories when you do cryo.

Muscle Recovery & Endurance: Cryotherapy activates certain proteins that help to repair muscle fibers at a faster rate. In addition to this, cryo triggers the production of PGC-1 alpha, a protein that promotes the production of fibrous muscle tissue which is more resistant to fatigue.

Mood Enhancement: When the body reacts to extreme temperatures, it triggers a rush of norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Altogether, these hormetic processes prove beneficial for mental health. Many people turn to cryotherapy as a treatment for anxiety, depression, lethargy, and other cognitive disorders.

Hair & Skin Health: Cryotherapy induces the production of collagen and elastin while promoting blood flow. What’s more, cryo activates cell autophagy, meaning your body is pushed to renew its cells at a faster rate. Cryo Toning Facial’s prove perfect for firm, glowing skin and a healthy head of hair.

If you’re interested in more details about cryotherapy’s effect on the body, you won’t want to miss our last post!

Whole Body Cryotherapy: What to Expect

The CryoBar, Lincoln Park

If it’s your first time coming to the CryoBar, you’ll be happy to know that you get to spend your time with us in a pair of fuzzy slippers, chunky socks, and a cozy robe. Well, at least while the whole body cryotherapy machine cools down.

We supply everything you need. Almost as soon as you come in, you’ll be directed towards our stocked fitting rooms. There, you’ll remove all metal jewelry below the neck, then trade your outfit for ours. Because the machine gets really cold, it’s important to reduce as much material and moisture as possible to prevent any burns.

Understandably, it can be tough to shake the sweat after the gym, so we’ve got extra towels and shorts for you in the back if you need them.

Generally speaking, once you’re in the machine, it’s just you and your birthday suit. For women, underwear is optional — For men, they are not.

In order to keep your hands and feet warm, you’ll also be able to keep on your socks, slippers, and a pair of gloves while in the machine.

Admittedly, the machine itself looks a bit menacing. Nitrogen fog seeps out of the exposed top, and once the door opens, a plume of icy cloud fills the room.

The three minutes you’ll spend in the machine begins almost immediately once the door is closed. An elevator will raise your head above the exposed top so that you can breathe, but your body will remain immersed in the gaseous cold.

While temps in the machine can drop to around -250 degrees, they seldom feel unbearable. Your legs are the most vulnerable because the nitrogen naturally sinks to the lower portion of the machine. However, as long as you keep your legs moving in place, the cold should feel just that.

The dryness of the nitrogen, along with the immediacy of the session and the adrenaline your body experiences are typically enough to make the extreme cold a lot less uncomfortable than expected. We’ll talk to you the entire time too, so distraction plays a large part in making those three minutes fly by.

Normal sensations include a prickly tickle in the legs, slightly increased heart rate, and shortness of breath.

Finally, the session ends and the elevator begins to lower back down. While still in the machine, you’ll slip back into your robe and let the technician know when you’re ready to hop out.

Eager to get the heck out of there? At every point in the process, the door is held together by a magnet. Safety will always be a top priority, so the magnet allows you to be one push away from ending the session in the rare case of urgency!

Once out, the body warms back up in a matter of minutes. The “pins and needles” prickly sensation in your legs will dissipate and you’re likely to feel invigorated by a rush of endorphins and adrenaline. A lot of our clients report better sleep on the days of their cryo sessions as well!

Is there anybody who can’t do cryotherapy?

Photo by Leslie Reagan Bodin on Unsplash

Sometimes our kids get into sports that take a toll on their bodies. Fortunately, children under the age of 18 are able to use whole body cryotherapy, so long as a parent or guardian signs a waiver for them.

However, there are some conditions that may prevent one from being able to use the whole body machine. Typically in such a case, the client is still eligible for our localized or facial treatments, as well as our infrared sauna treatment.

Before scheduling your appointment, here are some other contraindications to be aware of.

Conditions that may inhibit you from whole-body cryo include, but are not limited to: A high fever, severe Raynaud’s syndrome, severe hypertension, uncontrolled seizures, acute kidney and/or urinary tract diseases, and cold allergy. As well as heart issues, such as arrhythmia, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, and unstable angina pectoris.

Pregnant women are unable to do whole-body cryotherapy but are eligible for our localized and facial treatments.

If you’re curious about any conditions not listed here that may inhibit your use of the whole-body cryotherapy machine, reach out to us at any of our locations. You can find our contact info here.

Thinking about stopping in? Make sure to book your appointment ahead of time to speed past the questionnaire. You may book an appointment for any CryoBar location by following this link. Walk-ins are welcome too!

New clients are offered a great deal of one chill for $40 or four chills for the price of $160. A chill can be used on either our whole body machine, localized, or facial treatments.

Wanna know another great deal? Every Friday between 4-6pm you can walk in at any of our locations to do a whole body chill for only $32.50. Yay for half-priced happy hour!

Stay tuned to our blog for more important information on cryotherapy, CryoSkin, and the infrared sauna.

Happy chilling!

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