Cryotherapy is a treatment invented in Japan in 1978 that reduces inflammation, repairs muscles and joints, fights depression, provides anti-aging benefits and boosts your metabolism. This alternative therapy is mostly done in Europe and there is only one Cryo Spa in Chicago and very few in the United States.
Chicago Cryo Spa opened in Chicago last July on Lincoln Avenue and I had the opportunity to try the cold chamber for myself this week.
Obviously I did my research about the benefits and risks associated with multiple sclerosis. The friendly, accommodating staff emailed me two studies that stated the benefits for those suffering from the disease. It also decreases sore muscles and joint pain.
After a crazy weekend, I woke up this morning and the last thing I wanted to do with step in a freezing cold chamber. I dropped the kids at school and headed straight to the Cryo Spa before I had time to change my mind.
I was greeted by Alexis and told to change into a robe (underwear optional) and put two layers of socks and gloves on my hands and feet. These eased my nervousness, as my extremities are where I am most cold.
Alexis explained that I step into the whole body cryo chamber (your head sticks out of the chamber) where cold, liquid nitrogen in gas form fills the chamber to make it a temperature of -250 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea is to bring your outermost layer of skin down to a temperature between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. That is what will trigger your body’s response to reduce inflammation and repair muscles and joints. I had a technician with me the whole time talking me through the treatment.
I stepped in and it was a different cold than walking outside during a Chicago winter. There is no wind, so it seems less brutal than being outdoors. I was shivering, but Alexis kept talking to me. I asked her how much time was left and I was more than half way done with only 50 seconds left.
Before I knew it I was handed my robe and done. I got on a stationary bike for a minute or two afterwards to warm up. Then I went and put my clothes back on and was out the door in less than 20 minutes.
I left energized and sped to a 9 a.m. yoga class, which I have never made on a Monday morning!
Throughout the day I noticed, I wasn't as cold as I normally get, almost as if my body temperature was reset.
I didn't schedule a treatment for today. I thought Monday, Wednesday and Friday was enough. I'm already dreading tomorrow, but at the same time a little bit excited. I was surprised when I stepped on the scale this morning to see the numbers lower than I expected after I regrettably binged on wine and m&ms last night.
Woke up tired and threw on sweat pants to drive the kids to school. I headed straight to Chicago Cryo Spa.
I like that it isn't chlosterphobic at all in there because your head is sticking out. Afterwards, I was awake, but my legs still felt really cold for a while afterwards. In retrospect, I should have rode the stationary bike a little longer to warm up.
I was in the spa at 8:24 a.m. and back in my car by 8:40 a.m.. You literally can stop on your way to work or during a lunch break. It is nice that you don't leave sweaty or need to shower afterwards.
Today is a normal Thursday and haven't noticed any benefits or negatives of the cryotherapy, although I am questioning every emotion, sensation and pain to wonder if it is related to the treatments.
It is cold today and I am already worried about tomorrow's treatment as it is expected to get even colder.
Although I tried to think of every excuse in the book not to go to Chicago Cryo Spa, the treatment is it is so easy there really is no reason not to go. I can go in my pajamas, park right in front and am done in less than twenty minutes.
Even though the thermometer read 17 degrees outdoor, I am still glad I went. Today I stayed in for 20 extra seconds totaling 2 minutes and 20 seconds and my body temperature got down to 49 degrees.
Surprisingly, stepping out into the frigid air didn't feel as terrible afterwards.
After a week of cryotherapy, I noticed a decrease in pain, more energy and sleeping well am am very happy I tried it.
Here is a video where Dr. Oz does a nice job explaining and demonstrating the treatment.
Great news! Chicago Cryo Spa is offering Ups and Downs of a Yoga Mom's readers a buy one treatment, get one treatment FREE, simply mention YOGA MOM. Chicago Cryo Spa is located at 2640 North Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. Call 773-360-0940.
Are you going to try cryotheraphy?
Chicago Cryo Spa provided me complimentary treatments, although all content and opinions are my own.