SO, WHAT IS CRYOTHERAPY AND DOES IT WORK?
Unless you have been hiding under a rock you would have heard of cryotherapy and seen pictures of people standing in a round chamber being ‘frozen’ at crazy-cold temperatures. I mean, we’re talking – 110 degree celsius! But like us, you probably don’t know what the benefits are or whether it’s worth it? So what exactly is Cryo? Basically, Cryo is the use of extremely cold temperatures to aid your heath. We’ve been doing it in the form of cold baths and ice baths since the 1700s, but this goes one step further. Using temperatures well out of our comfort zone, Cryo or whole body cryotherapy (WBC) uses liquid nitrogen (a non-toxic natural gas) to drop temperatures down and help the body with everything from chronic illness, skin conditions, inflammation, slow metabolism and muscle recovery. It has been used the medical space since 1978, in various capacities, and there have been some studies into its use if you’re the research kind. What happens and how does it feel? Well, to answer that question, we decided to try out Sydney’s most famous cryotherapy centre, Cryo. Located in Edgecliff, it’s been the talk of Sydney-town over the past few months. So we thought’d we give it a go. To get the full picture we asked our buddy and founder of ah-mazing sports accessories brand UNIT NINE super fit Anna Whiteside, to take the plunge for us… literally. This is how she found it: “I’ve heard so much about cryotherapy that I really wanted to try it. There are apparently all theses benefits that you get from doing it such as muscle repair, energy boosting, fat loss and the list goes on. I was very intrigued as I train a lot and get muscle soreness on a regular basis, so I was keen to see if this helped speed up my recovery time. I was a little apprehensive as my preference has always been infra-red saunas over ice baths for recovery, but I thought, why not! Cryo clinic is based in Double Bay in Sydney and on arrival, the lovely Lucinda greeted me, she explained all about the treatment and ensured I understood exactly what was involved. I was then led to a private space age room where you are required to strip down to your underwear (whoo hoo!), put on a robe and watch a video to learn more about the treatment and then press the button to say you are ready. Once you do that, a second door magically opens and you enter the cryo chamber. The chamber is filled with liquid nitrogen vapour and the temperature dropped to a chilly -110%. Next, you take off your robe and enter the chamber, an important point here is you are not left alone, a technician is close by talking to you, which is an awesome distraction for any nervous first timer. Though it is a little weird talking to someone in your underwear… but they can’t actually see you at all (apart from your head) so you get over that quickly. While I chatted to the technician throughout the two and a half minutes I did some spins in the chamber to keep moving so the cool air covered more of my skin,. Was it cold? Yes, but was it as cold as I thought? No. Honestly, it didn’t feel unbearable at all. Next time I won’t be so worried about that! When the treatment is over you are escorted back to the change room to get ready and watch another short video. Even though I was cold when I came out, I warmed up again really quickly and just felt extremely energised and happy. Did it work? It’s hard to say after one session, but what I can say is that apart from the extra energy and the smile on my face, I also slept like a baby that night! So I’d say yes, it was definitely worth it for that!” Want to try it? Like most things, one session is probably not enough to get the benefits but if you’re just up for a trial, you can get a session for $90. The prices drop down to $47.50 each with bulk session passes, so if you’re into it – think about buying a few sessions to save the money. Want to know more? Check out Cryo in Edgecliff, and book in a session! And while you’re here, *cough cough* why don’t you sign up to our newsletter for discounts and news on fitness classes, fitness events, active travel and recipes. We send it regularly enough to be mysterious, not enough to be annoying. Promise.