We tried cryotherapy – and you can, too – for FREE
Have you tried cryotherapy? It’s the brief exposure to extreme cold that’s said to have dozens of health benefits, from better sleep to better skin, boosted metabolism, endorphins and energy, less anxiety – and more.
The premise is that cryotherapy can improve performance if done before a game, a run or other athletic endeavor. And afterward, it helps speed up recovery.
The new iCryo in Hyde Park invited the girls and I to try out its cryotherapy services before the big grand opening this weekend (July 17-18).
They described the cryotherapy booth as “an ice bath on steroids.” There are four temperature settings in the booth, from beginner to double black, or “cryo extreme.” Hyde Park iCryo’s Sarah convinced me to go with the most extreme temperature, even on my very first time in the booth. It feels like -175 degrees with “extreme winds.”
She knows best, right? So I agreed. I changed out of my clothes into shorts, a sports bra, socks, gloves and a mask – all provided. It’s important there’s no metal in the booth, because it will freeze. We’ve all seen that scene from A Christmas Story, right?
So in I went. She had me pick a song (Shake It Off by Taylor Swift seemed like the right choice) and reminded me to move around while I was in there. She said it made the time go faster. The goal is three minutes in the booth, and a light bar that marked the time let me see just how much time was left.
A couple of things you should know here: the cryotherapy booth has no lock. You can literally just open it if you get too cold or claustrophobic. This was comforting. Also, an employee always has eyes on you – so if you’re having trouble, or you get lightheaded, they can swoop in to help.
But I’ll tell you: the three minutes went by pretty quickly. And because my extremities were protected, it didn’t get painfully cold the way it does when you’re outside in the winter.
So yeah, the girl who’s perpetually cold sailed right through the coldest level in the cryotherapy booth on the very first try.
I even had my 15-year-old daughter take a turn in there. She went for the single black level, “cryo pro.” And it’s no joke: it felt like -166 degrees with high winds. She took in stride as well. Both of us had our skin temperatures drop 40 degrees, and loved the way we felt afterward.
My daughter is a dancer, and has some ankle issues, so the folks at iCryo suggested a “freeze and squeeze” – three minutes in the cryo booth, followed by compression therapy. Giant inflatable boots stretched from her hips to her feet and would cycle through compressions for 20 minutes or so. She loved it and said she could feel a difference in her ankles that night during her musical theatre rehearsal.
While she did that, my older daughter and I opted for the infrared sauna. The beauty of this type of sauna is that even if you don’t want intense heat (and sweating), you’re still getting wellness benefits. That’s also why she wore her regular clothes in there instead of changing. Infrared light is said to help with relaxation, basically bringing about the benefits of the sun without the UV rays.
Plus, it’s the perfect follow-up to three minutes in subzero temps.
Here’s the best part: you can try out the lifestyle services that iCryo has to offer for FREE during the grand opening weekend Saturday and Sunday. Just give them a call, stop by or check out the website for more info.