“The cold never bothered me anyway.” -Elsa
Brrrrr!! What was Elsa from Frozen thinking? She must be superhuman or downright crazy, the cold and me have never mixed. We’re like oil and water. Anything above 90°F and I’m happy, anything cooler and I probably have a jacket or scarf nearby with a body full of goosebumps. When the idea of cryotherapy first came up in conversation my immediate instinct was a hearty NO! Eclipse Cryo Float touts on their website that “all you need is 3 minutes to accelerate your recovery and reduce inflammation.” As much as I put my body through on a daily basis this sounded like something I should try. Never one to back down from a personal challenge and something that could possibly aide in my recovery, I was now a willing participant for cryotherapy. Little did I know a 3 minute session would be in my birthday suit at a bone chilling -278°F. What did I sign up for?!
Filled with excitement and a bit of nerves I made my way to Eclipse Cryo Float. Walking in I noticed how beautiful and spa like the boutique was. The wonderful staff greeted me and went over the initial paperwork. Everything from health risks to house rules. Once completed and signed I was escorted to the back to to have my blood pressure and pulse taken. In case you wondering my blood pressure was 102/60 with a pulse of 55, my vitals were looking good, thank you very much.
“Are you ready for your cryotherapy session?” the technician asked.
“As ready as I’ll ever be,” I said with a nervous smile.
Upon entering the cryotherapy room I was given the full run down and handed everything I needed. Since I have a navel ring it was taped up to protect me from any possible frostbite. You read correctly, frostbite. It didn’t occur to me I may have to remove something Ive worn since the age of 15. I was thankful for the gauze and tape that saved the day. Once the technician gave me privacy I was able to disrobe [underwear optional for females]. Fellas underwear are mandatory due to the extra appendage. This gives a whole new meaning to the term “Freezing my balls off.” In case you are wondering I kept my underwear on hoping for whatever protection I could get from the chill that was yet to come. But I digress, I quickly donned the gloves, mittens, socks and slippers required to wear before entering the chamber.
Any sexiness factor I may have had quickly plummeted in that outfit, just like my body temperature was about to. Once inside the chamber I realized there was no turning back. Well I could, but I didn’t want to.
“Would you like a blast of heat before your session?” the technician asked.
“You mean before I get hit with the bone chilling cold? Why not, I’m here for the full experience.”
So as I took a deep breath my session started, slowly warm air began to circulate and at first it didn’t feel so bad but I quickly began to sweat, my nerves were certainly a contributing factor. Then it was time for what I came for, the freezing temperature. Still coming down off the blast of hot air and the fact that the temperature hadn’t fully dropped to its peak freezing point made it feel like a slight chill at first. This was what I was nervous about? I thought.
“Umm, is it normal to feel dizzy?” I asked the technician.
“Yes, this happens often with first timers. Look up at the ceiling it tends to help.” she replied.
“Umm ok,” I stammered as I quickly looked up.
While staring at the ceiling all I could think was, I’m about to faint and this poor technician is going to have to drag my naked, mitten, slipper wearing body out of this chamber. What did she do to deserve this today? Luckily for all parties involved the faint feeling began to pass. Without time to think of much else my body was getting down right cold.
“Once your body starts to shiver begin moving around to stay warm.”
“No problem,” I replied.
How did she know my limbs were shaking uncontrollably, all she could see was my head. I felt like a baby deer learning to walk. If I had the space I would have started doing jumping jacks, high knees or burpees. There wasn’t enough room though so I had to settle for moving side to side like she suggested for the duration of my session. As I moved I took in the panel behind me showing how much time was left of my 3 minutes. Less than 1 minute remained. Almost done! As the timer slowly counted down I tried not to look. The last 20 seconds were probably the toughest, it was during this time I took the time to make small talk with the tech to distract me. I’m convinced the techs aren’t just in there to monitor the session but to keep some of us sane and motivated when we think we might give up. And then, the countdown for the last 3, 2, 1! I had completed my session, now feeling invigorated and you guessed it, cold.
While getting dressed I noticed that my clothes felt like they had come right out of the dryer. It was like being wrapped in the warmest of blankets. With no dryer in sight I realized the surface of my body was still adjusting from the freezing temperature.
Mission completed! I am now officially part of the cryotherapy club.
Would I do it again? Yes! They say it takes a minimum of 10 sessions to begin noticing results. For the amount of wear I put on my body daily I’m willing to invest in something that can aide in my muscle recovery, repair and inflammation. Whats even better is the Cryosense machine can target upper or lower extremities with different temperatures, as well maintain a consistent temperature throughout. This is fantastic for those of us wanting to target particular areas. I recommend you give it a try and let me know your experience in the comments below.