If you’re a professional athlete, have an injury or need to simply feel a bit more energy, nitrogen cryotherapy might be for you. The popular new anti-inflammation treatment takes the usual forms of cryotherapy like ice baths and ice packs to a whole new level.
Dubbed as the “ultimate cold shower” the new version of cryotherapy uses nitrogen to create extreme arctic temperatures as low as 130 degrees below zero. At Ice Cryo, owned by Ana Erviti and Ray Melendez, a station is set up in the back of the DBC training gym, where elite athletes like Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade, can cool off after their work out.
The desired effects range from decreasing inflammation, tightening skin, to improving mood. This is achieved by redirecting blood flow to central, vital organs in extreme cold. Then, when the cold is gone, blood rushes back to all areas of the body carrying oxygen-rich blood. The stress of it is also said to boost the immune system and metabolism.
Ana explains, “You might feel better after just a few sessions, but studies show that the long term benefits of cryotherapy become evident after 10-20 consecutive sessions.” That means you might be best off buying a $400-a-month unlimited pass than paying $90 per session.
Like a lot of unusual trends, this one started in Japan in the late 1970s by a rhumatologist named Toshima Yamaguchi. So the treatment isn’t exactly new, although it’s growing popularity is.
A few things to keep in mind. Some chambers are whole-body, but set-ups like the one at Ice Cryo have the patient’s head sticking out of the top of the chamber so you can talk, avoid inhaling nitrogen and any feelings of claustrophobia. Not that you’re in there very long. The session is done after stripping down, applying special socks and gloves and standing in the chamber a mere three minutes. One precaution—don’t be wet or have anything wet on your body as that can lead to frostbite – ouch!
Famous people who’ve tried or are regularly using the treatment are Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Demi Moore, Kate Moss, Jessica Alba, and Jennifer Aniston, with a number of them saying that they feel better and stronger after WBC.